Health-Chronic Urticaria(hives)

by Panda 15 Replies latest jw friends

  • Panda

    Well, Chronic Urticaria gives me another sleepless night with itching like crazy. I think it's called chronic pruritus(itching). Whatever, I'm ready to jump out a window --- wouldn't do much good because we have only one story ... but it might surprise the coyotes!

    Do you have Chronic Urticaria (hives)? I've been dealing with this since Feb 1999, 7 years. The Yahoo group I'm on has many members from the UK. So we're always comparing healthcare systems. It seems neither one is really great. And for Chronic Urticaria sufferers doctors on both sides of the pond prescribe drugs to mask symptoms; but not finding a cure. Some people have had this for over 20 years. What causes it? No one seems to know, yet. Without a known cause it's called Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. I keep hoping that some new research will break this up forever. So far the treatment that works for me has been steroid therapy (prednisone), but the Dr's won't give me anymore because of liver and kidney damage (which I don't have but they say can develop.) I hated the side effects but man was it great not to be itchy. The next step is methltraxate (an immune suppresent that is usually given to transplant patients). This has worked for CU sufferers in England and Australia. So, now it's catching on in the US. But once again there is danger of liver trouble. And consider what the rest of the body would do with a suppressed immune system.

    The hives are accompanied by angiodema (swelling of soft tissue ie., mouth, eyes, ears, throat; and also hands and feet). The hives migrate and cover various parts of the body at different times. The hives and angiodema last for about 4 days individually, BUT they are never really gone because new hives appear before the old ones are gone.

    I never used to get sick at all. Maybe a cold once a year... this can happen to anyone .. I really wish it wasn't me though.

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    OMG I feel for you.

    I know one person who had shingles and another who was allergic to her own sweat and would break out in hives.

    Every now and then I get an severe itch in my feet. It is so bad that I understand why an animal will chew a limb off. No amount of scrathing will calm the itch. It is enough to make a person go insane. Fortunately mine is only occassional.

    I had one attack yesterday when I was out and didn't have my cream with me. I use a topical corticalsteroid (Topicort) for it and it calms the nerve but then like I said I only have it occassionally.


  • anewme

    Panda, that is a very hard to deal with disorder! There must be a cure! I remember I was just about to get married way back in 83. It was August. I was renting a cottage in a field near a supermarket. I broke out in hives all over my legs the day before my wedding. I had never experienced anything like it. Where did it come from? My motherinlaw to be placed me in a big tub of warm water and some homemade preparations. Then she swathed me in calimine lotion I think. Anyway as soon as they came they disappeared!

    The next incident of the same hives occured 20 years later when I left that husband and moved in with a neighbor very near the old cottage (which was by now torn down to make way for new shops) I may have been only yards from the exact location of the old hive breakout.
    It was July/August again and every morning I would wake up and as soon as my legs hit the chill of the morning air I would begin to blister! I actually took a job at the store near where the old cottage stood and until 11 am I would be in a full body hive break out. You could see the hives slowly creep up my neck over my chest and appear on my lower jaw. But about 11am they would suddenly disappear!

    Now, I wondered, was something blooming at this time that I was allergic to?
    Was it something I was eating? I had recently been eating frozen lasagna my roomate had purchased. I was having some for dinner. I stopped that and the hives never returned.

    I since have moved to the mountains far away from there. And I have since eaten heated frozen lasagna without resulting hives.

    Some might say the stress from the up and coming marriage and the dfing and divorce 20 years later were factors.

    I think it is was a combination of factors-----stress, food allergies and close proximity to something blooming or exuding an airborne substance in the summer time.

    I began taking vitamin A and changed laundry soaps and bath soaps and clothing material and did stress relieving exercises. I stopped eating and drinking everything I normally did and changed to a new diet.
    I carefully washed all my fruits and vegetables and quit frozen foods for a while.

    When the doctors start telling you the only hope is to take steroids, I think it is time to check out a nutritional and natural approach. Have you gone the natural path?
    I have alot of faith in nature to help our immune systems.

    Best wishes to you Panda,


  • anewme

    Oh, one more incident came to mind!

    One day while walking my little doggie girl I thought I'd give her a thrill to walk her through some tall ivy!
    She is a teeny little thing and the ivy was old and tall. She could feel like she was in a jungle or something. So there I was dragging my chihuahua through a thick ivy bed.
    When we got to the end of the ivy bed my little doggie emerged and walked by my side.
    People passed us and looked in horror at my dog!
    I looked down and OMG!!!!!!
    She had blimped out and looked like a blow fish!!!!!
    Her head was three times its normal size!
    There was this watery substance under her skin all around her forhead and eyes and cheeks!
    She looked like a little monster!!!

    I scooped her up and threw her in the car and sped home to throw her in a tub. By the time I got home her swelling had subsided and she was normal. I gave her a warm bath anyway.

    My point is maybe pesticides are also a factor in allergic reactions. There may be pesticides in the air, in our new cheap furniture, on our foods. Chemicals are powerful!
    I remember I took another job at a discount furniture store. I had to quit! The smell of the furniture was so nauseating! It was loaded with formaldahyde or something!!!!
    It made me sick to be near it. I couldnt in all good conscience sell it to unsuspecting young families and their children! It could create a "sick" home condition.

    Room deoderizers are a question mark for me too.
    And perfumes and deoderants in general.

    Again, I hope you find your culprit Panda!


  • Chloe

    OMG Panda, I didn't know this could be chronic. Just a couple of weeks ago I broke out in hives and then the swelling. I ended up going to the emergency room at the insistence of my neighbor who's an EMT. Anyway, they gave me a small shot of epinephrine and the prednisone for 5 days.

    Have you been to an allergist? I'm going in a couple of weeks because this has happened before and the severeness of the swelling and the frequency are worsening. I don't want to waste the money if this a chronic thing with no known cause. I can't ever correllate this happening with any kind of exposure.

    You learn more things on this board!

  • LDH

    Are you eating anything that could be causing an allergic reaction? Start eliminating food groups! Eliminate all dairy for two weeks, then introduce it back again.

    Eliminate wheat, eggs, fish, berries-- see if it helps.

    I've been prone to hives all my life. When I was pregnant with both children I have hives for 9 months--they told me I was allergic to the pregnancy hormone. (go me!)

    It sucks.


  • juni

    Hi Panda.

    I feel so bad for you. Newtome brought out a lot of good suggestions to consider actually everyone did. Another one I have read about is scented candles. Some people are allergic to them.

    Is there any pattern to the problem?

    Juni Another idea I just was considering: You will be 51 and you said this started 7 yrs. ago. Could it be something related to hormonal changes during peri-menopause?

  • bebu

    Wow, I feel for you. My son just got over a HORRIBLE case of hives, and now is still dealing with lingering acute arthritis, which is another common side effect. It was so painful (and he is such a baby with pain anyway, but aren't we all...?) that he kept saying "SHOOT ME!!" He looked like he had red leprosy (without the sluffing skin).

    ...My dad told me when he was in 7th grade he got red bumps that became red cheerio-shaped bumps. It was urticaria, and it was horrible. He had to take oatmeal baths for 2 weeks. Those cheerio lesions grew into donut-sized lesions, and they blended with each other until, he says, until the space in the center grew (the skin inside was healed) and there was ONE donut on his front, and ONE on his back. What happened was that the red edges of these two cheerios met each other on the outline of his sillouhette--and there was a angry red line (like a marking pen) traced across the top of his head, down his neck, down one side of his arm and inbetween each finger, down his arm and down his side, etc, and back up the other side of him. Then the line went away. He said he'd NEVER seen anything like that before, and neither had the docs. (Of course, my dad is a pretty unique guy...)

    Anyway, I really do hope they come out with a cure for urticaria. I simply can't imagine how frustrated you must be after 7 years!!!!!!!!!


  • Panda

    Lady Lee, Oh do I know what you are talking about! The foot itching can be the worst. I think sometimes knowing the feeling when it's coming on can bring on extra tension. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me, Hugs panda

  • Panda

    Anewme, Your poor little pooch! Sounds like she had a severe reaction to those plants, and maybe the same for you. Allergies would be much easier for me to deal with, because there is usually something you can avoid and so not get hives. My urticaria is auto immune without a known catalyst (idiopathic).

    I was treated in China w/ both traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine. The doctors and nurses were fabulous; I really think it mattered to them that I was suffering and they couldn't make me better. When I got back to the USA I saw my PC doc and a dermatologist (he even biopsied the hives!). They both signed papers for me to be tested and treated in Denver at the National Jewish research hospital.

    WOW that was a trip and a half. I already knew I didn't have any allergies but they turned me inside out with tests and guess what --- I have no allergies. This I later found out is not unusual for chronic urticaria. Also it doesn't get better it just gets worse.

    I wish my Doc would let me take prednisone again because it was the only medication that made the hives go away. Whenever I end up in an ER they'll always give it too me just to get swelling down quickly. I get on such a pity party! BTW I am glad that you moved away from your original place of hives.

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