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chronic hives, flushing and stomach acid

I am a 44-year-old woman who has had chronic hives for about 2.5 years. I was sent to an internist and dermatologist who did a number of blood tests, including that for Hepatitis. I also had an abdominal ultrasound; they could find nothing that caused the hives and thought an allergy to the cold virus was the trigger. They did mention I had gallstones, which are silent.
Two months ago, I developed epigastric pain. I was put on 20 mg Losec daily, which helped enormously. Then the pain came back badly, along with a hive attack and flushing. I've had two episodes where I get those attacks and also have four or five bowel movements a day, though they are not diarrhea. My family doctor has referred me for an upper GI.
I am not sure if the hives are related to the epigastric pain, occasional flushing (particularly when I am getting sick or drink certain wines) and frequent bowel movements. The hives are well-controlled most of the time with anti-histamines and I find cutting out coffee has reduced the amount of hives I have. The epigastric pain is mostly controlled with low-dose Losec, save for a couple of episodes.
What do you make of those symptoms?
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233190 tn?1278553401
Further evaluation of the epigastric pain can be done with an upper endoscopy.  This can look for ulcers, inflammation or GERD.  The endoscopy is a more comprehensive test than the upper GI.

Flushing associated with GI symptoms can be suggestive of carcinoid syndrome.  The test of choice would be a 5-HIAA test.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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