Discussions By Condition: Skin conditions

Chronic Unexplained Hives

Posted In: Skin conditions 15 Replies
  • Posted By: AlisonR1012
  • June 29, 2007
  • 04:12 PM

I've been having hives for about 6 years. For the first few years, I only had the hives on the bottom of my feet, but for the last few years, they've been all over my body including in my throat a few times. I've been to a dermatologist, allergist, and now a rheumatologist. The allergist didn't feel that I was allergic to anything and I have a positive ANA screen which can indicate an autimmune problem. The rhuematologist I see now thinks I have some sort of non-specific autoimmune problem that may be partial lupus and may develop into lupus in the future. I take plaquenil for the hives which seems to make them less itchy at least. It's hard to tell if the freuency has decreased since it's so variable anyway. I also take zyrtec as needed for the hives. Sometimes there seems to be an association with my menstrual cycle with the hives being worse right before my period, but this pattern doesn't seem to happen evey month. Sometimes my lips and eyelids swell up also. I have at least a few hives most of the time and I have hives that are itchy and bothersome about half of the time. Has anyone had any similar experiences? Any ideas about a cause or better treatment?

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15 Replies:

  • Yes. You've just explained my condition to a "T". However, you seem to know more about it than me.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • It could be that these are a symptom of some other condition or disease.Check out the following web site:http://thyroid.about.com/cs/relatedconditions1/l/blurticaria.htmFor some people there is a link to autoimmune disease, in particular, thyroid disease.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ive had the same problem and i have discovered that yes, it has to do with hormones. People on Yaz and Yasmin have also been reporting unexplained hives. It has to do with a certain hormone. cant remember the name of it but you can find it by looking up Yaz side effects.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 8, 2010
    • 01:02 AM
    • 0
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  • Wow - sound almost exactly what I have been through. I've been suffering from idiopathic hives for 20 years now. They come on whenever they feel like it with no rhyme or reason. Have had extensive allergy testing done, stress tests, stomach test, you name it. The only thing that helps is benedryl and Prednisone. Both of which I hate, one makes you tired and the other makes you fat! I most recently went to a new allergist who tried a new series of tests and it determined also that I had positive ANA. They ran further test to narrow down which autoimmune disease it could be and found nothing. All the major tests turned up negative. Which is good, but makes me wonder if it is something lurking that will blow up full force in my body at a later date. After being put on a 45 day dose of aggresive prednisone tapering off to eventually 1/2 tablet for a week, my hives have been completely gone for 6 months again. This is the quickest they have gone away. Usually they last a 9 mos. to a year. Tonight I am unable to sleep at all because I have pain shooting down both arms and legs and I have hives starting in between my thighs. My hands are also swollen. I did some research online and found that the echnichea I have been taking to boost my immunity (I work with grade schoolers) turns out to be very bad for me. People with auto immune disease, asthma and plant allergies normally will be allergic to this herb. All three of which I am lucky enough to have. I had no idea this herb could be bad for you since its all people talk about for helping your immunity. Good luck to you and hope they find what is going on.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 23, 2010
    • 08:36 AM
    • 0
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  • hi i got real sick in feb of this year. drs said i had h1n1 then they said it was cellulitus then they said it was my cats ect.......... no one knows why i have the hives why im sweeking so bad in face hands feet that i miss work 4 weeks at a time. i cant sleep and when i do get to sleep it is very painful my hair hurts when i brush or touch my head it sends pain shooting thru my head anyone plz help i am always so worn out it unreal dr thinks it in my head even tho u see the hives and swelling. samoneklee@aol.com plz email me if u got any ideas
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just saw a new allergist this week who has put me on plaquenil and hydroxyzine. I've had ideopathic hives for 7 years now, mostly on hands, arms, chest, feet and legs. Little rhyme or reason, but I also suffer from severe dermatographism. My previous allergist had me on hydroxyzine and pepcid, which would handle the H. pylori part (the thyroid article), and that helped for a while; she threw in some prednisone which actually made it worse (a rare side effect of prednisone is an allergic reaction, and I'm lucky enough to have one!). So my new doctor is trying the paquenil. Just started tonight, so we'll see. The hydroxyzine, while not stopping the outbreaks lately, was the only thing to stop the itching, and I'll definitely take that. Hopefully the paquenil will do something useful, because I don't think Florida mosquitoes carry malaria. :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I feel you!I have been writing a blog chronicling my journey with chronic hives, I am sharing all that I am trying - if you would like to read and see what I try out, check it out at http://hivegotsomething.wordpress.com/.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have had chronic hives often. Each time it has lasted about 1 to 3 years. My most recent one 1 1/2 ago was the worst. Prednisone didn't work. Anti histamines were ineffective. I had it in my throat, gut,...etc. I vomited because I could not keep food down. I have autoimmune condition Hashimoto Thyroiditis, which is under control. I have to say that I found out what most of my problem was and maybe this solution can work for you. Through my going to an alternative nutritionist I found out I was highly allergic to gluten and dairy. Eliminating Gluten form diet brought my hives down from a 10 to a 5. My gut calmed down, and I am still keeping a very strict diet of no perservatives, no histamine producing food (i.e. strawberries,spinach,melons). I avoid eggs, corn as well. You can try eliminating all of these foods and then introducing them slowly and see how you react. I still have hives, but very very minimal and hydroxizine seems to be the best anti-histamine for me. Look up Histamine Intolerence as well. I think controlling what you eat could really help you. Start shopping at health food stores for natural products. It has helped me tremendously. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • The actual condition is called Immunological Progestrone Dermatitis. Most Doctors say is rare, but it affects a lot of women. This condition is characterized by hives either before or after the menstrual cycle. Steroids such as prednisone works, but it has its risk. There is no cure for this condition, but there are several treatments. Call your GYN they can help in determining which medication you can use. Hope this helps!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've been having hives for about 6 years. For the first few years, I only had the hives on the bottom of my feet, but for the last few years, they've been all over my body including in my throat a few times. I've been to a dermatologist, allergist, and now a rheumatologist. The allergist didn't feel that I was allergic to anything and I have a positive ANA screen which can indicate an autimmune problem. The rhuematologist I see now thinks I have some sort of non-specific autoimmune problem that may be partial lupus and may develop into lupus in the future. I take plaquenil for the hives which seems to make them less itchy at least. It's hard to tell if the freuency has decreased since it's so variable anyway. I also take zyrtec as needed for the hives. Sometimes there seems to be an association with my menstrual cycle with the hives being worse right before my period, but this pattern doesn't seem to happen evey month. Sometimes my lips and eyelids swell up also. I have at least a few hives most of the time and I have hives that are itchy and bothersome about half of the time. Has anyone had any similar experiences? Any ideas about a cause or better treatment?I have had this same thing going on and no one seems to be able to help me!! I cant believe i found your post! Mine also started on feet and hands and then eventually moved to the rest of my body. I have had this for around 4 years.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 5, 2010
    • 02:24 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Wow, I am amazed, I thought I was the only one. I have been getting chronic hives now for 4 months (I was completely healthy or so I thought up until that point) I get them so badly I feel like I am going crazy. my whole body itches and sometimes my lips will swell. It has landed me in the ER 5 times. I have been on and off of prednisone, which always seems to give me the rebound effect and about a week of being off it they come back stronger than ever. I have seen an allergist, derm, and rheumatologist and they are all at a loss. I have a positive ANA but test negative for lupus, and other diseases...although they thing it is just an early stage of the disease where I am still testing negative. The dermatologist specializes in automimmune patients and now has me on a low dose of prednisone until the plaquenil she recently put me on kicks in. I am scared of having a relapse again as this has completely affected my quality of life. I am trying to raise 2 little kids without losing my mind with itching or moodiness from the steroids...I feel so hopeless sometimes as I was someone who rarely even took an advil and now I am taking about 5 different medications daily. I am sad that others are suffering from this also, but it is nice to know that I am not alone.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 20, 2011
    • 02:26 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • I had unexplained hives/angioedema for over 20 years. It became chronic with my second pregnancy. I used benadryl to recover from the swelling eyelids and lips, but it made me very sleepy. Finally, an allergist suggested taking allegra (fexofenadine) long term. 180mg a day. I did this for 1 year. and the hives finally resolved. I have not had them for at least two years.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 9, 2011
    • 00:27 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I do not have this, however my poor son (only 6 years old) has been dealing with chronic hives. I thought it was only over the past 6 months but looking back on his medical records I realized that I took him into the emergency in 2009 with hives. It is frustrating as we are just starting this process of trying to figure out what the cause could be so he is seeing an allergist and a dermatologist but if what you are all saying is true then this is going to be a long long road. The doctors keep reassuring me that it will run its course and could take years but eventually he will outgrow this. I'm concerned that they are just chalking it up to whatever and not actually looking for an autoimmune disease because of his age. I'm just going to keep on keeping on and with some luck we'll get an answer. The hives seem to come on whenever he gets ill with a cold or flu or something like that and I've mentioned this but they just say it is coincidental....grrrr!!!! Any recommendations as to what I can do to make him more comfortable?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow - sound almost exactly what I have been through. I've been suffering from idiopathic hives for 20 years now. They come on whenever they feel like it with no rhyme or reason. Have had extensive allergy testing done, stress tests, stomach test, you name it. The only thing that helps is benedryl and Prednisone. Both of which I hate, one makes you tired and the other makes you fat! I most recently went to a new allergist who tried a new series of tests and it determined also that I had positive ANA. They ran further test to narrow down which autoimmune disease it could be and found nothing. All the major tests turned up negative. Which is good, but makes me wonder if it is something lurking that will blow up full force in my body at a later date. After being put on a 45 day dose of aggresive prednisone tapering off to eventually 1/2 tablet for a week, my hives have been completely gone for 6 months again. This is the quickest they have gone away. Usually they last a 9 mos. to a year. Tonight I am unable to sleep at all because I have pain shooting down both arms and legs and I have hives starting in between my thighs. My hands are also swollen. I did some research online and found that the echnichea I have been taking to boost my immunity (I work with grade schoolers) turns out to be very bad for me. People with auto immune disease, asthma and plant allergies normally will be allergic to this herb. All three of which I am lucky enough to have. I had no idea this herb could be bad for you since its all people talk about for helping your immunity. Good luck to you and hope they find what is going on.Wow< I have almost exactly the same thing. I have had hives for 18 years - every day. Sometimes just a spot or two, other times lots. I too have shooting pains down both arms and my hands often swell. I too have an ANA positive. I take Allegra during the day and Benedryl at night. I can't take Prednisone. My Dr. recently added Tagament - although a stomach drug it is also an antihistamine - different from others. It has helped some.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Mine started 8 years ago, after a cellulitous infection. Mine do seem to have a hormonal component to them as well.I've gotten no where with doctors, it's SO frustrating.One thing that does help me with topical hives is a stepic pencil. They use them to stop bleeding from shaving. I wet it and rub it all over the hive. If I get them soon enough, I can get rid of them. Although they often pop up in another area instead. I've tried going dye free, gluten free which seemed to help, but then if I eat some glutens, I'm still OK. Tried no diary. I found some homopathetic stuff that worked once, but they stopped making it.
    Bonadea 2 Replies
    • February 10, 2012
    • 08:29 PM
    • 0
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