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    Old 02-07-2005, 07:37 PM   #1
    KristyH
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    Hives

    Hello

    I am a thirty year old woman who has been suffering with hives since October and I am completely frustrated. I have evaluated my diet, eliminated products to determine what could be the cause. Recently, the hives have been occuring almost daily and they occur on different parts of my body in small clusters. Since I started the food journal, I realized that there is nothing I consume daily that would be the cause. I am currently undergoing blood and stool samples (the doctor is concerned because I traveled through Mexico and got really sick 5 years ago).

    So, now the culprits may be: birth control, which I took daily (until last week). I suspect it may be the birth control because I was switched to a generic brand in September and then to another form in December (low estrogen). I also have a dog and cat, which never bothered me before. I quit a very stressful job in October, (and although stress occurs daily) I am not sure that the hives are due to stress. I am also doing a super clean of the house just in case it is mold or dust mites.

    I am taking allergy relief medication with loratadine and it seems to quell the hives, though I notice that small little hives still appear.

    Does anyone have any experience or advice related to diagnosing hives? I am so frustrated and would appreciate any thoughts on this matter.

    Last edited by KristyH; 02-07-2005 at 08:26 PM.

     
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    Old 02-07-2005, 09:18 PM   #2
    sneezydiva
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    Re: Hives

    I don't have much experience with hives, but I would suspect either your birth control or your house. Since you quit the job, I would assume you are spending more time at home, and it might be something in the house that is bothering you. You might try getting a high efficiency furnace filter and see if it helps you.

     
    Old 02-08-2005, 08:06 AM   #3
    HAIRDOER
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    Re: Hives

    Hello Kristy, sorry you have joined us in this battle. I have had hives ( delayed pressure urticaria, chronic idiopathic and angioedema) for over three years now. I have tried it all too. Stopped birth control, and taken around 18 different meds. Antihistimines don't help at all either. I am on another more dangerous medicine now called Neoral. It is a immunosuppresant.
    Your best bet for answers on here might be to do a search on this board. Search....hives, urticaria or you can click on my user name and then scroll down to view all posts by me. There are some very long threads on here and you will read all kinds of things from people using natural treatments, accupunture, enzymes, and will power. The Drs are clueless as to how this affects our lives and for me puts all fun to a screaching halt. Who wants to wear a swim suit or shorts when you are covered in wealts.
    My next step if this medicine does not help is to go visit the Mayo clinic. Sorry to not have better news for ya but you are not alone. I have spent countless hours doing research and have a nice thick notebook to show for it but there is still hope out there somewhere. So do the search and get busy reading. Knowledge is power. Hopefully you battle won't be as long as mine.

    Last edited by HAIRDOER; 02-08-2005 at 08:14 AM.

     
    Old 02-08-2005, 08:32 AM   #4
    Lostdog
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    Re: Hives

    My daughter (9yo) has been experiencing hives her entire life & they have gotten much worse over the past year.Most chronic hives are NOT caused by allergies and you would have likely detected a culprit by now if it were allergies.Some people are "sensitive" and prone to hives.Be sure to check with a dr. though hives can signify, in rare cases, a serious illness(ex. autoimmune disease).Or in most cases they can just be frustrating but virtually harmless.See an allergy dr. & have blood work done & a new antihistimine may be necessary.Loratidine(claritin) did not help my daughters & she was prescribed zyrtec.My daughter believes she is reactive to her "fuzzy" Pj's and although its not an allergy her body may just be "sensitive " to the material.So no more fuzzy Pjs.Good Luck to you.

     
    Old 02-08-2005, 08:39 AM   #5
    KristyH
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    Re: Hives

    Thank you all so much. I do feel very isolated in this experience and have plagued myself with too much information from the internet, which makes me miserable and suspicious about anything I come into contact with. I appreciate your help and look forward to someday all of us living hive free!

     
    Old 02-09-2005, 07:53 AM   #6
    genster
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    Re: Hives

    Hi Kristy - sorry to hear you have joined our itchy & scratchy club. Membership does not have its rewards for this one!! I have had hives for over two years now, without finding the cause or the cure. I have found that using regular doses of antihistamines - such as reactine or claratin - along with a stronger antihistamine - hydroxazine, prescribed - and a drug called ranitadine - I don't rmember the brand name, it is used for stomach problems, but it also acts as an H2 inhibitor (I hope I have all this correct), which means a long-acting antihistamine- has helped somewhat. The only thing I have found to get rid of the really severe outbreaks is a course of treatment with prednisone, which only works while I am on the drug. Since the benefits I derive from this only exsist at dosages of 40 mg or higher, I haven't used this option much. As you may or may not be aware (not knowing your medical history), prednisone has all kinds of lousy side effects and should not be taken unless there is no other option. It is a nasty drug, but it will get rid of the hives - along with bone mass. Good luck with the search, and keep posting. I have found the posts here to be of great help, as only those of us who are in this boat truly understand the frustrations we have to deal with. Hopefuly one day we will all find out how to stop the hives completely.

     
    Old 02-09-2005, 12:43 PM   #7
    ahimsa
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    Re: Hives

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lostdog
    My daughter (9yo) has been experiencing hives her entire life & they have gotten much worse over the past year.Most chronic hives are NOT caused by allergies and you would have likely detected a culprit by now if it were allergies.Some people are "sensitive" and prone to hives.Be sure to check with a dr. though hives can signify, in rare cases, a serious illness(ex. autoimmune disease).Or in most cases they can just be frustrating but virtually harmless.See an allergy dr. & have blood work done & a new antihistimine may be necessary.Loratidine(claritin) did not help my daughters & she was prescribed zyrtec.My daughter believes she is reactive to her "fuzzy" Pj's and although its not an allergy her body may just be "sensitive " to the material.So no more fuzzy Pjs.Good Luck to you.
    Hi - Regarding the fuzzy PJs, I can relate. When I have hives or am just simply itchy, I don't like to wear anything except cotton and the smoother the better.

    - Kristi

     
    Old 02-09-2005, 01:32 PM   #8
    ahimsa
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    Re: Hives

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KristyH
    Thank you all so much. I do feel very isolated in this experience and have plagued myself with too much information from the internet, which makes me miserable and suspicious about anything I come into contact with. I appreciate your help and look forward to someday all of us living hive free!
    Hi Kristy, I can totally relate to being suspicious about everything. You start to wish you lived in a bubble.

    As some others have posted, for most with chronic urt/ang, it's not due to an allergen. I've spent countless days/hours trying to find my mystery allergen. I have kept a diary for several months recording all foods, skin care products, the weather, my mood, any illness, and even my menstral cycle in hopes of finding a pattern. I have experimented with some elimination diets and continue to do so since they don't hurt anything. But so far nothing has emerged as a possible trigger. It took a long time to accept the idea of my hives/swelling not being due to any allergen. I didn't want to believe my allergist when he told me I was autoimmune and to stop worrying about allergens. But I have finally accepted it, mostly. I am fortunate though that my medications work pretty well.

    Good luck and hang in there.

     
    Old 02-15-2005, 08:50 PM   #9
    jest2n
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    Re: Hives

    Hi Kristi_1

    I was just curious what type of medication you're on for treating your urticaria? I have been suffereing from chronic urticaria for the last 10 years, and nothing seems to work for me. Clarinex seems to do the job well enough for me to live a comfortable life, although i'll still have an occasional outbreak. I think i've tried every anti-histamine in the book. Thanks for any info!

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 11:39 AM   #10
    ahimsa
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    Re: Hives

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jest2n
    Hi Kristi_1

    I was just curious what type of medication you're on for treating your urticaria? I have been suffereing from chronic urticaria for the last 10 years, and nothing seems to work for me. Clarinex seems to do the job well enough for me to live a comfortable life, although i'll still have an occasional outbreak. I think i've tried every anti-histamine in the book. Thanks for any info!
    Hi - I take Zyrtec and Pepcid every day no matter what. It seems to work well for me, though there are many others on this board who haven't been so lucky. I also have taken Benedryl in addition to the Zyrtec and Pepcid if I am flaring badly enough. - Kristi

     
    Old 02-17-2005, 07:24 PM   #11
    KristyH
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    Re: Hives

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by genster
    Hi Kristy - sorry to hear you have joined our itchy & scratchy club. Membership does not have its rewards for this one!! I have had hives for over two years now, without finding the cause or the cure. I have found that using regular doses of antihistamines - such as reactine or claratin - along with a stronger antihistamine - hydroxazine, prescribed - and a drug called ranitadine - I don't rmember the brand name, it is used for stomach problems, but it also acts as an H2 inhibitor (I hope I have all this correct), which means a long-acting antihistamine- has helped somewhat. The only thing I have found to get rid of the really severe outbreaks is a course of treatment with prednisone, which only works while I am on the drug. Since the benefits I derive from this only exsist at dosages of 40 mg or higher, I haven't used this option much. As you may or may not be aware (not knowing your medical history), prednisone has all kinds of lousy side effects and should not be taken unless there is no other option. It is a nasty drug, but it will get rid of the hives - along with bone mass. Good luck with the search, and keep posting. I have found the posts here to be of great help, as only those of us who are in this boat truly understand the frustrations we have to deal with. Hopefuly one day we will all find out how to stop the hives completely.
    Thanks again all! I am now taking claritin and for the most part it does help with the hives. I still break out a bit.

    I actually had the humilating experience of going to the emergency room in Oakland where I live because I had a tightness in my throat and wheezing (I could still breath, but it feels uncomfortable). I thought my throat was closing (too much information?). I waited in the er for over two hours (and no throat closing), so I thought this may be due to heartburn (I eat spicy foods and smoke (quitting in March)), so I started taking ranitadine, which helps with the eerie feeling. I had no idea that this also assisted with hives, but it has reduce the wheezing and tightness.

    The doctor prescribed prednisone to me, but said that if claritin helps, that I should continue with that treatment, because prednisone is a very intense drug. Does prednisone completely eliminate the hives?

    I got old test results from Kaiser from three years ago, skin tests, which evaluated that I have issues with mites, weeds, grass and histamines. My recent blood work said I had an IgE of 120 (I have no idea what any of this means.) The doctor in all his infinite wisdom diagnosed that yes, I do indeed, have hives.

    I am going to see the allergist on Tuesday and they told me not to take antihistamines, which I am a bit anxious about because I have freaked myself out a bit about being unable to breathe, although as I mentioned the ranitadine does seem to alleviate the symptoms of what I believe to be heartburn.

    I've been a mess as of late. A bit depressed and out of sorts-I try to keep perspective that I really am in good heath, but these symptoms are so bothersome. I really appreciate having a place to discuss this issue and garnering information from candid folks such as yourself. Thank you again for your wisdom and kindess.

    Be well

     
    Old 02-18-2005, 05:35 AM   #12
    genster
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    Re: Hives

    Kristy - good luck withthe allergist. I also have been on ranitadine. It helps with the heartburn feeling because it speeds up the GI tract, also it is an H2 inhibitor (like a slow acting antihistamine), so it will also help with the hives. I don't really understand the technical stuff, but I talked to my friend who is a pharmacist about this all the time. He usually calls me when there is a new drug out, or if he hears of something that may help. Pharmacists can be a great help with this kind of thing, as they are constantly being updated in their drug info. I know waht you mean about getting down & depressed. I think it is partly due to the chronic nature of the problem, and the fact that hives drain you of energy anyway. Plus, when you don't know why it is happening, or how to stop it, and no one who hasn't gone trhough it gets it. SOme days I swear if one more person says "can't they give you anythignfor that?" I will scream. Like the answer is going to be "oh, yeah, they can, but I just don't take it, I enjoy looking like something form a casting call for the creature from the black lagoon, and all the side effects form the useless drugs are so much FUN!" . Like I said, some days are not so good. Prednisone will (usually) get rid of the hives, but only while you are on it. Mine come back when I am on less than 40 mg of prednisone a day. That is a fairly high-end dose, and the side effects for long-term use are horrible. It can also contrbute to your feeling of depression, as it does cause mood swings. How long are you on it for? Remember not to stop cold turkey if you areon it for more than aobut a week - it is not recommended. Don't forget to let us know how the DR.'s appointment goes. Good luck

     
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