The Green House that Almost Killed Me

If you’ve been following my health story here you know that I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2006. After that initial MS attack I was fairly symptom free until 2014. That’s when things began to get weird.

Non-Toxic Green Building Materials, Check!

We had renovated a 100 year old house in historic Mapleton Hill and moved in during the summer of 2014. I believed we had done a totally green renovation. That’s because I knew nothing about wireless technology. Every single thing in the house from lighting to thermostats to the sound system and more was wireless and ran on electromagnetic radiation. It was the equivalent of living with 300 cell phones in my home buzzing constantly.

For someone with the MTHFR genetic mutation it was too much. By the spring of 2015, less than two years after we moved in, I was in the hospital with the worst MS symptoms of my life, completely numb from the neck down, along with an array of other concerning issues.

I began doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy and getting weekly IV nutrients. I was stabilizing and not getting worse, but I was not fully recovering which was odd. Things were stagnant in spite of my complete focus and dedication. I had never experienced that before.

Deteriorating Health

Fast forward to the fall of 2016. I knew something was seriously wrong. Before moving into the house, I had lived the full and healthy life of a New York Times best selling author, writing a book for Random House every two years, going on book tours, doing TV and radio, all while posting on my blog a few times each week. I had attended the boys’ sporting and school events regularly. Now I went to doctors and treatments and wrote on the blog every couple of weeks if I was lucky. I watched my life pass me by, missing family events and vacations.

Discovering EMFs and Building Biology

When the fall of 2016 rolled around I had a lucky break. Our HVAC vendor walked in one day and said, the house has too many electrical systems in it and everything is shorting out! And so I began my research. I learned about building biology and eletromagnetic fields (EMFs). I discovered the effects EMFs  can have on people like me. I found out what had made me so sick, and prevented me from getting well in spite of my best efforts.

Since then we’ve removed all of the wireless systems from our home. On March 1, 2017 I began living in a mostly WiFi free environment. Although my living environment is almost perfect and we’ve removed all of the wireless smart technology, there are small compromises that we make.

Balancing Different Types of Stress

We still let our boys and their friends use their cell phones when they’re here. For me the stress of not having the gang in our home is far greater than the stress of being near half a dozen cell phones a couple of hours per day. That’s a trade I made. The boys have made compromises too. While they can still use their cell phones in the house, they’ve lost their wireless head phones, wireless speakers, and gaming console.

Don’t Make my Mistake

I don’t want you and your family to go through the pain and heartache that we’ve suffered. I’ve lost years of my life so that we could have silly smart systems like lights and thermostats that operated remotely.

Living in a home filled with wireless radiation severely exacerbated the multiple sclerosis I had been diagnosed with in 2006. If you have a neurological condition such as MS, autism, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s, or an illness such as cancer or Lyme disease, you are far more vulnerable to the effects of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and may need to take the extra precautions that I outline in my post called Simple Steps to Reduce EMFs.

The Good News

Little by little I’m getting well. It took over a year to get sick so I anticipate I’ll need at least that long to get healthy again. I’m sticking to my program of sleeping as much as I can, eating a low-carb diet, and exercising moderately. The body can heal itself, and now that mine is in a healing environment the sky is the limit!

Buy My Books!

paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook

I was diagnosed with MS in 2014. I agree that we can really help our body heal itself. As I try to eliminate toxins from my body, EMF exposure has not been on my radar. So thanks again for sharing!


242 responses to “The Green House that Almost Killed Me”

  1. Elana, thanks for this helpful article and all of your articles are helpful. Who do we call to see about how our house measures up? My husband is having alot of health issues and his office closet in our home is where the wifi and all cable boxes and fuse box is in addition to his cell and computer, etc. Would love some advice. Has really bad vertigo and heart palpitations and joint issues, doctor doesn’t have a clue other than he has extremely high EBV. Thank you.

  2. I have a top floor studio apartment located in Oakland, CA to rent for EMF Sensitive People. You can stay for as little as 3 months or as long as you want. It is 240 square feet, and it’s inside the top floor flat of my sunny, remodeled 2-story building in North Oakland (near Rockridge and the Berkeley border).

    Here is a link to a video walk-through of the apartment:

    You can reach out to us at

  3. Patricia, you can find out if the4 crystals have mitigated the EMF toxicity by measuring your sources with a monitor; also possible that your house is not a smart house :-)

  4. I am new to this website and I have not seen anything about crystals. I have smoky quartz and black tourmaline throughout my home. I have no symptoms of emf poisoning. Could these crystals be working?

  5. Hi Elana,
    I posted this question on your Facebook feed, but I also wanted to ask here. Do you have any information regarding solar panels for houses? I have tried doing my own research regarding solar panels and EMF exposures and have yet to come up with any solid leads. I have Lyme disease and I’m very susceptible to EMFs.

    • Courtney, from the building biology people I’ve spoken with, I’ve learned that solar panels usually have very high magnetic fields, unfortunately.

  6. Hi,Elana
    I am so sorry for you experience.
    We had a smart meter installed and I wound up with the worse headache that did not go away for days. It was terrible. I installed a faraday cage and grounded it….minor improvement. The worse part was it felt like my system got overly sensitized to all EMFs and couldn’t handle being in any other environments as well. A colleague told me about It was expensive ($1600 for my home plus $100 for a personal device to wear when outside) but it helped so much. It’s so sad to me we have to pay so much money to try to protect ourselves against what is happening.

    • Vanessa, thanks for your comment. A quick note to my other readers. I have not ever found a product that successfully mitigates EMFs. All of the ones I’ve tested have not had any effects on measurements. Please be aware that my colleagues and I in this field do not recommend these types of products, and that we want people to remove EMFs at the source by fixing wiring errors that create magnetic fields, and eliminating WiFi in your home by plugging computers into the wall.

      • I’d really like to understand your response better. I am trained in Applied Kinesiology and found Dr. Valerie Nelson’s EMF neutralizers to be valid because I tested the results on the human body just like she did in her video demo at it may not completely get rid of emf waves, but it certainly reduces them enough to make me a believer after receiving and testing them. I absolutely agree with getting rid of things at the source such as wifi, but cell phone emf can be drastically reduced and I’d recommend that you consider her products for your kids phones they use. It saddens me to hear your story. I’m so happy you figured out a lot of the cause. We keep all our electrical appliances unplugged unless using them at the time.
        Do you have studies or references to help me understand why you dont think whole house systems for EMF reduction works? I’m asking because I was thinking of buying one.

      • Hello Elana, yes, I would like to confirm your words. I am irritated with so little practical information about the adequate actions to protect from EMF, but significant amount of misinformation is all over the internet. Especially from the ‘pendants/magic device’ sellers who either don’t understand or are simply charlatans. I’m trying to share the knowledge of dealing with EMF anywhere I can because a little knowledge can be very dangerous, and there are many caring parents out there, but I hate to see children are being exposed to enormous amount of microwave radiation because their parents decided to stick a magic pendant to their child. How you mention there is a big difference between ‘harmonising’ EMF’s and real effective shielding and it can be seen with any decent meter! There are a few professional companies providing shielding materials for home shielding, security industry and military, but as for clothing, I can recommend Leblok clothing because being sensitive to many frequencies, especially to Wi-Fi and mobile phone mast signals I’m using it for my self and found only this brands clothes giving me enough level of protection to stop my symptoms. Just check if it is really Leblok clothing and not a copy from Alibaba/Aliexpress before buying! I got mine from the approved UK distributor –
        But now I just use them when outside because I’ve shielded my whole flat.

  7. What consultant did you use to help with mitigation of the emfs in your home? I am in Denver and believe that 5g is being rolled out. Cell phone towers are on almost every block and it is rare to have a blue sky. Thank you.

  8. Hi Elena – I’m totally with you on the health benefits of not having wireless; our new house was a problem for us too. I think we had chatted somewhere online about looking into emfs from solar panels too. That said, not sure where else to ask you this non-emf question; I’ll try here first. What did you find to be the best material for healthier kitchen counter tops?

      • Elena, have you also considered the smart meters. I try to stay far away from them in the apartments I choose. You should not have one near any room you spend time in. The best and most difficult is to have them replaced with the old analog ones.

        • Dr. Hawkins, one of the first things we eliminated was the smart meters, but they were far lower in RFR than everything we had implemented in our home :-)

  9. Hi, I’m wondering what sort of data you have gathered to correlate symptoms with Wifi in particular. Things I wonder about are:

    1. The correlation between wifi (vs other sources of EMF you described) and your symptoms.
    2. Whether any other environmental conditions or stressors could have caused a flare-up in symptoms.
    3. What the level of EMF radiation you were able to record before and after you changed your setup
    4. Whether you are differentiating between high and low frequency EMF’s (e.g. mobile phone vs wifi vs microwave vs standard house current, etc.)
    5. Whether changes in MS patients vary absent EMF’s in other patients. In other words, do you have data from other MS patients controlling for Wifi (or not) that shows cyclical appearance of symptoms?
    6. Was there anything in your diet that changed at the time you saw changes in symptoms or when you began to recover?

    Sorry to bombard you with questions but I like to dig in when attributing causation (vs correlation) because many people rely on blogs to direct their own behavior.


    Michael Kranitz

    • Michael, no need to apologize! I love both your thoroughness and inquisitiveness. Here are my answers to your questions:

      1. I was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and had minor symptoms until a couple of year after we moved into the smart house. At that time I became numb from the neck down.
      2. Yes, any number of other environmental conditions may have caused the flare-up. My hypothesis is completely anecdotal.
      3. The level of wireless radiation in our home when using smart technology was 20,000 mw/m-squared. In comparison, when you send a text the levels are around 200mw/m-squared. Levels in our home are now 1 mw/m-squared.
      4. Yes, I am differentiating between high and low frequency EMFs and my conclusions are regarding wireless radiation, not standard house current, though we did have a couple of wiring errors that caused standard current to spike in the form of magnetic fields.
      5. I do not have any such data regarding other MS patients, though do believe there are studies regarding epilepsy patients and wireless radiation.
      6. Nothing in my diet changed when I saw these symptoms.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, happy to continue the discussion :-)

Have Something to Add?

Your comment will need to be approved before it will appear on the site.

Home » The Green House that Almost Killed Me