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Are my swollen lips an allergy?
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swollenlips78 posted:
What is up with my lips? I am a 29 year-old white male. For about a year now, I have had a strange development with my lips. About twice a month, one of my lips (usually the top) randomly starts to swell on one side or the other. Its always different, but it always starts at just one point somewhere on my upper or lower lip. There is no stinging or irritation. I just start to notice pressure, and part of my lip swells up. Sometimes it just swells a little and goes away. Sometimes it starts with one side of my upper lip and migrates around both lips, swelling just one portion at a time. It lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Other than some redness, there is no strange discoloration. Having a scientific background, I have tested every variable I can think of assuming allergy. I am not eating anything new. I have taken away and added in every food, drink, chapstic, toothpaste, mouthwash, and face soap that I use and there is no correlation with any of these things. It just happens once every couple of weeks. I have never had any food allergies, and I didn't start regularly eating anything new in the past year. Thinking outside of allergies, I have been in a monogamous relationship for over 4 years, and my girlfriend has never experienced anything similar. There has never been an open wound associated with the swelling. It doesn't happen any more often when I am stressed or sleep deprived. I'm stumped. Any ideas?
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aimlessinspokane responded:
Like the others before me, I also have this issue. It's been going on for over a year and I'm growing very tired of all the work put into trying to figure out what's wrong. The only thing I can report is that for me, it's a citrus problem. Anytime I have anything with citrus in it, or tomatoes or avocados, I break out. And depending on the amount I consume, the worse the reaction. This is a real problem for eating out because lemon gets added to everything. (Giving up gin and tonics with lime and gaucamole was a personal low.) I find it worse in the morning and try to reduce the swelling, pain, and itching by using a benadryl cream with an anti-inflammatory. My swelling is usually all around the perimeter of the lips, and sometimes has little bumps like hives. I intend to go to the doctor, but I?m not sure if I should see an allergist or just my primary physician. I guess a start somewhere would be a good idea. I?m just glad to know I?m not the only one.
 
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billwilliams57 responded:
I have the exact same issue. My episodes have been going on now for 18 months and over that time I have probably had 20 episodes of severe swelling and none of the 5 different doctors that I have seen has an answer. Have you had any success? Have your episodes stopped?
 
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cam_sci responded:
I'm a 35 yr-old white male. Same problem just happened to me. What a weekend because I just had knee surgery yesterday, I have a cold, and my neck is really sore from lying around so much, I've been suffering from hives, I have heartburn probably influenced by all the ibuprofin and of course the pizza I just ate, and now my lips are swelling up!

I came in for the surgery yesterday with a slight cold and also patchy hives on each wrist, some hives and swollen eye lids. This happened the night before my surgery. My wife thinks it's anxiety. I guess it's possible. Anyways, they gave me 25mg of benadryl in my IV and after I awoke I noticed absolutely ZERO hives! this is fascinating because in the past, benadryl hasn't worked very well at all with these wrist, hands, and eye patchy hives. I've had the hives lots of times. Especially when I was a kid. But I have no known food allergies. I was only tested for milk / nuts / shellfish, egg and wheat. Sorry, I digress. I think that before I wasn't taking enough antihistamine or it wasn't getting to my system as efficiently as yesterday's IV. Right now, if I take 25 mg every 4 hours it keeps the hives at bay. But, just now my lips felt tight and I looked in the mirror and I had the plump lips I always wanted (yeah, if I were a woman). I hope that they don't get much worse. As I write, they're already appearing to reduce in swelling (after about 30 minutes form onset).

I've only had lips swelling once before (the day before I got married). So maybe anxiety is a possible cause of hives and general allergic reactions after all. But back then they were more of itchy spots with a little swelling only. Despite the hives for almost two days now I only got the lip swelling just now after eating pizza and a Kiwi. Kiwis can do this even if you're not allergic to them I've heard. I think that when your body is in the throes of hives anything is possible. Sometimes in the past, if I had this type of patchy hives my feet also swelled up after this eye / wrist patchy hives thing. Once my feet swelled up after running 5 miles on the treadmill (when I also had the hives).

Good luck everyone. Remember if you have problems breathing call 911.
 
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kipper95 responded:
Hi all. I'm a 30 year old male from the UK. Ive had two episodes of lip swelling in the past couple of weeks which led me to doing this search on line for some answers. I'm pleased I'm not the only one suffering a trout pout Any way....... I looked at what had changed in my diet and the two times this has happened to me I drank star bucks coffee. The first time I thought it may have been pesticides on an apple that I ate however this isnt the case. I had to come home from a morning coffee today because of my swollen lip. I drink coffee all the time from starbucks however as this has happened twice and the only recurring factor is the coffee. I had no breakfast my lip started swelling about 5-10 mins after the coffee. I've never been allergic to anything in my life how ever a quick search on google, and it seems cinnamon and nuts could be a likely cause. I only ever drink fresh brew from star bucks but Im sure an unwashed cup or a little of the syrup could easily be the cause. Im going to stay away from star bucks and see watch for it recurring. Could this be your cause?
 
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deluxehd responded:
kipper95, I have few thoughts. It definitely could be from the coffee. I would keep a food diary including beverages. Another thought, do you use Chapstick or something similar? Do you have a significant other who may have a new lipstick? Did you take any medication/vitamin/supplement on those days? Just thinking outside the box per say. Hope this helps you. Take care and God bless. Debbie
 
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jadegreeni replied to aimlessinspokane's response:
march 3, 2010 - I am a 58-yr. old female, on no medicines, never had allergies, etc. Sunday night I broke out in hives. I thought at first something had bitten me all over my legs and buttocks and back, etc., but Monday after work they had almost disappeared. Then, Monday night after watching a movie with my husband, I noticed my upper right lip had swollen up considerably. He went to get Benedryl, and I put ice packs and alternated dry heat (by putting a dishtowel in the oven at 250"). I did this for over an hour, and fell asleep. When I awoke, my whole upper lip was huge. I looked like Homer Simpson or a Cyclops - tee hee. I went to the doctor, and they cannot tell you anything. They don't know what chemical you came into contact with or what food your system decided to be allergic to, so he gave me a dosepak of steroids. And free samples of clariten? It doesn't make you sleepy like Benedryl. At any rate, if any of you have digestive problems, such as diverticulitis, etc., or have hemorrhoids that swell at the same time as your hives, you may be looking at Crohn's disease. It attacks all up the digestive canal, from anus to mouth. It includes hives. I'm hoping that this isn't something released into the air by some foreign country, or our own government; it seems real strange to me, and i don't wanna scare anyone. but if you take an antibiotic for something--like pains for diverticulitis, then you destroy all the bad germs in your stomach, and your body may be reading certain foods as hostile, thus producing histomine and swelling and hives.
therefore, you need to put acidophilus (sp?) back into your stomach by getting a bottle at the health food store, and maybe it will help in the longrun. don't wanna be on any medication all the time. just some thoughts. However, some people are actually allergic to peanuts, wheat and other known substances, so an allergy test by perhaps giving blood may answer some of your questions.
 
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feingoldmom responded:
Many artificial colors, flavors or food additives have been blamed for this as well as foods containing salicylates (apples, berries, grapes). Check out Feingold. org they deal with symptoms related to food sensitivity/ allergy.
 
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hivefree responded:
This could be fives. Mine started on my lips and ears. In the end I was even getting them on my tongue. I have been nearly hive-free for 5 months after suffering from chronic hives for 14 years. I was told I would never know the cause. I discovered that hives were my body's reaction to spikes in blood sugar. I eliminated the spikes by eliminating almost all refined carbs. I only eat fruit and limited refined carbs along with whole fat foods. The best fats to pair with carbs are olives, olive oil, coconut (and coconut butter or oil), nuts and nut products and avacado. Limited amounts of dairy and meat. My 2 outbreaks were after binging on candy and after drinking alcohal. It might sound like a tough diet but it has made a world of difference in my life. Not only am I hive free but all aspects of my health have improved. I hope that my story will help many of you looking for relief.
 
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daann responded:
Since I was a teenager parts of my lips and/or eyes have swollen at different times. Part of my upper lip, or lower lip; upper inner corner of my eye or underneath my eye; it is always in a one-quarter section of my eyes or mouth. As a teen, a doctor couldn't determine a food allergy and finally thought it was a reaction to stress and gave me a medication which if I took it at the slightest "feel" of the swelling seemed to help it. But I don't remember what the med was.
Years went by and then in my twenties it began happening again. Just out of the blue, but it seemed to be at a stressful time in my life. It kept happening for awhile and then just stopped, without any medication.
Once again it began in my fifties. I finally found an allergist who told me to stop eating sugar, wheat, dairy. I did what he told me, I felt great and the swelling stopped.
I eventually began eating all of the above and nothing happened until now in my sixties it is starting again and happening alot. I have determined it happens when I am in stressful situations but I think it has something to do with needing to cleanse my body too, I think. I have asked so many people and doctors about this and no one really knows so it is kind of a relief to find this website and hear that others are experiencing the same thing.
Does anyone out there really know what is happening?
 
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Monk_Om replied to daann's response:

Hi everyone - like many, even I am facing this lip bulging problem and it started recently - this swelling stays for few hours and then the lips become normal as usual - there will be no pain and no itching at the time of bulge - but it looks scary and makes me uncomfortable.........I talked to my Guru regarding my problem and found out the reason to be ---- STRESS and its true as I am going through some stressful conditions right now - Try to reduce your stress levels by doing exercise,yoga , meditation, laughing therapy or anything which keeps your mind calm and relaxed.

Even ulcers are caused due to stress, which I suffered from. So, be careful.

Daann has also rightly observed over a period of time that this problem arises when in stressful situations .

Drink loads of water - many people in this world dont have the habit of drinking sufficient water - daily about 5 litres of water would be helpful for smooth functioning of body and I think major part of blood is water and so as you consume water , the water will be absorbed into the blood and blood will be purified.

Daily morning , drink about one liter of water (or may be somewhat less if you cant- you can gradually increase the quantity) - and do brisk walking focusing on your stomach - walk till you feel the pressure to go to restroom. This will help you to empty your stomach properly.----------- Repeat this process and try to pass your stools once again in order to thoroughly clean your bowels as the intestines are very long . If you dont have time on week days for the repetition process, do the repetition process in the weekend, but I recommend it for proper health.

Notes : 1. Dont drink water just before having meals, while having meals and immediately having meals. ----- Reason : By drinking water at the time of meals , you are causing the risk of indigestion by diluting the useful acids in the stomach which are meant to digest food.
So, drink water after about 2 hours - if you feel very thirsty while eating , drink a little bit of water , which is ok.


I am stressing on this point because ' no proper removal of undigested food from body results in problems also.'

So, finally I want to conclude by saying that , even if you do meditation, yoga and other stuff to beat the stress, if you dont be happy , still you accumulate stress.

So, HAPPINESS IS THE MANTRA and God bless you all.
 
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An_190968 replied to jadegreeni's response:
hello, how are you?
 
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GJacq726 responded:
Ok, all. For what it's worth, this is my discovery. I've gotten past the swelling and have reduced, though not eradicated, the dermatitis flares I get around the edges of my lips and resultant peeling of them. ugh.

For me, the swelling occured about 1/2 way into using TRUVIA. I did some internet research and discovered that if allergic to corn, and it's derivatives like Erythritol, used in TRUVIA, can cause hives and itching. It took some time (I assume to get out of my system?) but the swelling (hives of the mouth and lips) has completely subsided. I note that I am not aware of being allergic to corn previous or even after this. Still studying this.

I also stopped use of Burt's Bees products as I noticed that compared to use of other products, it exacerbated the dermititis. In my research, I learned that dermatitis is also associated with the use of beeswax (or more specifically a derivative, the name of which escapes me at the moment). For example, people who build and service string instruments often develop dermatitis on their hands.

I should mention that my doctor prescribed antibiotics for what appeared to be an infection that developed due to the dermatitis and chapping, but it was the removal of these products thereafter that have had the greatest effect. Also note, if you haven't heard, use of petroleum based lip products is addictive. I now use Trader Joe's Virtuoso. I'm also using cortizone cream previously prescribed for hand dermatitis on my skin around my lips as this halts my dermatitis flare ups when I get them, though I haven't rid them altogether.

That's what I know. And yes, I am aware that I am using a prescribed product for an alternate issue, so please don't take this a recommendation. Just something to check with your doctor about.

Good luck, and thanks for the all the input on this. It's at least a little comforting to know I'm not alone!
 
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SWOLLEN56 replied to GJacq726's response:
I have had 3 episodes of lip swelling,.I had my usual calamarie and suchi.Next mornine lower lrft lip swelled to the point I had to go to the doctors to get a shot of epinephrine.Then it happened after I went to an italian restaurant and had my favorite, Calamarie and eggplant parmesean. TOday I had a chicken taco from Chipotle and my lip swelled up. I even used a laxative yesterday to clear out whatever might have been in my systemwas causing an allergic reaction .I love seafood and have eaten it my whole life. I can't imagine not being able to eat it anymore. Its the only thing I order when I go out to eat. My doctor said you can develope a sudden allergy to something you have eaten all your I live in Maryland and love crab.wierd.At least I know I am not alone with this sudden onset of lip swelling.
 
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GJacq726 replied to Monk_Om's response:
Monk_Om... Hear Hear! I missed mentioning that my doctor also recommended I take a Vitamin B Stress Complex vitamin as she recognized that could be playing a part in my condition as well. I practice yoga and notice the effects when I miss a few days of it! Thanks for the input!
 
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swolle replied to GJacq726's response:
I have been having this swollen lip problem come out of no where for about 3 years. Yesterday when I woke up & got out of bed I could feel the upper lip swollen. If it's caused from stress, how in the world could it have happened while I was sleeping? I looked in the mirror & big swollen lip on right side.
Tonight I am sitting outside talking to my Daughter & I can feel the itchyness feeling & the other side swells up right before our eyes. To me it feels just like when you get a numbing shot from the Dentist & your lip up to your nose is numb. I am at my witts end. How embarrasing when you wake up this way & have to go to work. Any other suggestions?


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