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. Hi elana. Thanks so much for your post. Do you happen to know of a local boulder person who does the EMF testing ? Thanks in advance on this.

  2. Hi Elana, i have been a grateful fan since the beginning and I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I have little boys and I have missed this year of activities as well and I know it’s hard.

    I believe a smart meter put on my home without my knowledge sent me to the ER. Eventually through many doctors Lyme’s was discovered. It can lay dormant for years until something sets it off. I went from no symptoms to severe symptoms around the time of the smart meter. I believe EMF’s really attack the vulnerable. For all those who suffer from many symptoms, please look into Lyme’s, it is often misdiagnosed. Dr. Mercola has stated 2017 will be an epidemic year for Lyme’s.

  3. Hi Alana and Readers,
    Wanted to share a story with you. 8 years after a cell tower was installed on an elementary school campus in 2009, 2 students (5th grade) and 2 teachers were diagnosed with cancer. Mason has a malignant brain tumor, and Kyle had cancer on his kidney – both were exposed for six years to the cell tower since kindergarten.
    In addition, many students have health issues for no apparent reason, including digestive issues, headaches, and tiredness (the symptoms of electrosensitivity).

    The parents of the schoolchildren attending this school are petitioning to have the cell tower removed. You can read their story here

    TV News coverage:

  4. hi Elana and others,
    I have had multiple chemical and electrical sensitivities for more than a decade now. They have actually gotten about 600-70% better through extensive homeopathic treatment, diet, mercury chelation and removing myself as much as possible from the fields in my home and everyday life. This process has been just that, a process, taking 10 years, BUT I function now at 40 yrs old better than I ever did, even in my childhood!!

    I was browsing my homeopath’s website the other day and found this article that I thought might be of interest to you and your readers: (this is actually from his school, his clinic website is

    he talks alot about removing wireless from your life and how mercury acts as an antenna in the presence of WIFI, cellphones, microwave radiation.

    Anyway, great website, great recipes and good luck with your healing journey

  5. Hi Elana,

    Thought you and your readers might be interested in reading this news from Colorado.

    A parent and doctor has campaigned for a ban on smartphones for children under 13 – this would make Colorado the first in the nation to have such a ban if it gets on the ballot and passes

    To read scientific studies about health effects from wireless, including sleep problems, increased cancer risk, fertility and reproduction, neurotoxic effects, cognition and impaired memory, behavioral issues, hearing loss, headaches, sleep, oxidative stress, endocrine system damage, disruptions to heart functioning,

    To read policies of other countries on wireless and children, including France’s ban on wi-fi in preschools

    • Hi – Here’s another post on this on Fox news coverage

      The name of the group leading this campaign led by Dr. Tim Farnum, anesthesiologist, is Parents Against Underage Smartphones, PAUS
      The Salina post link has expired! This was the text from that post:
      Nation’s first childhood smartphone ban possible in Colorado
      June 18, 2017 by Post Sports Staff 2 Comments
      DENVER (AP) — Colorado voters may consider the nation’s first legal limits on children buying smartphones.

      A proposal cleared by state ballot officials for 2018 would ban the sale of smartphones to children younger than 13. Backers of the childhood smartphone ban would need about 300,000 voter signatures to get on the ballot.

      The ban would require cellphone retailers to ask customers how old the primary user of the smartphone is. They would have to submit monthly reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue stating they had done this.

      Retailers that sell a phone for a youngster’s intended use could be fined $500, after a warning.

      The campaign is being led by Denver-area dad Tim Farnum. Farnum is a doctor and tells The Coloradoan that smartphones are bad for young brains.

  6. Hi Elana,

    SO happy you’re finally on the mend. What an absolute nightmare. My heart breaks for what you’ve been through.

    How/where does one get tested for EMF sensitivity? I’d like to test myself.

    Thanks in advance and be well,


    • Tiffany, if you are doing everything right in terms of sleeping, eating a 100% gluten-free and grain-free diet, and doing moderate exercise daily and still not getting well then EMF’s may be the cause. I would recommend testing your living area to see if it is at safe levels. If it’s not it’s critical to remove the EMF’s at the source. If you start to heal after their removal that is a pretty significant indicator that you have EMF sensitivity.

  7. Hello Elana,
    Thank you for this great website that you have. I found it last night, as I am searching for something desperately that can help me with what I am going through..these horrible neurological/ physical problems that seem like MS symptoms.
    I have a couple questions and thoughts on a few different subjects and would appreciate anybody
    else’s insight on the issues. Doctors suggest I get an MRI of my head and neck to see why I am having these problems. I am concerned with the high level of EMFs.

    1.) Can an MRI have a bad affect on me if I am very sensitive to EMF’s and get a reaction to them?

    2.) Is there another SAFER TEST that can be done in place of an MRI ?

    one doc wanted head MRI to check for MS, another doc wanted MRI of neck to check
    for herniated disc/ pinched nerve that is causing horrible pain, numbness, nerve issues
    down right side neck/shoulder/arm for past month.

    3.) Could these symptoms possible not be from a PINCHED NERVE, but be related to the other MS
    symptoms I have been having?

    4.) Anybody have any info on how to properly be diagnosed for LYMES?
    ( had a tic bite w/ the bulls eye rash, etc. 20 years ago, but all tests came back negative )

    5.) Does BLACK MOLD issues cause all these symptoms as well?
    ( been working in a building for past 2 months that seems to have a mold problem )

    6.) Is there a correlation between EBV?
    ( bloodwork had showed I had that at some point, and I didn’t know when )

    There are multiple factors I am dealing with, I am analyzing, desperate to figure out how to get better, it’s terrifying wondering if will ever be normal again, and if things could keep getting worse.
    It seems it started out with fibromyalgia five years ago and has progressed to this, where it’s hard
    to work and function like normal. Anybody’s help or insight I will greatly appreciate!
    If you can contact me.
    Thank you so much!

    • CJ, I’m so sorry to hear about all that you are dealing with. First, I would recommend finding a good functional medicine MD to help you navigate these tricky waters. Second, as someone with MS I have had MRI’s, but I limit them so that I have as few as possible. Third, from what you describe above, it sounds like removing EMF’s from your sleeping area could be a good step towards improving your situation. Have you seen this post that I recently wrote:

      I hope you’ll stop back by and keep us posted on your progress!

  8. Dear Elena,
    I have hunted through your site for a way to contact you. No Luck.
    All I want is to be able to PRINT this article, plus your EMS recommendations. I cannot do this from your website.
    Clearly I am missing something here? Ian not a skilled tecchie!
    I am unable to read much online, due to illness, so I have to print infos that I need.
    Please explain to me how to print from your very useful website.

    • Sarah, thanks for your feedback! We used to have the entire articles printable and folks asked to have only the recipes printable so we changed it. I wish there was a happy medium. For now the best I can recommend is to copy/paste/print :-)

  9. Hello Elana,
    Thank you for putting this information out there…
    Today I was diagnosed with EMF Sensitivity and don’t know where to start to get feeling better.
    I have been going to a chiropractor that does cold laser and he was able to balance everything today but I don’t know how long that is going to last.
    In 2005 I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. In 2012 I was diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome.
    I was treated for that by a functional doctor.
    This past week I have had nausea, headaches, backache, temors, extreme fatigue, severe depression, stomach cramps, etc.
    There is very few days when I don’t have some type of issue, stomach issues, joint pain, headaches.
    Some days I blame my Celiac Disease and some days I blame menopause.
    It makes sense that I have EMF Sensitivity because if someone walks by me with a cold or the flu I get it.
    It seems like I am sick more than I am well…
    Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

    I’m glad that you are on the road to feeling better!!

    Thank you so much

    • Check out Dr. Jack Kruse’s work. I’m facing a similar situation with my husband an IT guru whose suffering from CTE. He won’t stop working (all in the house…dozens of monitors, intermittent wifi, cell phones etc), but there are work arounds. Blue blocker glasses. Getting NATURAL LIGHT (sunshine)…etc. Totalshield EMF neutralizer (jury is still out on that one). I’ll be following– members of my family have MS. Stay away from artificial anything, including waveforms, as much as is possible!

      • Catherine, thanks for your comment! A quick word of caution to my readers, it is best to remove EMF’s at the source. While blue light shielding glasses are great for shielding you from blue light, they will not impact EMF’s, nor will things like neuralizers, necklaces, and shungite stones. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but want everyone to get this information so that they can adequately protect themselves :-)

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