How does erythromelalgia (EM) affect daily life?

Symptoms and flare ups of erythromelalgia may be extremely painful, debilitating, and frustrating and their onset and severity can vary from person to person. Symptoms can be constant or occur periodically. Major lifestyle adjustments may need to be made in order to avoid triggering painful flare ups. Sometimes normal activities like walking, standing, working, exercising, sleeping, going to school, and socializing can be altered/affected by the pain and burning caused by EM. Some things that can trigger symptoms and may need to be avoided include anything that can increase body temperature such as spicy foods, exercise, and alcohol. Wearing gloves, socks, or shoes that are too tight may also trigger symptoms. 
The onset of symptoms of EM may occur gradually or occur suddenly. In some cases, the condition may spread quickly and become severely disabling within a few weeks. The pain and redness can potentially move up the arms and legs and may begin to affect the shoulders and face. 
living with erythromelalgia (EM)

  • “What is EM?” The Erythromelalgia Association. TEA, n.d. Web. 29 Sep. 2017. 
  • “Erythromelalgia.” National Organization for Rare Disorders. NORD, n.d. Web. 29 Sep. 2017. 
  • “erythromelalgia.” National Institutes of Health U.S. National Library of Medicine. Genetics Home Reference, 26 Sep. 2017. Web. 29 Sep. 2017. 



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