erythema nodosum

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erythema nodosum

Postby raskue » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:45 am

A co-worker recommended this website to me as a resource for possibly finding a natural remedy or treatment for a medical condition. Using the search function on the forums, I found a couple of posts, but being entirely new to the herbal/natural remedy scene - I need some help.

I have battled erythema nodosum since 1992, when I was first diagnosed with it after trying to take birth control pills over a three month period. Doctors I have seen include: general practicioner, dermatologist, internal medicine and ob/gyn. Over the past fifteen years, I have been prescribed a range of medications, none of which really help - unless you count the ones that knock me out cold for the night and leave me feeling drugged the next day. (not a great way to try to function when you're a working mom who's finishing college) Indocin, aleve, 600 mg ibuprofen, atavan, darvocet, tylenol, trazedone, and prednisone have all been tried. Currently, I am taking metformin b/c my gyno is concerned I will develop diabetes, which runs heavily on my mother's side. The gyno has told me I am insulin resistant and my c-peptides are not where they should be (I don't remember if she said they were high or low, or exactly what c-peptides do).

This past week has been a really bad flare-up of the erythema nodosum. It always starts as small, marble sized, red nodules that grow into hot, raised, painful masses as large as a softball. They swell and are extremely painful - to the point that putting on pantyhose is impossible due to the pain. This time, I also fought off flu-like symptoms - everything except vomiting (100+ temps, fatigue, nausea, joint pain, feeling thirsty, loss of appetite).

I know that my hormones play a huge part in why I have these flare-ups; messing with my hormones with the birth control pill is what started this mess. This time, they flared because my gyno put me on a week's cycle of provera to kickstart my menstrual cycle (I've been irregular - about 4 periods in the past 18 months). While the provera worked for menstruation - it also did a great job giving me one of the worst erythema nodosum flares I've ever had. Not limited to just my legs, I had them encircling both thighs, down my shins and calves, on my hips, triceps area and a couple on my stomach.

Now that I've disclosed my medical history regarding this *lovely* (not) medical condition, I am hoping that someone out there can give me some detailed advice on what natural remedies to try, and how to prepare them. I know the terms compress, teas, infusion and tinctures - but have no clue what there difference is, or how to make or administer them.

Any help would be most greatly appreciated.

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Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:18 am
Location: SW Missouri

Postby Laurie » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:31 am

Hello Rachel,

I don't have a specific answer, and it seems no one else has yet either, but wanted to let you know that your post has been seen...
Could you write a little bit more about how the rest of you is? That might get some more responses. For example, you write that it seems to be connected with your hormones, so if you could write a bit about that...
I looked erythema nodosum up in my medical reference book, and it is described as being an allergic reaction of the skin, oversensitivity communicated by the cells (I'm translating from German, so sorry if it's a bit clunky), allergy type IV, in connection with infection (tuberkulose, streptokkoken, lymphogranuloma venereum, cat ?? disease, ornithose, yersiniosen, seldom toxoplasmosis). Frequently in spring and fall, more frequently by women.

So, there are some things to work with: 1. hormonal balance 2. allergies and sensitivities 3. immune system and, from what you wrote, 4. blood sugar

There are different philosophies and methods of herbal healing. The one usually propagated here is that of overall strengthening and nourishing your system (and saving the big guns for emergencies) as opposed to a "magic pill". This takes longer, but avoids side effects and has the benefit of overall improving your health as opposed to just working on one problem. This also can include lifestyle changes.

Until you get a more specific answer from somebody more knowledgeable in herbs than I, you might want to read about the six steps of healing:

and how to make infusions:

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Location: Germany

Postby LadyB » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:05 am

Hi Rachel,
Sorry about slow response, between forum access issues and just plain old BUSYness....I had to look up erthyma nodosum as I truly didn't know what it was. I'm sure you've SCOURED the internet, but this site helped me understand things a little better: ... 11F6C28169

You might find more members who have had the same thing over in Health And Wellness Questions, as that is where members tend to ask about specific ailments, but I agree with Laurie that one of the BEST resources to be had through this forum is to start considering the six steps of healing, especially when one seems to have a whole SLEW of things going on at once.

We're glad you're here, and thank your friend, you'll find LOTS of resources here as you begin to look around.
Lady Barbara, 62!,
online herb classes!
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Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 12:18 pm
Location: Oregon

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