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Old 01-27-2005, 10:23 AM   #31
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeymama
Hi - I broke out in severe hives five weeks ago, and tested negative a couple days ago for any food allergies. The dr was ready to put me on Zyrtec for months or years, but I figured I would try looking at environmental causes first. Apparently I seem to react to anything that has a benz- in it. Sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, benzophenone-4, etc. All this stuff is in hair gel, commercial laundry detergent (it's an optical brightener), dishwashing soap, foods, sodas, antifungal creams, etc, as it is a very common food and cosmetic preservative. It is also naturally occuring in tea and berries. I don't know yet if I also have reaction to salicylates as well. But if you haven't yet I encourage all of you to look for chemical causes if you've been diagnosed with idiopathic chronic urticaria and do some avoidance testing of the common issues - tartrazine (yellow 5), benzoates, salicylates, etc. - D.
So Hokeymama, has benzoate etc. avoidance completely rid you of the hives?

 
Old 01-27-2005, 10:18 PM   #32
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Kristi 1 -

It's only been a few days, but here's the difference so far:

Up until two days ago, I was itchy all the time, with hives present on most parts of my body. It ranged from unbearably itchy to severely uncomfortable, but at no time was it just somewhat uncomfortable. I also had pretty bad dermographism.

Once I removed and replaced the items with benzoates starting two days ago, the hives have gone away almost completely and immediately. The exception has been when I touch something with benzoates in it, then I get a localized reaction, or if I eat something with a small amount of benzoates, my wrists wrinkle up. I now have very mild dermographism. I do still break out a bit when working out. However, I haven't finished identifying and eliminating this chemical from our household yet, and as it remains in clothing after washing I suspect I have a fair amount of laundry to do with new detergent before it's gone completely. I am going to see at the end of two weeks if they are 100% gone, including when I work out. However, it's headed in the right direction. They are not even uncomfortable now, without medication.

Looking back, I was totally surrounded by this chemical. I shampooed with it, put it on my hair in gel, dressed in clothing with laundry residue containing the chemical, ate foods with it in it, drank sodas containing it, washed the dishes with it, washed the laundry with it, and slept in sheets washed in detergent containing it. I touched this chemical constantly throughout the day. Benzoates are processed quickly, though, so I was able to see an immediate difference. Some other chemicals might stay in the body longer, so you may need to be more patient with avoidance testing if it is something different.

 
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:37 AM   #33
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Kristi 1 -

Four days later, I've identified benzoates and parabens (related to benzoates) as the culprit. My laundry is done. My hives are gone. So is the dermographism.

 
Old 02-09-2005, 08:57 AM   #34
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Has anyone noticed a connection between hive outbreaks and menstrual cycles? I am wondering if the fluctuation in hormones may contribute to the hives, as I have noticed a relationship. Or maybe it is the lunar cycle - that is just as likely as some of the suggestions the docotors have come up with...

 
Old 02-09-2005, 09:04 AM   #35
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

genster........in one word .............YES. Defenatly worse in the few days before and during. I have also read others saying the same thing. Nuthin to do with the moon.

 
Old 02-09-2005, 02:22 PM   #36
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Genster & Hairdoer, I have wondered the same thing, but my own data is inconclusive. If anything, I might have an increase in symptoms right before I ovulate. I have been keeping a dairy so I should take a closer look.

Isn't it like 8 or 9 out of 10 people with chronic urticaria/angioedema are women? I don't remember the exact stat, I could be wrong. And of the women, doesn't it typically hit those between about 25 and 50? Also, there are a fair number of us (though I can't call it a majority) who started our chronic hives only after childbirth. These things kind of suggest a hormonal component.

 
Old 02-09-2005, 04:24 PM   #37
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

You guys may be right....but then I'm an exception. I'm a "very young" <bg> 61 and just developed the hives almost 2 years ago and had never been allergic to anything in my life before they started. ??????

 
Old 02-10-2005, 06:35 AM   #38
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Thanks Hairdoer & Kristi- I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who had noticed this; I guess I should have asked on here earlier. I had a DR.'s appointment yesterday (with my new doc, not the one in my hometown - I moved last year & this guy is new to me). He seemed surprised that my other doc hadn't sent me to an allergist - he thought I had been to one. I am going to be sent to see one, but I shall be very surprised if it does any good. No harm in trying, though. Wish me luck

Last edited by genster; 02-10-2005 at 11:33 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 02-10-2005, 07:43 PM   #39
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Interesting idea. My hives started just as my menstrual cycle was returning after my first child. I was wondering if there was a correlation.

 
Old 02-11-2005, 12:22 AM   #40
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

I suffered from hives for years. They were misdiagnosed as psoriasis, eczema etc. Then one day (after lots of prayer) I realized that it was happening every time I got my period. Weird, since I've never heard of menustration causing rashes. However, I had severe cramps and took 4 to 6 pills of ibuprofen to relieve them. (Some quack doctor told me this was okay) I looked up the side effects of taking this and similar drugs and lo and behold hives was one of them!

I take cramp bark and white willow herbs for the cramps now and add a heat patch if they are still too unbearable.

 
Old 02-11-2005, 11:50 AM   #41
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by genster
Thanks Hairdoer & Kristi- I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who had noticed this; I guess I should have asked on here earlier. I had a DR.'s appointment yesterday (with my new doc, not the one in my hometown - I moved last year & this guy is new to me). He seemed surprised that my other doc hadn't sent me to an allergist - he thought I had been to one. I am going to be sent to see one, but I shall be very surprised if it does any good. No harm in trying, though. Wish me luck
Hi Genster, I am glad you'll be seeing an allergist. Just as there are for all types of doctors, there are good allergists and bad allergists. But I think the odds are better with allergists that they will actually have the expertise needed to diagnose, understand, and treat your chronic urt/ang.

Best of luck and please let us know how it goes!

 
Old 02-11-2005, 03:28 PM   #42
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Thanks Kristi - the appointment cant' get here fast enough for me. I am battling the blasted things again, after a week and a half without them... of course, I was on 50 mg prednisone for my sinuses at the time... it seems as though the hives return as soon as the prednisone dosage drops below 40 mg. Not that I want to be on prednisone forever, but I sure enjoyed the break from the blotchies. Now I am back to being itchy & scratchy. I am so tired of it, all the time. And the drugs just make me feel like crap without really giving me relief. It is very depressing and disheartening. Of course, the usual round of questions - "Can't they give you something for that?" "Don't you know what causes it?" "It must be something you ate/touched/drank." People find it hard to believe that: 1) there is no known reason for these hives, 2) it is not contagious, 3) it is not the result of something I did to myself - at least, not knowingly, 4) no, there is no cure that I - or my doctor - know of; if there was, wouldn't I be taking it??? Sometimes I don't know whether to be annoyed or depressed or both. Oh well, hopefully the dr's appointment will come through sooner rather than later.

 
Old 02-18-2005, 09:07 AM   #43
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

I agree with both of you!!!!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 09:10 AM   #44
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by jessica430
same feeling here! you don't get hives from stress, hives stress you out!!!
I agree with you 100 %!!!!!

 
Old 02-18-2005, 09:17 AM   #45
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Re: severe chronic urticaria

Quote:
Originally Posted by genster
Has anyone noticed a connection between hive outbreaks and menstrual cycles? I am wondering if the fluctuation in hormones may contribute to the hives, as I have noticed a relationship. Or maybe it is the lunar cycle - that is just as likely as some of the suggestions the docotors have come up with...

Has anyone ever gotten any results with doctors when asking this question? I get laughed at! I hate Dr's!

 
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