Hello. I just joined this site and hope I am following the correct procedure here. I am amazed at the number of people who are also experiencing hives and swollen lips. I first experienced this suddenly in April 2008. Quite a scary experience. Saw the dermatologist, then an allergist for allergy testing. He found I am "borderline" for glutin sensitivity and definitely allergic to p-phenylenediane (found in permanent hair color). From reading the posts, it sounds like fluctuating hormones can also be a cause (I am peri menopausel and have been taking hormones since May 2008).
I take a Singulair at bedtime and it helps to keep the hives down, though not completely. If I don't take it, I break out within a few days and also my lips swell. I also use hydrocortisone cream on the hives (face, neck, chest and arms), although I know that is not good to use for more than a couple of weeks.
I have seen a gastro doctor who will soon do an upper intestinal biopsy to see if I have celiac disease. I have stopped using hair color.
Does anyone know of anything else I should be right doing now? Thank you.
Last edited by moderator2; 09-20-2008 at 04:36 PM.
Reason: to make this into a new thread - please always start your own new thread instead of asking on someone else's thread
A couple of years ago this very thing happened to me, out of the blue. I am not allergic to anything so the allergist diagnosed me with idiopathic hives, which means that my body is doing it to itself I guess. In my case it was almost certainly the hormone fluctuations as it happened at 48 and I was experiencing all the peri menopause symptoms. I took antihistamines which worked very well, eventually the hives got less and less and now I'm not on any medication, only occasionally when the hives pop up. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in this, it is scary, especially when the lips swell, I carry an epi pen, thank goodness I never had to use it. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.
Mandarra, what you said about the hormone fluctuations makes sense to me. I will hope that as my hormones become more stable, this will get better. My doctor also prescribed an epi pen to carry, though I haven't needed it.
Titchou, I have to confess that my doctor's original directions to me were to take 1 Singulair PLUS 1 Xyzal at night. I tried this but when I took both the Singulair and a Xyzal, I was so drowsy the next day I couldn't function.
Isn't Zyrtec the over-the-counter version of Xyzal? Do you know, what is the difference between Singulair and Zyrtec? I will sure give it a try.
hello- I am new to this site, and I have to say it's a big relief to know that I am not alone. I experience 'giant' hives first when I was 14, and then again 18. They came back a few weeks ago (I am now 41). When I was younger I went through every test and medication possible.
Prednisone is very helpful, but of course the doctor doesn't want me on it long-term due to side effects. I have also been taking Zyrtec twice a day. That helps some. If I don't taken anything i get giant hives all over my body, and my lips and tongue will swell at times. No one has ever been able to identify a cause. Very frustrating.
If you can take prednisone an ween yourself off, great!! I've read that the thyroid could be an issue as well. The Cortisone cream I don't use because it doesn't help much.
I've experienced acid reflux along with this as well, and will also take Zycam, which is very helpful. If past history tells me anything, this will go on for me for about 6-8 months before it goes away.
My husband has been experiencing Hives and swollen lips for the past week! (First time in his life for hives ...he is 26) Went to the doctors and they said that it doesn't happen to many people but that it was because he was sick. (he had a cold) He got them really bad last night and I think it is because we have been really stressed out this last week. We moved 300 miles away from all our friends and family and his job is slowing down so we don't have enough money coming in! He also has been having acid reflux.
I had an extremely similar experience to yours beginning about two years ago. Anything and everything could set me off. I had hives, asthmatic reactions and angioedema (this is kind of like a painful hive deep in the skin and inside the body instead of on the surface, that stays for a long time and can get infected.) My allergist put me on prednisone to start and then on Allegra, among other things. Allegra actually prevents the hives from even starting, and it made my life bearable for quite a long time. I eventually became allergic to the Allegra (I have that problem often), and had to stop, but a lot of people use it very successfully. It is a prescription drug, but even though I had no insurance there was help from the manufacturer to pay for it. At the time it saved my life.
After Allegra and Singulair (this drug helps with the itching, but does not prevent hives) were no longer an option, I turned in desperation to acupuncture. It took a long time, but the hives are gone, with no drugs! I still occasionally get a very mild form of the angioedema, but the swellings are tiny (pea sized or smaller) and only last a couple of weeks as opposed to the huge swellings and the months they stayed before. Many insurance companies cover acupuncture. If you don't have insurance it can be expensive. For me, it evened out with the former cost of the many drugs I could no longer take. If you decide to try it, be ready to commit several sessions of treatment, and find a doctor of oriental medicine (DOM), not just a chiropractor who went to a workshop.
Another thing that worked for more immediate relief from the hives was extra strength Benadryl cream or spray. It is an over the counter medicine. Just be careful not to overdose and follow the directions! I keep a tube of the cream in my bag at all times, right next to my inhaler.
I wish you the best of luck in finding what is causing your symptoms. It sounds a lot like a food or food additive, but it could be something else, too! Our bodies can be so strange sometimes!
I have had the same problem my entire life - reoccurring hives on my hips, under my arms, on my shoulders and wrists, swollen lips, et cetera. I finally went to a specialist about it, and after I gave him my description he knew exactly what I was talking about.
According to him, this is a flair up that many people get. It is most often caused by a virus that goes away naturally within 6-9 weeks (sometimes longer if you are unlucky). Other times, it is caused by a shift in hormones, like when I got them at the beginning of puberty. Basically, certain people are more likely to have this reaction to different stimuli. Now, as said, this is only what he told me and I have no medical history at all.
He gave me a cocktail of medicine that made the pharmacy raise their eyes and ask some questions about who told me to take such things at the same time, but it has controlled my symptoms greatly. And that's what it's supposed to do: tame symptoms until the virus goes away or the body adjusts to the hormones.
Here is my schedule:
[A.M.] - 150 mg Zantac, 10 mg Claritin
[P.M.] - 150 mg Zantac, 10 mg Zyrtec
This has almost completely eradicated my hives. In about a month I am meeting back with him to start the process of weening my body off of all of these medications.
To Kimberlass: Thanks so much. I am so glad to hear someone else has the same problems. I can be quietly sitting watching TV and I feel my lip start to swell....I look like Marge Simpson!! It lasts a day or maybe 2 and then just goes away. Hives come and go....had a bad bout a couple of weeks ago that were ALL OVER MY BODY! and so itchy. Took an antihistimine and they were ALL gone in a couple of hours. I have an appt with my DR and it may be hormonal, as you said. I am having menopause symptoms now and it just makes sense.
I am sorry to have taken so long to post this. I posted the original message on this subject and wanted to let anyone who is interested know what happened in my case. I went through more than a year of never knowing whether I was suddenly going to break out in hives and have my lips swell. Various doctors tested me for various maladies including hormone fluctuations, skin patch tests for allergies, gluten intolerance...
I ended up at the (local) Mayo Clinic after my allergist suspected my allergy was due to sunscreen. YES, that was it. The doctor at the Mayo Clinic had me rub a small amount on my stomach for 5 days and on the 5th day, my stomach broke out in little bumps. My allergy is to "Oxybenzone," commonly found in sunscreen. I now use a Titanium Dioxide-based sunscreen. I also now avoid anything with chemicals that begin with "Benz", as I had that "familiar" burning feeling on my neck (like I was going to break out) after I used a cleanser that contained Benzyl Alcohol.
I hope that this may help someone who is experiencing the same symptoms as I was. Thanks you to all who share their experiences in the hopes it will help someone else.
I have had this problem once before several years ago. My lips may swell, or I get hives on my mid section and my legs or arms. Could it be related to detergent, but then why would my lips swell?
Last time I stopped using all kinds of detergents, I stopped chewing Cinnamon gum which is how it started back then. And finally after 6 weeks or so it stopped.
This was about 5 years ago!
I am very allergic to preservatives in general and strawberries and raw spinach.
My instinct tells me it is a preservative, tho. I ate some of those chips called Stackers. They were very salty!
And after that the underside of my top lip became sensitive and swollen. Eventually the top lip swelled up too.
Then I had a hive around my bra strap. I took benadryl before bed and the hives went down but the underside of my lip is still sensitive and I look like I did lip enhancement!
But this time around I have been getting hives and swollen lips for about a month.
I can't take benadryl every night, because I feel drowsy the next day. I am going to try taking zyrtec each night for awhile.
Thanks yall for that suggestion!
Hi I am new to this ! Are any of you with the swollen lips & hives taking any L-theanine which is Green tea (camellia sinenis) in your supplements, multis, or drinking lots of green tea??? I just started getting these episodes of suddenly swollen lips, or hives onmy buttocks, pelvic area or just itching and the only thing new is I've been taking an L-theanine & Gaba supplement the last couple of months. I'm also menopausal too & I read it could be hormonal? I take Benadryl when it comes on and Zyrtec for prevention;
stopping the theanine to see if it stops occuring, will keep you posted, God bless