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Chronic Hives
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Chronic Hives

About six months ago since I moved across country and suddenly started to experience hives. I have never experienced this ever in my life, the only allergy I have had was to Shellfish and I stayed away from that. The hives seem to be very prominent in the morning and evening. They just don't seem to be going away. I am drinkning hot lemon water to cleanse my system and I was taking reacton but i really don't want to continully take pills like that. Is stress a big factor for these hives? Is six months a long time for them to last? I have seen an allergist but I was allergic to dust mites and still shellfish so should I go back to them and get tested again? What else can I do to get rid of these annoying hives? It's driving me crazy!

Thanks
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I would definitely consider seeing an Allergist. Unfortunately those of us who have allergies, are prone to getting more allergies. One thing you can do right now is try different laundry detergents and/or soaps and see if the hives go away.

If your Allergist/Immunologist can't find the source for your condition, then I would consider seeing an alternative medicine practitioner that does BioMeridan (EAV testing) or muscle testing.

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i am almost to the point where I am gonna grab a knife and cut off the next part of my that itches. 4 months!!! this is crazy!! you know they say its stress related, but its causing so much more stress than i had before..
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when you moved - did your 'climates' change??  I grew up in the Midwest and boy-o-boy - I cannot even consider moving back there - ever!!!!!!!  I blow up like a blowfish and the sinus pressure is so bad... Are you taking anything for your hives? I've had to switch laundry detergent to "All Dye/Perfume Free" and also, I take "dye free benedryl" almost daily... has anyone talked about a course of prednisone with you?  It (((might))) help...I will always swear by "benedryl!"
if they didn't make it - I'd be scrod ((past tense of....well, you know)))
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I hear your pain. I found out that I was allergic to Penicillian and had chronic hives for 2 years. Every inch on my body was covered. The worst was having them in my throat. I got some relief with Cortisone injections. I was taking 75mg of Cortisone by tablet, every day and we know what that does to your body. I went to dermatologists, skin specialists with no answer. I became pregnant with my third child and the hives disappeared. This indicated to me a hormone inbalance. After I gave birth, the hives didn't reappear. There is no easy answer, I believe they will go when they are ready - good luck.
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I have suffered from chronic hives the past 6 years. I am just in the beginning phase of eliminating what I think may be the contributing trigger and will share that in a moment.

Research lead me to the conclusion that mine were pressure hives, where something creating even the slightest pressure in an area caused red welts & itching & if scratched they grew even larger & felt warm. Needless to say they drive me crazy, disrupt my sleep & make for rather drastic changes to something as simple as daily dressing. I get them where my straps and the underwire area of my bra rest, where the snap on my jeans touches my stomach, tags on my shirts and in my waistband area. Wearing new shoes or sandals causes them between my toes &  top of or on the soles of my feet.  I have had them all over my body and it seems to be getting worse.

The only remedy I found that is truly helpful is to use cold packs, I keep small frozen water bottles & ice packs in my freezer and I apply those to the hives at the first hint I may have them developing.  That seems to tame down the hives, however they need to be applied again, actually until they no longer remind you that they are there. Mine take at least 48 hours to leave when using cold packs or frozen bottles or bags. Most important (yes I know it is difficult) is not to scratch them no matter how wonderful it feels. Scratching only releases more histamine, hence they grow larger and they "ask to be scratched again & again". Amazingly enough the cold does help settle mine down.

My question is how many of you who suffer from hives eat products enhanced with sucralose or use Splenda? My research had lead me to believe this could be the trigger for me and the timeline goes hand in hand with when my hives started. I started using Splenda about 6 years ago It was in everything that I drank & ate from my coffee, tea & colas, my favirte flavored coffee creamer, puddings and the less sugar oatmeal I prepared. I also baked with it and added to fresh fruits. Most recently I started drinking more iced tea & was consuming even more Splenda daily and my hives were worse.

I have not had Sucralose now in 3 days and I have been experiencing headaches and bouts of insomnia where I wake up suddenly.  I would like to say that I have experienced no hives but that is not the case. I had hives present when I started the elimination. Considering I have had sucralose daily for 6 years I think it will take weeks to detoxify my body. I will post again and give an update. If the sucralose is not the culprit then hopefully the frozen water bottle & cold packs can provide you some relief.
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you're on the right track with the Splenda!! ((see my post 4 down on list from this one!!))  I have to watch easting yeast and chocolate. I do tests every once in a while to see if that IS what is causing my itching... it is... sad to say :(
I can feel the 'itchies' coming on and I take one Benedryl ... since I am MORE aware now of the 'triggers'...I can stay away from the triigers and keep Benedryl on hand...A friend of mine said her mother gets what you have...she has to wash everything she owns about 8 times when new before wearing any item!! and she washed it in "ALL Dye and Perfume Free" Detergent...and uses dye and perfume free fabric softener sheets...you might want to consider changing your detergent and fabric softener!!!!!  'Bounce' is also very very highly aggrevating to allergies/hives
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I am now about 4 1/2 days off Splenda & sucralose products. I have had a dull headache, seems worse in the evening. I have to read the labels on everything I think about eating now & have begun to eat more health consciencely.

Sometimes I think I can feel the hives as they are forming, it seems that area of my skin is tingly, feels almost like something planted under my skin is trying to push it's way out. That is when I need to start the cold packs. Today I had an area where my the side of my bra rubbed me, I reached  to adjust my bra & just touching the area set off the itching. I tried to avoid touching it & when I returned home I applied the ice bottle. The cold settled down the itch. I am now typing this with a cold bag applied under my bra, that will have me good to go for another couple of hours, the cold does help as much as anything.

It is not the materials or the laundry products I use that cause the hives from clothing, rather a label or tag in the neck of a shirt or the area where something is sewn together & has formed a thicker than normal seam that rubs my skin that may just trip  the trigger that will set the hives off in a new area. That and pressure from a waistband or a pair of shpoes. I love to fish & we go out often. If I catch a fish & place the rodtip on my tummy for leverage when fishing I will have a big circular hive there the next day.  URGHH

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Hey! you catch fish!! hahaha!! *kidding*
my hubby is a big fly-fishin' nut!!  ties
all his own and stuff...I'm just fish from the shore
with a simple rod and reel...a spin fisher...

I know what you mean about 'feeling' the hives coming on...
mine is that way too...like, eing sunburnt on
your face and then you sweat from exercising and it burns?
that's how my entire body feels...like a burn under my skin
I NEVER get actual hives ((some small bumps on my face but, that's it)
I take a benedryl when I feel that coming on.  I was taking a bendryl every night before bed so the histamine would wear down...the benedryl doesn't always work...

I am curious if your headache goes away with in a week...

Deeds
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I had hives for 10 months about 3 years ago after having a baby, and just started having hives again because I basically just started ovulating again (I had been taking a topical natural progesterone cream in such a way that it was essentially acting as a contraceptive).  I definately think it is related to hormones and possibly my thyroid.  Have you had your hormones tested?  Our hormones change at different times in our lives and it may have been a coincidence that you just moved (also stress!! provokes them too I think)
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My hormones have been fine . I am now 8 days off of Splenda or any artificial sweetener.  I have experienced headaches daily and insomnia ost nights. I am eating healthy and drinking plenty of fluids, water, green tea & juices. I have added several aditional servings of fresh fruit to my diet as well, something I usually had just two servings of daily before.

I located many articles on the ill effects of artificial sweeteners and hives were one of the symptoms. I can pretty much pinpoint the timeline for mine to the use of Splenda.  

I have joined a group on YAHOO Health Groups that has given me lots of information, you can do a search on YAHOO GROUPS, keyword Urticaria to locate the group there.

There was a post today on the internet, keywords Splenda Side Effects. I will post here to let you know my progress with the hives.

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and remember, it's Sucralose that you have to stay away from...make sure THAT's not on the label ((it's Splenda's real name))

not sucrose which is a sugar  - but, SUCRALOSE
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A friend went to the doc for hives and her put her on an antihistamine and Xanax for the anxiety related to the itching.  She hasn't had a problem since.  I am going back to the doc this week to see about getting soem Xanax just to get through this.  

I feel your pain.
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I am so sympathetic for what you are going through.. I am dealing with unexplained hives/itchy skin/swellling lips/eye lids blowing up..   It has been going on for about 2 months now and it is driving me mad!

  I have started to see an Allergist and (not done with the testing yet),I actually had my breathing tested (not a Dr. appointment,  a nurse does this) and while on the way there my lip blew up and  hives ensued.  ughhhhhhh

  I also have a new ****-Zu puppy that was purchased in Feb.  No hive outbreaks until end of May?? So far allergy tests say it's not the dog..  I'm wondering if this is hormonal related because my obgyn in her infinite wisdom changed me from the Estrogen patch to a pill that includes testosterone (Estratest).. OMG!  I am itchy non-stop and the hives each time get worse..   I am going to continue with the Allergist and maybe go back to the patch and pray that this works..  HIves,itchy skin and lips along with eye lids swelling are a nightmare.. best of luck to you.  
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I have been having hives since Oct. of 2006.  They seemed to get worse and worse as time went on and I went to about 3 doctors to find out what was causing it.  One doctor came to the conclusion that it could be from stress. She put me on Paxal anxiety medicine to see if it would go away.  A week after I saw an allergist and he couldn't figure it out either.  He put me on Singulair and Zyrtec D at the end of March 07 to see if either of those would help. At the beginning of April of 07 the hives just disappeared. I'm not sure if the Paxel kicked in or the Allergy medicine worked.  The hives stayed away completely until June 23rd of 07 and they are becoming as bad as they used to be in Nov-April.  I'm also feeling like the Paxel helped me coupe with work and school better and i wasn't as anxious but recently I feel like it isn't helping me at all.  The hives are back full blown and they are ichy and really annoying because all the allergy medicines i was perscribed don't seem to do anything for them.  The doctor recommended doubling the anxiety medicine if i needed too. I don't really know what to do anymore and I'm about to go back to college and don't really want to be covered in hives.  Any recommendations?
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When I was a young girl I suffered from hives (for six years). Finally a dermatologist did a simple test on my skin and declared that I had an enzyme in my skin that reacted to water. I took Atarax, 3 times a day to start but after time was able to reduce the dosage to 1 pill every other day (small dosage). "Atarax [brand name] is an antihistamine used to relieve the symptoms of common anxiety and tension and, in combination with other medications, to treat anxiety that results from physical illness. It also relieves itching from allergic reactions and can be used as a sedative before and after general anesthesia. Antihistamines work by decreasing the effects of histamine, a chemical the body releases that narrows air passages in the lungs and contributes to inflammation. Antihistamines reduce itching and swelling and dry up secretions from the nose, eyes, and throat." (http://www.pdrhealth.com/drug_info/rxdrugprofiles/drugs/ata1035.shtml)
The generic name is Hydroxyzine hydrochloride
I don't know if doctors still prescribe this and I don't think it is actually intended for long term use, but I took it for years and it helped me. Eventually I weaned myself off the drug altogether and I haven't had hives since then.
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You know what you all seem to have the same problem as me.............these stupid hives that I get are driving me nuts and there seems to be not one doc that can get them to go away.  I have been getting these for 11 years, they may go away for a couple of months, but they always return.  Except when I was pregnant and the doc said this was due to the fact that when your pregnant your system changes so that your body doesn't regect the baby.  They are thinking I have an auto immune disease.  Which looking it up, it does make sense, but I refuse to go on cortizone because I get mean and put on weight.  Allergy pills will only work so long till your body gets use to them and then you have to switch to a different kind.  I gotta say the worse is when my half of my lip swells to about 4 times its normal size.  Not my whole lip, just half.  What I have they have figured out isn't due to allergies, but do to my immune system.  So they say right now.  I just don't think docs know what the reason is.
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Right now I am having an allergic reaction to Spenda ! I have had extreme itching on my legs for the past week. No new soaps, detergents, creams etc. Just an increase in my Splenda intake. Within the last week I have been drinking several large glasses of ice water with lemon and spenda daily, plus a sprinkle on fruit and in tea. After searching the internet - I'm leaning towards the Splenda. I am treating with with Benadryl, drinking lots of plain water and eliminating Splenda completely. I hope this will leave my system soon- I can't take the itching !!!
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I can sympathize with all of you..... I woke up 3 months ago with hives all over my body had no clue what they were never had an allergy in my life.  Thought it might be scabies and my primary doctor said thats what it looked like so he treated me with Lindane.  That seemed to maybe be it for about a week I wasnt itching as bad but then I started getting hives all over again and these were huge welts.  I went back and saw a different doctor and he said you are having a classic allergic reaction to something and he said try bendryl and cortisone cream so I did I went back a week later and still the same thing was said to me you have hives duh I know this but what is causing them.  So they prescirbed me Ateraix and Cimedidne (know im not spelling it right) that helped the hives went away.  As long as I was taking the medicine. But some times it didnt help so I went back to the doctor they put me on Steriods wow what a mistake it helped but I swelled up.  So I decided to go see an allergist They said once again you have hives AHHHHH I was about to go out of my mind He said stay on the Aterax and Cimedadine and also add Clarinx and Singular  yay two more meds to take.  So I did .  He did a bunch of blood work and said it all checked out great no autoimmune disorder or anything.  Crazy thing is he said he cant do an allergy test when I am in a active break out and on meds.  So I am in a Catch 22 situation.  The itching is more intense at night but the wash pops up all over sometimes just on my arms or on my neck or in my head groin back legs ughhhh the itching.  I cant stay on these meds forever they make me sleepy.  Any Advice????  I cant keep going like this.  I do have pets but I have had them way before this all started.  I am also experiencing alot of acid reflux with this as well not sure if its related but it started at the same time.  PLEASE HELP  
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my email is l.gonzales at yahoo dot com

thank you
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After almost 2 months of frustrating itching and hives on my arms, legs, hands and feet, I think I may be allergic to sucralose as well.  I also tried discontinuing lotions, soaps, laundry detergents, etc.  I finally realized that the itching seemed to get worse after eating or drinking something with Splenda in it.  And then I realized that I had been on a weight loss program for about 2 months, using more Splenda than ever before.  I immediately stopped using any products containing sucralose and have not had anything contaning it for one week.  The itching and hives have subsided a bit but have not completely disappeared.

Does anyone have any information about how long it could take to completely cleanse the body of sucralose?
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I agree cutting calories and uping the intake of splenda, plus my husband is a diabetic so everything in my house has splenda in it- ice cream, soda, jelly, syrup you name it. It took me about 4 days and lots of water and absolutely no splenda for the itching to subside. But, I was at a picnic last weekend and had a glass of iced tea ( not knowing it had splenda in it ). I had another flare for approximately three days. I had to switch from Diet Coke back to Diet Pepsi and now have to look at everything to see that it doesn't have it in. I am going to be very careful for the next few months of everything I eat/drink and see if I have anymore itching. It really stinks because I enjoyed the taste and low calories !
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That's what happened to me.  I had a cocktail at a friend's house -- malibu rum and cranberry juice.  I started itching immediately.  Surprise!  The cranberry juice was "light" and contained Splenda.  I am now being super careful.  I can't believe one glass of iced tea made you itch for 3 days.  So I wonder just how long two month's worth will take to disappear.  I also hope that I'm right in suspecting the Splenda, because if not, I'm completely stumped, and ready to rip my skin off!

My biggest problem is finding beverages without Splenda.  I love Pepsi One but haven't had it at all lately.  Someone told me that Diet Coke doesn't have Splenda.  Does Diet Pepsi?  I agree that it really stinks to not be able to have it -- it's finally an artificial sweetener that tastes good.  And I had finally found a lowfat yogurt that I could eat every day and is only 1 point on the weight watchers program -- can't have it anymore, it's full of Splenda!
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Well, many thanks to all of your for your stories and info!
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Diet Coke comes two ways- one with Splenda and one without. When I am out- I unfortunately have had to ask the waiter to check to see which one they carry. They look at me funny- but hey I like an occassional soda, but I will not suffer anymore.
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It is amazing that I have found a blog site where so many of you are experiencing exactly what I am.  I felt I was the only one!  I have had hives since I was about 11 years old.  I was put on allergy shots twice a week and a few months later they went away.  I got them again in college (about 4 yrs ago) but not half as bad, I went to see an allergist and I took some clarinex here and there and they just went away.  About 3 months ago I started getting hives again...EVERYWHERE.  Any body part you can think of, arms, stomach, legs, butt, in my scalp, sometimes on my face.  Not only it is uncomfortable from the itching but also embarassing.  I'm 26 years old and I'm very self-conscious about my skin.  I was recently seeing an allergist who tested me (blood tests) for allergies and thyroid.  Nothing showed up and she was giving me eveyrthing you can think of.  Atarax (used to help a long time ago only b/c it made me fall asleep...but not so much anymore).  I have tried singulair, allegra, zyrtec (which actually I think zyrtec makes it worse) dioxapan (an anti-depressent that is supposed to be a stronger anti-histamine.  Nothing works!!  She also gave me prednisone for 5 days and let me tell you, I was a new person for 2 weeks!  Not a single day w/o hives, I was happy, I wasn't depressed anymore, I could go about my daily activities.  But b/c it is a steriod my allergist won't prescribe it to me again.  For example, I have read some of your blogs and can relate to what makes your hives worse.  I break out everytime I get out of the shower, ehenever I go in the pool or ocean, when I excerise, when I am exposed to the heat for a while.  Everything!  My new allergist doesn't think I have an allergy but things I have an auto-immune issue.  So I am awaiting those new lab results.  At this point I dont care what I have as long as they can tell me.  I have waited so many years for a doctor to tell me what is wrong with me!!  Well last night I took a xanax (not prescribed but I was able to get them other ways) to relieve the anxiety I get from them.  Well this time I took the strongest dose of the xanax and I stopped itching.  And would you believe I woke up this morning without a single hive!  I am so happy!  That hasn't happened since they prescribed me the prednisone.  I am calling my allergist tomorrow to see if he will prescribe me xanax.  Hopefully I have found my cure but I'm still waiting to find out "why?"  Thanks everyone for posting all of your info.  I don't feel alone anymore :)
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ok..i am new to this site and i've been looking EVERYWHERE for someone or something to help me fix my hives.  i've had it for about 2 and a half months...(doesn't seem like any time at all compared to 3 or more YEARS)  but anyways, it's long enough for me.  My regular doctor put me on Atarax 4 times a day, i've been on it for about a month now, it seemed to help with the itching, still had hives everywhere, but the itching seemed to subside for the most part.  i then thought because i was going through some money situations that it might be stress related so she put me on Prozac.  that also helped.  both of which made me very sleepy but i thought to hell with the sleepy as long as i don't itch.  Well, last thursday rolled around and i called the allergy clinic.  I am scheduled for an allergy test in two weeks because they said that i have to remain off of my anti-histamines for 2 weeks so they can get a good test.  so now, here it is tuesday afternoon and i am MISERABLE. i'm finding it hard to concentrate on anything, sitting still at my little desk here is absolutely rediculous, and helping other customers seems excrutiating because i don't want them to see me scratching everywhere.  Can anyone here tell me what i can do to deal with my hives until i can get tested and start taking my meds again.  i'm miserable!
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I am so glad that I saw this site.  I have hives from my ankles to my knees and the only thing that I have changed lately is the addition of Splenda in the last week.  I bought some for iced tea and now I am itching horribly.
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I have been suffering from this condition since November last year. I have to take Fexofenadine 180 everyday. My chest closes, my lips or face swells and the hives appear. Its pretty controlled with the Fexo....but i dont want to take meds forever!!

And my husband and i want to try to conceive soon....so will the Fexo be safe for the baby?

ANybody with solutions.....oh i would appreciate it!!

I was drinking a glass of wine when my face suddenly got as big as a balloon! My lips...the itchiness....i am 26. Am i destined to spend the rest of my life like this?
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I've always had hives since I was a little girl, but I've never gotten it for this long. I've had it for more than a month and have tried every single medicine. Allegra, Singulair, Claritin, Benadryl, Cortizone shot, other oral steroids, acid reflux medicines which are supposed to have anti-histamines, anxiety pills, depression pills, NOTHING IS WORKING!!!!!!!! I've even tried herbal stuff, homoepathic medicines too, and they just don't want to go away. It's really affecting me now, I can't even go out and have a drink and chill out after work with friends, because geez...my hives will pop up even more. Does alcohol and cigarettes make it worse??? I don't know what to do anymore, even if I leave those bad habits for a day or two, I'm still getting them. HELP!
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I posted a long comment a couple of months ago describing my experience with hive breakouts.  I started to notice everytime i ate something red or used a body wash with a pinkish color, i would have hives all over my body.  I started to pay attention to ingredients and noticed that when i broke out, a product i had eaten or used that day had Red # 40, the red dye.  I couldn't believe it.  I was tested for allergies and they said i wasn't allergic.  Doctors told me themselves that usually they are helpless in figuring out your situation with hives.  So if u are getting frustrated and have tried everything start figuring it out for yourself.  I could have saved money lol. You will have to narrow it down and figure it out for yourself.  I am so relieved that i figured out what was the cause of my reactions.  The only negative point is that my favorite color is red, my favorite scents have some kind of red dye, and my favorite flavor is cherry.  I got this allergy at the age of 18 and now im 19. My question is when is this allergy going to go away or will it?  Now Im noticing that ALOT of products have red dye, which is going to be so difficult to keep track of. Even Nightquil has red 40 and M&Ms. I guess if i want something cherry flavored, ill have to risk it. :(
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I am very happy for you that you discovered it yourself. You, sometimes, are your best doctor ! My sister growing up had a sensitivity to red dye too. She discovered it drinking Hiwaiian Punch as a kid. Even today at 40+ she watches it...

Congratulations on the discovery !
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Wow, there are loads of you guys. And I am sad to say that I am one of them. The sweetener situation is definitely something not to be ignored. I will try cutting it out of my diet. NEVER in my life have I had an allergic reaction to anything, I’m 25 now. That was until I was visiting my parents back home in Denmark for a month and suddenly one night I was itching and thought nothing off it and scratched my lower back as I was lying in bed. Before I knew it I had to check in the mirror and got a bit scared to say the least, all of my back and my thighs were red, hot and swollen. LOL Although I don’t think I get it as bad as some of the other people who have posted on here. Limited to red nail marks on my arms, neck and forehead so people will ask me if I have been in a fight – that is WHEN I am on antihistamines however.

The only thing that doesn’t add up with regards to the artificial sweetener theory (for me anyway) is that in my parents’ household artificial sweetener is practically banned. No diet drinks or anything like that. Cos they simply don’t agree with them.

I’ve been back from my parents’ house for 2 months now and have been taking antihistamines. Firstly I was on Loratadine and then Cetirizine Hydrochloride, and both do the job – one a day. I didn’t really start to cut out anything from my diet as I was thinking it could be my reaction to mosquito bites.

But as it’s October now and the mosquito season is drawing to an end, I still haven’t got any better. So it’s time to take action, so to speak. I certainly don’t wanna be on antihistamines for the rest of my life. I have also heard that antihistamines can make it difficult to lose weight, or keep weight off. However, as I don’t have ready-meals or other processed foods but only sweetener in my coffee and the soft drinks I consume, it won’t be difficult for me. That’s why I hope it’s artificial sweeteners.

To everyone, good luck!! I am happy I stumbled onto this page.

Jena Troelsgaard
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I have had hives for the last 13 months.  I have seen an allergist/immunologist, gynecologist & dermatologist........no luck.  How many of you have taken any SSRIs like Prozac?  I was researching on the internet and found that SSRIs could possibly cause autoimmune urticaria.  I started breaking out when I was weaning myself off Prozac.  Anyway, how many of you have taken SSRIs before breaking out?
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I too had to try to go off my meds to get allergy tested. 1st day I ended up in ER with anaphalaxis (sp) My lips swelled my nose blended in with my face and my tongue got thick. Joy to the world. I did get an IDIOPATHIC DIAGNOSIS which means to me the IDIOT doesn't know what I have!!! I am an LPN how embarrassing.My doctor and I work together in a big facility Clinic. So, he sees what h*** I am going through. I have had hives since March 07. I did get relief up until a week ago with taking ZYRTEC At night. I have also had to have Zantac a stomach pill but it stops histamines. I just took two shots of Benadryl a shot of Decadron two Zyrtec two Zantac one Doxepin and still no relief not counting the shot of Depomedrol the day before. Good night I can't believe this many of us have this. I now have big patches that feel tight on my legs and burns like a sun burn the itch the pain and the bruising. I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING CRAZY . Nobody wants to hear it anymore and I get sick of complaining about it. But, it's hard to pretend you are not miserable.
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Hi-your comment really struck a chord with me!  I am totally confused about my hives.  And yes I was on prozac to to post partum depression for a year or so.  Decided we'd like to have another baby so I weaned off Prozac in late August/early Sept.  
I just broke out in hives one day (never have had an allergy or a hive in my life)  in was an afternoon when I was folding laundry-my ears began to burn than whole body began to burn, looked in the mirror and I was covered in swollen red welts.  It was severe for about 3 days. I took Benadryl at night and they went away for about 2 weeks straight while taking the benadryl.  Then approx 3 weeks ago I awoke with them on my arms and legs (not as bad as before)  went to the dr. and was sent to the allergist and they all think it was detergent since it started while I was folding clothes, so I rewashed everything in my  house.  Now I wake up every day with hives, usually only a few and they go away after a few hours.  Occassonally I will get one or two mid-day, but the vast majority is first thing in the morning. Today I have had one big one on my hip all day-that actually has a little raised pimple like spot on it.  
I have wondered if this could be related to getting off prozac as it only started when I was totally weaned off of the med.  I do have some anxiety.  This morning I noticed that when my son started crying at about 3am. I felt the anxiety just sort of flare up, feeling like a whole body kinda of nervous feeling, and then I got up to get him and noticed I had them on my hip, one on my arm and one on my foot-could this be the cause???  I am seeing my allergist again tomorrow since despite the meds (xyzal) I am still having these mini breakouts every morning.
I have been worried about possible hypothyroidism as I have gained a good few pounds in the past week despite being active, have been exhausted, and the hives.  Although I read that you usually have extremely dry skin-and I am all the sudden breaking out.  I am at my wits end!  I will tell my allergist about coming off prozac-did you see a dr about your case? If so what did he/she say to you about this?

Thanks!!
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Sorry, the xxx was test to make sure I could post.
I feel everyones pain.  I have been with hives since June 07.  First on my arms where the stayed until Sept.  On my arms ONLY.  Then my arms cleared and they moved on to my legs (this was the worst...it kept me up at nights).  Stayed on my legs for 3 weeks.  Then my legs cleared up and I had to go off the Zyrtec for 2 days to go see an allergist and my stomach and back broke out.  I just went the other day to have 15 tubes of blood taken.  The allergist could not do skin testing since when he simply scratched my skin it welted up.

When I drink alcohol it really ticks off my hives so I feel for you Chinu becaue I love my wine.  Pino Grigio to be exact and for those of you who don't know....White wine has histamines in it so I suppose I am adding insult to injury when I drink white wine.  Plain vodka with a little cranberry seems to be okay but from moment to moment I never know what is going to aggrevate the hives.

I feel for each and every one of you as I know this consumes my life and I imagine it does yours too.  I'm plugging along waiting to see the allergist again in 2 weeks for blood results and hopefully skin testing.  He did change my Zyrtec to Xyzal (the newest latest and greatest so they say)  I've only taken 3 pills since I had to be antihistamine free for 2 days so I don't know that it is working andy better than the Zyrtec, but I will give a few more days.  I have noticed some new breakout on my arms.  I don't know how much longer I can deal with this.
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I've been experiencing swelling and hives around my eyes which is driving me crazy! I have a lot of contact allergies and have stopped using products etc. in an attempt to get rid of my "hound dog" look! Some of my other triggers include hot/cold temperature changes, mold and other typical allergens (dust, house mites, grass) but I can't figure out why I'm breaking out around my eyes. Has anyone ever had problems with sweat causing hives? Twice now, I've woken up with swollen eyelids and hives the day after running so I'm wondering if sweat is triggering this reaction or if it is a result of fall allergens like mold and the temperature change (WI). I would love to hear if anyone has experienced anything like this. Thank you!
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i had (have) chronic hives for 5 years.  i got allergy testing and blood testing and nothing came back as the cause.  I started an food elimination diet and low and behold eggs and anything with egg or mayonaise is my trigger. As well as pork and most fruits.  So if i avoid these i don't have hives.  I was taking claritan and reactine everyday at doulbe dose.  Now i just take the meds if i know i ate something i react to.  Fruit i miss, but i don't miss being itchy, or my lips swelling up.  
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I can't remember when my hives started.  It seems like forever.  Really a couple years, but I think I have the triggers narrowed down to chocolate, red wine, chinese food made with soy sauce, raisins, grape jelly, jogging and I believe stress makes it linger longer.  
Now my dermatologist automatically said it was Rosacea, which if you read about Rosacea these are listed as triggers to it, but my hives occur mostly on my neck closest to my jaw line but spread to my chin and lower cheeks and to my chest.  It can take several weeks to go away as long as I avoid my trigger foods.  Unhappy with my diagnosis because where the hives were occuring weren't what the Rosacea web sites described, I went back to my dermatologist office and saw a different Doctor when I was in the middle of a breakout.  He suggested that I just have chronic acne and wanted to put me on Accutane and birth control pills.  I'm almost 40 and I have had acne throughout my life, but the way the breakouts were happening suggested hives to me.  So I asked before going that route, which I really don't want to do, can we rule out an allergic reaction.  He took a biopsy from my collarbone area and it came back as showing hive activity.  He put me on Zyrtec and I haven't seen him since.  Avoiding the trigger foods does wonders, but I slipped a few weeks ago and ate yogurt covered raisins and grape jelly.  Not at the same time of course..  I still have it on my neck.  It goes away very slowly on me.  The Zyrtec seemed to help at first, but now I'm not so sure.  I do take Xanax for stress when needed, but have not been prescribed it for hives.  I used to use Splenda, but stopped last year or so because I didn't know if that was doing something to my skin.  Who knows if the Splenda triggered all this in the first place, because this came out of nowhere one day, but now I just want it to go away.  I was thinking of seeing an allergist, but it sounds like they really don't have any answers either.  
I wish I could find a doctor that would not just take a glance at me and rush to a diagnosis.

Sorry you're all going through this, but I'm glad to see I'm not alone.
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A couple years ago I noticed while jogging, my skin on my chest and face would become itchy.  After jogging and showering I noticed I was very red and blotchy and then I'd breakout with what I originally thought was acne, but I would shower after so it was weird.  Then i thought it was my detergent, but I didn't change anything, but even so it was only on those specific areas of my body so that didn't add up.  Read my previous post, see if that helps.

I do breakout in prickly heat when I'm working in the yard all day and sweating.  This is totally different from the hives.
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Hey everybody,  more often than not I believe that hives are anxiety related....and it doesn't even have to be the "surface anxiety", the kind that's obvious...I've had hives for three weeks now and the only thing I can come up with is that I'm struggling with some hidden anxieties.  a big change in schedule and life style can definately trigger hives....even if you don't even feel particularly bothered by anything....deep down you might be.   I did some research....if you combine about 20 to 40 mg of Pepcid AC with some descent allergy medecine like benedryl this seems to stop the hives....though they will come  back within half a day or so.   My sister told me that a doctor actually suggested this to her...it worked for her and it worked for me.  If you're worried about the drug combination, do the research.  there doesn't seem to be an interaction.  Now , after five days of doing the pepcid and benedryl....the effects have tapered off.   I've decided to try to combat the anxiety instead which is what i believe is the source of my hives.  I'm taking 15 mg of atarax and two benedryl....although with atarax I might not even need the benedryl.  atarax treats anxiety, nausea and hives.  You can't just treat the symptoms ....with hives you really need to try to get to the root of it.  Also, almost forgot to mention this...atarax is still a commonly perscribed drug and very reliable but it's also very very strong....so it's not a bad idea to cut the higher dose in half....for some reason I think it only comes in 25mg tabs...so get a pill cutter and take half.   Believe me it will still work.
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i have been given the Rosacea diagnosis as well (but i clearly get red scaly areas on my cheeks and jaw and it itches) and use metrolotion (rx) daily.  When i get hives now i get the acne like reaction you get as well, and find my rosacea flares up too... so i would think that somehow the allergy triggers mutiliple skin reactions.  
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About 10 months ago I suddenly started getting hives.  In my case they appear on my cheeks and neck.  Being the "I'll figure this out" type of guy, I researched hives online pretty extensively.  

One of the best resources I found is a book by an MD in Bozeman, Montana, who researches uticaria, Alan Wanderer, titled "Hives: The Road to Diagnosis and Treatment of Urticaria".  Amazon sells it for about $30.  It's an extensive workbook designed to help clinicians diagnose and treat hives.  

From it I learned that about 1 in 5 people will get hives at some point in their lives.  Yet sufferers are able to identify the root cause in only about 1 of 5 cases.  And the list of potential triggers are vast, including those I see mentioned in these posts, plus many more.  

In my case, I believe my initial symptoms were triggered by stress, as my business partner of 7+ years was dying of cancer.  I feel that stress is largely past me now, but my hives remain, triggered I believe by one or more foods.   My list of suspects includes strawberries, pineapple, raspberries and possibly blueberries.  I eliminated them from my diet months ago.  Recently I realized nearly any form of tomato triggers a reaction within minutes.  I also suspect diet coke and diet Dr. Pepper (maybe the dyes in them?  or the aspartame?), as I recently enjoyed a 10-day period of no outbreaks while drinking only water.  Then I ordered a diet coke in a restaurant and the hives returned (but was there some tomato on my plate that day? -- so hard to keep track of it all...).

To treat symptoms, I have found generic Benadryl to be the most effective.  I'll take 25 mg each night; 50 to 75 mg if I have pretty bad outbreaks.  Often the symptoms are gone by morning, only to surface again during the next day.  I also take 75 mg Ranitidine morning and night.  And Cetirizine 10 mg (generic Zyrtec) each morning.  I'm not convinced the Cetirizine (an H2 inhibitor) does anything.  Likewise, Loratadine seems ineffective for me.  All of these are available over the counter.  If an outbreak is severe, I'll sparingly apply a steroid Triamcinolone Acetonide cream 0.1%, which is by prescription only, which I find highly effective.

Still, the primary causes remain elusive.  If I'm like most, I may never know for sure the triggers, but in time my outbreaks might finally pass as quickly as they came.
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Hi,
In doctor speak, hives are known as "urticaria.Hives usually appear suddenly and go away on their own in a matter of days, hours, or even minutes. Chronic hives, however, can last for six weeks or more.
Some causes to consider are.
•Foods (commonly eggs, shellfish, nuts, berries, dyes, or other additives)
•Drugs (any drug can touch off an allergic reaction, although allergies to penicillin, sulfa, and aspirin are especially common)
•Pollens and plants (nettles, poison ivy, poison oak, and so on)
•Animal fur
•Insect bites or stings
•Exposure to heat, cold, or sunshine
Hives are a nuisance, but are not usually dangerous.
Comfort is the main goal of treatment, since most hive outbreaks are relatively minor and short-lived. To soothe itchy skin, try cold compresses, calamine lotion, a cool shower, or a tepid bath with a few tablespoons of cornstarch (the kind sold in drugstores) thrown in. Try an over-the-counter antihistamine to reduce your body's response to the irritant and to relieve pain. Ask your doctor if you should take antihistamine pills.
Ref:http://www.myonlinewellness.com/topic/hivestreatment
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I  had chronic hives almost 20 years ago and they're back.  It started last March when I had been under tremendous stress for about 2 years dealing with elderly parents. Unfortunately they're back.  I've  been dealing with them again for about 6 weeks.  Originally I started with a medrol dose pack, two 150 mg of zantac daily, two Zyrtec,  & 50 mg of Doxepin.  Once I was down to the last prednisone in the dose pack they came back really bad.  The doc then put me on 20 mg of Prednisone for 1 week, 10 mg for a week, and now 5 mg.  As I am writing this my forehead is covered in them.  I do fine when I am on 20 mg of Prednisone but I have to get off of it.  My blood sugar is high because of it.  Doc also put me on Lexapro 10 mg and 1/2 mg of Xanax twice daily.  I've only been on them a couple of days.  I feel better but I'm still getting hives.  Does anyone have any further suggestions?  My dermatologist added Tavist, another antihistimine twice daily, but it's not making much difference.  I have heartburn so bad from all the meds I am at my wits end.  Does anyone know if you can take Prilosec when you're also taking Zantac?  Sometimes I just feel so helpless.  I'm open to any suggestions!  Does anyone know how to rid your body from all these drugs?
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I do sympathise as I have been through all this and have Hives, you are taking a lot of powerful drugs and you really need to be off them all, there are side effects with each one, I am going for Natural cures now,to get off these drugs you will have to go slow but you will still get withdrawal, put up with that, it will be worth it and dont let them put you on more put each drug into your Search Engine for side effects and withdrawal symptoms.Prednisone is a drug no one should use the reactions can be long term,My hives arrived Mid May and I am trying to do my own research,Anti Histimines made me ill and I was also given a steroid topical cream, then my hair started to come out. I have stopped that and the Hair loss stopped aswell.I think they are advised by the drug companys to give Xanax and Lexapro, Xanax is addictive so then they switch to Lexapro, which is given for Depression,.Try a Histimine Free diet like I am I cant say it has cured the Hives  but its a lot better than it was, you can get a list of foods and a diet from the search engine.Forget the Docs and allergists and all the other stuff go the Natuaral route you will be gald you did, Trust me. PS When the itch is Bad try dabbing on Apple cider Vinegar it soothes it immediatly.
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I have found that my hives are hormone related. I tried many doctors who tested me for a variety of conditions, and I seemed otherwise healthy. I suffered with them for 1 1/2 years the first time and nine months the second time. I kept a food journal, changed my detergents, etc. Yet I noticed that the hives were worse during or after hormonal changes. After I stopped taking birth control (I had been on them for 10 yrs), the hives went away. After I had my second child, they came back. Then I read Dr. Lee's book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Menopause" although I am not menopausal. He gives a long list of symptoms due to hormone imbalance (specifically estrogen dominance) and suggestions about how to restore balance. It was an easy read, and it has worked for me.My hives got better immediately and are either non-existent or minimal. They had been so bad that I could only wear a loose gown as my body was covered. I was also having chest pains. Here is what I am doing:

1) I use a Natural Progesterone cream in a pump at night. You can get it at a health food store, but Swansons on-line is cheaper (life-flo brand). Make sure it is Natural Progesterone and NOT Progestin or any type of Estrogen.
2) I drink more water
3) I avoid milk. I was never allergic to it before, but my worst reactions were after I had some.
4) I take a multivitamin, vitamin E, Flaxseed oil, magnesium, VItex (for gentle hormone balance), B-complex, and Quercetin with Bromelain.
5) He suggests eating more fruits and vegetables- I need to do better here.

It seems like a lot, but it helped me to get my life back. I was so frustrated like so many people on here because the doctors just seemed puzzled as to what was going on. Most said that they would go away in time but mine were not going anywhere. I hope that this helps.
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Everyone is talking about Zyrtec what dose do I take?
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I just take one tablet (10mg?) a night. But it does not help me unless I take 150mg of ranitidine with it.
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I feel your pain!! Although i have only had them for a week they are driving me crazy!! I am on three different types of Steroids for the hives and persription Benedryl. The emergency room doc gave me the benedryl and told me to take two every 6 hours... I am up to 4 every three hours!!! i have them everywhere on my body, even in my scalp. i went to the er to get some help because my face was swelling up and i looked like i was perminatly disfigured. they gave me an iv drip with the benedryl in it, a cortizon shot and another Steroid. the hives went away while they were observing me for two hours.... as i was walking out the er door what do you know i broke out worse than before. the er didn't even take a second look at me and told me i would be fine. these stupid things are taking over my life.. (after reading some of the stories above i feel lucky that i have not had them that long, but at the same time i feel hopeless because the stories are sounding more and more like my problem!!!)
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I have had hives for 6 years now. I've done every blood test in the world and nothing has come up. The only medicines that work for me are albuterol, benadryl and doxepin. I also have been taking prednisone for about 5 years and they always get rid of my hives. But, the prednisone is affecting my body in strange ways. About 6 hours or so after I take it I get HORRIBLE pains in my legs. I have also developed an stomach disorder, where my stomach rejects ALL food. This has been going on for 2 years and no doctor has been able to figure it out. Has anyone experienced these problems? Or found an odd reason for why the have hives?
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For me, I have other hormonal symptoms with the hives, but since blood tests don't reliably detect hormone irregularities,  I always check out fine too. Like yourself, I tried prednisone but for longterm relief natural progestrone cream taken once a day has given me my life back.
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I have had hives for about 6 years now. We have never figured out what I was allergic to, through many years of experimentation, we have found meds that work GREAT. Typical meds like benadryl, zyrtec, claritin, etc. never worked for long. I take albuterol pills (2 4mg pills every 6 hours), cimetidine (1 25mg in the AM and one in the PM), and 1 doxepin (75 mg) at night. I guarentee you this WILL work for some of you. Stay AWAY from predinisone, I was put on it when I was 13 and have been on it for 6 years. It works great, but it tears your body apart. It's detrimental......I hope this helps all of you.
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Am I glad I found this link! I have had chronic hives for months. I switched to laundry det. and fabric softener that were hypo-allergenic and have been taking antihistimines almost daily. I thought I might be allergic to green tea so I stopped drinking it. I never even thought about the splenda I was using to sweeten it! I am going to detox from all artificial sweeteners and see if that solves things for me. Thanks for the info!
Quitcherfussin
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Hi,
I have had hives since May and the doctors can't seem to know what is wrong with me. My white blood cells are too high and we think that I might have an infection somewhere in my body. I am looking for a new doctor (internal medicine) to ask for another blood test, this time to figure out if I have a blood infection or what....... Did any of you found a cure yet?? Any Ideas????
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2 months ago I had colored my hair a redish color, I then decided to strip it and make it a bright red. After I got done my scalp itched so badly, my whole head was breaking out into hives  and it started spreading on my face. I thought I had just over done it with the hair dye, but it was so bad I had to soak it in dandruff shampoo to make it feel okay. I felt a little better but then over the next week I kept breaking out into hives all over my body. My mom is allergic to Red dye #40 and suggested that may be the problem, so I striped the red out and color it brown. It felt better but I was still a little itchy, and I couldn't figure out why, I cut out everything that had red dye in it and after a while its calmed down. I'm still itchy from time to time, but it hasn't been as bad.
Unfortunately all of this triggered a thyroid problem, which I'm now having to deal with. I feel everyone's pain, I don't remember who said it on here, but you really do have to figure it out for yourself. I'm very thankful for the internet because doctors don't know everything, yes some can be helpful but most of them that I have dealt with just don't have a clue and just try to feed you medication. If you want to get better you have to take charge and figure it out for yourself.
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I have acid reflux associated with hives.  I went to the gastro doc yesterday and he wants to do an endoscopy to see what is going on in that part of my body.  Will let you know if anything shows up.  In the meantime I am taking prescription Zantac 300 mg 2x daily, Zyrtec, and Zanax.  Good luck.
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I need help 2 weeks ago I got these hives and they are not going away could I be pregnant I never had these hives in my life my breast are really sore and I haven't saw a sign of my period
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I also have auto immune chronic uticaria diease it has been in my life now for almost 6 years i have been on every drug i know of that is a blocker but i still have them every day. im getting very depressied that there seems to be nouyhing to make it go away . i go to some of the worlds best docs at barns jewish but even they are confusied on why it still doesnt stop. if there is anyone out there that could help me please let me know. thanks so much,im so glad im not alone
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My allergist gave me the prick test and concluded that I'm allergic to many of the trees where I live.  I used to be a beer drinker and found that whenever I drank...the hives went away.  Now, I'm sober and haven't had a drink in about 6 years.  Has anyone else had this same kind of experience?
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Hello.
I think I may be afflicted with autoimmune uticaria as well. I've been tested by an allergist through the scratch test and blood test and both were only minimally reactive to dust. My first hives were in '98 or '99. The doctor thought I was reacting because I just had my first menustration. I reacted maybe once through the next four years. Four years later I had a really bad episode where the hives lasted for two to three days. Doctor told me to take Benadryl and use hydrocortisone cream. I moved south and had another really bad episode. This lasted for at least a week and I fainted. My joints were sore and my extremities swollen. I went to work ( I know it was stupid), and was sent home by the nurse to see the doctor. Nurse thought I was going into anaphylaxis. Doctor prescribed prednisone and I felt 90% better the next day. Two weeks ago I started seeing hives but stopped them with Benadryl. It's just crazy that no doctor can figure out my triggers. I never react when I eat something new or touch something different.  
I have read that hives and eczema can be related. Needless to say I have horrible eczema and have had it for years.
Unfortunate there is a need for this type of community. However I'm grateful because my family and friends don't understand when I have hives. Most if the time I'm in pain along with being uncomfortable.  
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sweetie 4 months, really??? Im so sorry for your discomfort but try 16 years  230 moths
angioedema and chronic hives daily from swelling feet to ER runs  at 3 am for swollen throat. lips the size if balloons and scars everywhere. remember walking a mile in someone elses shoes may make your seem a lot more comfortable
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I've been suffering from uncomfortably itchy skin all over my body (especially feet, legs, stomach and bum cheeks) for about 4 months now, and it's progressively getting worse. I'm waiting on an appointment with an allergist. My doctor thought it may be the acids in fruit, so  I cut out all fruit and wine (VERY difficult). Things didn't improve, so she suggested citric acid. I cut this out, again very difficult, as it's in many things, and still no luck. I have now cut alcohol out completely for a week, and no improvement. This is driving me insane. I also have a shellfish allergy, and I use artificial sweetener in my coffee, so I'm very interested in this conversation. I'm going to cut out the sweetener as of tomorrow, but I'm not optimistic. Any advice greatly appreciated!
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