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St. Anthony's Fire

St. Anthony's Fire Causes

St. Anthony's fire is caused by excessive exposure to ergotamines, which are produced by a fungus called Claviceps purpurea.

St. Anthony's Fire Definition

St. Anthony's fire is a very painful burning sensation in the arms and legs due to excessive exposure to ergotamines. Ergotamines are produced by particular fungi known as Claviceps purpurea, which usually contaminates rye and wheat. Ergotamines is a drug used for controlling migraine and in inducing abortion. Ergotamines are nerve toxins and can cause blood vessel constriction resulting in tissue death (gangrene).

St. Anthony's Fire Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on the algorithmic diagnosis of signs and symptoms.

St. Anthony's Fire Symptoms and Signs

Excessive ergotamines exposure which causes St. Anthony's fire can cause the following symptoms: • Hallucinations • Death of body tissue caused by loss of blood flow to the tissue (gangrene) • Severe gastrointestinal disturbance • Seizures • Dry Gangrenous symptom including dull ache, coldness in the affected area, paleness of the affected flesh, in addition to its appearance which can be described as dry, shrunken and mummified looking flesh. • Burning arm pain • Burning leg pain • Muscle spasm • Weak peripheral pulse • Loss of peripheral sensation

St. Anthony's Fire Treatment

The most common approach in the treatment of St.Anthony's fire includes symptomatic treatment aimed at alleviating the pain. Wound management can also be beneficial to improve the condition of the skin.

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