Dr Andrew Tresidder MBBS MRCGP (1989) Cert Med Ed
Ilminster, Somerset TA19 0SB
To whom it may concern March 2016
I am writing at the request of many patients. One whom you know may have attached their details.
Electrosensitivity is a very real illness. Many thousands who are severely affected in the UK can testify to this including a number I have diagnosed in my NHS practice as a GP, and others I have seen who can be severely affected. In my experience as a GP, a
substantial number of people sleep better and either reduce or become free from headaches when doing simple things like turning off wifi and cordless phones at night, and keeping all unnecessary electromagnetics away from the bedroom. (Sleep is a vital time of sanctuary for the mammalian body to refresh, repair and regenerate).
There is a school of thought that dismisses the issue as purely psychological: similar schools have argued in the same way about Gulf War Syndrome, a problem known to be tragically real by thousands of veterans. Twenty years ago, other thinkers might have dismissed Chronic Fatigue and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis as psychological (and therefore unimportant and non-existent) illnesses. Time has moved on.
Electrosensitivity (ES) develops as a result of a breakdown in the organism’s health. This can be contributed to by lack of many factors that go towards good health and vitality (for an interesting treatment of the whole subject of health, I recommend to my patients “The Holistic Doctor” by GP Dr Deborah McManners). The final straw for sufferers of ES seems to be an acute, or a chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with especial problems from the modern all pervasive increase in RF (radiofrequency, or formerly microwave) transmissions from several domestic sources such as wifi, cordless phones, baby alarms, some burglar alarms etc. Many patients with low vitality may develop food intolerances, whilst when their vitality levels are high, there is no problem - presumably many of us have the latent tendency to develop headaches etc to coffee, tea, chocolate, cheese and other foods (The 4 C’s are well known as common causes of headaches)
Common sources of EMFs include
- field effects from cables and appliances (such as lights, hairdryers, washing machines, cookers, bedside radios etc)
- signal and power effects from radiofrequency (RF) microwave transmitting technology, such as microwave ovens, mobile phone masts, cordless phone base stations and handsets, mobile phones, wireless routers, Wii devices, laptop computers, printers, home and office alarm sensors, the continuously transmitting smartphones, iPads, Blackberries and others, baby alarms, wireless Smart Meters for utilities, wireless central heating controls, and Bluetooth devices in the car
ES is characterised by a variety of symptoms including one or more of tiredness and fatigue, poor quality sleep, irritability, headaches or a feeling of pressure in the head, speech and thinking disturbance, brain fog, dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, tinglings and odd sensations in the limbs, joint pains, heart palpitations, rashes and others.
Mechanisms include changes in cellular calcium influx, failure of repair of DNA breaks, blood brain barrier permeability, heat shock protein production, disruption of vital melatonin production due to blue light from screens, general sympathetic (stress) upregulation of the body and others including probably disruption of cell to cell signaling.
Current UK safety limits for RF are unfortunately based upon the flawed misapprehension that non-thermal = non-harmful, and at present there are no plans to review this. Basically, if it doesn’t start to cook you in six minutes, it’s safe…... Safety issues always lag new technological advances, so this is a field for development, especially as some countries are well ahead of the UK in taking the issue seriously.
Treatment is currently problematical – but must include a minimising of the exposure to the person. It is not helpful to ignore them, especially as they may already be in conflict with family members who refuse to believe that there can be a problem (on the basis that 1 they are unaffected and 2 they cannot understand how something that is outside their own experience, and that you cannot see hear touch taste or smell can be harmful. However, physiological effects can occur from the spectrum sensed by our specialised organs of sense as noxious – whilst within the spectrum, our eyes are capable to detecting light intensity down to a single photon, and our ears a billionth of a watt – these are also non-thermal effects).
Other methods to build health are also important (good quality sleep, good nutrition, attention to providing support to cellular metabolism such as mineral and vitamins, fresh air, sunlight etc).
It may take considerable courage for a GP to diagnose this at present, especially as we were not taught about it at medical school, and there is no particular specialism that can help – nor any blood tests available in NHS use. It is a diagnosis made on good old-fashioned historytaking by an astute clinician, sometimes aided by a meter. Possibly in future the neurologists or other specialists may be able to help confirm a diagnosis, but for now cases will occur in every practice in the land – often undiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or treated as yet another case of Medically Unexplained Symptoms – or perhaps astutely diagnosed by yourself.
Thankyou for taking the trouble to read this letter
Andrew Tresidder (GP, GP Appraiser, Section 12 doctor, GP Patient Safety Lead, former Somerset LMC member and Bristol Medical School GP Academy Lead)
Useful resources are below:
Valuable are the Austrian Medical Association Guidelines
http://electromagnetichealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/EMF-Guideline.pdf www.es-uk.info and www.powerwatch.org.uk have a good deal of useful info, as does the Bristol University site from Prof Denis Henshaw www.electric-fields.com
The Powerwatch Handbook by Alasdair and Jean Philips (Amazon) is recommended, as is www.emfields.org/library/index.asp also meters to aid detection are available from Emfields. www.electromagneticman.co.uk/are-you-at-risk/the-es-test
Electromagnetic Sensitivity by Michael Bevington – an excellent overview with 1828 scientific
www.wavegoodbye.info for an interesting patient perspective
‘Overpowered’ by Prof Martin Blank (2014) is an excellent overview of the subject, including the politics….
Dr Mallery-Blythe gives an excellent scientific overview on http://youtu.be/sNFdZVeXw7M, http://www.electricsense.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Belyaev-et-al-2015.pdf though retracted in minor details, provide valuable insight into mechanisms https://www.emfanalysis.com/tedx-wireless-wake-up-call/