“Thanks to our growing use of technology, 90 percent of women are overexposed to electromagnetic fields [EMFs],” says Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, author of Zapped. Adds Jill Carnahan, MD, founder of Flatiron Functional Medicine, “EMFs emitted by cellphones, routers and other devices wreak havoc in the body, causing an increase in free radicals that may impair cells’ ability to function.” The result of not having protection from EMF exposure? Fatigue, forgetfulness, headaches, and more. Researchers in the International Journal of Molecular Science say these symptoms have skyrocketed by 900 percent in recent years.
Complicating matters: Research finds that EMFs weaken the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain from harmful substances — a factor Gittleman says magnifies symptoms.
Doctors can run tests to measure inflammation and immune system disruptions caused by EMFs. But given the impact of EMFs, all women can benefit from the steps below.
Limiting EMF exposure can lift energy in 24 hours. To do: Put your cellphone in speaker mode so you can hold it eight to 10 inches away when talking to reduce the EMFs that reach you by 10,000-fold, say experts at UC Berkeley. Also, try texting instead of talking when reception is poor (a phone can increase EMF output when trying to get a signal) and turning off your router when not in use and at night, says Dr. Carnahan. “Your body works to eliminate toxins as you sleep, but EMFs interfere with that process.”
Diet changes can help. Gittleman advises eating berries, kale, cabbage and artichokes daily, as their antioxidants defend against free radicals. Also smart: Use herbs like rosemary, sage, and garlic, all shown to reduce EMF-induced cell damage.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.