I've been trying hard to identify triggers of my EM. I know that the slightest stress makes my hands turn red and painful. I love drinking diet cherry pepsi (yes, this is my weakness). but I thought maybe all the caffeine could be making things worse. I stopped cold turkey over a week ago (yes, I had a 48 hour headache.. ha ha) but I do think the severity and amount of episodes has decreased. At least it is helping enough that I no longer even want to drink the soda anymore :)
Just wondering if anyone else has any tips on things to eliminate or avoid that may trigger.
This seems to be so different from case to case! I have coffee every day, and it doesn't seem to cause any additional flares. I don't drink alcohol much, but the few times I've indulged in a Guinness, I have not seen it cause any problems for my EM. I have GERD, though, so my food intake tends to be rather on the bland, repetitive side, so if I have food triggers (e.g. spicy dishes) I may never know.
Edit to add: stress is a definite trigger for me as well.
Perhaps it would be safe to say caffeine could be an antagonist in one respect if you consider the effect that it typically has on blood pressure levels. This is the tricky part about figuring “trigger foods/substances”. Personally, if I drink a cup of coffee in the morning I will literally curl up on the couch and go back to sleep. (I have ADD, though, so stimulants tend to have a calming effect on me.). At one point - before the dx of EM - I was ready and willing to die happy because it seemed I was allergic to chocolate! The EM showed up in my face first. (Then later my feet and hands. ). I was stressing out, and flaring up, just trying figure out what the mystery food was that I was apparently allergic too. I now simply avoid the definite, well-known triggers (for me there is something in tomato sauce that triggers it fast- thinking its garlic, herbal properties and all) but I dont sweat the rest. Its going to happen to me anyway, I figure, and sometimes it doesn’t do it when I am certain and expecting that it will. Its fickle. If I could give a small general piece of advice it would be to avoid your definite known triggers and don’t worry about what any others might be. The anxiety may only bring on more flares. Its a very unique thing, EM, because it varies from person to person. It is that characteristic that the scientists need to focus on, because if they can figure out what it is that makes it so malleable (not the best word, erhaps, but I haven’t slept tonight again, so please forgive me) perhaps they can figure out how to treat it effectively in everyone.