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To examine clinical laboratory findings in subjects suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and in controls to identify somatic disorders.
132 patients (42 males, 90 females) with electromagnetic hypersensitivity and a control group (34 males, 67 females) were recruited from German electromagnetic field self-help groups, an internet project (watchdog) and by advertisement in Mainz and Regensburg. Inclusion criteria for patients were 1) high questionnaire ratings (Regensburger electromagnetic fields complaint list), 2) attribution of symptoms to electromagnetic emission sources, 3) age 18-65 years. Exclusion criteria were acute psychiatric disorders.
The electromagnetic hypersensitivity patients had significantly lower TSH values and significant higher alanine transaminase- and aspartate aminotransferase levels than the control group. Anaemia parameters did not differ between both groups and kidney parameters did not reveal major concerns for electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Some electromagnetic hypersensitivity patients displayed elevated levels of c-reactive protein.
The results identified signs of thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction and chronic inflammatory processes in small but remarkable fractions of electromagnetic hypersensitivity patients as potential sources of symptoms. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity might not be a single disorder but rather a complex mixture of different etiology. Clinically it is recommended to check for signs of treatable somatic conditions when caring for individuals suffering from electromagnetic hypersensitivity.