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Chronic hives
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Krosel2 posted:
Ten years ago, I started getting hives everyday. Along with the hives, my face, eyes, and lips would swell up. My parents took me to several doctors, and I was tested for all sorts of allergies, but the results were all negative. I was told I had an unspecified autoimmune disease, and that my body was basically attacking itself. I started taking benadryl every day, but that stopped working after a little while. Next they put me on Zyrtec, but even that stopped working, too. Finally, I was prescribed prednisone, which I took every day for almost a year. I gained almost 20 pounds, and nobody said anything about the frightening long-term side effects. Finally, after about a year, the hives just went away, but the doctor warned me that they could come back at anytime in the future, especially during times of emotional stress.

About 8 months ago, I woke up with hives. I took some benadryl, and assumed it was nothing, similar to the rare acute attacks I'd been experiencing about once a year or so, particularly during finals week during my college years. But one day became a week, a week became a month, and then the angioedema started to happen along with the hives. I still remember clearly the day they started again - March 29th - and my emotional state at the time. I was in a relationship that had started to unravel around February, and I was extremely unhappy, frustrated, and angry. When this relationship was officially over, in mid-April, I was completely devastated. And the hives got worse. I ended up in the emergency room twice because the swelling had spread to my throat, and I felt like I was suffocating.

I went to see an allergist/immunologist, who ran a series of blood tests, none of which came back with any results except one, which simply told me that I hive. The tests came back negative for autoimmune diseases, thyroid conditions, and any other identifiable infection/disease-based sources. I started getting acupuncture once a week, which seemed to help a bit, and my practitioner recommended I start seeing a therapist.

My allergist gave me a list of foods high in histamine levels that I should eliminate for three weeks to see if this might help. It didn't, but she still insists that I shouldn't eat things like tomatoes, citrus, berries, etc. She started me on a course of benadryl every 4-6 hours and Zyrtec in the morning. Finally, around August, this seemed to be working. I still had hives everyday, but they were much less severe than they had been. I'd wake up with a few spots on my legs, but they would disappear by mid-morning. At my next follow-up with her, she told me that she still wasn't satisfied because I was still having the hives, even if they were MUCH better than they had been. So she switched me to Doxepin at night, which is essentially an antidepressant when taken in high doses, but it acts as an antihistamine in low doses. I stopped taking the benadryl, then, and just took 10 mg of Zyrtec in the morning and 10 mg of Doxepin at night.

Now my hives are unmanageable again. I switched back to the benadryl, but it still isn't helping. I feel like I've regressed back to the months when it was really bad. My allergist doesn't seem to be helping, she even seemed angry that I switched back to benadryl. The acupuncture helps with stress, and I think therapy is helping, but most of the time, I still just feel frustrated and depressed with myself. I just want these hives to go away. My allergist told me I should try an actual antidepressant, but I've taken them before to treat depression and anxiety, and this time I really wanted to avoid them. It seems a little extreme to take antidepressants to treat a broken heart.

So right now I'm on the fence about going down the antidepressant route again. I am wondering if anyone else with chronic urticaria has gone this route, and whether or not they've seen any positive results.
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histaminelady responded:
You sound like me. Do you also have headaches (migraines) as well? You probably have histamine intolerance which causes so many different problems. I seem to be getting worse as I grow older. Headaches, depression (no reason for it), panic attacks, stomach problems, stuffy nose, swelling of my face eyes & fingers-scarry, sore throats. The thing that seems to help the most is watching the diet. Also I take the new nutritional supplement (mail order only) "Histame" It makes the enzyme you are missing to get rid of the excess Histamine in your body...which is probably causing these problems. Vitamins to take C, Calcium-Magnesium, B-6, B-12 Start educating yourself on the Wikipedia starting with Histamines, Angioedema, etc. I went to two Allergy specialists, and I was not terribly impressed.
 
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love_eyeore responded:
Gosh there is a lot of this "going around", this is the 3rd post in the last two weeks on chronic hives. I didn't read all the details, but wanted to let you know that there are two similar posts on the asthma boards.

I have chronic hives as well and it took some working to get them undercontrol. I tried Clariton and bendaryl -nothing, then switched to zyrtec which worked for about a month, then back. Currently on Allegra, Zantac (covers the h2), and then Bendaryl prn. Working well.

Good luck and look for the other 2 posts!

jess
 
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rural10 responded:
I have had chronic urticaria (hives) for the past 30+ years. I was admitted to the hospital several times because of the edma or swelling - lips, eyes, mouth, nose, throat, hands, feet, back - EVERYWHERE! Sometimes, I become extremely sensitive to touch, i.e., clothes, bedding, etc. Most doctors tried to tell me I was having a panic attack or I needed therapy or a psychiatrist, etc. (Yes, I truly was beginning to feel as if I were going crazy.) I have been to several allergists - once I even had a reaction to almost everything they tested me for (skin tests, inhalation, etc) and ended up being admitted to hospital where I was put on oxygen, given an epinephrine injection and observed for several hours. I have been to all kinds of doctors (including specialists) and have been given all kinds of special diets, inflammation drugs, antihistamines, vitamin regimens, cleanses, antibiotics, antipsychotics, sedatives, (atarax, thorazine, etc), soda baths, isolation, dentists, and a sordid combination of things. I was even tested for leprosy, lupus and several other various diseases and medical conditions. Although I go through short periods of no hives, I will suddenly wake up in the middle of the night, or stand up from the dinner table or whatever and suddenly I will have hives. What I have discovered works best for me is when I first start noticing discoloration or itching or swelling, I immediately start taking diphenhydramine (Benadry), 25-50 mgs, and continue with additional 25 mgs until symptoms start to disappear (sometimes taking as much as 100-175 mgs). (I can tolerate a LARGE dose before I start getting adverse reaction from the diphenhydramine, ie, heart palpitations, drowsiness, dizziness, etc) Sometimes I have found it helps to take a tepid shower or soak in a bath after taking the diphenhydramine. I always try to drink a lot of water, too. My sympathy for you - nobody realizes how miserable this is, especially when it lasts for days and days and days. It wears you out - mentally and physically. Although my current physician doesn't advocate my self-medication, she understands that for some unknown reason, this seems to work better than anything else for me. I also have come to realize there are certain things that SOMETIMES will make things exacerbate, i.e., citrus products (orange juice), certain kinds of dust, etc.
 
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Bazoona responded:
I used to have chronic hives. Went to allergist. Had many tests. Inconclusive. Finally figured out I was allergic to ALL NSAIDS. That is aspirin, ibuprophen, etc. Can ONLY take acetmenaphin (Tylenol). Even doctors have hard time figuring medicine allergies. Was by trial and error on my own. NO hives since stopped taking NSAIDS.
 
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Blastoman responded:
I had this same set of persistent symptoms - itching, hives and atopic dermatitis - and everything completely resolved when I eliminated wheat and gluten from my diet. Interestingly, repeated blood work and ELISA lab tests had not revealed any significant food allergies or intolerances..
 
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ingot03 responded:
Krosel2

I sympathize with you. I started getting angiodema and then uticaria in July 09. Started out as an annoyance and then got so severe that i went to the er. i was suffering almost a few days every week until Dec 09. I now believe i know what was the cause.

To begin, i saw my nurse practionier who gave me a course of prednisone and told me to see an alergist. Well i did some reading up on hives and figured i could figure this out in a week or 2. It wasn't something obvious to me. Started ruling things out but it was still happening. After my next severe outbreak that landed me in the er, $2k later, for a 45 min visit. I decided i better see an allergist.

Did all the allergy testing. I have no food allergies but i do have oral allergy syndrome which the skin prick tests don't evaluate. I tested off the scale for weed, grass and pollen allergies. So high that my allergist is surprised that i only occasionally take an "allergy" medication. This allergist suggested that i keep a journal along with starting a 3 drug cocktail. The 3 drugs were Allegra, Pepcid, and Singular. Took them for a month and no hives but i didn't want to be medicated constantly. So, back to the journal. Have you tried this? I recommend it, it has saved my sanity! You write everything down and i mean everything. The allergist told me there was up to a 4 day window on having a reaction if it's something inhaled or a contactant. Very frustrating to write down your whole day but after the 4 days you can take things off your list. So, what i discovered after serious journalling for 2 months was that i'm allergic to NSAIDS. All of them, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Google it for more info. Haven't had one outbreak since not taking them which is now over a month! This is making a long story short but do the journal if you haven't tried. Good luck!
 
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Jodstir responded:
I do not have chronic hives but have experienced symptoms along the same lines except on occasion a bit more severe. About 7 years ago I took a pain killer to help relieve pain from a large canker sore I had in my mouth. I had taken the pain killer before and had never had any sort of reaction from it. Well on this particular evening I took the pain pill and then went to bed. About 45 minutes later I woke with a severe stomach ache and diarrhea. I noticed I began itching all over and noticed my entire body was covered in hives. My throat began to swell as well as my face and eyes and I could barely breathe. My husband had to call 911 as I was at the point of going unconscious. The paramedics arrived and gave me liquid benadryl through an IV. I was told never to take that type of pain pill again. About 6 weeks later the same thing happened again except this time it was from taking Claritin for my allergies. Again, I had been taking Claritin for a few weeks with no problems. My Dr. switched me to Allegra-same thing, took it for a few weeks and same results. I went to an allergist and was tested for all the typical stuff-but no major conclusion as to why I kept having these anaphylactic attacks. Before I knew it, I was having reactions to just about EVERYTHING! Some attacks not as severe as others but one by one was having to rule out certain allergy meds, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. I seem to do fine with Tylenol though. The scariest part is now I will have these attacks and they come out of nowhere. I will have taken nothing and I will start to feel sick to my stomach and before you know it I can't breathe and end up having to use my Epi pen. I have to carry an Epi pen with me at all times. I have gone to the Mayo clinic and been tested for food allergies but still no conclusion. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? It is very frustrating and also scares the hell out of me. I have spent quite a bit of money with all the testing only to have no answers. I feel like a medical mystery that no one can seem to solve.
 
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taiwanguy responded:
Hives or Urticaria caused by excessive production of histamines inside our bodies. Histamines are a natural response of our system and it means that our body is trying to communicate with us .It is actually a blessing in disguise as our body is trying to warn us and trying to get our attention asking us to make some modification in lifestyle so we can avoid more serious and deadly diseases such as cancers. If we keep ignoring these signals we maybe on our way to bigger health problems. Just suppressing the histamines by taking anti-histamines is not a good approach. You must understand why your body suddenly started to produce more histamines and causing these allergy symptoms. In most cases of Chronic Urticaria or hives the cause is very simple " Chronic Dehydration".or in simple words ? Chronic shortage of Water inside a body", A groundbreaking research on this topic has done 20 years ago already by a great doctor Dr. F. Batmanghelidj and published in various medical journals but unfortunately this is not a money making deal for many government agencies as well as drug making companies so they rather not discuss about these findings. Imagine what money they are making if people just start curing themselves with plain water. It would be a nightmare for them but fortunately the cure for Hives is simple as it is. Histamines are part of our immune system and they are responsible for various important tasks in a human body including fighting viruses and bacteria. The one most important task of histamines is water management and regulation inside our system .A human body has a very sophisticated water management system and almost every organ in our bodies needs water to work properly. Remember 75% of a human body consist on water and needs a 2 quart of water daily to perform essential tasks inside our system. This amount of water is essential and every major organ, cell and tissue requires water to function properly, The water we lose through urine, sweating , breathing, skin etc should be replenished and replaced on daily basis. A stable immune system is highly dependable on fully hydrated cells. When the cells are dehydrated your immune system goes haywire and set a perfect stage for diseases, secondly our bodies have a natural detoxification system which will not work properly or entirely without enough water and this will cause all kind of allergies and diseases including cancers.Imagine flushing a toilet with insufficient amount of water it wouldn't work. Same applies to a human body. Due to modern age lifestyle, Alcohol( major factor) excessive amount of caffeine and other dehydrating foods and liquids used in our daily lives causes a severe drought inside our bodies. This is called " Chronic Cellular Dehydration", When body does not have enough supply of water naturally it releases these histamines to deal with water shortage and you get those hives as well as weird and unexplainable allergies as a result. In medical language it is called ?idiopathic" by some idiots. None of any health problem is idiopathic almost all of the modern age disease are caused by some reasons and mostly is chronic dehydration.

In a significant majority of patients a heartburn or other stomach ailments can be an initial sign of chronic dehydration and in most cases Urticaria is accompanied by gastrointestinal problems. Acid reflux occurs when stomach does not have enough water to break down the food so it produces more and more acid to dissolve food.This is another topic and i will not go into details here. Just remember taking antacid or PPI ( proton pump inhibitors ) is the worst thing you can do to your body.Try to avoid them as much as possible.

( continued....................)
 
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taiwanguy responded:
Here is the simple cure for Hives and other chronic ailments.

1. Start the process of rehydrating your body with 8 glasses of pure water per day ( two glasses of water every 3 hrs). Water is natural ?antihistamine?. When your body has enough amount of water it will stop releasing excessive amount of histamines which means no hives. Juices or any other beverages do not count as water, Use ONLY PLAIN WATER,

2. Stop alcohol, caffeine and sodas. they dehydrate your body . Rehydrating process will not work if you do not eradicate alcohol completely as alcohol not only dehydrates but also suppress your immune system even in very low quantity, Decrease the intake of caffeine to lowest or eliminate from your diet at all.

3. Use some salt( preferably unrefined sea salt), pinch for a glass or 3 grams for 10 glasses of water.( if you have a blood pressure talk to your doctor before adding the salt to the water). When you start drinking more water you have more urine output that is why salt is important with more water intake so your body does not get depleted by essential minerals and sodium. If possible get a good quality mineral supplement and take it on daily basis.

Remember your body is dehydrated for years so hydration is not possible in a day or two, Do not rush and Do not overdo it, Go slowly, be patient and persistent, it will take few weeks or so to fully hydrate however you will start to feel the effects in two weeks or so and will be free of hives and allergies completely in 4-8 weeks time plus your body will get rid of toxins and your overall health will improve with fresh and glowing skin. Give it a try and you have nothing to lose.

For any kind of persistent infections or colds you may try Oil of Oregano. it works wonders.It kills a good variety of bacterias and viruses, Should be of good quality and brand though. You may use upto 2 drops in water 3 times per day it will resolve your ear and throat problem in a few days or weeks. Quercetin is a very good supplement works as a natural anti-histamine without any side effects and also helps with overall health.

Hope this will help.
 
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spunklinn responded:
You know, I almost cried when I read your post. I have been suffereing for a year now with hives and no answers from numerous doctors. If this were to work, you would be my hero. I for a split second had a glimmer of hope from your post. I am refusing to take steroids, and I have to take zyrtec sometimes or I would go crazy. Do I really need the salt? Should I fast while doing the water trial? Did this work for you? How do you know all of this stuff. I totally agree with the idiopathic statement, NICE ONE! Deb.
 
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taiwanguy responded:
Hi Deb, i did suffer from hives for a year despite of being in best of my health, No Doctor could help me ,i hated to take anti histamines and i never thought for a second that it is the right approach to treat this problem, it is very unfortunate that that medical science has ignored the importance of water in human body and role it plays in maintaining health and its importance in avoiding chronic disease , this is a shame that they never took into consideration the catastrophic consequences of unintended chronic dehydration , the whole medical system revolves around making big profits only. I gave up on doctors and decided to take things in my own hands and did my own research and it took me a year to learn about histamines role in water crisis management in our bodies and finally i diagnosed myself with CD ( chronic dehydration). I started to drink plenty of water ,I started to feel better in 2 weeks time and my hives were gone within 2 months along with all other pains and stomach ailments which were bothering me for a very long time.I feel myslef like a new person. I eat what i want to eat and no foods cause any problems or weight gain, I am enjoying my new pain-free life and like to share this cure with other so they can also benefit from my experience. Even if one person get cured i think it will be worth the effort. (In my opinion) water therapy will not only help people whose hives are caused by CD but also those whose hives are caused by some kind of infection (or silent infection.) such a h.pylori , virus etc. Do not take steriods unless you really have to, they should be taken only if you are having a serious allergy attack, steriods come with very serious side effects and they can suppress your immune system big time.eventhough they can control hives temporarliy but when the hives come back they will be more aggressive and harder to treat. When starting the water therapy you do not have to fast, just avoid the foods, liquids i have mentioned in my post. Try to eat as healthey as possible. Salt ( unrefined sea salt) has numerous health benefits so try to add it to water a little bit i will help stabilize excessive histamines , ( if you are having high blood pressure then you need to take a caution). People with kidney problems should consult with their doctors before starting to increase the water intake. Just remember , DO NOT, I repeat " DO NOT give up, just keep drinking as long as it takes, you will be fine and your hives will be gone soon.

Wish you all the best.
 
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spunklinn responded:
Thank you I will try it and keep you posted.
 
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taiwanguy responded:
It would be nice if you could keep us posted about your progress and during this time if you have any question you may post here and i will reply. I hope all the posters in this thread who are sufferng from hives could try this therapy.