Erythromelalgia is treatable! Treatment must be individualized because different people respond to different remedies. Some people require one remedy, others need a combination. With persistence, treatment can be effective in the majority of cases.
Erythromelalgia (EM) is a 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). My condition today 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 stems from abnormal nerve and blood vessel activity. The underlying abnormality 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. If you would like expert guidance in this process, please contact my office (858-345-1760) to set up an office or telephone consultation.
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.
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.
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