I started with hives 3 weeks ago. I ensured it was not a bug in the bed. I noted abundant and itchy hives after eating greek spicy food for 3 days.
Hives are perfectly round (5 to 10 mm). They look amorphous when two or more individual hives merge. Hives only start popping around 9 pm. A warm bath makes them worse (hot water may expand blood capillars-more histidine all over).
Hives can appear on palm hands, tongue, lips (swelling lips and tongue), and soles of feet. However, they most commonly occur around knees, in the back of upper legs, butt, underarms, forearms, hips and ankles. This may vary in every person, but in my case hives appear symetrically: hives in the same opposite areas of the body.
I cancelled snaks (artificial colors and flavors), chicken, almonds, peanuts, milk, granola bars, and meat. They slightly decreased in intensity at nights, but not in frequency. Some days is worse than others.
The most mysterious thing is the tongue and lip swelling. Even staying on water for two days they suddenly appear. No stress, no sunshine, no condimented food, no pool chlorine, no lotions, no fabrics, why would they appear? Hives are never painful, but tongue and lip swelling hurt in the beginning (2 min) and last for some 1 to 3 hours.
I first got Benadryl and worked for a day. It did not work the next, plus I felt very heavy, so I quit on it. I never took anything else since then, and have been careful with what I eat, so my hives are more less controlled. but they do appear every night.
I know for sure allergies and immune response are not well understood yet. I do not trust doctors much (they tend to prescribe whatever is common these days), but they see patients with the same symptoms every day, so they may know. Eventually, exercise and more water (avoid sodas and sugary juices) might help getting rid of this miserable allergy.
Some people say this lasts for months or years. I hope not to have this for long. Please post your experience. HB
There are literally dozens of causes of hives or urticaria and, in a significant number of cases, the specific cause is never found. Reactions can occur in response to allergic; infectious; drugs; and physical, for example, to cold and sun exposure. Your suspicion of foods, as a cause, is warranted and an exclusionary diet is the right approach.
There are 2 classes of antihistamines, referred to as H1 and H2. Used separately or together, these drugs can provide relief of hives.
That you have experienced swelling of your tongue and lips is worrisome. Such swelling, if bad enough, can actually interfere with your breathing. You clearly have an aversion to doctors, but you definitely should arrange to see one; not just any doctor, but a board certified allergist who, working with you, may be able to diagnose the cause(s) of your hives. If not he/she might be able to prescribe drugs to eradicate or ease the severity of the hives. If the allergist is also concerned about lip and tongue swelling, he/she may want to prescribe what is called an EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injector, a form of adrenaline that could be life-saving.
That your hives tend to occur primarily at night again raises the possibility of "bed-bugs", too small to be seen with the naked eye.
I wrote my symptoms several days ago... I am posting how I got cured two weeks ago.
If you read my post above, you can follow what I am posting (hives and swelling lips due to a food allergic reaction).
I spent one week and a half eating white rice and vegetables until the hives disappeared. To finished them all up, I took Claritine (Benedryl was too sleepy for me), and it helped a lot (I was very awake).
I stayed two days without hives before start eating normal food again. After those clean days, I started eating one different thing a a time, and the rest was again white rice and veggies.
I discovered that dairy products, but especially cottage cheese, and pecans (not almonds, nor cashews) gave me hives again. I now knew I could use Claritine to shut them down fast... which I did.
I 'cleaned' my metabolism once more and tried those products again, so I could confirm they were causing the hives... both testing came out positive.
I was able to rule out other food that I thought was causing me the hives (e.g. fish, chicken, artificial flavors)...
I am being careful now, but still can take some dairy, like butter, milk, cream cheese and yogurt, but in measured alliquots. I have quit from pecans, and will be cautious with them.
My recommendation: try to abolish hives and swelling with a good antihistaminic that works for you. Complement that with an inert diet, such as rice and veggies, until you feel clean and hive-free. Start eating things that you believe are causing the allergy, but do not eat too much of it, just a regular portion. Find out what really is causing you the allergy and quit from it for a while, until your body is ready to try them again in little portions.
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