Sunday, January 15, 2012

Erythema Nodosum: Yet another "skin" ailment

Well this is my first health update in a long time, but I feel I need to come out of my break and document this here.

I have developed what I believe is erythema nodosum. Here's the most sensible description I have found on it.
Erythema nodosum is a type of panniculitis that affects subcutaneous fat in the skin, usually first evident as an outcropping of erythematous nodules that are highly sensitive to touch.1 Most nodules are located symmetrically on the ventral aspect of the lower extremities. (Source)
I will be calling the docs tomorrow or Tuesday.. I want to get an official diagnosis and then get the followup labs/xrays done to make sure there aren't any more serious underlying issues.

How did all of this come about?

It came out of no where. I am not chelating or do anything special for my health at the moment.

Yesterday morning I woke up with a terrible pain in my ankles and in my wrist. It's been really cold, so I thought that maybe I was shivering in the middle of the night and I had strained a muscle. All day I was thinking, "wow my ankles are killing me", but I didn't even take a good look at them...

Right before bed, they were hurting so bad, I finally had enough of it and took my socks off and saw what looked like bruises. I pushed on them a bit because I'm apparently sadistic and I nearly jump through the ceiling. I ran into the other room to turn the light on to take a closer look. The areas on my feet/ankles that were sore, were bright red, swollen and hot to the touch. My husband immediately thought of gout and I went to bed thinking maybe that was it. I was too tired to do any research.

I woke up and started my journey. I ruled out gout pretty much right away because what I had was symmetrical on both sides of my feet. I had 2 red, swollen, hot, lumps just under the skin on the tops of my feet and on the side near my ankle bone. I also have one on my shin. Gout just does not present itself like that at all.

Eventually after some more reading I found Erythema Nodosum and I believe with great certainty that is exactly what I have now. Why? Who the hell knows? lol This is what happens when your body is falling apart and no one knows what is wrong. You start to manifest more problems as your body desparate tries to communicate to you that something is seriously wrong.

I know something is wrong, but I need help here!

The prognosis for this isn't bad. It's just a lot of pain, swelling and uncomfortable days ahead. Once it is out of the pain stage, these spots will turn dark like a bruise and stay like that for months. It is a slow healing condition and I hope I don't get them again. This is awful!

Some serious conditions can be an underlying result of the EN, so it's important to have everything ruled out and that's why I need to go to the docs for this one.


  • Idiopathic (up to 55 percent)
  • Infections: streptococcal pharyngitis (28 to 48 percent), Yersinia spp. (in Europe), mycoplasma, chlamydia, histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, mycobacteria
  • Sarcoidosis (11 to 25 percent) with bilateral hilar adenopathy
  • Drugs (3 to 10 percent): antibiotics (e.g., sulfonamides, amoxicillin), oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy (2 to 5 percent)
  • Enteropathies (1 to 4 percent): regional enteritis, ulcerative colitis
Rare (less than 1 percent)
  • Infections

  • Viral: herpes simplex virus, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human immunodeficiency virus

  • Bacterial: Campylobacter spp., rickettsiae, Salmonella spp., psittacosis, Bartonella spp., syphilis

  • Parasitic: amoebiasis, giardiasis
  • Miscellaneous: lymphoma, other malignancies
Mine will likely turn out to be Epstein Barr virus (because I had a flareup with that nasty bronchitis I had around Christmas) or nothing at all. But I just have to make sure and rule out some of the others like strep, sarcoidosis, lupus or anything else like that. It's never dull!

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