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Old 12-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
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patrick2011 HB User
hives and chest pain

Hi everyone,

My story is basically;
Perfectly healthy, never a day in the hospital.
Hives and heartburn started same time period, 4 years ago.
Heart burn was so bad the first time I thought it was having a heart attack.
ER and tests say the heart is fine.
Singulair and Zyrtec are my magic combo when hives get bad.
Opemprazol helps with HB. I take 2 when I first feel it coming on.
Nothing else works.
Gastro Dr says no GERD. Upper GI was perfect.
Have tried limiting what I eat; onions, strawberries, etc, gluten, soda, junk, greasy/fried food for periods but symptoms didn't subside.
Tested by 3 different allergy Dr's. No allergies found.
Tested for ulcers, Celiac, CAT scan, the list and tests go on...
I feel like a lab rat.

At any rate please feel free to add to the conversation and/or ask me questions.

Thanks,
Patrick

Last edited by Administrator; 10-10-2012 at 03:03 PM.

 
Old 01-01-2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Dane2 HB User
re: hives and chest pain

You might want to ask your doctor about Hydroxyzine. For hives, Zyrtec was only so-so for me. Hydroxyzine has been the magic bullet, but it does make me drowsy, as it is a hypnotic. This might be good for you, though, as it will not only stop the hives, but also cause your body and mind to relax a bit. Take it right before bed and drink some coffee in the morning, and it is not so bad. It is worth it to me, anyway, to never have to worry about hives

Last edited by Administrator; 10-10-2012 at 03:03 PM.

 
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:43 PM   #3
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patrick2011 HB User
re: hives and chest pain

Hi Dane,

Thanks for the reply. I'll check into the Hydroxyzine. The drowsiness has always been an issue with me. I use Doxepin as my last resort if the Zyrtec & Singular together don't take care of it but I've never had to resort to that combo since finding the Zyrtec-Singular combo usually works so well, especially if I take both of them together. Doxepin knocks me out.

Ideally it would be great to actually figure out what is happening that is causing this instead of applying bandaids. Not having to take any pill(s) would of course be ideal.

I work in an office building environment and am checking into incorrect air supply/exchange in the building. I'm suspicious of it because the hives and heartburn started just after we moved into this building. Its been checked once for mold and came back negative. Next is to check for proper air exchange rates and for any other contaminants that make break-down from the furnishings and finishes. There probably isn't anything wrong with the office air but at least I will know and can cross that off the list. We are in the process of testing. It will be good to know either way.

I also cannot eliminate stress as a contributor/cause. Although I don't feel stressed mentally. I do have chronic back pain. I've been in physical therapy for 6 months straightening my back out. My bad back is due to a bad hip I had since I was a child that I just had replaced 2 years ago. I literally grew up slightly twisted --physically not mentally . Trying to straighten that out will take some time but the physical therapist seems to think we can. I have muscle weakness in some areas and over developed and/or over-compensating in others. Figure I'll give it 2 years and see where we're at then.

The hives and heartburn started at the same time, about 4 years ago. The back has been sore for close to 7 or 8 years now. I am more apt to think the hives, heartburn and stress from pain are related. Besides if its not at least my back will feel better after all this. I hope.

Thanks again for the reply.

patrick

 
Old 02-24-2012, 12:27 PM   #4
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patrick2011 HB User
re: hives and chest pain

Just an update in case anyone is interested...

We've had our building tested for air quality and received numerous Materials Safety Data Sheets on the interior furniture, carpeting, etc and the good news is that I can probably discount any problems coming from the building itself, furnishings or the air inside it. All tests for molds, chemicals and proper air exchange are negative. Although some materials used in the building are so-called "green" materials so there is not a lot of data on their long-term effects on people in a confined space. But for now I'm going to let this possible cause rest.

The heartburn has turned more towards bloating and trapped gas lately. Lower in the body than my heartburn has traditionally been. I have tried my go-to heartburn relief pill, Opemprazol, and even tried Tums, Mylanta & Gas-X but they don't seem to work on this slightly different symptom. I have begun to notice that taking the 1-2 combo of Zyrtec and Singulair seems to help when this symptom appears.

I feel like I'm swollen on the inside and the food I've eaten just stops moving through me when I get this bloating issue so maybe I have hives in my digestive tract that somehow are blocking me up? Weird. But I don't get them in my throat and very, very, rarely on my face at all.

I am continuing to pursue the stress-related causes by trying some meditation but I'm not very far along in that yet. I'm also trying to simply notice when I get stressed by some event and note if any symptoms appear. That and a lot of quiet/meditating breathing techniques. I've also been using Binaural beats for some time now as well.

I do have a referral from my doctor coming in the next few days for Biofeedback to assist me with dealing with stress.

The chronic back pain has been greatly improved of late. I had a set of postural x-rays done to see how much shorter my right leg is from the left. I found I have a right lateral pelvic tilt due to the years with the bad hip. That combined with the improper lift in my shoe was basically giving me a sprain in my lower back. A little more lift in my shoe over the last 45 days has greatly improved that condition. I can sleep on my back again!

With that I've seen the hives and heartburn possibly decrease a small amount but I think it's too early to tell since I've seen them settle down like that in the past only to return in the following weeks.

One last bit- I'm looking into a blood test for PFC's, or Perfluorinated Compounds. Remember the Scotch Guard pollution issue a few years back? Well I believe it may be the same issue. Even though Scotch Guard is no more the same chemicals are used in Teflon pans, food wrappers, etc. More info: http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/pdf/PFCs_FactSheet.pdf

It's an outside shot but elevated levels supposedly cause immune system issues of which chronic urticaria (hives) are one. That coupled with the fact we had some pans at home that USED TO have a Teflon coating. I think we ate what isn't still on the pan over the years and from what I've heard once PFCs enter your body they don't come out on their own. And a enough of a build-up in the body causes the immune system issues.

Again, if anyone would like to add to the discussion it would be appreciated. But if nothing else its good to write down all of this to get it straight in my head. And hopefully it can help lead anyone reading this to a cure for what ales you.

Take care,
Patrick

 
Old 10-01-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
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lfoster21 HB User
Wink re: hives and chest pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick2011 View Post
It's an outside shot but elevated levels supposedly cause immune system issues of which chronic urticaria (hives) are one. That coupled with the fact we had some pans at home that USED TO have a Teflon coating. I think we ate what isn't still on the pan over the years and from what I've heard once PFCs enter your body they don't come out on their own. And a enough of a build-up in the body causes the immune system issues.

Again, if anyone would like to add to the discussion it would be appreciated. But if nothing else its good to write down all of this to get it straight in my head. And hopefully it can help lead anyone reading this to a cure for what ales you.

Take care,
Patrick
Hello, it is ironic that you mentioned the chronic urticaria (hives). I have been reading your previous posts and you could have been writing my story. I have an injured back, which causes me great pain all the time. I have also been dealing with chest pain that feels like an intense heart burn, even if I haven't just eaten. Even sometimes after I drink water. I go back and forth with that and bloating/gas...which in the past, Gas X worked great and now does nothing for it. I also have autoimmune disease, which started in '96. Now, 3 mos. ago, I started breaking out in welts all over and extreme itchiness, then shortly after my face, tongue, neck all swelled up to the point that my eyes were almost completely closed. I had never had an allergic reaction to anything, until then. The Dr. gave me a set of steroids to take and told me to also take Zantac and Benadryl. Steroid took the swelling down the 1st 24 hrs. of taking it. And the Zantac/Benadryl kept the hives at bay. However, as soon as the Steroids were finished, within a few days, I'd be swollen again. The Dr. has given me 3 rounds of steroids so far, and honestly, I am afraid to cont. to take them.

Sorry this is so long, but as I began with how ironic that you were talking about Chronic Hives...I was just about to send you a message and asking if you had considered it yet. I have learned that those who have autoimmune thyroid disorder or Lupus, have a 45% chance of A/I hives, and I have the Thyroid disorder. I am going to have the test done, that you mentioned in your post.

I will keep you posted, if I learn anything more,
Lorie
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #6
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patrick2011 HB User
re: hives and chest pain

Hi lfoster21,

Much has happened since my last entry. I'll try to be brief... but I have a feeling I won't be.

Since my last entry I have started a multi-pronged approach to getting to the bottom of this once and for all if possible. I have started Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is basically bio-feedback while learning how to do stress-relieving mental exercises or meditation if you prefer. I've also very recently started writing about how I feel and anything from my past or present that has bothered me.

I am also eating mostly whole foods and little to no processed, pre-packaged or fast-food. If it’s packaged food I try to make sure it is all organic and/or not a long list of chemicals and preservatives. i.e.: “Natural Flavorings” usually means MSG or similar so I try to stay away from that sort of thing. Sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup is another thing that I’ve cut way back on.

In the last 6 months I've pulled out all the stops and really made a focused effort to keep up with all these things. I can say for sure the CBT has been working the best. I have no more heartburn, gas (well other than the normal- ha) or bloating at all any longer and I'm not taking anything for it either. Not even a single Tums.

Portion control is important too. I don’t eat everything on my plate when I do go out to eat any longer. I never found anything to work for my heartburn so I resorted to the breathing exercises because I accidentally stumbled onto it on my own late one night while I had a bad case of it.

I noticed that when I took deep breathes from my diaphragm my stomach would gurgle a bit. The more I breathed deep the more gurgling and the pressure of the heartburn began to fade. I kept doing this until I could always relive the heartburn with the breathing exercises; it just took some time. Seltzer water and raw celery at the time helped too. Since I started doing the CBT mediation exercises and eating better I haven’t had to resort to this because I haven’t had any heartburn at all since.

My hives are greatly reduced as well in the past few weeks. I am however still taking all the meds for the hives- here is my daily regimen of pills--

First thing in the morning - 5am:
1 Singulair 10mg, 1 Doxepin 25mg, 1 Methocarbamol 500mg

1pm:
1 Doxepin 25mg

4pm-ish:
1 Zyrtec, 1 Methocarbamol

Bedtime 9pm-ish :
1 Doxepin 25mg, 1 Methocarbamol 500mg

I've found this combo works the best for me when the hives were at their worst. The combo of the Doxepin and the Methocarbamol help to relax me. And luckily I don't suffer any side effects from any of these meds. Most of them made me sleepy at first but as my Dr said your body will get used to them and the drowsiness will go away after a couple weeks, which it did.

While the hives are not completely gone they are very manageable now. I don't believe this is from the meds though. I was taking this full med line-up and the hives were moderate to major even with all of them. The therapist advised me to keep taking them though until the hives completely fade away and stay away.

What's changed in the last 2-3 weeks for me has been the severity of the hives. They are small to none at all now. I believe the thing that helped me most has been the CBT meditation exercises. I've been doing them now for about 6 months --religiously. And I can't stress (no pun intended) this enough-- Doing them regularly (daily) is key, especially at first. I do them 3-5 times a day for about 10-30mins each time depending on how I’m feeling and how I’m responding to them.

If I don’t feel like I’m making enough of an effort I reset my intention and keep on going. Or if it feels really good I keep going sometimes as well. At first I fell asleep a lot and the therapist told me that’s ok you probably needed the sleep, so don’t beat yourself up over it if you do, just keep going and trying. Now one of my intentions is to NOT fall asleep until I’ve become relaxed and so I don’t and it works! Getting into this relaxed state and then falling asleep makes for some really good sleep!

Being able to focus my concentration inward into the parts of my body and basically take an inventory of how I'm feeling gets more attuned the more I do it. The more I do the CBT exercises the more little ‘ahh-ha’ moments I have had regarding exactly how I’m feeling on the inside at that time. Hindsight being 20/20 It’s a bit surprising to me how this is all going on literally right underneath (behind) my nose and I’ve never stopped to consider it before.

Before starting the CBT I never thought of myself to have a stressed out personality. And I've never thought of myself as a "new age, oomm meditation, health food, hugging a tree" kinda guy, but after doing these exercises for 6 months now, when I sit down to do an exercise I can really tell my body is screaming for attention. When I can feel my pulse pounding or racing I know this is trouble.

I'm sorry if I'm all over the place here but this is a little difficult to explain as I have only just started to unravel what the heck is going on and this is the first time I’ve actually sat down and wrote/typed it all out so please bare with me.

Basically what I have found is that my mental state and/or subconscious are causing the hives. Relaxing my mind/body connection and paying attention to how I feel then dealing with it is one of my keys.

As an example, when I'm busy and start getting a back ache I used to try to power through it and finish what I was doing. This just makes me rush more because I’m in pain and I want to get finished so I can sit down and in turn tightens up my back which makes me even more stressed. So I'm learning that I shouldn't do that. I need to make the time to sit down and relax my pain/stress away then finish what I was doing. And the CBT exercises help me do this every single time, as long as that is my "intention" going into it.

The CBT therapist I'm seeing tells me this is "my medicine" and not meant for anyone else so my suggestion to you, or anyone reading this for that matter, would be to go get some bio-feedback and have someone, preferably a trained therapist, teach you the meditation exercises from the beginning.

I really lucked-out and found a place that does both at the same time. And having someone that I have to be accountable to regarding these is another factor to keep me on the straight and narrow.

As far as my participation is concerned the bio-feedback does not figure into it very much with what I'm doing. It’s just a little wire strapped to my middle finger that reads my temperature, nothing more. The therapist watches my temp while we run through an exercise on each visit. She can tell if I raise my temp in my hand/finger that I am circulating more blood into that extremity, thus reducing the amount of blood in the rest of the body.

If I remember right she told me when the body is stressed it tends to lower the circulation in the extremities thus lowering the temperature there as well. The exercise she has me do gets the blood moving plus it helps give me something to focus my mind on, which is probably the point of it anyway.
An example of one of my early CBT exercises would be-- Start with going someplace quiet & comfortable, where the chances I will be bothered are minimized. Then I get into a comfortable position. Next I just pay attention to my breathing. Breathing through my nose, in and out. Breathe from the belly. Moderately deep. Easy. Slow. Quiet. In & out... Focusing my mind inward. Where do I feel my breath most? Concentrate there. Keep repeating these steps a couple times a day for at least a couple weeks.

Anyway, I could go on and on with the steps she took me through to get where I am 6 months later but they may be different for you. I can tell you I figured out that the breathing like that for 20-30mins at a time relieved my heartburn even before I started the CBT training. Moderate breathing from the belly gets the diaphragm to help move any food you've eaten through the digestive tract and for me when that process stopped that's when I got heartburn. It also helps to relax the gut which stopped my heartburn. 20-30mins of breathing like that may seem like a long time but what else was I going to do during that time? And it won’t hurt to try it out so I figured what the heck.

I started all these things after I got nowhere with my regular doctors. As I said before the key to doing any of this and/or whatever works for you is consistency and intention. Stick with it. What do you want out of it? I did this thinking, well none of any of this can hurt me, unlike taking yet another pill could, and I just might come out better than I was before or better yet finally find some relief. I'm finding both and it is very satisfying!

I still have a ways to go but I'm closer than ever to figuring all this out.

I know I've babbled on for quite a bit here (I think I set a record!) so I’ll stop now. Feel free to post back comments or questions and I will be more than happy to answer.

Good luck!
Pat

Last edited by moderator2; 10-01-2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: please do not post a commercial website for any reason

 
Old 10-01-2012, 03:23 PM   #7
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patrick2011 HB User
re: hives and chest pain

Also, regarding the blood tests for the PFC's, etc... My primary care doc couldn't find anyone locally that did these type of blood tests so I kind of just put it off. With my recent breakthrough I probably will not pursue them any further either. I did get new pans without the Teflon coating though.

 
Old 10-10-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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HereToHelp411 HB User
Re: hives and chest pain

There is help for some people out there, look into Tension myositis syndrome I hope you find relief from what ailes you. I know I am thanks to this.

 
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