New Allergy: Itchy Hives!

Updated on November 04, 2010
H.H. asks from Terryville, CT
13 answers

I am going crazy! I have never had an allergic reaction to anything in my life, this is all new at 31. I have not started new foods/products or anything that we can figure out. Here is the short story: One day I had some itchy bumps on my legs and I thought it was razor burn or something well each day after that it progressed all the way up to a full blown allergic reaction where my face/hands/feet swelled and it was hard to breathe. Well I have been working w/ an allergist for several months and he tested me for the regular allergic prick test, then he tested me for auto immnue disorders then he tested me for lime disease and they all came back negative. He then had me eat only rice, olive oil, lamb, pears, peaches, water and tea for five days and said if I got better it was a food allergy and we will have to look to find out what. well I did not get better! He now tells me that there is nothing else he can think of and we will never figure it out. he says maybe it is a virus that is not done yet and when it is you will just get better! Well in the mean time I am going crazy bc I am so itchy and swollen!!! I take zyrtec in the am and another allergy med at night just so that it does not get bad enough to use my new epi pen but all we are doing is making me somewhat (I do mean somewhat) comfortable. I am sick of it all though! So I guess I am looking for others that have been through this and what they have done and what outcomes they have gotten. I am willing to try anything bc I cant stand the feeling! I am going to write up a food list and start taking things out one at a time for a week at a time to see if it helps, but since the allergy diet did not before I doubt it will make a diff. I also switched to all dye free detergents and products and that di dnot help either. dont know what else to do! thanks in advance

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answers from Wichita on

that sort of happened to me, but it went away mostly after about a month and a half, and now only comes back when I take a hot shower or get really hot doing something outside. One thing that helped when it was at it's worst (and my mom said the only white thing on me was my eyes, and usually i'm the palest white girl around) was taking lukewarm oatmeal baths. I got some aveeno oatmeal bath and would just sit in it until i felt good enough to sleep.

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answers from Washington DC on

My brother and a friend had something similar. Their doctors told them that sometimes your body is exposed to something that its allergic to so it starts reacting, but can't figure out that the exposure is done. My brother was on 3 allergy meds daily for just over a year. Then one day he felt better and slowly weened off the meds. Boom your allergic, boom your better.

My co-worker had a similar experience, and it took about a year to fully clear with no rythme or reason.


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answers from Honolulu on

That happened to my friend. Per her allergist... sometimes this happens... and then for no conceivable reason, it stops.
Like Megan C. said.

She uses Zyrtec, and Claritin... and has the Epi pen too... and she also has an inhaler since it affects her and causes her to cough too.

Maybe, something topical is affecting you. What beauty creams do you use? Shampoos? Cleaning things? Any pets in the home??? Dust mites?
But your Allergist said you tested negative for food things... but what about other things? Environmental things?
Any trees in the area with pollen or flowers? I know some people that are allergic to Mango trees when it is in flower....
What about any dust/pollution in your area?
Or what about your water itself????
Maybe there are minerals or chemicals in it... that is causing hives in you???
Just some ideas...

All the best,

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answers from Chicago on

I got a case of hives once in my whole life and it was due to extreme stress. The itchiness was AWFUL. I scratched myself bloody at night and would wake up with bloody sheets. I was given a cortisone shot and that cleared it up. If it happened to me again I would go straight to a chiropractor. If that sounds crazy to you then it's because you don't understand what chiropractic does. Seriously, get to a chiropractor--they may be able to help, you'd be amazed. The more holistic ones are the best. And get a second, third, fourth, fifth, etc opinion. I'm sorry I can't offer more insight than that. I hope you find answers and relief soon--I'm so sorry you are having to go though this. May God bless, heal and comfort you.

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answers from Portland on

I have multiple allergies, and hives is one of my frequent symptoms. I don't handle standard medicines well, so I've done some experimenting. The BEST thing I've ever found for hives, as well as for itchy eyes, sneezing, etc., is a homeopathic remedy. There are several that are good for allergic symptoms. I get best results for MY symptoms from one called histaminum hydrochloride, which I use in the 30C strength. Symptoms start going away within 10 minutes, and within an hour I've had some hives completely disappear. Because yours have gotten established longer, your results could be slower, but you should be able to notice an improvement pretty quickly if this approach will work for you.

Since medical science has no answers, you might want to contact a homeopath. The initial consultation is lengthy and will probably cost you a couple of hundred bucks, and you could be in the 20% of the population who does not respond to this approach, but if you're desperate for relief, you may be in the 80% who find this approach nearly miraculous.

Or you could do a little research of your own, and try the few remedies for allergic reactions that are available in health food stores over the counter. They often have books available right there at the display that can help you decide which remedy to try first (based on your specific symptoms). Each tube of pellets is about $7 - $8, so you can try two or three pretty economically. If they work, you'll know within the first few doses. If they don't, try the next one on the list.

Or you can google "homeopathy for (symptom)" and find the information.

There is almost no incidence of side effects (for some remedies, you might notice a mood change, at most – these are referred to as "mentals"). You don't need to use more than one or two pellets at a time, though the instructions usually suggest three or four (I think this is because people don't believe one or two could possibly work). For me, one dose does the trick, but you may need to use this a few times a day to keep symptoms under control. Don't take more than actually seems to help.

Good luck. I don't know what I'd do if it wasn't for my little tube of homeopathy.

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answers from Providence on

I had this happen once about ten years ago. For lack of anything else I will say it was probably stress induced. I woke up one morning covered in hives, wheezing and so swollen I could not walk. I was even hospitalized on fluids for a few hours because of dehydration caused by the hives. I was at the allergist pretty much every day for a week (thank goodness my mom did not work and could come take me!) and tested for everythign under the sun. I was so swollen I could not walk. It was all I could do to get myself in and out of a chair and then I would walk on my knees to the bathroom. I couldn't use my hands at all they were so swollen. At the height of it I was on four different antihistamines as well as prednisone just to keep the swelling down. After a full week I was still a little swollen and rashy but I was good enough that I could function and go back to work. It took about four months or so to feel normal again. I then had to deal with the awful weight gain from the prednisone. It was at least another year before I got rid of the weight. For a few more years after that I did carry my epipen but after no further reactions I eventually stopped.

It has been ten years and I have never had any hint of a reaction ever again. Like you, I was sure there was a cause and even did a mail order mold test on my place of employment thinking it was in the air system. I was desperate for an answer. I did all the food journals, natural products, etc. Nothing. My doctor also said that it could have been a strange virus or some unknown allergen or nothing. I did a lot of research online on hives and edema (swelling) and at the time I found that 95% of reactions like this end up going undiagnosed.

So I know this doesn't give you any answers, but all I can offer is some hope that it will eventually go away and it may never happen again. You may not be able to find a cause and if you have tried all the obvious things then don't make yourself crazy over it. Do what you can to make yourself comfortable and most of all remember to drink as much water as you can. This is for multiple reasons. One -- the water will help you flush your system. And two -- when I ended up hospitalized on fluids the doctor explained to me that when you get hives and edema basically the water leaves your blood and rises to the surface of the skin that is what the swelling is. This then causes you to get dehydrated because the water isn't where it needs to be. Drinking tons of water may at first seem to make the swelling worse but it really is helping you.

Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

I've been going through elimination diets for 8 years now, so I totally feel your pain. I changed all my cleaning and household products to plant-based perfume/dye free then as well. For me, I was dealing with gi issues caused by poor food choices and repeated antibiotic/steroid use for several years. What started out as a list of 5 items to avoid is now 2 pages long (mostly additives and preservatives).

I'm surprised that he started your elimination diet with lamb though. It's a fatty meat and can be hard to digest if your system is compromised. It's also pretty high in sugary fruits, a problem if the underlying issue is candida overgrowth. Five days is not long enough to clean out your system either. Most elimination diets start with 10 days. Don't know about your municipal location, but did your doctor stress the importance of drinking filtered/non-chlorinated water?

You should absolutely keep a journal from here on out. Write everything down. What might seem insignificant today may be part of a pattern down the road. For example, I cut out wheat for 2 months last year. Allergy and celiac tests came back negative. Turns out the common denominator was yeast, not the wheat. Turns out I feel better if I avoid pasta, but it has nothing to do with allergy....
Last month, I finally figured out that coriander was a common denominator for other reactions I've been having for the last 8 months (weird, huh?!)

Note the delay in reactions, as their location in the body is important. Food sits in the stomach for 1-2 hours. It goes through the small intestine for another 4-6 hours before moving on to the large intestine.

Your doctor is an idiot, fire him and find someone else to help you. Have you had a full metabolic blood panel done?

Consider taking a multi-B vitamin supplement. It's the water soluble stress vitamin. You can't take too much because your body will eliminate what it doesn't need. Your urine color will tell you how much your body is using (or not using).

Good luck and hope you find the answers you need soon!

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answers from Boston on

Do you have hives or itchy red bumps? Did you recently have a baby or are you nursing? You might have PUPPS. See this: I know this site says that it comes before delivery, but my sister-in-law had it form after delivery and it lasted for a while. She also saw a bunch of doctors before the lactation consultant told her what it was. One dr even took a biopsy with no results. If the website sounds fimilar, google PUPPS or PUPS rash.

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answers from Modesto on

hello, i too noticed itchy welts starting on my feet, then progressing to my inner legs, the underside of my arms and back. i got worried when it was headed to my face. i was horrible so so so itchy and the welts where huge. i went to a dr and he said they will never go away. but eventually it got better. it was cause by stress and the overproduction of histamines in the body. the parts that are most effected were called heat spots. i took claritin it works wonders with no side effects, who needs that when you are looking afer children..... also try goldbond lotion this will give you a little relief. if you have a out of the ordinary stressfull day try to wear comfy pjs and read a good book before bed your welts will be gone in no time....hang in there...

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answers from Boston on

Ihad the same thing happen to me this summer. I was put on pedizone and benadrel (spelling?). This combo of meds was very helpful and I still don't know what caused it. I also took clariton which helped as well. Not sure if you've given thema try. I was told that firs thing to do was treat the symptoms and then see what caused it. Not sure if the dr discussed hot water and tighter clothes- to stay away from them. Loose fit clothes and cool showers. I hope it gets figures out soon!

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answers from Boston on

My husband went through the exact same thing last spring. He looked so bad he didn't want to leave the house. The doctor attributed it to allergies. He put him on prednisone, sigulair and zyrtec. He took the prednisone for 10 days, but within the first day he started feeling. He still continues to take the singulair and zyrtec. Hope this helps and you feel better soon.

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answers from Houston on

I used to take a weight loss supplement until the company changed its formulation. They made it taste a lot better but the downside was that it caused be to break out in hives. One of the workers at the weight loss center said she heard it was an allergic reaction to the small amount of nickel that was in the supplement. So, I just stopped taking the supplement and after 3 to 4 weeks the hives subsided.

The hives were horrible! I SO feel your pain on this one. I, too, would itch nonstop. My best friend was the hair dryer on the hot setting! I would blow hot air on my skin and it would feel like I was scratching the skin but wasn't actually touching it. Not sure if this was the best of ideas - but it would give me a little bit of relief. The other thing that helped was to put some original flavor Listerine in a spray bottle and spritz it over my skin. It would cool and soothe the skin - just beware of spritzing places that may have been scratched raw as it can sting for a moment.

I agree with a previous poster in that it's time for you to find a different doctor. Good luck and I hope you get some relief very soon!

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answers from Boston on

Two friends of mine have had this and they have had remarkable results with a nutritional supplement. It took a little time but it's way better than drugs (which just treat the symptom, not the problem) and all that constant testing and food elimination. If you'd like to connect with either of them or both, I can set that up for you. You don't need to be going through this misery for as long as they did before they found the solution! Let me know.

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