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Hives with Hyperthyroid

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Old 08-02-2003, 09:06 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 3
Sqtpy HB User
Question Hives with Hyperthyroid

April of this year I started breaking out in hives when I would go into the sun. I have been seen by an allergist, family doctor and a dermatologist with in a 4 month period. I have what is called solar urticaria. I have been tested for everything under the sun and the only thing that shows up is that I have a hyperthyroid. I am in the process of getting that taking care of...doctors are taking there time on it but I am also on an elimination diet thing also. To see if foods could be causing it. Doesn't seem to be helping. My question is I asked the allergist if the hyperthyroid could be causing it and he says yes, and the endocrinologist says it's rare but so is solar urticaria. I have found a lot of info. on the computer where the thyroid can cause hives, chronic hives also and so on. But would the sun bring it out? I know hives are made worse by the heat. Has any one experienced anything like this. Please write back if so or if you know of a similar situation. I would greatly appreciate it.

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Old 04-01-2004, 06:21 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Spartanburg SC
Posts: 2
emtinsc HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

Hi, i have a very similar situation and I believe I could help you! Believe me I understand the itching and all!!! I have been having Chronic Uritcaria for the past 4 months and it is brought on by just about everything, pressure, heat, cold, stress, etc. It is extremely miserable!!!!! Mine started back right before christmas and only was on my inner thighs, well about 1 week later me and my husband were both home sick with the flu, well my case turned up a nasty case of the hives!!! I mean, i was covered from head to toe. Well they told me that i had the flu and had also come into contact with something that was causing me to break out. Well they gave me Rocefen, Visterel, Epinephrine, and something for nausea and sent me home. Told me to take Aveeno baths twice a day and to take 50mg of Diphenhydramine( Benadryl) every 4 hours until it was cleared up. Well the hives disappeared for maybe a week and then they were back full force, and I kept telling my husband that by the way is extremely frustrated with this as well!!!, that my joints were swelling and really hurting along with the urticaria, which after 3 trips to the ER they told me that i needed to see an allergist, well i attempted the whole dermatologist thing first and she told me that i have chronic hives with angioedema (swelling) well this brought on a whole new perspective because she told me that it couldn't be fixed, just managed. Well after telling her that by this time 50 mg of benadryl was not helping and i could by tic-tacs cheaper, she put me on Clarinex and Zyrtec, both twice a day, well that worked for about 2 weeks and i was back in the same boat I was in to begin with. Well with 3 more ER visits to treat the urticaria and by this time my lips were begining to swell as well they had already had me on my 3 round of prednisone in which i have gained like 40 lbs on. I finally broke down and made an appointment with an allergist. Well i was told by the office through mail that i had to stop taking any antihistamine and all prednisone 4 days prior to my visit, well on the 2nd day off of all the antihistamines which weren't working well but at least they provided some kind of relief, I was at my neices 4th birthday party when my hives started and then my lips swoll and then the difficulty breathing began. We were at McDonalds so you can imagine the looks I was getting. Hives were all over me, in my hair, ears, eyelids, between my fingers,toes, soles of my feet, palms of my hands and not to mention the regular ones on my arms, legs, back, stomach and chest. Well my husband is a paramedic and decided that this couldn't wait until we got to the hospital, that I needed help now!!! So we wound up taking an ambulance ride to the hospital, in which im an EMT also so this was my first experience with actually being a patient and not the caretaker. Well they gave me .4mg epinephrine Subcutaneous and then 50 mg Benadryl I.V. which really only made me sleepy. By this time i'm red from hives, joints hurting, lips swollen, and now im going to get stuck with more needles. Well at the hospital they decided that i needed to be seen by the hospitalist, in which he ordered like 25 different blood tests and decided to admit me for the duration of the time before my allergy appointment so that they could keep me off the anthistamines so we could do allergy testing. Well they gave me I.V. fluids and then had me on 5 mg of Valium and 2mg of Ativan every 4 hours in hopes that it would keep my mind off the itching, needless to say this was like peeing in the ocean. Nothing was going to stop me from worrying about this. Well after 2 days in the hospital they sent me home the day before my appointment. Well my allergist told me that there was obviously something that I was coming in contact with 24/7 that was causing the urticaria and angioedema. Well she put me on my 4 round of predinsone and told me that there was no way that i could stay off the antihistamines long enough to do allergy testing, so then i was taking 50 mg of prednisone 1 a day and then decreased the mg every week until finished, plus 180 mg of Allegra 2 a day and then 25 mg of Zyrtec at bedtime. Well this worked great until about 3 weeks later, my body had become immune to all the antihistamines and was bound and determined to show up!!! So there was the hives again. Well I again went to the ER for temporary relief b/c believe me they had no clue what was going on and were frankly tired of seeing me. So they did the usual .4mg Epi and 50mg of Benadryl and sent me home. Well while there one of the nurses told me that his wife had recently went through the same thing and brought her to talk to me. Well she told me that she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and that her hives were just something that went along with the thyroid problem. Kind of like if you have 1 autoimmune problem then usually you have several, well she informed me that i should have my thyroid checked and gave me the card of a specialist down in MUSC, which is the medical university of Charleston SC. His name is Dr Allen Kaplan.He is a specialist in Urticaria, he wrote the book on it. He is a life saver!!! We went to my allergist after doing some research on him and the thyroid thing and told her that we wanted a referal to see him. She told me she thought that that would be the best thing. Well we made an appointment and a few weeks later me and my husband packed up and made the 3 and 1/2 hour drive to see him, in which getting an appointment was not easy as he sees patients from all over the world. So you can't choose your appointment time most of the time. Well, i took every medication i had been prescribed since the beginning which consisted of about 30 including the standing prescription of Ativan and Valium. Well the Dr. came in and talked to me and examined the sites in which i was most vulnerable to the hives, which was my arms and legs and noted no bruising so that meant that they weren't going very deep into my skin yet. Well he ordered more tests and looked at the blood work that I brought with me from home that said that my thyroid was all out of whack. He told me that it seemed to be more hyper than anything and that it was actually antigens attacking my thyroid and causing my immune system to go into superdrive, which explains the urticaria. He did like 75 different allergy tests and all were negative and then did a facial x-ray. After about 2 hours of testing, we went to his office where we had a consultation and made a game plan as to how to control this situation. He was pretty sure at this point and time that it was Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and stated the unfortunate news is that it is something that can't be cured but should eventually go away with time. He gave me a time frame of 4 months to 8 years. Yep 8 years. He told me that we were just going to try and control it as much as possible, he said that i was more than likely going to still break out but just to take it as much as i could. He told me that he didn't like me being on the prednisone so after the pack he prescribed, no more!!! Well, i am currently on 30 mg of predinsone and decreasing every few days, Accolate 2 a day, Nasonex 2 sprays in each nostril a day ( nasal spray) Advair 100/50 2 puffs a day, ( i also have seasonal allergies and asthma), Hydroxyzine 50mg 5 a day, Allegra 180mg 1 a day. Well all seems to be well, i still break out but at least I know what the deal is, the only problem that i have developed here lately is my hives are bruising now. Well this doctor is the type that you can call him directly and speak to him not his nurses. Well i talked to him day before yesterday and he told me that it sounds like i need to be seen sooner than my initial follow up appointment late April, not only are the hives bruising but they are getting back to the point of being everywhere!! So he told me that he would see me on the 12th instead of the 26th. And he told me that they are gonna do some more bloodwork, some more allergy testing and a skin biopsy so he can see just how deep these hives are going. He also informed me that he had a drug called Cyclosporin, which is an anti-rejection drug for transplant Patients, that seems to help keep the urticaria in Hashimoto's Patients to a minimal. If this doesn't work then he said he has a whole other bag of tricks to try, so i'm mostly guessing what is good for some isn't always good for all. So if your problems are consistent and your thyroid is messed up then maybe you should look into contacting this doctor. He is the only one of his type, he has colleagues but He himself is THE doctor to see. If you would like to know more about his centers, just look up the National Allergy and Asthma Centers of Charleston,SC. Also if you type in Dr. Allen Kaplan in your computer it should give you a site that is kind of his autobiograhphy. He is a very nice man and very thourough, he only likes to see Patients 2 to 3 times and then follow up over the phone and with your regular allergist. Hope this helps and I really would encourage you to give it a shot. I know what it is like to suffer with this and i still do, but knowing that you aren't the only one is kind of comforting. You could try asking you regular doctor to give you a referal to him b/c that is usually the best way to get the earliest appointment and to make insurance cover it. I know he may seem like a long way away, or maybe not, but for your health, no where is too far. Good luck and best wishes.

Old 08-24-2007, 08:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 7
jen718 HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

Reading this, I am almost in tears. I have been through the exact same ordeal, I've been on all of the same drugs you have for the most part, I just stopped Prednisone because I've been on it since May, which is dangerous. I just wanted to thank you for your post. Whatever happened after you went to see Dr. Kaplan the 2nd and third time? I have my first appointment with him next week, and am praying that he can figure out what is wrong with me. I think I am getting bruising (Does this mean, the place where the hive was the day before, is all purple and then goes away?)
I know you posted this 3 years ago, but if you could send me an update on what you found out, I'd really appreciate it. I've been dealing with horrible head to toe, hives, fingers and lips swelling since January, and I'm so worried, could it be stress? my job? my relationship? what is wrong with me!? My aunt was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's a few months ago, I asked my allergist to test me for it, but all of my various rounds of blood work have come back negative. I've had the chest x ray, no face x ray yet. Hope that you're feeling better, all these years later - and that the hives are just a bad memory.

Old 09-10-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New York
Posts: 7
jen718 HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

Hi again,

I just got back from Dr. Kaplan in South Carolina, and what he found out is interesting. It looks like I am having an immune reaction. I've had hives all over for 7 months now and after doing a test where he took a sample of my blood, put it in a centrifuge to separate out the serum - and reinjecting me under the skin with my own serum - I got a hive from my own blood! He told me that there are 2 kinds of hives, 40% of people have hives in response to an immune reaction and 60% ideopathic hives (hives, they just don't have an answer for.) It appears that I am in the 40% bracket.

The good news is, I can stop worrying that I have an allergy to my cat, detergent, shampoo, mold, clothes, etc, and it's not stress. Apparently, there is nothing I can do to aid the itching topically, but he put me on a combination of 200mg Benedryl (50mg 4xday), Zyflow (2x/day) and Allegra (1x/day.)

I am still having hives, but they are much more under control. He said that all cases of hives do eventually go away, most people lose the hives in a year, another chunk in 2 years, and a very rare occurrence keeps them going for up to 5 years in some patients.

He said the best thing that you can do, is just try (as hard as it can be) to not focus on the hives, go about your daily life and try not pay attention to them. The second you scratch one, or start getting depressed about them - that's when you have the real problems. If you can forget that they're there - it will make it much easier for you to get through. He said that the good news is, (for me at least) the hives are not a sign of something more serious in my system - they will not get much worse than they already are, and above all else - it's not my fault. I'm not causing the hives to come out because of anything I'm doing (eating, breathing) or not doing.

He also told me, of course, since you're dealing with the hives you want to try and find all of the information you can get out there to see if you can be cured. But, since the cause of hives is very different from person to person (exersize enduced, stress, food allergy, etc. etc ) He said, don't get too hysterical in reading everything you can online and trying to self diagnose. He said that many cases of hives he sees - actually weren't even hives at all and were another condition. So, see all the specialists you can in your area, or take the trip to Charleston to see Kaplan right away. He's really knowledgable and will spend hours with you, helping you figure out what caused them - and trying to dispel some of the myths about hives so you can rest easier. My appointment lasted a full 4 hours. (And it was covered under my health insurance, which was awesome!)

It's a sigh of relief, of course it sucks to think I might still have hives for another 6 months to a few years, but knowing its not more serious, makes me feel a lot better. Good luck everyone in trying to find out your cause.

Don't waste time either, go to see Kaplan as soon as you can. My doctor had me on a zillion different things, all of which were causing terrible side effects and drowsiness, but nothing was working. I was going crazy thinking that I had to be doing something wrong. Kaplan is the expert, and he sees all kinds of cases, he's been doing the hive research for nearly 40 years and has seen it all. It was well worth the trip down there, and Charleston is actually a really cute city, so it wasn't all bad.

Good luck!

Old 09-10-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Medfield, MA
Posts: 75
Petra1979 HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

Wow, I have been suffering (and I mean SUFFERING) from chronic urticaria for 14 years, with absolutely NO CLUE why. My doctor always said they almost never knew what caused it and I have been taking a daily antihistimine every day ever since. When I read your post, I looked it up and found thousands of references to hives and thyroid problems (hyper and hypo). I am now wondering if that is why I have had this all these years.

Thank you for your post, I wasn't even going to mention this at my endo. appt but now it will be top on my list!!!!

Thank you thank you

Old 09-11-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: PA USA
Posts: 42
unruly_hen HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

I've had hives for the past 2 months and I'm hypo! I did track it to my meds. I'm on Armour Thyroid (45mg). I was on 30 mg (for about 6 months). My new dr raised it to 45 by giving me a prescription for 15 mg to take along with the 30. Just as soon as I started taking the 15, I broke out in hives. I refilled and the hives went away for a few days. They come and go and I think it's because the 15 mg is from a different batch as the 30. When I go see the dr next week, I'm going to ask her about it. I will be going to a higher dose, so I'll be able to see if it was actually the 15 mg.
Dealing with this health problem is so frustrating!

Old 12-15-2007, 01:26 AM   #7
Dawn NM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Albuquerque, NM, bernillio
Posts: 2
Dawn NM HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

I was told by my Endocrynologist that sensetive people (allergies) and able to take brand name thyroid meds, but the generic brand have a lot of funky fillery that a lot of people can be allergict to. Some people can tolerate small amounts of allergins, but larger amts can cause reactions (hives). Hope this helped.

Old 12-15-2007, 01:37 AM   #8
Dawn NM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Albuquerque, NM, bernillio
Posts: 2
Dawn NM HB User
Re: Hives with Hyperthyroid

I went through the same ordeal, spent $1,000.00 in 2 months on co-pays and funky numerous double dose antihistamines. The Allergy MD kept giving me prednisone, Since I'm a type 1 diabetic I couldn't get my blood sugar below 300, and swelled up like a pumpkin. the last time I refused the prednisone and went to Endocrynology MD, he referred me to Dermatology. Dermatology looked up all the info on the internet (your MD must be posting his studies on line now) and thank GOD for the internet. I am now taking cyclosporin. The reason it works is because the antibodies to my thyroid are >1000 (hashimotoes thyroiditis) thhis makes my body hypersensetive (as was stated above). Cyclosporin is an an anti-rejection med (knocks down the immune system). Now I have to be carefull with wounds and viruses since I can't fight them off or heal as well as normal and I work in a hospital. The hives went away in 48 hours!!!!! But lots of leg swelling.

Last edited by Dawn NM; 12-15-2007 at 01:41 AM. Reason: miss spelling

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