Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria Community
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Avatar universal

Chronic Hives..driving me nuts!!

I'm a 29 y.o female who has had hives 9 months.  When I first saw my doctor he gave me a course of steroids, that didn't help at all.  I have tried all sorts of antihistamines... Zyrtec, Claritin and now i'm trying Chlor-Trimeton. All of them not helping much anymore.  I have read article after article about hives and the more I read the more down I feel about it.. not being able to find a cause.
I have had an allergy test and I have high allergy to dust mites.  How can you totally free your home of dust mites!  I have used Tea Tree oil in my washing machine for my towels, bed sheets and clothes.  I have had a blood test, which was pointless.  I'm not sure what else to do.. you forget what it was like to be itch-free!  My hives started on my back.. extreme fiery red itch.  But recently it hasn't been on my back at all.. its now my arms and my legs, occasionally my chest and tummy.  Extremely itchy, very warm and alot of welts.  Its driving me nuts!! People say "it will take its course", well i can say for myself and i bet alot of others, its not that easy.. it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable.. extremely!
I have read about Quercetin, a natural antihistamine.  Has anyone tried this at all and has helped relieve there hives?  I have also read Mint helps and also Sandalwood oil helps too.  I prefer natural remedies personally but I will do whatever for them to go away for good.  
Has anyone had relief from doing a Total Detoxification program at all? A remember reading a gentleman's log and he had gone to India for AYURVEDA treatment.. i can't seem to find his log anymore though.  He left a website http://www.ayurveda.org/

I would appreciate any help or information that anyone can give me. I know how you all feel out there!  It's not fun. Best of Luck everyone.
Thanks again.
208 Responses
179332 tn?1273247359
ask for the Candida blood test - if that is elevated then demand a stool test as well - which will pinpoint the type of
yeast that may be causing your hives!

((just a thought))

p.s. you don't eat Splenda do you? that causes major hives and not a lot of people know about it!
Avatar universal
Hi Deeds,

Thanks for responding to my message.  

I do eat Splenda now and then.  But when the hives came on, I wasn't using Splenda back then.  However I was drinking alot of Coke Zero and Diet Coke.

Do you think aspartame, which is the sweetner in those drinks could cause hives?? I know its not good for you.  Any thoughts?

Thanks again.
179332 tn?1273247359
Yes, aspartame can cause allergy!! and hives! (rash)
I would cut it out of your diet for a good 2 weeks and
see what happens - it's worth a shot!
My husband swears that diet coke causes him to itch!!!

Avatar universal
Hi .. i have have chronic hives for approx. 12 yrs. the dr. i saw gave me allegra which you are supposed to take once a day, it relieved the iching for the day. so i had another dr had me try Chlor-Trimeton which i found i did not have to take once a day.. maybe every 3 to 4 days.. if i did not have the Chlor-Trimeton i would scratch my skin so badly it would bleed. and leave nice little round wholes in my skin that would take a long time to heal.. "Work it course" huh!!!
If the Chlor-Trimeton stopped working i would just die.. the itching is madning madning i say !!!!!!
Avatar universal
I can`t really give you any advice, but I just will send my prayers out to you. I am a 16 yr old female and I`ve had severe hives for a little over 6 months now. They don`t know what the cause of mine are. I`ve recently developed a new condition. This whole process sucks. Doctors seem to be clueless as to how to treat hives. I too started off on a steroid pack, zyrtec, and claritin. Now because off this other condition that is similar to an allergic reaction and they also have no clue to I am on prednisone twice a day, zyrtec, allergra twice a day, ranitidine, and singular. I still have whatever this condition is and although it helps a little it never completely goes away. So again, good luck and god bless. Just wanted to show some support because I know most people don`t understand what this puts us through especially during the summer where clothing can`t hide them.
Avatar universal
did that medication make your hives go away or just stop itching? Sorry woody to be asking questions on your post, I am just really curious.
Avatar universal
And I'm back again!  I have to agree.. Chlor-Trimeton has been working wonders for me!  I only need to take one every 2-3 days.  I also ended up buying a bottle of Sarna lotion, over the counter.. with no cortisone!!!  I find it very helpful with the itchy rashes.  As soon as i feel myself getting itchy i apply it to the area.  Its excellent.  I forgot to write in my post first off that i tried Singulair too... but that was hopeless!  It ended up being 100 times worse, getting rashes under my arms and down my forearms.. it was awful.  Plus they cost a fortune!!  A waste of money!!

I have to agree with you dabomb... the itching just drives me crazy some days!  I've forgotten what it was like not having hives!
I really want to try Quercetin.. natural antihistamine.  I have read a little about it, but i haven't heard any reviews about it yet.  If it actually helps or not.
Thanks for all the responses everyone.  Any other questions or recommendations let me know.. I'm open to ALL ideas and thoughts.
179332 tn?1273247359
I too had a bad reaction with Singulair. They are thinking the Candid (systemic infection) is the cause of the allergies/itch/hives... so many doctors put off diagnosing it but, it is really something you can look into. A place called Genova Labs (I think in South Carolina) has a stool sample test that you can send in on your own ($46 with no insurance) the test takes 2 weeks but, the results are worth it!!!!!!!!!  Candid is SO overlooked! I think $46 is worth it....

Avatar universal
Thanks for your help Deeds!

Did you send in your own or did your doctor do the testing?  Do I just look up there address and send in my own, or give them a call.
I just want to get to the bottom of this!  Did you have any other symptoms other than the chronic hives??  

Thanks again :)
179332 tn?1273247359
I received the test kit from my allergist that came from Genova labs...
I am thinking you can call Genova and ask them for a kit to be sent to you or your doctors office - you then take the kit home and follow the enclosed instructions...they have you then call DHL courier for pickup (they provide shipping matierals  and they pay shipping costs too) I stuck my check/payment inside as instructed and waited two weeks.  I not only got a call from my allerigst with the results but, Genova sent me a report too...
and yes, I did have more symptoms then just hives & itch...I had a bad case of tonsilitis followed by a severe case of bronchitis...on top of developing huge allergies to peanuts, mushroom, chocolate (I had never had before)... I always thought I had IBS (Irritable Bowel) but, I think it was my food allergies...now possibly more Candida related then a true allergy...this entire ailment was kicked off spending Thanksgiving Day weekend in the e/r the Blood Pressure med I was taking triggered anaphalixsis...I was then allergic to every thing they've tried on me since...My allergist did Candida testing on my arm and it showed a HUGE allergy to Candida - the nurse kept asking me if I was just on antibiotics (which triggers growth of candida) but, I hadn't... I had not been on ANY antibiotic for months (probably a year) that was the one clue ((to me)) that never fit right and I kept going back and questioning that reading...
turns out - my questionig lead hopefully to an answer  
Avatar universal
Thanks for the information on the testing.  I will definitely have to give them a call.
Now the extra symptoms i have noticed for some time now are :  Thinning of the hair, not balding, but i have noticed quite a change in the thickness of my hair and the loss of hair when i wash it.
On and off headaches.. sometimes really sharp.  A few months back i had severe abdominal/tummy pain for weeks and alot of gas but that has now gone, thank goodness!
I used to have alot of anxiety.. which seems to have subsided as well. (fingers cross that never comes back!!)  However i do think that stems from other things.

Seasonal asthma too... whenever i get the flu or a cold it goes straight to my chest, awful bronchitis/asthma.  Recently it took 3 weeks to get over!
Now does hives bring your immune system down? I was just wondering if should i be taking a supplement to keep my immune system strong.  The last thing i want is another cold/flu which leads to chest problems!

Thanks again Deeds
Avatar universal
Hi Im 25 and i just started getting hives 2 months ago. The Dr put me on 400mg cyclosporine and I just had a huge flare up so i was given steroids 40mg of prednisone. I can't really take antihistamines because they make me so drowsy. Zrtec included Alegra doesn't do the job on its own. This is really a pain because I am now having to take meds to cover up the symptoms of the Cyclosporine and Steroids. Has anyone taken this drug? Any luck? My dr says that the next step would be drugs for rheumatoid arthritis or anti malarial(used to treat malaria) drugs. Help!!!!
Avatar universal
Hi.  I looked for allergies also re hives but turned out hives due to autoimmune disease.  Have a look at Lupus and Hashimoto's disease.
Avatar universal
I totally understand everyone's frustration.  I had my first hive attack about 10years ago but they lasted couple of hours and looked like bug bites (they have their own special name but i forgoet...). anyways, i'd get them when i get nervous or stressed out, but it would always last a couple of hours and I'd get them VERY infrequently. Apparently I'm "hive prone".

Then a year and half ago, i went on vacation to Korea and my body was under tremendous stress from traveling and drinking.  I had my first very bad chronic hive break out on the top of my hands.  You couldn't even see my knuckles! Went to the hospital, they gave me some "medicine", and i went home.  After that I'd get just a few hives on my elbows, top of feet and wrists. But it didn't bother me at all.  I returned back to the states feeling almost normal.  I lived my life with just random breakouts on the top of my hands and top of my feet. Sometimes they'd itch and sometimes they didn't.

The three months ago, i started getting them daily on top of my hands and a few on my eyelids.  Went to the doctor's and he gave me zyrtec, two hours later I had big hives on top of my hands and on my neck. I have never gotten them on my neck before!!! I was scared but continued the meds for three days.  Within the three days I had break outs all over my body (except face). So i went to see an allergist and he said I have chronic autoimmune hives without even any tests!! I have no history of allergies, so I believed him. I'm not so sure he's right.  Since then I've been on prednisone for 3 months but on a pretty low dosage and all different sorts of antihistamines. and faith has it that antihistaimes do not work at me at all and prednisone is very dangerous. I did all sorts of researches and I went to the allergiest with some ideas. he'd say I shouldn't look in the internet and believe everything I read and I shouldn't even read these posts!  How rude! This is a doctor who has gone to a very respected med school and practiced/researched for many years, so I do not know what to think of him.

A month ago I decided to take probiotics (still on prednisone). Didn't notice anything for the first week but noticed some improvements afterwards.  Then I read something about a herb called "yellow dock".  So on third week of probiotics and yellow dock I noticed some improvements.  Then a week ago I had my wisdom tooth (never really bothered me though) pulled  and went on antibiotics. I have had VERY minor hives...a few tiny specs here and there with just 5mg of prednisone since then !

Called the allergist and told him what happened and he says antibiotics make hives worse not treat them and that it's a coincedence...what a know it all. I have finished my antibiotic yesterday and I fear my hives will flare up again. So far it has been good today. Maybe I had some hidden infection? Maybe going through a tramatic experience of getting your tooth pulled set my immune system straight? There's no proof for my theory, but with a disease like hives, there's no proof for anything. But my friend had minor chronic hives and started taking antibiotics for acne. she reports that she hasn't had hives in a while either.  GET A FULL BACTERIAL INFECTION check up!!! I will if my hives flare up again.

There technically is no link between infections, but cmon! They dont even know why you have hives! My doctor says my immune system is so good that it's broken. It's so alert that it's attacking myself. That doesn't sound like a "so good" immune system to me.  I say your immune system is broken period. since most of your immune system is in your intestine, I think it's important to balance your intestine through healthy diet and natural cleansing.  Probiotics are harmless so try it. I take the theralac brand but there are even better ones that come in powder. Yellow doc helps your intestine as well but it makes you use the bathroom, if you know what i mean.  And I take airborne for vitamines.  But be careful because I noticed I've gotten sensitive to things and developed minor allergies while having hives.

sorry my post is so long. just wanted to make sure if you saw your story in mine and see if my relief will work for you.  By the way, my  hives get BETTER AT NIGHT. when i start moving around and function, then it starts coming out.
179332 tn?1273247359
Hyon - have you ever had  Candida testing? Might be worth your while
Avatar universal
I just happened upon your post googling "cleansing for hives".  I have dealt with hives for almost 10 years.  Mine seem to be exacerbated in the summer heat, and they also seem to be brought on primarily by stress.  I have some right now on my elbows, forearms and tops of my hands that started the day before my son went away to camp for the first time.  I also had a really bad case in January that came on suddenly after a stressful encounter with a co-worker, and within hours my feet were so swollen they looked like puffer fish!  I ended up having to have my husband take me to the minor emergency clinic the next morning as my lips and ears started to swell.  I was put on prednisone and zyrtec.  I have never taken prednisone and hope to never have to again.  I am strongly opposed to the use of drugs unless absolutely necessary.  Anyway, I said all that to say that there are some natural remedies for hives, although they may not work as quickly as drugs.  I think you or another poster mentioned quercetin; this is an effective remedy although you need to take it for a while before it starts to help.  But you can take it all the time as a supplement and it can help prevent hives before they start.  Another one is stinging nettles.  This works better than quercetin.  I always have a bottle of nettle tincture.  I believe cleansing your system helps as well.  I remember doing that when I first started suffering with hives all those years ago.  It was recommended to me by a woman at the natural foods supermarket.  I ate only brown rice, watermelon and lots of fresh vegetables for about five days and a severe hives rash completely disappeared.  I also really believe that, in general, our diets affect the way our bodies act.  If your diet routinely includes lots of processed foods, especially "diet" foods with artificial sweeteners and foods with artificial colors, you should try to cut all those things out and see what happens.  I have researched hives for many years, and one of the most common allergens that can cause them is FD&C yellow dye #6, and it's probably the most commonly used color in foods.  
So, sorry my post is so long; I really hope you find a way out of your hives.  Good luck!
PS  you can find quercetin and nettle tincture at your local natural foods store.
Avatar universal
I have been reading this thread and I think some of you might have what I have and you hit on it at the beginning of the posts... Diet Coke or aspartame in general. I am sitting here all bbut tearing the skin off my lower arm as I am trying to write this.
I figured out several years ago that Diet Coke might be maing my lower arm itch. It's worse than an itch, it's under the skin where you can't reach it with your nails and it would wake me up out of a sound sleep with no warning. I tried eliminating everything one thing at a time and couldn't figure it out -- except the diet drinks because I was so attached to them and I figured there was nothing in them to bother me. I ruined lots of diets because I came off of them due to the itching, thinking there must be some connection. I noticed it didn't happen on vacation and so I thought it was stress, maybe, but then I started to see that I was drinking real sugar Coke on vacation.
I went to my dermatologist who gave it some long name, said it was the nerve endings under the skin and suggested I use the pepper based arthritis creams like Capzasin (sp?) to make my arm burn and hopefully mask the itch because normal creams would not go deep enough. That did nothing at all. I would have set a match to my arm if I thought it was relieve the itch/pain. I asked him about the Diet Coke and he said, "No, aspartame doesn't stay in your body to cause something like that, it's not cumulative." What the heck did that tell me? Zip.
Anyway, I also noticed deep feelings of anger and mood swings after I would drink one of those BIG diet drinks from the gas station so I quit the aspartame sweetened drinks cold turkey and it all cleared up and went away completely. within days Oh, I should tell you that the itch would move from place to place on my lower arms between the elbow and the wrist and sometimes backs of hands with every episode, different location.
It takes a few days to go completely out of the system, but it's worth a try to anyone who has this.
Last night, I drank some Kroger generic brand diet lemon-lime soda, thinking MAYBE the Coke brand could be the problem and not the actual aspartame. I get wild ideas once in a while and that's all that was in the house. STUPID! I am sitting here since 5 this morning in misery. It took hours and hours to kick in but it sure did and I took a zyrtec before bed, too!
I usually drink the Splenda based stuff -- Diet Rite or Dollar General's Cloverdale diet cola. I don't notice any difference as far as caffeine, either.
Good luck, I know it's misery.

Avatar universal
I just wanted to say a very big thank you to all of you out there who have responded to my log.

Alot of ideas have been thrown my way and i appreciate all the help.
I just started looking into the Genova Labs (sp?) group.  Try and organize some testings through them and I am going to try some natural remedies for the hives.
I will definitely keep everyone posted on what happens and what works for me.. fingers crossed I can solve it!

Thanks again everyone.. greatly appreciate it :)
179332 tn?1273247359
Gotta let me know how the Genova stuff turns out!! I think so many people just get 'medicated' for symptoms and never find the real answer to the cause....
I think new chemicals in our food supply, metals in our environment, molds and toxins can really do a number on ones immune system. Leaving us all open to new and fun (not!) ailments like - oh - Candida and allergies to Splenda, and all sorts of FUN things...Keep us posted!!  D
Avatar universal
I have been suffering from hives for 6 months.  Right now I am out of town on business and have hives on arms, inner thighs, and hands.  These are the big ones that don't itch as much as they hurt.  I have taken Benadryl and  Prilosec which is a histamine 2 antagonist.  I have 10 mg Prednisone tabs with me but the directions are to take 40 mg for angioedema and gradually decrease dosage.  I know that if I take this dosage I will be up all night but am really uncertain about how much I should take.  Using Aveeno to sooth the welts with minimal effect.  I empathize with anyone going through this experience.  Any suggestions appreciated.  Am thinking of thinking an immunologist since the allergist was absolutely no health.  Or as I read somewhere a physician would rather see an elephant in his office than a patient with hives.
Avatar universal
Hello to all,

I am a 29 yr/old male and am a chronic idiopathic urticaria and angiodema sufferer for almost 6 years now.

I had been to every specialist in the world and had every test possible, no known cause found.

How frustrating.......It completely turned my life upside down. All I would think about are my hives, it totally controlled my life, ruined my career, and destroyed my self esteem. Always wondering if someone is staring at your hives.

I had been on every known antihistamine there is............and they all SUCKED. Complete Garbage.

Until I found Elavil........Since I started elavil, my daily hives have been completely gone for almost 4 years now.

50mg a day at bedtime. It is also an antidepressant so that aspect of it helped my life as well. It is an older drug and will make you drowsy for the first couple weeks, but that goes away completely with time.

Zyrtec, Zantac, Prednisone, allegra, etc.........all garbage.

Take Elavil and Be Free Again!!!!!

-Best of Luck to all, I feel for all of you.

Avatar universal
I just had a look at the medication you are now on that has helped your chronic hives... Ummm there are ALOT of side effects with that drug.  It looks pretty damn scary to me!

Did you get any side effects from it?
Avatar universal
I took elavil years ago for a brief period of time to help with insomnia.  I had no adverse effects other than I couldn't wake up in the morning.  

I recently began having hives (38 y/o).  I have never had them before.  I flared up a couple of months ago.  Thought it was stress.  They went away for a few days, then came back with a vengence while I was on vacation.  Am on Vistaril and Keflex right now.  Just started taking them yesterday, so don't know if they will work for me or not.  At least with the Vistaril, I get some sleep (not awake all night wanting to skin myself).  

Find that cold works, at least temporarily.  So does a bath (1/2 full) with 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup cornstarch.  I soaked in that yesterday and it took the itch away for a few hours.

Someone else (other website) mentioned that s/he takes 2 grams vitamin C daily and Cayenne Pepper capsules 2x a week and that s/he has no more problems.  

At this point, I am about ready to try anything.  For all of you that have been experiencing this longer than I, you have my deepest sympathy.  I am going out of my mind with this and the idea of living with it for years frightens me.  Just shoot me now, please.

Good luck to all.
Avatar universal
i recently posted a forumn about my improvement of chronic hives after getting my wisdom tooth pulled out.  It  seems my wisdom tooth has made them worse but wasn't the source. three weeks after I had it removed i still need to take 5mg of prednisone daily to maintain my sanity. I am going to pick up some quercetin and stinging nettles that someone mentioned up there and try it today. i will let you guys know how it works out.  

DEEDS - who would I go see to get tested for candida? Is there a specialist for bacterial infection testing?   Thanks.
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