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    Old 11-04-2005, 07:17 AM   #1
    Mandarra
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    Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    Hi, I'm at my wits ends. I have been on antihistamines for 6 weeks now, every time I try and get off them, I break out big time. I have also had lip swelling. This has come on out of the blue and I'm wondering now if I have to live with hives all my life, or is this something that happens then goes away. I'm seeing the doctor on the 9th. Do people live on antihistamines to be normal?? Is it just me?? Is there some underlying thing going on? I had a physical in the summer and all blood tests came back normal, even my thyroid.

    Any kind words would be appreciated.
    Mary

     
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    Old 11-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #2
    courtenaynt
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    I've been on a Zyrtec/Singulair/Atarax cocktail for going on four months. All of a sudden, I had the hives and they wouldn't go away. I go to the doctor almost every other week for check ups. They don't know what it is, if/when it'll go away, or what causes it. Horrible. I feel for you. It's miserable. But the Zyrtec definitely keeps it at bay (although if I don't take it...whoa).

     
    Old 11-07-2005, 04:00 PM   #3
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    Hey Court, sorry to hear about your hives, happy to know I'm not alone. Do you get any lip swelling? Did you have allergy testing? I'm going to see about this on Wed. at the doctors, I really don't want to do allergy testing, I'm a total heath anxiety nut, I hate tests and doctors. Do you think that stress can cause hives? I'm very worried about throat swelling. I'm on .5 mg. of Reactine, (antihistamine) and it does the trick, it's great while I'm on it, but can't stop or wham, giant hives. So strange how I can go 48 years with no hives or lip swelling or allergies and then surprise!
    Thank you for responding.
    Mary

     
    Old 11-08-2005, 06:07 AM   #4
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    My dermatologist told me allergy testing for my type of hives was basically a waste of time. I did the food exclusion test, no nuts for a week, no dairy for a week...nothing helped. I don't have the lip swellilng this time, but have in the past with food allergies--this I think is something different. She even said it could be autoimmune; that is, I could be reacting to something in my own blood!! She also said that hives can be exacerbated by stress, so to try not to be so worried about it (Ha!) but that the extreme case I had couldn't be CAUSED solely by stress becuase it was so severe.
    The Zyrtec makes life livable. I'm taking a break from the Singulair to see if I can tolerate it becuase I don't want to be on all these meds all the time. There are lots of people who suffer from this...just look on the boards. It is sad they can't figure it out. One website said that urticaria can disrupt adn interfere with the human experience. It's so true. I long for the days when I just didn't have the freaking hives! Hope they dissapear for you soon. My doctor seems to think it's likely one day I'll wake up, forget to take my medicine, and they won't come back. I can't wait for that day!!

     
    Old 11-12-2005, 10:42 AM   #5
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

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    I cannot believe I found this site - purely by accident. I've read the postings by Mandarra and courtenaynt and can certainly relate to what they're going through. I have suffered with "chronic idiopathic urticaria" since May 2000; that's more than 5 years. I have been to my primary Dr., a Dermatologist,an Infectious Disease Dr. at Stamford Hospital in CT, Allergists, an Allergy Specialist at Yale New Haven Hospital in CT, back & forth again to my primary and the Dermatologist throughout the years, a Homeopathic Dr., now with an Allergy and Immunology Specialist, again at Yale NH Hospital. I too did the food elimination diet - that was a waste. My lips and tongue also swell. I keep a good eye on this in the event I have to run to the Emergency Room. I have been on every antihistimine out there and they don't help. The Drs. have revised the manner in which I take the drugs many times, hoping to find the right combination to stop the hives. Nothing seems to work on me except Prednisone, which I've been taking for close to 5 years. I fought the Dr. who initially wanted to put me on Prednisone but eventually he won. Prednisone is the only drug that stops the itch. Of course, I have suffered from this killer drug. My skin has thinned; I bruise very easily, especially from scratching - all over my body - from my toes to my head and everywhere in between. I scratch so hard that the skin breaks then it takes forever to heal because of the effects of the Prednisone. I've resorted to using a dry loofa (spelling?) pad to scratch with; doesn't break the skin like my nails. Forget the weight gain - I've put on a good 60-70 lbs; not good for a woman who is 5 feet. Could be more than that; afraid to weigh myself because all I do is eat. I am constantly buying new clothes in the event I have a job interview; not easy when one is not working. I've had the skin test for allergies and also the blood test. They've found that I am allergic to many things, i. e. ragweed, trees, dustmites, etc. - all the things almost everyone is allergic to. According to the lab reports thru the years, I'm as healthy as a horse. I've had my thyroid tested and have also been tested for Lupus; thank goodness negative. There are times that all of a sudden I will become itchy and when looking at the site, I notice hives appearing on the skin. I can just sit there, look and wait and within a few minutes, more hives appear. There have been times that it seems like hundreds of them are all over my body but I guess I can get away with "dozens". Many times they appear in clusters. I have been taken off the Prednisone in the past because it is such a damaging drug, but it is not long lasting. While off of it, I suffer tremendously with the itch until I can't stand it any longer and resort to taking the Prednisone. I'm presently taking Prednisone (10 mg twice daily); Allegra (60 mg twice daily; seems to work better than the 180mg 1x per day); Amitriptyline (50 mg 2x); Cimetidine (400 mg 1 x); Atenolol (100mg 1x; for blood pressure that developed when I started on Prednisone);.a diuretic 12.5 mg. 1x - due to the high blood pressure). Dr. just took me off the Zyrtec and put me on either Benadryl or Atarax (4x per day - whichever I have in the house). I have tried more creams, lotions and salves that have been prescribed and OTC. Altho most Drs. don't like their patients taking vitamins, I do take some vitamin supplements, especially Calcium for my bones. A bone density test in 2003 reflected that I had a 4.1% bone loss altho even with that loss, I was still in the good range. Hate to see where I'm at now. I could start my own pharmacy. As you know, some of these medications are so expensive, especially for me since I've been unemployed for 2 1/2 years and do not have prescription drug coverage. There is one thing I did find that helps with the itch (again not long lasting) and it is Gold Bond Medicated Power - in the green can; not the lotion and not the one in the gold/orange can; I've tried both. I don't know what more I can say at this point. I hated telling you how long I've had this condition because it is so depressing. I've thought about accupuncture but I'm told that my case is so severe it is doubtful if accupuncture would help. The Drs. admit they don't know much about the hives and try to help but at the end of the day, they go home and forget about us until we call again. Now that I've found this site, I'll be looking for more postings about the hives. Mary P.

     
    Old 11-12-2005, 03:37 PM   #6
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    OMG Mary, you poor thing, so sorry about your hives. I can't imagine what you go through, I'm freaking and it's only been about a month and a half. In my case I take Reactine (anithistamine) and it makes me normal, the hives don't appear when I'm on it, if I get off it they appear but that's not what worries me, the lip swelling is the scary thing. It hasn't affected my throat but I'm afraid it will. I'm seeing an allergist for the first time on the 24th, I was hoping he could test me and see what I'm reacting to so that I can stop eating it or whatever. I was hoping this was only temporary, I can't believe some people get these hives non stop. Also, my hives burn more than they itch, and they are giant sized.
    Mary

     
    Old 11-13-2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    11-12-2005, 06:37 PM
    Mandarra
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    -----------------------------------------------------------------HI MARY -

    I THOUGHT I WAS UNIQUE, HAVING THEM FOR SO MANY YEARS BUT AS I READ ON, I FOUND POSTINGS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THEM FOR 13 TO 20 YEARS. I WILL HAVE TO LOOK INTO REACTINE ON THE INTERNET THEN SPEAK WITH MY DR. YOU'RE LUCKY YOUR DR. FOUND SOMETHING THAT WORKS FOR YOU. IT IS SCARY BUT JUST LET SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU KNOW YOUR CONCERNS IN THE EVENT SOMETHING DRASTIC HAPPENS. I DON'T ANTICIPATE ANYTHING WILL BUT IT'S ALWAYS GOOD TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE. (I'm seeing an allergist for the first time on the 24th, I was hoping he could test me and see what I'm reacting to so that I can stop eating it or whatever). I WISH IT WAS THAT EASY. I SUGGEST YOU EDUCATE YOURSELF AND GO IN WITH A LIST OF QUESTIONS AND BE SURE YOU GET ANSWERS TO THEM AND WRITE THEM DOWN. YOU HAVE TO BE FORCEFUL WHEN SPEAKING WITH HIM; NOT RUDE BUT LET HIM KNOW HOW CONCERNED AND SCARED YOU ARE. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, FIGHT HIM WHEN HE WANTS TO PUT YOU ON PREDNISONE. TRUST ME, IT IS A KILLER DRUG. I HATE TO LEARN HOW IT HAS AFFECTED MY SYSTEM. IF YOU DON'T ASK QUESTIONS, THE DR. WILL JUST CONSIDER YOU ANOTHER PATIENT WHO HAS HIVES AND TREAT YOU AS HE DOES ALL OTHERS. YOU DON'T WANT THAT; YOU WANT TO KNOW HIS PLAN, HIS TREATMENT, PROGNOSIS AND DIAGNOSIS. HE'LL PROBABLY TELL YOU THAT "NOT MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT THE HIVES AND WE'LL SEE AS WE GO ALONG". I TREATED WITH ALLERGISTS FOR 11 MONTHS UNTIL THEY TOLD ME THEY COULDN'T DO ANYTHING MORE FOR ME. THIS WAS AFTER THEY DID THE SKIN TEST AND LAB WORK AND FOUND WHAT I AM ALLERGIC TO. I WOULD GO IN TWICE A WEEK FOR THEM TO DO A "DRIP & WIPE" PROCEDURE. THEY WOULD DROP ONE OF THE ALLERGENS ONTO MY SKIN, WAIT A FEW SECONDS AND THEN WIPE IT AWAY. SOMETIMES THE ALLERGEN WAS DUST MITES, ANOTHER TIME MOLD, ANOTHER TIME RAGWEED, AND SO FORTH. THIS WAS TO SEE IF I HAD A REACTION ON THE AREA TO THE SPECIFIC ALLERGEN AFTER I HAD GONE HOME. MOST TIMES NOTHING HAPPENED SO THEY CONTINUED THIS PHASE FOR MANY MONTHS, HOPING TO FIND THE RIGHT ALLERGEN SO THEY COULD GIVE ME THE APPROPRIATE SHOT (WHICH NEVER HAPPENED). AT THAT TIME, I HAD INSURANCE SO I DIDN'T MIND GOING IN TWICE A WEEK AT A $15 CO-PAY. THEN I SWITCHED TO ONCE A WK. WHEN THE CO-PAY BECAME $35 PER VISIT. YOUR ALLERGIST WILL SUGGEST THAT YOU REMOVE ALL CARPETING FROM YOUR HOME (WHICH I DID A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO - A HECK OF A MESS WITH HAVING THE FLOORS SANDED AND ANOTHER EXPENSE) AND TO USE AN AIR CLEANER/PURIFIER (I HAVE 5 TABLE TOP AIR CLEANERS JUST ON MY FIRST FLOOR). IF YOU EVENTUALLY INVEST IN ONE, MAYBE ONE LARGE ONE WOULD DO FOR YOU. IT'S REALLY AN EXPENSE TO RUN, ELECTRICITY WISE IF NOT ENERGY EFFICIENT AND THE REPLACEMENT FILTERS AREN'T CHEAP. HE WILL ALSO SUGGEST THAT YOU BUY ALLERGEN COVERS FOR DUST MITES FOR YOUR MATTRESS, BOX SPRING AND PILLOWS AND MAYBE EVEN BUY NEW PILLOWS (I DID ALL OF IT). SURE, THEY PICK UP A LOT AND I HAVE TO CLEAN THEM SO OFTEN WHICH IS A PAIN, BUT I WONDER HOW MUCH THEY ACTUALLY HELP. I'M STILL SUFFERING WITH HIVES AS I WAS BEFORE I WENT THRU THIS EXPENSE (JUST UNDER $300). A FRIEND ALSO SUFFERS FROM HIVES, ALTHO NOT TO MY DEGREE. HER ALLERGIST HAD HER TAKING ALLERGY SHOTS FOR 9 YEARS AND WHEN HE SOLD HIS PRACTICE, THE NEW DR. TOLD HER SHE DIDN'T NEED THE SHOTS. FOR THE PAST YEAR SHE'S BEEN HARPING ON ME ABOUT GETTING THE DR. TO GIVE ME ALLERGY SHOTS. GOES TO SHOW THE DRS. REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING. WITH SO MANY OF US SUFFERING WITH THEM, THERE SHOULD BE MORE RESEARCH ON HIVES. I'VE READ SO MUCH FROM THE INTERNET BUT ALL THE SITES SAY THE SAME THING....."NO CURE; WILL STOP ON ITS OWN". WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY TO FIND A DR. WHO SUFFERS FROM THE HIVES HIM/HER SELF, THEN THERE WOULD BE SOME ACTION TAKEN. YOU COULD BE ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES AND ONLY HAVE THEM ON A TEMP. BASIS - I HOPE SO. (Also, my hives burn more than they itch, and they are giant sized). MINE BURN AFTER I'VE SCRATCHED THEM AND THEY BECOME OPEN. I HAVE SCRATCHED MY ARMS SO BADLY THAT I'VE BROKEN BLOOD VESSELS AND HAVE SUCH HUGE BRUISES ON MY ARMS THAT PEOPLE MIGHT WONDER IF I'M BEING ABUSED. THIS IS WHEN I DECIDED TO USE THE LOOFA PAD TO SCRATCH WITH. I KNOW ABOUT GIANT SIZED. ALSO, WHEN I TOUCH THEM, THEY ARE HOT TO THE TOUCH. I'VE MENTIONED THIS TO THE DR. BUT HE DIDN'T SEEM TO THINK TOO MUCH OF IT. I BET IT IS SIGNIFICANT OF SOMETHING AND THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO ADDRESS IT. UNTIL RECENTLY I WAS FIGHTING THE FACT THAT I HAVE TO TAKE THE PREDNISONE ON A REGULAR/STEADY BASIS. NOW, THE ONLY WAY I CAN FUNCTION NORMALLY IS TO BE ON A STEADY REGIMIN - TAKING ONE EVERY 12 HRS. OR SO, WHICH IS WHAT I'VE BEEN DOING FOR THE PAST WEEK AND ALTHO I CONTINUE TO BREAK OUT SOME, IT'S TOLERABLE. IF I INCREASE THE DOSAGE I PROBABLY WOULDN'T EVEN GET THEM. THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO AVOID. THE MORE PREDNISONE I TAKE, THE MORE WEIGHT I PUT ON AND THE MORE BLOATED I BECOME. I MAKE SURE I HAVE PREDNISONE WITH ME WHEN I GO OUT. SOMETIMES WHEN I TAKE IT, IT DOESN'T KICK IN FOR A FEW HOURS. I THINK I'M GETTING IMMUNE TO IT. ALTHO I HAVEN'T TALKED WITH THE DR. ABOUT IT, THERE IS TALK ABOUT CARRYING AN "EPI PEN" TO USE IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY. I'VE LOOKED INTO THIS BUT ONE THING THAT DISUADES BE ABOUT THAT IS, AS I'VE READ ON THE INTERNET, THE PEN CONTAINS SULFITES. I DON'T EVEN THINK THE DRS. KNOW THIS. WELL, ANOTHER SUBJECT; SULFITES CAN CAUSE HIVES AND SO MUCH OF OUR FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAIN SULFITES. READ LABELS AND YOU'LL SEE. ANOTHER FRIEND STAYS AWAY FROM SOY. IT'S SAID THAT BREAD ALSO CONTAINS SULFITES. SOME DRS. SAY TO STAY AWAY FROM WHITE BREAD (THE BLEACHED FLOUR); OTHERS SAY WHEAT IS NO GOOD FOR US. WHO ARE WE TO BELIEVE WHEN "THEY" DON'T KNOW ALL THAT MUCH ABOUT IT. I JUST REMEMBERED SOMETHING ELSE.....THE INSECT REPELLANT SPRAY, "OFF", SOMETIMES CONTROLS THE ITCH. IT'S COMPARABLE TO THE BENADRYL SPRAY, MAYBE A LITTLE BETTER. SORRY FOR THE "NOVEL" BUT WHEN I GET STARTED, THERE'S NO STOPPING ME. MARY P.

     
    Old 11-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #8
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    Mary, thank you so much for taking the time to give us all the information that you have learned. So, to put it in a nut shell, the doctors don't know why we get hives, they don't have a cure only a temporary fix, and even if they tell us what we are allergic to, that might not be what's causing the hives. Sounds grim to me. I am thinking that since I am 48 and have never had hives before or have never known of anything I'm allergic to, I'm going to self diagnose and say that mine could be caused by my hormone changes and stress. It is possible that I am suddenly allergic to something that I have been previously able to tolerate, it's happened I'm sure. I do hope mine and yours and everyone else who suffers disappear, that happens also. I don't see that the allergist will put me on prednisone, why would he when the Reactine does the job for me. I'm wondering if mine don't go away if it's safe to stay on 5mg every 24 hours indefinately. That is one question I'll ask. I really don't want to go through the testing if they can't help me anyway.
    Hugs,
    Mary

     
    Old 11-14-2005, 04:15 AM   #9
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    Hi Mary - Well, that has been my experience with Drs.....they come to a standstill; they just didn't know what else to for me. I can honestly say that a couple of them were really concerned for me and felt badly that they couldn't help me. The Allergists were baffled. It's very possible that it could be related to hormones. As to stress, that too is a killer. That is the one thing that Drs. fall back on. When my hives started, my life was full of stress. My boss of over 20 years was retiring, leaving me to look for a job and I was in the process of having to place my Mom in a nursing home, thereby filling out applications and taking tours of the homes. After that, life became even more stressfull. At one point I thought it possible that stress was causing my breakout of hives altho outwardly no one could tell if I was upset or nervous. I couldn't tell myself; I just handled things as they came along. So the Dr. and I discussed my taking Paxil, Xanax, etc. I tried it for a while; no change so I stopped taking it. You're right about the Dr. not putting you on Prednisone; I forgot that you take Reactine and it works for you. If it's safe to be taken on a daily basis, I'd be thrilled, but what could the side affects be long term. I did research it online and will mention it to my Dr. on my next visit. We have tried so many different meds that I would think he'd try this one too if he felt it might help. I would still have the testing done; both the skin test and the blood work. Neither one hurt so if you're covered by insurance, go for it. It just may reflect an allergy that you'll be able to do something about. As you said, your hives could be the result of something that you recently had a reaction to and you may outgrow it. If we don't "talk" before, let me know how you make out on your visit to the Dr. on the 24th. Take care. Mary P.

     
    Old 11-14-2005, 06:53 AM   #10
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    Ok Mary, I'll post on the 24th and let you know. I am in Canada so I have no worries about coverage, we are all covered here.
    Good Luck to you, I hope you find some relief from your hives.
    Mary

     
    Old 11-27-2005, 02:53 PM   #11
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    Re: Want to talk to someone who gets hives every day..pls

    a combination of over the counter Zantac 75mg twice a day and Zyrtec once a day has been an answer to our prayers for my seven year old son who suffers from chronic hives. If he misses one dose the hives are back in full force. Good luck in your search.

     
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