Discussions By Condition: Allergies

chronic hives

Posted In: Allergies 10 Replies
  • Posted By: omyomy
  • March 22, 2008
  • 06:11 PM

I can relate to so many of your stories. I had hives for nearly 2 years (and took lots of meds including prednisone) in my early 20's. I got a second oppinion from an allergist and he talked about hormonal changes, pregnant, new teeth, etc. I was due to get my top wisdom teeth removed so I made an appt. ASAP. I immediatly stopped breaking out. 15 years later started breaking out again. I went and had the bottom wisdom teeth removed and again stopped breaking out. Now 8 years later I am breaking out and no more teeth to pull. I have a cavity that needs to be filled and when I floss it feels like I have an exposed nerve. I moved up my appt to have the tooth fixed, so all I can do is wait and see for now. I did have my hair dyed recently and will look into the timing of that and when I first broke out. If the timing is close than I will check ingrediants as I am also allergic to sulfer. I will keep you all informed. I plan to talk to my allergist about mastocytosis, h-pylori (was in Mexico in July 2007), and have many blood tests I want checked Another interesting thing I cam accross was low dose intravenous gammaglobulin therapy. The study found all symptoms reversed after treatment. The study also said that all patients tested positive on an AST test (which I will also ask to have done). Also, since I have hypothyroidism, I plan to be tested for thyroid autoantibodies. I went to several NAST visits with a DC recommended from their website. I had a very uneasy feeling about the whole thing. They first tried to balence all the points of my body. Then when he came back ( I had to rest for awhile), he seemed kind of puzzled because I didn't seemed balanced and then he said let see, had me put my arm up and then said OK good, you are balanced now. Then he tested 2 things each of the next 2 times I went, all of which came back negative. He said it was standard to have 15 treatments but sometimes more. It all seemed fishy and 250+ dollars later, I saw no benefit. I saw a homeopath who told me not to eat cow dairy, corn, sugar, fruit, caffine, alcohol, and soy. I stayed off all foods and still broke out and worse than before. To make matters worse, I went out of town (from So. CA and went to NYNY) and didn't break out while I was there. That makes me wonder if must be something environmental. My sister in law lives in the same city that I do and is going out of town this week. I am going to stay in her house to see if it is something in my house I am allergic to. Wish me luck. I do want to thank everyone for their posts as it has been so insightful.

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10 Replies:

  • I have read hives can be caused by an abcscess involving teeth.
    Brooking 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had chronic hives from head to toe for 5 months. I went to 10 Drs. in our area plus two at Diagnostic in Houston. Finally I was diagnosed with Hashimotto Thyroid disease which is connected to hives. I was also diagnosed with auto immune disease. There are many diseases that go along with chronic hives. I now am seeing an immune specialist in Houston Texas at Baylor University Clinic. One test that led to the diagnosis was a thyroid perox level. I have had thyroid disease for over 10 years. It is very important that you have enough synthroid. My Dr., who I will no longer see had only seen one case in his years of practice. He made a big mistake of taking me off of the medication and trying another drug. The hives got worse daily. My husband with a medical background of 30 years decided to try me back on the meds and I started with improvement right away.I continued to have pressure hives. Sleeping with my arm on my forehead, sitting the grandbabies in my lap, arms on my desk, etc... and they would come up in that area.The Dr. in Houston has me on a drug to get them in remission. She told us that most Drs. attempt to treat the hives instead of finding the reason behind the cause. There is always something underlying that is causing them. I know this is lengthy but if any of it helps I will be glad. Cheryl
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi there. I have had chronic idiopathic urticaria (chronic inexplicable hives) for nearly 20 years, since mid 20s. Have no idea how they started - but it was quite sudden. There must have been an initial trigger - My boyfriend at the time woke up one day with some welts and a couple of days later I woke up with welts all over me and then few days later my eyes swelled up. He never had them again, but they stayed with me. The only time I was free of them was during both my pregnancies - not recommended as a treatment! These days I have them every day and to control them I take 180mg of fexofenadine daily. Lumps gradually disappear over an hour or two. The timing is uncanny. as soon as the 24 hours is up, so are the lumps. Over the years I have had adrenalin puffers for swelling of throat and mouth, IM Phenergan, and various other antihistamines. I have tried elimination diet and had allergy and blood tests - no answers. I don't believe it is dietary or environmental as I over the years I have moved many times to very different environments - tropics to temperate and back, and in the course of 20 yeas I have had plenty of time to consider if it may be a particular product or chemical. I know how to make them worse however - late nights and a binge really makes the next day worse – so I avoid. Stress and any other illness also makes things worse – but harder to avoid. Pressure on the skin will also bring them out at times - e.g. waistbands, palms of hands after pushing the lawn mower etc. Earlier this year I had them worse and the fexofenadine wasn’t quite doing its thing so I had to take prednisolone for 2 weeks, which settled them down to normal. I am resigned to living with these. Apparently a very small % of people with hives has chronic idiopathic urticaria, and may never know what the cuase is. You might want to read up on mast cells, which I found interesting - I think that the 'on switch' is stuck on in my mast cells. Yours in lumps, Jo
    ruscoedog 1 Replies
    • August 20, 2008
    • 02:08 PM
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  • Hi: Your story is very similar to mine in that it has been years since my first diagnosis. I periodically check back different websites for information about my "condition" since it still seems to be so new to the medical community. I have hives of varying degrees every day single day of my life now. However, with my period, I break out in terrible hives all over my body primarily on my face though which is very stressful. Some background: I have had chronic idiopathic hives since the summer of 2001 during which I traveled extensively. I was sent to a infectious disease specialist, allergist, endocrinologist, gyno etc with no result. You get the idea. To date, there is no known cause for this problem and every so often I get up the courage to go to a new doctor to see if there are any new treatments available. No such luck and I continue masking the problem wit anti-histamines. I can be overly stressed with no breakouts and completely stress free with breakouts. I dread that time of the month because without fail, the welts come out in full force on my face and neck with swelling in my eyes and ears. We call it the dumbo ear and my husband really helps alot with his humor. During the rest of the month, my hives are OK which I control with 180mg (cut down to a smaller size during the winter months / summer months are terrible from April through September especially with pollen and grass) and Hydroxyzine/Atarax 25mg at night. I have tried everything else and these are the only 2 combos that work for me to some degree. At one time my doctor had the stomach theory going with H Pylori since I was extremely thin during my early 20's to the point of beinganemic and some people thought not eating properly (Zantec), the depression/anxiety theory (Doxepin - the worst as I felt like I was in a cloud), to Zyrtec (no result at all) to Epinephrine shots in the emergency room when I had Edema. The burning and pain from the swelling is unlike any agony. Thankfully, this only happens rarely now but will every once in awhile. Now, I am battling a swollen lymph node infection which is freaking me out because you wonder if some doctor along the way missed something. I know it is all linked to something in my system but what can you do when your doctors just load you up with medicine and cover the problem? Everything from lupus to my hormone levels have been tested and strange diets have been tried with no result. When I was growing up, I used to have allergic reactions to Noxema cream on my face which could be a clue. My mom was a very, very nervous person and my dad had a strange allergy to strawberries. My nephew's eye swell up like golf balls during the summertime so maybe this is all some sort of hereditary illness in our family. Either that, or we are all really getting slowly poisoned by the environment. Besides going on birth control pills (there is also a theory that this is what could have started this problem in the first place), I will continue to deal with these hives at certain times of the month and hope that some type of solution becomes available. Thanks for letting me vent.
    Hivey2001 3 Replies
    • November 13, 2008
    • 01:32 PM
    • 0
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  • I hear all of you. My hives began about 4 years ago (around age 37) suddenly, and in full force. One day (May 2005) I was covered head to toe in raised, red, itchy welts which worsened if scratched. It has been a daily thing since then, and doctors claimed that they would be unable to test me for allergies (using the traditional skin tests) because EVERYTHING that touched me (including just a pinprick) caused a hive or welt. For 3 years, the best that I could get from any doctor was a prescription to manage the symptoms. Not my preferred option, but helpless, I succumbed to accepting it, as the hive outbreaks were so miserable I was desperate. (Note: the symptoms were MOSTLY, not entirely managed, but Zyrtec did reduce the outbreaks somewhat, and minimized the hives/itchiness to the extent that what appeared to be long, flat red "scratches" would still appear, but not with the heat or itch, so that I only became aware of them when someone else pointed out that I had "scratches" on my neck, face or arms - embarrassing). Oddly enough, I was diagnosed with acid reflux and severe adult asthma within 1.5 years of the hives' initial manisfestation. Related? I would suspect so. Allergy-related? I'm convinced of it. But how to find out to what? I did notice that I would have an asthma/acid episode (with hives) after eating bread, starches, or an excessive amount of sugar. My then-doctor blood-tested me for milk, yeast, sugar and eggs - all NEGATIVE. Since then, I've lived in four cities (Nashville; Madison, WI; Chicago; Toronto) and two countries (Canada and US), and have travelled all over the U.S., so it doesn't seem to be connected to a particular location - the symptoms are consistent regardless of where I am.This past summer (July 2008), I did find an allergist/asthma doctor who said she could test me. I tested positive for (environmental only) in order of severity: dust mites (SEVERELY), grass (BAD), cats (minor), and dogs (minor). The doctor wants me to get the steriod shots, but I just can't bring myself to do it (weight gain, and God knows how many other horrid side effects). I was convinced that a daily dose of Zyrtec, Prilosec and Advair had caused weight gain (the doctor doubts this), but she did switch me from Zyrtec to Allegra-D. The Allegra-D does NOT manage my hives as well as Zyrtec does, but since I've dropped 17 pounds since the switch, I'm learning to deal with it. I'd also stopped taking my Advair (steroids?), but that posed a serious health risk rather quickly, so I've compromised by only taking my Advair dosage once daily (rather than twice daily) without my doctor's knowledge. I noticed a HUGE difference in my formerly irrational "hunger pains" and believe that the weight loss is due to the reduced Advair, as well. All in all, I believe it's some sort of food allergy, but to what? Avoiding breads, pasta, starches and sugar have resulted in marked improvement in my acid reflux and other symptoms, but haven't completely eradicted the problem. I want nothing more than to get off all of the meds, because I believe the long-term side effects are probably worse than the short-term gains, but how? It's now been almost 4 years, since this began...I have noticed that some foods are passed as undigested; does that imply an allergy to those foods or something in those foods? Oh, and I don't believe this is lactose-related, as I suffered more when I switched to soy than I did on non-fat organic milk... Anyone else?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 15, 2008
    • 06:52 PM
    • 0
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  • Giddy99 - Zyrtec has been associated with weight gain see http://www.askapatient.com/viewrating.asp?drug=19835&name=ZYRTEC Try the diet for Celiac Disease if you get better avoiding wheat, as some people report that cured them. Hivey2001 - Have you heard about Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis (APD)? Well worth checking out if your hives seem related to your periods (and even if they don't). Good luck!
    Dial999 6 Replies
    • November 19, 2008
    • 00:38 PM
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  • My hives started in May this year(08). I had an allergic reaction to an airbrush tan. I am 100% confident this is where it all started. I had 2 or 3 airbrush tans the year before as well as used self-tanning lotions and bronzing accelerators in the tanning bed, but this was never routine use of any just for occasions. I was airbrushed naked so imagine having an allergic reaction to something stuck on your skin that takes 5-10 days to dissolve and its happens to be up your nose and in your butt crack....needless to say completely uncomfortable. It took a few days for me to realize I was breaking out into hives because at first I would just have these itch attacks with what looked like goose bumps but it itched to the bone. After a few days of this I had to cut my finger nails down so that I couldn't scratch them because I was breaking the skin from scratching so hard. I went to the doctor said they'd never heard of a spray tan related allergy, called the tan salon and was told I was insane to think it was their product. Truth is I reached my threshold of whatever is in the spray solution that I am allergic to. The only known chemical that is in the solution that can cause reactions in some people is DHA which is in EVERYTHING...food, milk, fruits, lotions....etc. I agree that I had a reaction to the tan, but not sure it was the DHA. Now I am being tested for autoimmune disorders because my doctors thinking is that yes I had a reaction to the tan but that now it has triggered my bodies response to something else that is happening that perhaps has been lying dormant in my system forever. I get hives happy, hives sad, stressed, not stressed, in hot water, when I am aroused (to climax...thats embarrassing...to say the least). I get them in the same general locations...hand and wrist, foot and ankle, and knees. some times each of those locations individually and sometimes all at once. Only recently have I had an outbreak that went up to my elbow and knees to thighs. Steroids, prednisone...did nothing....Zyrtec still take it and have before I started to have them...does nothing, my doc even put my on an anti-depressant thinking that the hives was my bodies response to anxiety...the drug was Celexa and at first it worked I was on a low dosage no problems this worked for about a month then, started having outbreaks again....this time less often and not as inflamed. So my doc upped my dosage, this actually didn't work and the hives continued to occur more often and slowly regained their full blown red brilliance....I will admit this was better than before the medication when I was having breakouts minimum 5 times a day. Oh, and benadryl didn't do a thing either. Curious if anyone has the same style of onset that I do. I feel them coming before I see them...usually a warm feeling on my face or a tingle that leads to what feels like a tightness....all in the face, within a minute or two the spots appear sometimes mild sometimes it gradual process and i swear you can watch them appear one by one until it looks like the thing that was on Boris Yeltsin's head. Sometimes as they appear and/or spread I feel a pain like pin ****k sometimes it will itch and then it starts to go away, and depending on the severity and spread of the hives they dissappear fairly quick anywhere from 10-30 minutes.As far as diagnosis still waiting on blood work for Autoimmune disorders then will proceed to allergy testing. I am 28, I do have asthma and severe sinus problems which have all worsend gradually over the past 7 years since moving to the Pacific Northwest.....Just Nuts and makes me feel crazy.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 5, 2008
    • 11:54 PM
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  • ok, just now started to break-out into severe hives from scratching just a little. This happened a month ago almost to the day!I will start my period very soon as last monthand I went to the tanning bed close to this time last month as well.Never have been broken out like this before and I think tanning so close to being one your period could have a serious affect on your body. My head, lips, neck, breast, legs and feet are all showing symptoms and my eyes are starting to swell. Last dr visit they try to tell me Im allergic to Sulfa, the meds I got prescribed to me for itching on my head and neck??? Dr's I swear!Im going to look into Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis (APD)? Well worth checking out if your hives seem related to your periods (and even if they don't).
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 25, 2008
    • 11:12 AM
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  • Started getting hives at the beginning of December 08 after a month of taking Omeprazole (Prilosec). My doctor tells me there' no chance of the drug causing it since many people take it and have no reaction. I read that low stomach acid can trigger hives. Only other thing I could think of is I had slept on the floor around the same time when I started to break out. Could it be dust mites? I take Zyrtec whenever i have really bad occurrences and it helps for now but I'm afraid of being dependent on it or developing a tolerance. I'm going to try LGS treatment, dust mite cleaning, maybe even treatments for low stomach acid. If anybody has succeeded or failed with any of these methods, I'd like to know.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 14, 2009
    • 06:27 PM
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  • I too have suffered from chronic hives before. The only corrolation that I have found is that I have hashimotos, (autoimmune thyroiditis) as well as celiac disease (an allergy to wheat, rye, barley, and oats). I would suggest you get your thyroid levels examined AND most importantly see a GI to check for celiac disease. It is becoming extremely prominent these days, especially since you said that you had lost a lot of weight.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 11, 2010
    • 03:46 PM
    • 0
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