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    Chronic hives
    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.
    An_267784 responded:
    My mother had the same issue.

    She went to all doctors and then finally saw a naturopath. She was diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome.

    Western doctors will laugh and say it doesn't exist, but she's cured now ... After throwing thousands of dollars into ER visits and Western medicine testing, put on drugs that cause more harm than good and exasperate the issue.

    Take a chance and see a reputable Naturopathic Doctor, ask about "Leaky Gut Syndrome."

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