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Living with chronic urticaria

Updated on August 23, 2017

Chronic urticaria (hives)

Want to know how to cope with chronic urticaria? Who can you turn to for help with dealing and possibly curing it? What causes urticaria and is it ever worth paying lots of money for a miracle cure for it? These questions used to turn around my mind; trying to pin down one place, I could get the answers, was difficult.

My husband suffered terribly for years with chronic urticaria, leaving us both feeling frustrated and angry with the lack of information out there. What we could find, was from different sources which involved lots of cross referencing; some websites even offering miracle cures for a cost. I am sure that if you have been, or you are suffering from this awful condition, that you have asked yourself these questions over and over again.

I have created this page, using the information I sourced, that I hope will help you get the answers that you need to move forward and cope with living with this condition. Amongst the information I will tell you about our experiences, remedies we have tried, money we have paid out and hopefully enable you to gain an understanding of the difficulties it causes for both the person with the condition and the people in their lives that care.

There wasn't any page when I was looking, (and I trawled through the internet for weeks, hours at a time!) that had compiled the information so this is what I hope to do for you.

When you are desperate, itching and in pain, the last thing you need is to pay a website for information that swears it will help you, only to be let down when you receive it and realise that you already know the information. This page is free to read and the information will hopefully help you.

Do you suffer from urticaria/hives?

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Do you suffer from urticaria (hives)?

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What is chronic urticaria

I am not an expert on chronic urticaria but I have gathered a lot of information and these are my findings.

Urticaria, also known as hives or nettle rash, can be acute or chronic. About 1 in 6 people will have acute urticaria at least one in their life; a rash will appear because of an allergic reaction and will last for less than six weeks.

Chronic urticaria is a rash that occurs on most days for more than six weeks; this occurs in about 1 in a 1000 people, more likely in women and can in some cases last for years. In about a third of cases it is an autoimmune problem, the body's anti-bodies cause the problem, they cause the body to release histamine, the body's natural defence, and the reason for this is unknown. It can be caused by an allergic reaction or there can be a physical cause of urticaria.

The rash can affect any skin on your body.

Wheals, which are small raised areas, develop on the skin and if they are close together they can form one large wheal. They look like blisters and itch constantly. They can be any size, any shape and anywhere on the skin, red or white in colour and usually surrounded by a red area of skin called a flare.

Each wheal has a life cycle of about 24 hours, however as one fades another can appear so it can feel like a never ending attack on the skin. When they appear on the face, they can completely close your eye, they can cause your lips to swell and at times your face will be swollen. This can be an uncomfortable time and not only are you itchy with possible restriction on your sight or other senses but it can make you feel very alone and not want people to see this very obvious looking condition.

It can all sound very clinical when you read it but the welts are very real and no words to describe them can explain the distress that a person goes through with them. I remember my husband becoming very despondent and withdrawn; it was a very dark time. I just wanted to explain what they were before I go into any of the other information. I will also add links throughout this page to sites that I found helpful. I have shared our experiences, saying what worked and didn't work for us.

We have used the first book and it was ok although more about keeping a diary than cures.

The other two are recommends from someone else but they seem reasonably priced.

Hives: The Road to Diagnosis and Treatment of Urticaria
Hives: The Road to Diagnosis and Treatment of Urticaria

We bought this and it is just a workbook, cataloguing your progreess, symptoms and diagnosis. It is a process working with your doctor that allows you to have some control but it did not have a cure for chronic urticaria. We did find it useful but not what we thought it would be. Useful in it's own way.

 
Urticaria Hives : Treatment Guide For Chronic Or Cholinergic: Remedies And Cures For Hives, Eczema And Psoriasis
Urticaria Hives : Treatment Guide For Chronic Or Cholinergic: Remedies And Cures For Hives, Eczema And Psoriasis

This was a recommended book but we had started the herbs at this stage and wanted to try that first.

 

Urticaria is an itch that can never be be relieved by scratching that is so often painful.

The skin can also swell causing loss of vision, hearing and use of the body, also can restrict the windpipe.

More understanding is needed and more empathy when someone asks for help

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Tomatoes

Possible causes

I say possible because there is a lot of speculation on what the causes are; I have found no definite answer, each person is a unique case and sometimes like in the case of my husband it is his immune system which was attacking his own body, for no reason the doctors could find.

However I would always suggest going to the doctors, who should in turn refer you to a skin specialist. They will probably conduct tests to check for allergies or known causes and then often the treatment is a course of anti-histimine tablets, in a dose that is specific to you. as I am not a doctor I will not add a huge amount more about that.

Causes that you could look for are as follows, a food that is causing an allergic reaction, a washing powder, a soap, grass, animals, SLS (sodium laureth sulfate), paper, chemicals and many many more. As you can see there is a wide variety of things that can cause urticaria and to eliminate them all from your life is in itself not only impossible but also very distressing.

We started eliminating foods that are naturally high in histimine, tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants, spinach, cheese, milk, wheat, eggs and fish (unless caught and cooked almost immediately). Be aware that if you cut it all out if you are trying to determine which it is when you reintroduce them, do it one at a time for a couple of weeks to see a reaction if there is one.

It may be worth checking for coeliac disease as this can be one of the symptoms. I paid a website £12.95 when we had got desperate for a cure to find this out, don't pay for information, everything you need is out there for free, they do not have magic cures.

We started to use a toothpaste called squiggle; which incidentally I was using as a cure for my ulcers, as it did not contain SLS and our shower gels and shampoos.

Your doctor will work with you on this and alternative practitioners will too, homeopaths, herbalists and chinese medicine practitioners to name a few, listen to what they say but make sure that they also listen to you, it is your body!

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Symptoms of Chronic Urticaria

Want to know the symptoms of chronic urticaria? They can be many and vary from person to person. These are described in my own words and experience so click on the links below for the medical findings.

The most obvious syptoms are the welts and weals that appear on the skin, often raised, red and very itchy; they can be anywhere on the body and any size. Rashes that contain these appear on the skin.

Swelling; most commonly in the face though can be anywhere. In severe cases this can restrict breathing so always have it checked out in a hospital if you experience this. Eyes, lips and cheeks swell up causing temporary distortion of the face, restricting sight at times.

Depression; not only does the endless itching and the constant irritation cause the person to become withdrawn through frustration and pain but also we were told by the doctor that the chemical imbalance can cause actual depression.

Places to get medical information.

There are some helpful and informative places on the internet that can help you understand this terrible condition. I have added some of the ones that I have used.

It can be hard to live with someone with Chronic Urticaria, ensure you BOTH have a good support network.

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INFORMATION SHOULD BE FREE - DO NOT PAY THE SCOUNDRELS PREYING ON YOUR DESPERATION FOR A CURE

Information to cure illness should always be free

For every illness there is someone peddling a miracle cure or ways to solve this problem. We clicked on one link that charged us about £12.95 stating although it was not a miracle cure that the person had gathered all the information that you could want in one place. Hoping they had researched something that I did not know about and my husbands skin was so bad, we paid the money.

What I received was a file to download and the earth shattering discovery within it's pages? The fantastic research that she had discovered? Just that it can sometimes be an allergy to gluten and that you should get tested at a doctors, I already know this and I am sure that if you didn't before now, I have told you for FREE!!!!!

Every person has a right to make money, I however do not think it should be at the expense of people that are in pain and suffering badly. In some of the worst cases I have read about people are unable to work and their quality of life is so low and these are the people that these websites are targeting; I do not think it is ethical, moral or fair.

I hope that you have found your way here first, i do not ask for your money; I just want to pass on the information and advice that I have gathered, I truly hope it helps you.

I will be adding a guest book for you to share ideas that have worked for you and like a plant I hope we are able to create a community as strong as a tree."

Sometimes you need to be alone..... - .....and other times you need to feel part of something.

Chronic Urticaria is something that you cannot understand unless you have it. I have a different viewpoint to my husband as living with someone with Cronic Urticaria can be so heartbreaking and frustrating but living with it is soul destroying. This is a link to a site I used in the past, sometimes you need to know you're not the only one.

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Soothing the itch

A cure is the ultimate goal but on that journey, there will be many an itchy and painful day, sometimes having different ideas to try to help soothe your skin a little can give you temporary relief.

I came across so many strange ideas for helping to sooth the skin, some worked for my husband, some didn't. I'm going to include all of them as everyone is different and I am hoping that one of them will help you.

1. Anti-histimine creams, this can take the edge of the itch though it can get very expensive if it covering a huge expanse of skin.

2. Urtica cream - a homeopathic cream that you can buy in a big tub for £19.80 from Ainsworths, they come in smaller sizes too though if it is for most of your body, this is the most cost effective. We used Ainsworths for the cream regularly and have added the link to the picture, click on it and it will take you through to their page. My husband said that this was one of the best creams and numbed down a lot of the itching.

3. Bicarbonate of soda in water, applied to the skin with cotton wool. We tried this and it made some difference but it was messy and the effects didn't last long.

4. Bach flower remedy - crab apple. Take dose as recommended and add to water and apply to skin. We tried this and it had some effect, it took a couple of days but there was a definite reduction in itching. can be bought through a local bach remedy practitioner or at an online store such as Ainsworths.

5. Aloe Vera, either in a cream or in a natural essence in a bath.

6. A lukewarm bath, this did ease it for a while though the effects wore off and it was not that pleaseant in a luke warm bath.

7. Olive oil on the skin can ease the itch.

8. Put about 2/3 rose water in 1/3 vinegar and apply to the itching areas. We never tried this so cannot say for against it.

9. Boil mint and sugar syrup and drink it daily. One that several people swore by again not tried by us.

10. Drink apple cider three times a day. We did try this and my husband hated it so much that he stopped after three, no idea if it helped but it made him feel sick.

What works best for you?

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What has worked for my husband

He was on 9 strong tablets a day and still he would have outbreaks most days, often he was in pain and he was constantly itchy. We had seen a homeopath who had started to treat him with urtica urens and it had started to work initially but soon came back, I do not fault the practitioner or homeopathy, I know people have said it worked for them.

We next went to see a chinese herbalist, who explained that in China, hospitals use both traditional and chinese medicine in conjunction with each other. The herbalist stated that both practices complimented the other and aided better healing within that person. We had got to a stage where we would try anything. As my husband had been taken off his sulfasalazine tablets a couple of months before, we were not sure now if they had anything to do with it as previously believed. The herbalist who was very practical explained the process and the costs involved, it was £30 a session and the herbs would be about £20 every 2 weeks. It seemed like a lot but we wanted to try it, chinese medicine has a strong success rate with skin conditions.

My husband had his first session; he was told that it was likely to have been the sulfasalazine and that his immune system was now so sensitive that the anti-hisitimines could no longer suppress the flare ups of the wheals and welts. He said the long term plan was to enable my husband to stop taking tablets and not be taking herbs for good but in the short term, he was going to calm his system down to stop the constant flare ups. We went home to boil the herbs, which was a lot of effort but if they worked I would have done it for life.

Working with the herbs continued

After a week, my husband noticed that the flare ups had diminished somewhat; even having a couple of days with only one welt, this was a major change. After two weeks we returned to the chinese herbalist and my husband was able to tell him that he had had his first day with no urticaria flaring up, it was the first of many turning points.

It was explained that the body was still having the allergic reactions but the concoction of tablets he was on was suppressing it; if there is no other solution, tablets can be the only thing that can make life bearable for urticaria sufferers. He was given a slightly different make-up of herbs and to return in two weeks, which he did, having only one flare up in that time. The herbalist said that he would be happy for us to approach the specialist my husband had been seeing and discuss reduction of tablets. As we worked in conjunction with both, this was possible and he was given the go ahead to start to reduce them down, he was under the supervision of both of them.

Over the next eight weeks he changed from the boiled herbs to the powders, easier and cheaper, and he reduced his tablets down to two a day and his skin was fine, no hives, no welts or itching, it seemed like this was the perfect solution. We were now seeing the chinese hebal practitioner every three weeks and was going to reduce the last couple slowly, over thos weeks he reduced it down to one, it felt wonderful; he suddenly felt more normal.

After the next visit he was advised to cut the tablets down to two days taking one, one day not until we next saw the hebalist. However as it seemed it was all sorted now, only a matter of time til he was tablet free and he chose to reduce the amount he was taking quicker than advised. A couple of days later he noticed he had urticaria on his arms and then again the next day on his legs. We went back to the herbalist who changed the herbs and increased the tablets to one a day again. this worked fine and the welts went away.

It was decided that he had tried too quickly and it would be a much slower process from this time.

How it is today.

June 2011

He has not had any signs of urticaria for 4 months which is wonderful. He is still taking the herbs and one tablet every three days. It feels like a really long journey but we do see an end in sight, this is not going to be the answer for everyone but it has been the solution to my husbands condition.

7 years of suffering and not knowing if there was an end in sight and finally he is able to do everything with more energy and a smile.

September 2011

He has had a slight flare up when he missed his herbs for a couple of days but has since gone when he restarted it. It is a great feeling knowing it has now been seven months, each day seems brighter.

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1st January 2012

It's a new year and hopefully a new chance to overcome this frustrating condition. I have no other insights per se although recently against my judgement my husband had tomatoes and his skin flare up somewhat, this was coupled with again a few days of not doing his herbs.

I remember his complacency in my own history and it's up to everyone how to look after their helath but he's back on the herbs, tabvlets reduced even further and no flare ups for the last few weeks, crossing fingers this is the beginning of the end.

I am wishing you all well for 2012 and please leave a message if you want to ask anything or just want to talk to someone, it can be such an isolating condition that is easily misunderstood.

March 2013

One year on

Today, my husband is on 1 anti-histamine 10mg tablet every other day, although there have been a couple of times when he has taken them every day if he has a flare up.

The herbs still appear to be working, although i thought they would be further on than where we are. Another issue that has been highlighted is that my husband works with metals and chemicals and due to his job will often scratch himself. There is a strong possibility that these are getting onto his skin and in through the scratches causing these flare ups so he is now wearing long sleeves in an attempt to alleviate the issue.

He very rarely has any problems now although i do notice when it gets bad as before hand he becomes very agitated and depressive, not fun to live with at all. I just want to make it better and it is more frustrating that neither one of us can do anything about it, just have to wait for it to go again, luckily these are few and far between.

There have been some heart-breaking accounts on here and any advice or information that I find I will put on here as it is deplorable that anyone should pay for information from those who prey on the weak.

The picture is of the Blue Poole in the UK where we had a fabulous day, something we couldn't have done when my husband was very bad, these are the days that are worth so much.

I wish you all well and success in tackling your urticaria.

September 2013

Progress

Unfortunately for my husband he has yet been able to stop the tablets altogether and had a small breakout when he was stressed. Also he neglected to do the Chinese herbs for about three months, I think he was just fed up and had to increase the tablets up and had a few breakouts.

He is back taking the herbs and down to one tablet a day, he has also reintroduced tomatoes occasionally and this does not appear to be affecting him yet although the tablets may be affecting this.

Overall things are still good and he is struggling less with everything, the itching has pretty much been eradicated except on these occasional flare ups and even then it is only a couple of hives.

I hear lots of stories on here and other help pages and it breaks my heart that they people have not been able to alleviate the suffering. i hope they continue to keep trying and keep on going back to the medical community because the more awareness there is about the condition, the more likely something else will be done about it.

I hope you are feeling better about the cooling weather in the UK (unsure how it is the rest of the world at present) and take care.

April 2014

Still going strong

My husband's skin is still so good and he has stopped the herbs. In the last 8 months he has had two anti-histamines when he had a small outbreak but nothing since then. He has continued to be careful and keeps foods with high histamine to a minimum but he does have everything still, he was most pleased about the reintroduction of pizza, bless him!

He no longer suffers with depressive moods and feels good in himself generally. There is such a turnaround on his mood and life that it is great to see. I am aware that people do have flare ups later on but I hope that we will have a way to deal with it, mainly I am crossing fingers that the herbs calmed his autoimmune system down so much that there will be no future issues, though as everyone is aware there is so little known or being researched that anything can occur.

I hope that you are all getting the help you need and feel free to message here whenever you want or need to.

April 2015

The Chronic Urticaria has not returned although if my husband still keeps to minimal amounts of food with high histamine. There have been many suggestions on here from other people and some harrowing distressing stories, I hope that having heard from others that a small measure of peace can be found.


Please leave your comments or anything you want help with or just talk because you need to.

As we all know there are many things that people will swear by and others say it does nothing for them. Maybe by leaving what works for you, you'll be helping someone else who never thought of trying it. Also this will build up a great source of alternative things to try alongside your medication.

This is a terrible condition and being alone is awful, leave your name and be part of a community where you are not alone.

Start of our community - Sometimes soothing the itch is all you can do.

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      Dev 23 months ago

      I am the wife of a chronic uticarian. He has had this disease going on 4 months and it has been progressively worse for him and has truly impacted the quality of life for our whole family. He has had to miss work on several occasions, we are losing money, spending a fortune on remedies and medicines, he barely sleeps and his anxiety and anger / depression are rampant. I am at a loss as a wife as to how to deal with this and am looking for support for myself. I love him very much but am having a very hard time and I am scared about our future. Anyone??

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      Kathleen Chalmers 2 years ago

      Thank you for your information. It is truly great to be able to exchange information for what is truly a miserable disease. When you tell someone you have chronic hives they think it is a small itchy area and why are you complaining? This is the second bout of chronic urticaria I have had. I went back to school at forty years old and at the end of the last year broke out in large patches of itchy red welts. My doctor treated with a short course of prednisone and antihistamines and it only lasted six months.

      This latest bout has been going on for two years. In that time Ihave been on prednisone for six months. Then heavy doses of antihistamines. My doctors freaked when they counted up just how long I had been on prednisone. It has some ugly side effects. The heavy doses of antihistamines left me groggy all day, and still I itched. Luckily I am now retired. I could never have managed to go to work. I did not drive for 18 months. In the last two years I have been hive free for two days.

      My new allergist has put me on Xolaire. I am Canadian and most of our drugs are covered 100%. Thank goodness for that. I could never have paid for it. I see my allergist again tomorrow and will discuss using Chinese herbs with him. Living in Vancouver we have a large Asian population and lots of good naturopaths and doctors of Chinese medicine.

      I also take the antihistamine Allegra which has no real side effects. It is the only one that airline pilots are allowed to use. The Xolaire and the Allegra have allowed me to get out of my drugged stupor but I am still scraping and scratching a my welts at times. My skin is covered in small sores because of it. It is wonderful to hear. Your stories, your successes and failures. It all adds to the pile of information we have all accumulated. To all those still suffering I am sending all my best wishes. It is a nasty nasty disease and leaves you far more debilitated than most people understand. Here we all understand and support each other.

      My best to all of you, Kath

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      bruce 2 years ago

      I have suffered Chronic Urticaria for 5 years,I went to the hospital for test and biopsy and was given antihistamines, steroids, antibiotics medication. but when i came across Dr FRED ADU JUNIOR herbal cure which did not only cured me of HIVES but for 2 years now no sign of it coming back.so many people have been talking of Dr FRED ADU JUNIOR on the internet about his powerful herbal cure. My advice to you is to write via his email (drfredherbalcuringcenter@yahoo.com) so you can purchase his herbal cure for hives like i did and get your everlasting relief.

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      Kila 2 years ago

      Could you please send me the link to ainsworth for the homeopathic cream that your husband also saw some relief. I'm unable to go to the page on clicking the picture, ( as instructed by you)

      Thank you so much I advance

      Kila.

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      natashaely 2 years ago

      Laura, apologies for the delay in answering your e-mail, i have been in and out of hospital for the last few months.

      The herbs were different ones each time as he had an assessment and were altered in relation to improvements and his case. I'm sorry this isn't more helpful. If you're in the UK I can give you the number of the herbalist, I wouldn't know about others, he is also treating my mother's migraines, after many years of suffering (including the last four with them every day), she is only having a couple a month, able to reduce her meds and will be coming off the herbs soon (she has been treated for 1 1/2 years).

      The Chinese herbalist said the length of the treatment can be in relation to the length of the time you have had the condition.

      I hope you have some resolution as this is such a debilitating condition.

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      Laura0323 3 years ago

      I've had chronic hives for a few years and am having the worst hive outbreak in recent memory right now. Food allergies seem to trigger it and unfortunately the list of foods I must avoid is an ever expanding one. I don't even know what my triggers are right now but am beyond miserable. I need to know what herbs worked for the original poster? I'm tired of spending money that turns out to be for nothing. I am desperate.

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      Jade 3 years ago

      Hi everyone,

      Just wanted to share a bit about my continuous journey with chronic urticaria and angieodema (swelling)

      I know how unbelievably debilitating this disease is, and I will be praying for each one of you affected by this.

      I've had the hives and occasional facial anaphylactic type reaction for a year and a half now. It seems to be autoimmune related as well.

      The closest we've come to managing this disease, is through thyroid medication. Not long after being diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, the hives started.

      My husband started researching studies where people with chronic hives were treated by increasing their thyroid meds until the hives went away. By doing this, and avoiding gluten, I've seen a large improvement! Although I'm not cured, it has really helped.

      My allergist is also wanting to treat me with an injection that has just been approved for urticaria. It is called Xolair, and it works by neutralizing the antibodies that cause the hives.

      I would encourage everyone to look into both of these treatments. I hope this has been helpful!

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      roffiec 3 years ago

      hey, it is a great blog.

      i had chronic hives for almost a year, and it really affects my studies and sleeping. it is like i am unable to have a good sleep since i have this. i wake up every night because i am feeling so itch.

      and i have been taking the tablets for almost a year as well, but it only makes it go away for only a short time, like only a couple of days or even one day. i have to rely on the tablets. it is very annoying and also costing in the long terms.

      and after i read ur blog, about ur husband recovered by taking the Chinese herbs. so i just wonder to know, do you really think the chinese herbs is better than the tablets that we bought in pharmacy stores? Even though i know it might be different for individuals, but i will be really appreciated your response, like in general about how you feel for the chinese herbs and tablets.

      :)

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      natashaely 3 years ago

      @Cyndi_luvSD: I am sorry it came back, that must be so frustrating. Prendisone is harsh but often better than the urticaria, it's a balancing act. I would love to know how the herbs go, I am crossing fingers for you, take care and we're here if you need to chat at all.

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      Cyndi_luvSD 3 years ago

      I had an episode of Chronic Hives 10 years ago, lasted 1.5 years. They came back in 2012 and I managed them with antihistamines till approx 2 weeks ago. Now I am on 40 mg prendisone (20 x 2 day). It is autoimmune because I have had every test under the sun done with no reason for them. This gives me hope because I made an appointment with a accupunturist and chinese medicine doctor next week to see if I can get relief. They have a new drug out there called Xolair but it is very expensive. I will keep you posted on progress

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      natashaely 3 years ago

      @joshua-blue: I am so sorry for what you are going through. It was explained to us that the histamine is the bodies way of reacting to something that is irritating it. The more it is suppressed, often the more it fights back, almost as if in a panic and throws it out even faster.

      I cannot say what will work for you as I know the difficulties that we have had. My husband now has no tablets and no herbs and in the last 8 months has had one tablet. The Chinese herbalist explained to us that the herbs calmed the body down and that is what reduced and finally stopped the histamine.

      I hope you do find some respite in whatever you try, it is a long and frustrating journey and I hope that this page helps just a little, even if it's to just not feel alone. I wish there had been something like this when I was researching, would have saved me time and money! Always here if you need to talk :)

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      joshua-blue 3 years ago

      I am in the United States, and have been dealing with this since I was 18. I am now 37 and what used to work no longer does. In the beginning I took one anti-histamine....now I'm up to 6 at a time! I have been to several different doctors and all have tried the same thing. Skin test after skin test, blood work after blood work. "Sorry sir some people just have to live with this." Finding your page makes me wonder if this will help me? What else do I have to lose?

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      ImogenScott 4 years ago

      I am 15, and have been suffering with chronic urticaria since last August, i have tried everything and nothing seems to settle them down. I have been referred to a specialist and they told me my body was attacking itself due to a protein in my body i am missing with they said cannot be supplemented. Recently, when i have had hives i have began to have sickness and fainting, has anyone else experienced this?

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I hope it does go well for you, it's a truly frustrating condition. I look forward to some positive news, if you want any information on the herbs I can tell you the ones he is on now.

      Be warned whilst on the ones you boil they smell bad but they were worth it.

      Take care Stacey

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm in the US,I will look into a Chinese herbalist here.it is very frustrating for sure my poor family too,my hubby n kids too.thank you for your info,I will let u no how it goes.stacey

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 4 years ago

      @anonymous: To start with he was on fresh herbs that were boiled every day and they changed every three weeks, then when the worst of it was settled down, the herbalist changed him onto powder that he makes each night and has twice a day.

      I can tell you which he is on now but I am unable to tell you if they would help straight away. Are you in the UK? If so I can give you the name of him and you could speak to him for advice, he's in Dorset, he may even treat you over the phone but for my husband he checks out his tongue and hands.

      If not then I am sure that a reputable Chinese herbalist may be able to help.

      If you want me to I can try to find some of the older prescriptions we had and that may give you an idea at least. His are tweaked at each appointment.

      I am sorry for your suffering, it is hell to go through and must be so frustrating for your Mom to watch, I hope these do help. The herbalist explained to us that first he had to calm the whole immune system down because it was angry and the more it was suppressed, the more it fought back and sent out more histamine.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Can you tell me what herbs he is on? What he started with and such?my mom is into herbs but doesn't know what or how to give it to me?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have been living with this for almost 7 years ,everyday allday,I have been on steroids for 2years,seems to be the only thing that keeps them at bay.yet the steroids have had their own toll,I've gained almost 100bls,along with other things like sweating all the time,makes you mean,etc.i feel stuck,miserable both ways.ive also been on cyclosporine,placwinil(sp),4 days at 6 hours a day of IVIG,along with several different allergy meds.with no relief except with the steroids.im at a loss anymore.thank you for your page.i am going to try the herbal thing ,I have nothing to lose.i will let you know how it works!

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry that you are suffering, I have seen how painful, frustrating and soul destroying the condition is. My husband tried the cider vinegar to no effect but everyone does well with different things, I hope that it will be useful to you.

      I have not heard of the ringing in the ears but it depends where it is affecting you and if it is your face it can play havoc with your senses, my husband used to lose the sight in his eye as it closed up, I can not imagine the suffering you have with that, it must upset your balance as well as other things.

      I too believe healing comes from within and I hope the supplements help you, it is why we tried homeopathy and Chinese herbs, luckily the latter was successful and it is still working for him with only minor flare ups infrequently.

      Please keep us updated on your progress, it is horrible to have to go through it on your own. Keep safe.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have had chronic hives since February 24, 2013. Several trips to emergency and seven doctors later my treatment plan from an immunologist is giving some relief. I am taking 100 mg of Cyclosporine morning and night, 20 mg of Zyrtec in the morning and 25 mg of Atarax at night. I can not begin to describe how miserable I have been. The worst symptom would have to be the burning sensation which at times had me sitting with ice packs. It felt like my ears were burining off the side of my head. I'm not sure why my body is having difficulty controlling it's temperature; hot flush to chills in minutes...I'm thinking maybe my hashimoto's is playing a part; anti-bodies are X10 the norm. I have spent hours and hours reading up on hives and my latest discovery is apple cider vinegar. I am taking enough supplements to choke a horse because I do believe healing must come from within. My symptoms increase with my level of stress and exertion. Aside from everything else another annoying symptom is loud ringing in my ears. Anyone else experience this? It will soon be 6 months...I just desperately need to get off this merry-go-round! I want my life back!

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am sorry that you paid the money to that website, it makes me so cross.

      My husband uses citirizine hydrochloride as it is non-drowsy but he does it in conjunction with the chinese herbs, he takes 1 every other day though at present he is on one a day.

      I would suggest giving up the tomatoes, fish and strawberries as they produce histamine. The Chinese herbalist explained that the body is angry and trying to get rid of everything, eventually fighting itself and that the herbs calm it down, giving up the foods that naturally produce histamine will also help. As will avoiding as many chemicals as possible.

      I am so sorry that you are feeling this way and my heart goes out to you as I know it can be desperately miserable and make you feel alone. I am not a specialist and would always suggest going to the doctors, I just know that there is only so long you can suppress them before the body fights harder to break through.

      On a slightly different approach, I sometimes feel as though my throat is restricted although I can swallow and breath, it feels tight and constricted around my wind pipe, I went to the doctors and they told me it was stress, although I get it when I am relaxed too. I have to find something to take my mind off it and eventually it goes away although it is so scary.

      The only other thing we have introduced is that my husband has to take 15 minutes of relaxation a day, as stress can heighten the problem, it certainly doesn't hurt.

      Please message if you just need to talk, you are not alone and although I cannot 'fix' you, I can talk to you.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am a newcomer to urticaria For the past 3 weeks I have experienced angioedema of my lips mouth neck and hives on my upper torso .The inside of my ears an mouth burn and My skin on my stomach and back feel like they are on fire. I have missed the last two weeks of work because of this . My throat sometimes feels tight. I have seen my allergist and internist and went to Er. They say even though I feel like my throat is closing it is not. I just become very anxious. I am presently taking 60 mg prednisone a day allegra 180mg, pepsid twice daily. One singulair a day. Also taking atarax and benedryl. I too was desperate and paid $27.00 for information on line. So far I am miserable and still breaking out.

      I started gluten free diet per the article I paid for I am taking two tbsp. of organic apple cider vinegar in 8 0z of water Twice a day. I am tired and miserable. I unfortunately have to go back to work in a couple of days. I am a nurse . Can you give me an suggestions on alternative antihistamines that will work that are non sedating. Sorry I am rattling on. I just want some relief.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 4 years ago

      @Board-Game-Brooke: Thank you so much, that is such a lovely gesture, I hope it will bring more awareness of this. Blessings to you.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 4 years ago from US/TN

      I nominated this page for a purple star. I hope it gets approved -- you deserve it. :-)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Some days are so dark and I just want to give up. Although I do not want other people to suffer with this, I am grateful that I am not alone and to hear this from someone who doesn't suffer it but lives with the sufferer is enlightening. I am going to try a new approach to tackle the issue and I wish I had found this before, i too paid for the info on coeliacs disease, just desperate that was all. I will be back soon to hear others and hopefully with some good news of some kind. Thank you for the time spent writing this page.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have hives at time and when they attack (that is how it feels) I am unable to sdleep or do anything for days. My longest bout was for 2 months and I am hoping that that is the last. I cannot find the triggers and therefore cannot prevent it. I saw an advert for the information to pay for it and I am glad I read this page first. Thank you

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 5 years ago

      @premjayaram: I hadn't heard of this but definitely something to try. Thank you

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      premjayaram 5 years ago

      a small advice from body energy perspective - keep you body's energy field disease free by regularly taking salt water bath. Take a handful of rock salt and mix with a bathtub of warm water. Salt cleanses negative energy field in the body and also a natural anti-bacteria that kills off external infection in the body Take salt bath regularly and you will be surprised with the effect..

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry that you are suffering with it. It is so frustrating as there is so little research done on it and yet it is a debilitating condition that I feel may get worse as people get more allergies.

      I am glad that this gives you more informationa dn I hope to see you on here again with some good news. Remember it is often a slow process with pitfalls along the way.

      The body will become resisitant to tablets after a while as they are only suppressing it and the body then fights against it, clerver thing that it is, often it wins. However I hope that the doctor can help, One thing I found is that although my husband would not show up to be allergic to tomatoes and s5tarwberries they increase an attack because they have the high levels of histimine.

      I wish you well and look forward to an update.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am so happy to have come across your site as it fills me with hope. I have been suffering since the age of 15 (I'm now 22) but because of the severity of my condition the dermatologist has just treated it as eczema. I'm currently housing a mini pharmacy: taking inhalers, 3 types of antihistamine, ciclosporin (an anti immuniser), steroid creams etc, etc. At the beginning of last year the ciclosporin had worked wonders, I found I could do all sorts including going to the gym(!) but they took me off it because of the long lasting damage it can cause. They then put me on another drug which didn't work at all, so put me back onto Ciclosporin. I've now been taking it since last August, and on a higher dosage since around Feb this year and it just isn't working any more. I have been referred to see an allergist in August so I will definitely arm myself with more info on urticaria rather than eczema as it sounds as though I have probably developed both.

      I find that in order to control my skin I have to shower to relieve the itching and use hydromol as a soap and then completely cover my skin in white soft paraffin, which can take HOURS to absorb into my skin. I also find that I have to maintain my body temperature otherwise too hot and I become itchy as hell, too cold shivering causes my skin to dry out and I itch then too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens, Squidlike!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have suffered from chronic hives for about 3 years now and have finally found a doctor who is really helping. He put me on plaquenil (high doses at first, gradually tapering off) doxepin (high doeses, gradually tapering off), and zyrtec. I've entirely stopped the doxepin, almost off the plaquenil but still take 2 zyrtec every day. I'm happy to say that I'm almost hive free.

      Also, after about 2 years of trial and error, I discovered that the hives were being caused, in part, by anionic surfactants such as SLS and CMPB and also parabens. Once I eliminated these from my life, I had fewer outbreaks. These chemicals are in almost every common cleanser, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, cosmetics and even some medicines. Be careful to check labels on both common household items, personal items, cosmetics and the inactive ingredients on all medicines and vitamins.

      To help with the itchiness, I recommend taking a bath with Epsom Salts (very effective) or rubbing oil onto the hives themselves (such as baby oil or olive oil). I've found that the most effective anti-histamine is Piriton - it will make you sleepy but it works very quickly and very well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @natashaely: I learned so much from this lens and Thank You so much for sharing. I have been dealing with this for 2 years now and sometimes its just unbarable, especiially when I am trying to get some sleep for work. At first it would only happened when I got home from work and not at work and by reading a lot of the postings and articles I see why it was only happening when I got home from work, by me having my work cloths on and a bra and my work shoes when they all came off and I was able to relax then it would flare up and itch like crazy and just spread all over my body. Now just last week it started at work and I see why, when I was leaning on one of the counters and notice the welts coming out, I went to the pharmasist cause I work in a grocery store and he gave me itch cream and a lortidine pill to take and within minutes I was releaved. I find that taking one pill every morning controls it, not cures it. I wish my husband would be a little more understanding with this condition. I do also have a low thyroid and reading a lot already I am wondering if my thyroid is contributing to this. I do take a pill every morning for my thryoid to its proper levels, but I will be on this pill for the rest of my life and I sure hope that I do not have this itching for the rest of my life. I just turned 49 last week and I just want to be able to have fun again and enjoy the activities I use to enjoy and do.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 5 years ago

      @freyalou: Thank you and I hope your grandmother has found some help with her condition, unfortunately it is just trial and error. I hope to hear from you soon to see how everything went with her.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I understand more where your partner comes from as it is so heartbreaking watching someone have this condition because not only is it a depressing condition in itself but it also causes a chemical imbalance that create depression. There is no magic fix to this and I so wish there was, having researched endlessly and tried so many things, luckily we found chinese herbs though he is still on them though only using 1 anti-histimine every two days.

      Allow yourself some time to be angry and upset each day because if you bottle it up it so much worse. Urticaria cream helped a little for my husband but it took so much of it to help. I wish I could help more but I am here for you to talk to. I hope your birthday went well even with this debilitating condition. My heart goes out to you.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 5 years ago

      @anonymous: My husband was on this for a while as the anti-histimines only worked to a certain extent and he still ended up having time off work. Prednisolone is quite an aggressive steroid but it does have an effect to a certain extent. When he saw the homeopath she recommended milk thistle as a way to protect the stomach. My husband is on 1 tablet every other day now alongside the chinese herbs and I am hoping that next year he will be off everything but you can never tell. I am sorry you have this it is a debilitating condition that few people understand and can make you feel very alone. Please talk to me here if you need someone, if only for someone to listen.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hello there I have just had a look at your site and was wondering as a sufferer myself unfortunately the only thing that works for me is Prednisolone steriod tablets at a current rate of 25mg. Have yourselves ever had experience of this medication? Anti histamine do not do anything for me but I am very interested in coming off the steriod medication for all of the obvious reasons and possibly trying something new.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been suffering for 1 and a half years now, tried all the anitihistims, and now on steroids but still covers from head to toe! It's horrible and makes you feel so lonely, I'm going to be 30 in 2 weeks and I don't want even leave the house, all I want to is go to bed and shut out the world, my outher half dosnt know what to say or do, I'm soooooo depressed is stupid, I'm so snappy now and lose my temper so quickly I just don't know what to do!!! :(

    • freyalou profile image

      freyalou 5 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. My grandmother suffers from an autoimmune condition which causes chronic urticaria, among many other things. It's a dreadful illness, and her doctors have been next to useless in helping her to manage it. I will look into some of the things you suggested - she can't tolerate many medications, so the alternative route is probably better for her. I wish you and your husband all the best.

    • Morgannafay profile image

      Morgannafay 6 years ago

      @natashaely: Thanks very much! It will be awhile before I could try something that costs allot of money, but I will have to try that someday. Oh, and on the fakes, I think there are always people trying to make something from the suffering. Thankfully, I've learned that lesson long before getting the chronic hives and was able to avoid wasting too much money.

      Thanks so much again, and I will check in often. Its hard to find other people dealing with this. :) You take care of you too. <3

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @Morgannafay: I am so glad you have left this message and I am sorry that you itch all the time. One of the things that Rob tried was Urtica Urens (a homeopathic remedy) and it did work for a while. As you know I recommend the chinese herbs as they have stopped his itching now though they can be costly, also for me I can imagine there are a lot of fakes out there and money is an issue. Visit often or drop an e-mail if you need to, sometimes it's about not being the only one. Take care of yourself.

    • Morgannafay profile image

      Morgannafay 6 years ago

      I already liked this lens some days ago (maybe longer) but was feeling bashful when I did. Thanks for this! Some people don't understand. I've lived with this since 2007. I didn't even know what was wrong with me when I got my first out break. I just take Benadryl on a daily basis, and learned to live with the itch. Only thing I can do, since nothing else really helped. Most times I'm lucky to only have it on my back, butt, legs and stomach. On occasion my eye swells completely shut, and I look like Rocky. Like I said though, having a tough skin to pain and minor irritation has carried me through well. (No pun intended) Sometimes I do have to back off on the Benadryl, its like it builds up in your system and quits working. Thanks for letting the world know about this one. It was hard to dig info when I first got it. This lens will help someone new to the hives. OH, and I keep my partner up all night scratching LOL I do drive him nuts.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 6 years ago

      A lot of good information. Urticaria is a very difficult condition, good you got some help.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You are very welcome and I am glad it has helped you. i hope you can find some relief from the itching, it is so demoralising, keep smiling and visit here whenever you need to ;)

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @AlisonMeacham: Thank you so much, I appreciate it :)

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 6 years ago

      Squid Angel Blessings to you for providing an excellent resource.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you again.

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 6 years ago

      Really interesting. I like the way you talk about the problem, the way you face it also talking about "help for helper".

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for the information, I was in such a state i was goig to pay for it, these people are so wrong to prey on us when they know we will try most things because we get desperate, I find it so distressing. Thank you for taking the time and being caring.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @LouiseKirkpatrick: I think that's awful and crossing fingers that's the last of it! Thank you for the lovely comments.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @efriedman: Thank you for the lovely comments.

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @ForestBear LM: Thank you, I hope it helps people, such a terrible thing to live with

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @Nancy Hardin: You are very welcome.

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      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I learned something new from this lens and thanks for sharing.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      wonderful lens, thank you for the tips. I'm sure a lot of people could benefit from this.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      This is a well-told account, and the advice and support should help a lot of people.

    • profile image

      skippy31 6 years ago

      Don't give up, there are ways out there to help.

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      Rodjanefreddy 6 years ago

      I use crab apple (a bach flower remedy) rubbed onto the hives and this helps, not sure on chronic urticaria though.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This sounds dreadful, I recently came out in hives after having shellfish, came looking for solutions, will take on board ideas you have recommended and hope mine stays away from the chronic kind.

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 6 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      I developed hives out of the blue one day a couple of years ago. Literally within an hour my stomach, chest, back, arms and legs were covered in wheals and I was alarmed to say the least! I described my symptoms over the phone to my GP and she diagnosed hives and suggested Antishan cream and Piriteze tablets - and within a couple of hours I was almost back to normal. Luckily for me it's never happened again, but I make sure I always have anti-histamines in the medicine cabinet now! What your hubby went through must have been awful - glad to hear he's doing well :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This seems awful. I have had nettle rash a cople of times but it has only lasted a couple of days at a time and that was enough to drive me crazy. i am sorry for your husband but i am pleased he has found something to help.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is such a helpful page, have read some of it but had tonsearch quite a bit for it. Avoided the pages that required payment though have felt desperate enough in the past. Thank you for sharing this, will be bookmarking this.

    • LWidjaja profile image

      LWidjaja 6 years ago

      send you squidlikes!

    • natashaely profile image
      Author

      natashaely 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It is such a frustrating condition and I am sorry that you suffer. I hope that some of this research helps even if it is only occasionally. If you need to talk, to rant or to just feel there are others who understand then leave a message. Be safe :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi all theres some great information here, ive been suffering from this awful condition since i was about 16/17 years old, now im 24. Its ruind my social life and batterd my confidence massivley. I normally get the rash/bumps whenever im nervous, stressed (physically or mentally), sit in the sun for 5 minutes, drink alcohol, change from a cold environment to a warm environment and other factors too.

      Glad to see your husbands condition is in control.

      Jay.

    • bossypants profile image

      bossypants 6 years ago from America's Dairyland

      Very comprehensive information. You are generous to share your experiences and research. Glad to hear your husband is recovering.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I am truly sorry you are suffering, it is a terrible condition that can make you feel alone. If you want to vent just leave a message on here. Have you tried the alternative routes, I know they don't work for everyone. All the doctors can do is give medication that suppresses it but these only mask the issues, however if nothing else works, then it is the way to go. My thoughts are with you. Tasha

    • natashaely profile image
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      natashaely 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you, it is such a frustrating condition! It must have been awful to suffer it especially after the birth of your child! Hope all is good with you, I have passed your best wishes on to him :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I am suffering from this as I wright this. Ive been to the doctor many time and each time they tell me the same thing. There is nothing we can do for you but take these as it will help with the itching!

      Its honestly driving me mad, They dont seem to care that this is driving me insane. Its almost 7 months now and this is the second outbreak I have had over 5 years. I look forward to the day that it goes into remission and I can get A lot of my life and happiness back!

    • kguru1979 lm profile image

      kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

      It seems to be a very horrible itching disease ...! A good medical information .. thanks for sharing...!

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I've had hives on and off my whole life- usually a reaction to stress. After the birth of each baby I was covered in hives for weeks. Sleep deprivation brings on hives. The biggest thing that's helped me is spiritual work. All the best to your dear husband.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hey there! That was good... You have worked hard on it... I myself am a Doctor... & I know how troublesome urticaria is for the patients.. I have treated urticaria with homoeopathy with great results. Thanx.. Keep writing !!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very good lens