Chronic Urticaria

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Hi I hoping I might get some information on this condition as my GP knows very little on the subject.

I'm a 30 year old mother of 2, I live in Derry, N.Ireland. This is not my first time having chronic urticaria, 7 years ago i had it for 5 months and then it just went away. At the time i was told by dermatologists that it was more than likely the pollen, which i found very odd!!! I've never had hay fever or been allergic to any thing before in my life. I have now had chronic urticaria and angioedema for the last 11 months and it's showing no signs of improvement. I'm having very little luck with antihistamines and am put on steroids every 4/6 weeks, starting at 40mg and working down over a 3 week period. No allergy can be found, my bloods have all come back normal. My skin is covered there is not one piece of my body not affected and it is sever at all times day and night. I have had to go to A+E with sever swelling of the lips, eyes and mouth. I actually have hives on my eye balls!!!! My joints are now starting to swell and in the last week I have been unable to drive due to swelling of the back and neck. Stairs are becoming a real problem because my skin around my knee joints swell so bad i look like an elephant, the skin is very red, warm and painful. I desperately need help I'm finding this very difficult to cope with and family and friends are tired listening. Every time i go to my GP he shrugs and says \"it's awful but there's nothing i can do\". When i can appreciate that this is difficult for him to know what to do i feel like I've been put on the back burner. Dermatology in Derry refused to see me this time saying \" we don't deal with chronic urticaria\", with that my referral was sent back to my GP.

Any help or advise please.

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  • Posted

    Hi there

    I know it is long time ago that you wrote this, but I wondered whether you were still suffering from chronic urticaria or whether you had been successfully treated. My husband is going through a similar experience at the moment and is getting very depressed as there doesn't seem to be any one thing we can identify that triggers it off.

    We have already had to visit A&E twice in the last 6 months where his lips, eyes and nasal passage have swollen so badly that he was frightened it would affect his airways.

    I would be interested to know whether you had any success in being cured or whether it did just clear up on it's own which is what he has been told will happen eventually.

    Any information you have will be greatfully received.

    Thank you.

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    • Posted

      Doing a juice fast helped me. I was able to get the entire allergy to go away and identified that it is a food allergy that is causing it because when I started eating regular food again it came back. I narrowed it down to gluten intolerance or sodas causing the cold urticaria

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  • Posted

    Dear Sufferer,

    What medication are you on? Ramipril? and have you had any illness that was unduly severe, like flu etc

    I have had 5 months of hell being branded as a liar, Münchhausen sufferer, hypochondriac etc. I have been so ill with other symptoms. I went to the Allergy Clinic in Southampton and Doctor Salagean was wonderful. She diagnosed Angioedeama, amongst others. She wrote to my Surgery and asked for a change in BP medicine. I

    Up to press that has not happened. Why send me to a clinic and then not treat the result? The Specialist rang me and asked had I been prescribed new bp medication. She does not understand what the problem is. Neither do I.

    If you would like to compare notes and see if there is common ground then please get in touch . If any reader also would like that I am very willing.

    Susan Williams.

    Emis Moderator comment: I removed the email address as we don't publish these. If you want to get in touch please use the messaging service.

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  • Posted

    Hi Susan

    My husband is suffering a similar problem after being on Ramipril for a few months had severe allergic reaction now gets hives every day (13 weeks later after stopping drug) still suffering. Finally being referred to allergic clinic on Friday for tests. Been to A & E twice when his face swelled up doctors at hospital suspect caused by Ramipril but local GPs won't accept this. Now suspect he may have developed a food allergy but before Ramipril was never allergic to anything. Sunlight, shaving, eating, relaxing all can bring on a severe attack.

    Given short course of steriods by hospital but these did not work. Now taking anti histamines every day just to try and function but even these not keep it away for long.

    So very interested to hear how you got on and any treatment that worked.

    thanks

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  • Posted

    I have been experiencing all the symptoms you are describing since August and it's so frustrating. I don't have the money to spend on countless tests and don't believe the doctors can help me as they just give me steroids or Benadryl that has no effect at all. From everyone else I've read that has the same symptoms it sounds like the doctors have no answers. But I know that God has an answer because He is the One Who made us. I read last night that someone has been using Quercetin and gotten positive results. Since I see a Naturapath regularly, I have sent her an email asking her if she knows anything about it. Because I get the terrible itching & burning rash on my body and also the swollen lips and have experienced a swollen tongue in the past, I am at a loss as to what I can try next. The food allergy test showed that I can't eat milk products and eggs so I will stay away from those things but I also believe stress really aggravates it. There might be other things that affect it but I don't know what those things are yet.

    Many people have suggested different food diets like Paleo, vegan, inflammatory diets, and I don't know what to try at these point. Reading this blog has given me the most help in the way of answers and not feeling alone with these terrible symptoms, although it's also been discouraging hearing people have suffered for years with this weird illness.

    I work 25 hours a week and can't afford to miss work and pay for allergists or dermatologists who don't have answers. I've been praying for answers and wisdom on the next step and waiting on God to help me stay calm and trust Him to show me the direction I should go next.

    Please reply to my post if anyone cant give me an update on their treatment that can help this problem.Or just reply to share your experience. My heart goes out to all of you.

    Thanks for posting

    MLT

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    • Posted

      Hello Marsha

      I see your post is from a year ago but was wondering how you are doing.  I need to pray for Gods guidance as well.  I have been suffering over a year with Prednisone many antihistamines and now on Xolair injections...not working as I had hoped.  Someone mentioned Quercetin so I would like to try it as it is more natural.  Did you try the Quercetin?.....if so did it work for you?  Please let us know how you are doing...would love to know.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

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    • Posted

      Hello Marsha

      We would love to know how you are doing.  Do you still have the hives?  I pray you have found answers.  Please let us know....have not heard back from you in awhile.

      i hope you have a nice Christmas!

      Blessings,

      Wendy

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    • Posted

      Hello Yolande

      i have not received answers.  I am currently on cyclosporine and a long slow taper of prednisone as urticaria were out of control.  Just praying that I will be able to go into remission.  How are you?  I just found your reply.

      please let us know how you are doing.

      Have a nice Christmas!

      Wendy

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  • Posted

    Update on what I wrote above. Finally got to see a specialist at the hospital. He took one look at my husband and the photos we had taken when condition was at its worst and said not food allergy definitely the Ramipril tablets. He has stopped taking these back in March and refuses to take any other tablets now and is trying to keep his blood pressure under control through diet. The specialist told him to continue taking anti-histamines every day and eventually it will go. It's been about 8 months now and his attacks are not as bad as they used to be but he still has to take some anti-histamine most days. The hospital wrote to the doctors and they still won't accept its the tablets although he has letter backing up what we thought. Before he took the tablets he wasn't allergic to anything. The tablets have affected his immune system it is now over sensitive. The specialist said not to avoid foods we thought he might be wheat or gluten intolerant as this also seemed to trigger attacks. However been told definitely not food related and not to avoid foods as you can then become allergic to them. I hope this helps. The local GP was trying to say he was allergic to food etc anything to avoid blaming all this on Ramipril!
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    • Posted

      I'm a 19 year old girl with no known allergies, about 10 months ago I developed Chronic Urticaria. At first I thought it was my laundry detergent, my soap, my cats even but even changing my soaps and keeping my cat out of my room did not help. I became very depressed over this, my entire body would be covered in hives and no matter how many antihistamines I took, it wouldn't stop. I felt disgusting. People, even my friends, looked at me as if I had some horrible contagious flesh eating disease. The more upset I got, the worse it got. My lips would swell up to the three times their normal size, my eyes, my feet and my hands would all swell. After several doctors appointments, I was perscribed Prednisone, and at first I thought for sure I was cured. I was to take them for 21 days, and after that time, my reactions were supposed to stop. Unfortunately, Prednisone gave me horrible nightmares to the point that I couldn't take it anymore and as soon as I stopped taking it, the reactions came back just as bad as before. After several trips to the hospital with severe swelling and my throat swelling up, I was referred to an allergist who would perform an allergy test. Still nothing.

      At our second appointment, she suggested I may not be allergic to anything other than stress. I changed my whole diet, my whole lifestyle just trying to stop these reactions and they wouldn't stop. When this all started, I was going through a rough patch and was very anxious and depressed which I think triggered this. My allergist perscribed to me a combination of two drugs, one is primarily used as a heartburn medication (Ranitidine) and the other is commonly used for asthma (Montelukast). She said she had recently read a study that said the combination of these two drugs would help with my Urticaria. I take 1 300mg tablet of Ranitidine every morning with a 10mg tablet of Montelukast and another 300mg Ranitidine before bed, this is the only thing that has worked for me. I have been taking these two for 6 months now, and if I remember to take them at the same time every day, I don't ever have a breakout. If I happen to forget to take them and have an especially stressful day, I have a small breakout usually around my ankles or wherever I'm warmest, but these two pills have been a miracle worker for me. Once I take them, if I have a breakout, my hives are gone within 15 minutes like they weren't even there

      I feel that my anxiety and stress is definitely a cause here as it is in most cases, I try not to put myself in stressful situations but my anxiety is very hard to control, I feel my Urticaria is the symptom of a bigger problem i.e my anxiety and inability to relax, so currently I'm working on doing yoga and not allowing myself to engage in any overly stressful activity or even watching things like the news or certain types of movies as I get upset easily..

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    • Posted

      Just reading up all comments now that I'm on my 3rd bout of severe histemine attack in the past 3 months, each lasting about 2-3 weeks.  It's all on my skin - face, neck arms and legs (around and below knees); basically only exposed skin, which makes me believe the trigger is external, though I'm confused since histemines comes from inside.  All 3 times started with swelling in the face around the eyes (couldn't open them without using fingers to lift the eyelid one whole day), cheeks, nose and only first time, the upper lip. Next day or so shows up in the neck, then arms ans legs.  First eruptions (early Aug) were oozy, the second one (early sept) were dry and the 3rd one which is on now (Oct) for the past 7 days, is dry. First attack, I let it heal itself (2 weeks) - applied turmeric powder with a little water/oil (messes with clothing) to relieve itch as well as hot water press (hot water works great - relief lasting upto 6 hours).  Turmeric also acts as an anti-septic. Got frightened at the 2nd outbreak and ran to a dermatologist, and learnt the following ; 

      1. Dry hives are more severe than the oozy ones. 

      2. Stress seems to be a big part of the problem - I did handle some stressful issues April thru end of July.. 

      3. Nothing to do with food - I knew it. 

      4. heat intolerance might be a reason - heat and sun makes me tired very quickly and it's very hot where I now live. 

      5. Try doing breathing yoga (pranayama) regularly - I tend to hold my breath or breath shallow while dealing with intense situations.

      6. Prescribed Fluticasone ointment for itch-relief and Allegra 180 histemine blocker, for 10 days, before bed.

      Not being a fan of medicines, I skipped Allegra, but applied the Flutivate a few times.  Though it relieved itch, I felt some discomfort with it. 

      Did the breathing exercise a few days, and the hives gradually slowed down, and conveniently forgot about the yoga after that. Yoga is a great healer, but as simple as it sounds, it takes a lot of discipline to embed it into your routine! 

      Was just relaxing, trying to get my skin back in shape, when I went to the backyard to do some work.  By evening the familiar itch started below my right eye and I had that eerie feeling while keeping my fingers crossed that it will go away. Woke up the next day with swollen face and neck - spreading this time was very fast; neck was the size/shape of an elephant leg in 2 days. Used flutivate, but stopped it when I started feeling prickly/stingy. I think the ointment makes my skin more sensitive.  Had only felt itchy the previous 2 outbreaks and this kind of terrified me.  So started on Allegra.  It's abating after 2 days of allegra, but the stinging has been ruining my sleep, which I think is the work of allegra (because i do not get it during the day, only a few hours after allegra).  Would love to, but not sure i can stop taking it. skin on my neck and limbs have turned into hide. 

      What I learnt from my outbreaks - 

      1.  it isn't just one thing, but a combination of triggers and catalysts that result in a nasty outbreak (for me) - like stress, heat, external allergens (like certain type of fabric, detergent/soap, insects)

      2. most medicines always lead to other complications. 

      3. Closing in, by diligent observation, on the allergens causing it and avoiding it is the best (and mostly, only) way to prevent it. 

      4. I believe that making an effort to relax and breath to the fullest lung capacity as many times and as long as you can could be the best solution for this vague but debilitating and frustrating ailment.  Antihistemines only block the symptoms, they don;t prevent the immune system from producing it - so the system never learns; only gets worse with every outbreak. 

      have read that there are immunotherapies where they inject increasing amounts of the allergens into the blood to get the immune system to not treat them as the enemy - but that requires identification of the allergens. Skin test, where they test for some local allergens could be worth trying.

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  • Posted

    Hi, new member here!

    I have also suffered urticarial type symptoms and general skin allergies for many years. These flared in my early teens and then disappeared right thru till my early 30's. I then found these returned and I was left trying to work out what was causing the problems.

    Trips to the Drs and specialists came up with no real answers so I was left to try and work out what it was. I wont go into all the research I did but I have found what I consider a solution to my urticaria and skin issues. This centres around me hammering my system with acidic food and drink substances over many years and my body getting to the point where it couldn't combat the acidity any longer which I think then triggered the urticaria. I was a big diet coke drinker and this along with lots of other acidic food nailed my system, I am no expert in this field and can only tell you my own story.

    So whilst I haven't followed his juice fast idea what I have done is set out to take the acidity out of my body, and I have found something that has really worked for me and has made me feel 100% better and stopped my urticaria- I have been drinking lots of filtered water, but the magic ingredient is alkaline drops, I simply pour myself a large glass of water and add a good amount of alkaline drops, ok so the water doesn't then taste to good but after no more than a week my skin has returned to normal, no more lumps and bumps and no more itchy rashes.

    I know this sounds to simple but for me it has worked and I am happy to answer any q's thru the site if anyone wants to know more.

    I am posting this as I know the misery skin issues cause. If I can help just one person then I will be very happy.

    Keep well. Nick

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    • Posted

      Hi ive been using the alkaline drops and it seems to be working for me, how long shall i keep using it for? how long did you? my rash is calming down a huge thank you, as ive been on steriods ,antihistimes and they are only a short fix.your a life saver nick

      michaela

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    • Posted

      Hi Nick

      I have started on the alkaline drops this week. DId you still have the symptoms whilst taking the drops and they automatically just stopped one day or did they gradually fade away?

      Since starting them I have been a little better but today, 4 days in things are back as they were? I'm taking 3 drops in a glass of water 5 times a day ...

      Thanks, Hannie

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    • Posted

      Mine started over two years ago, I had a virus and took Ibuprophe, and the dermatolist said the Ibuprophen  was probably the reason..have not taken it for over two years..I may get a day or two of relief and back again. When it shows up on one arm it shows up on the other arm in the same place..same with thighs..Back is most common..I have been on Prednisone about very three months..it works but I blow up like a balloon , and it comes right back..everyone thinks it is stress, but the hives give me stress..I take hydroxozine ( spelling may be wrong ) after two years I am not sure it helps...I have had every blood test known , no bad results..I am so glad I can talk to people that suffer like me...a couple glasse of wine helps , but that is not good either..comes back in the morning..and I am getting big purple bruises on my skin from itching, which I try not to do..I use a cream, triamcinolone all day, it is a temporary relief , but the side affects out way the relief...my heart goes out to everyone suffering from this..I had no idea that so many people suffer from this..glad to know it is not in my head..God Bless you all

       

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    • Posted

      Thats strange the frst tiem I got an attack was in 2008, I took an ibuprophen and aspirin in the morning cos I was feeling sick, and all of a sudden I started getting symetrical hives all over me.
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