Erythromelalgia (EM) is a terribly painful and disabling disease, but in many cases it is treatable! Treatment must be individualized because different people respond to different remedies. Some people require one remedy, others another remedy, and still others need a combination of treatments. With persistence, treatment can be effective in the majority of cases.
Erythromelalgia is a very rare disorder characterized by excessive blood flow to the hands and/or feet, ears or face, causing redness, heat and severe burning pain. I developed disabling EM in 1995, when little was known and the few known treatments rarely worked. By trial and error I found remedies that helped me (and I keep finding new ones). This took many years. Fortunately, today my condition is 95% controlled and I have no redness or pain. I have little difficulty doing everyday activities at temperatures below 82 degrees. I walk 3 miles every morning without any problem.
EM disease has many similarities to migraine disease. Both are aberrations of the nervous system control of blood vessel activity. The medications and supplements that help people with migraines can often help those of us with EM.
EM stems from a neuropathy, a nerve injury or deterioration. The underlying pathology is complex. This is why different people with EM respond to different treatments. Thus, there is no standard formula for success. What works for me or other people may or may not work for you. With the information in my articles, you and your doctor can test various remedies, always starting with small amounts and increasing gradually until a result is seen. If the remedy causes vexing side effects or seems to worsen your EM, discontinue it and try another. If it has no effect, increase the dosage gradually.
At my website Erythromelalgia.info, I have posted a series of articles that describe various issues that are important to people with erythromelalgia, mild to severe. The topics include: what is erythromelalgia?, medication treatment, natural remedies, diet, biorhythms, and more. These articles can help you and your doctor plot a course to control your EM.
If you would like expert guidance in this process, please contact my office (858-345-1760) to set up an office or telephone consultation.
Biorhythms and Erythromelalgia: Why EM Symptoms Worsen in the Evening and at Night.
The Medical Treatment of Erythromelalgia, updated January 3, 2012
What is Erythromelalgia?
Supplements and Herbs in the Treatment of Erythromelalgia
Partial List of Related Articles:
Cohen, JS. Erythromelalgia: New Theories and New Therapies. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Nov. 2000; 43:841-7.
Cohen, JS. High-Dose, Oral Magnesium in the Treatment of Chronic, Intractable Erythromelalgia. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Feb. 2002;36:255-60.
Cohen, JS. Magnesium and erythromelalgia: a clinically important vasoactive mineral and a rare disorder. Italian Journal of Pediatrics 2004;30:69-72.
View all of Dr. Cohen's medical articles, consumer publications, and presentations.
NOTE TO READERS: The purpose of this E-Letter is solely informational and educational. The information herein should not be considered to be a substitute for the direct medical advice of your doctor, nor is it meant to encourage the diagnosis or treatment of any illness, disease, or other medical problem by laypersons. If you are under a physician's care for any condition, he or she can advise you whether the information in this E-Letter is suitable for you. Readers should not make any changes in drugs, doses, or any other aspects of their medical treatment unless specifically directed to do so by their own doctors.
If you have questions about your medications or medical care, Dr. Cohen is available for consultation at his office or by telephone.
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