my cure for chronic hives-it took me 6 months of going to doctors to figure it out

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hives and thyroid
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/6/2012 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I was first diagnosed with chronic hives 8 years ago when my daughter was 6 months old. I was broken out everywhere in hives everyday for 6 months. My stomach was upset and I was having asthma attacks. I went to so many doctors and no one knew what to do for me except prescribe more prednisone which was making me gain weight and swell. I was so miserable. It is the worst type of itchiness imaginable. A few doctors added a medication here and there and suggested a few combinations of medications that finally worked. As long as I took these 3 meds, my hives would not come back until it was time to take the meds again. A few would pop up, but within 30 minutes of taking the meds, the hives would disappear.


You must take all 3 meds together or it won't work: doxepin 25-100 mg (antihistamine-prescription) once or twice a day, singulair 10 mg (also prescription) once a day, and zantac 150mg (over the counter) once or twice a day.

If I wake up and don't have any hives, I take the 3 meds once a day before bedtime. If I wake up with a few hives, I take the zantac and doxepin in the am (the hives disappear within 30 minutes) and the 3 meds at bedtime.

One night, I ran out of zantac. I was too tired to go to purchase more. I took the other 2 meds and went to bed. I woke up 3 hours later broken out all over. I ran to the 24hr Walgreens and purchased zantac. I took 150 mg of zantac and within an hour all my hives were gone. When my symptoms lessen, I trade the doxepin for zyrtec. When I am really feeling strong, I can come off all my meds. When I get hives, I start the meds again.

Explanation of how I found the right medications:
I was on doxepin, zyrtec, attarax, prednisone and singulair. I was still breaking out in hives. One doctor suggested that I try zantac. I wasn't real enthusiastic about trying it. After all, I'd tried everything and didn't see how one little over the counter medication would help when tons of prescriptions did nothing. Within 1 hour of taking the zantac, I was no longer itchy for the first time in 6 months! I still had hives, but at least they weren't as itchy. I called my dr. and he said increase my dosage to 150mg twice a day. When I added the zantac 150 to the other 2 meds listed above, the hives disappeared. I was so excited!

How the medications work together:
Allergic response happens in the body in two different ways: H1 receptors (antihistamines treat H1 receptors) and H2 receptors (zantac treats H2 receptors). For some weird reason, singulair also helps with allergic response. It took me 6 months of going to doctors to find the medicine combination that worked for me. I have shared this with friends and now they too are hive free.


I recently had an attack (hives, facial swelling) at Thanksgiving and had to go the ER. I had been following a gluten free diet before Thanksgiving. At dinner, I gave in and ate rolls and all kinds of wheat based foods. I just couldn't stand not to eat my mom's homemade rolls and dressing. The ER dr. treated me with prednisone, etc., Thanksgiving evening. This was the first time it had been that bad since the first bad attack 8 years prior. I started the 3 medications listed above. I am now off the doxepin and back to zyrtec with the other two medications.

Other things that make my hives worse:
-when my thyroid is low- try tirosint-it is new and only has gelatin and thyroid medication-no dyes or additives
-when I eat wheat-I follow a gluten free diet and my hives stay away
-when I am menstrating- getting on a birth control pill helped

Hope this is helpful!!

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 22030
   Posted 2/7/2012 9:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you found something that works for you but now you got me going hmmmm! lol I too get rashes, probably from my medications and I notice that if I don't take my antihistamine (Zyrtec) my rashes tend to come back. Now I'm wondering if it's the other meds that I am taking that is helping my rashes as well - Prilosec and Singulair.

So are your hives due to Celiac disease? If so, were you officially diagnosed with it?
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

hives and thyroid
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/7/2012 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I had an endoscopy and was tested for Celiacs disease. It came back negative. However, I spoke with my endocrinologist who says they have tons of patients claiming the same problems with wheat, but have also tested negative to Celiac Disease. They tell me there is some correlation between people like me with thyroid issues and hives. They strongly feel that there is some connection with wheat as well. They just suggested that I avoid wheat if it seems to be helping me. I get hives about 20 minutes to 1 hour after eating wheat. Naturally, I've been avoiding it and have been able to reduce my meds.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3485
   Posted 2/8/2012 4:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Zantac (ranitidine) was first developed to be a histamine antagonist, hence it's use, along with other antihistamines, for hives.

I've also recently developed a sensitivity to wheat. One explanation, according to only one doctor so far whose opinion I read, is that all wheat being grown in the USA is now genetically modified and has a new gluten which we cannot digest. I'd like to read a more convincing study to believe this, but I won't call it an urban legend yet either.
My PCP says he's seen a lot of patients who developed sensitivity or allergy to wheat or even celiac.

MoBr99
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/13/2013 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your story.  I have chronic hives.  It's been 5 months.  The itching is unbearable - and I can't believe people keep getting this.  I, too, am better when I take Zantac along with my anti-histamines.  If anyone finds out more on the study of genetically-altered wheat, please post here!
 

Nef-ertiti
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/22/2013 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everybody! (like MoBr99) I have Chronic Hives....(9 months now!)... Itching, swelling, welts are now under control... as long as I stay away from heat (any heat!)... and regularly take my meds! I'm now on a prescription drug called Teva-Hydroxyzin 50 mg.... (every 6 hrs). ~ I tried 25 mg, for the first 5 months and it did nothing! Dr. up-ed my meds to double... and I saw some improvement, as they would flare up upon a slight nudge of clothing... pants against my legs, or my arms with my tops! It wasn't constant but oh how Frustrating! Dr. got me through Christmas by suggesting adding an over the counter anti-histamine.... and I can't believe how addition of Aeruis (5 mg) makes all the difference in the world! I know I haven't got it beat, BUT I now have it under control. Faithfully take my meds every 6 hrs... and I am (was) Normal again.... meaning no flare ups, (due to my shaving my legs and arms every time I feel the slightly stubble!)... and STAY away from ALCOHOL!!! I had one measly Cider, upon a friends visit, and those hives were starting to rear their ugly heads again. (remember I said no heat!-- for me its no heat!!!)...I cooked something in the oven last night for my visitor, and she couldn't believe how the heat of the oven caused my hands to swell almost immediately, and I was of course wearing oven mitts!!! I now swear...no heat, and no alcohol, and I should be back to my so called 'regular' ways in a few days! Menopause, has its demons.... but I will hopefully win this battle.... (as I have read some have suffered from this for over 5 years...some longer!).... Lord have Mercy!... :(

summerrain1617
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/4/2013 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I just ran across this post while googling. I don't know if any of you still follow this thread but I just couldn't not reply after reading this discussion.

Speaking only from my own experiences, have any of you looked at some sort of "mast cell disease?" There are different variations from "mast cell activation syndrome/disorder" or MCAS/MCAD to "systemic mastocytosis." I personally have been diagnosed with mast cell disease and can see some VERY similar symptoms in reading the threads of this post. I strongly urge you all to at least research it. Mastocytosis is considered a rare disease but MCAS/MCAD seems to be a more common variation and, it seems from research, that it is probably very under-diagnosed meaning that there are a lot more people out there with mast cell disease than have been officially diagnosed.

Hives, itching, rashes, flushing, low blood pressure, tachycardia, shortness of breath, asthma-like issues, syncope, swelling, heat intolerance, headaches, body pain (bones, joints, muscles), abdominal pain, food intolerances, fatigue, diarrhea, etc. are just some of the symptoms associated with mast cell diseases.

Please, if any of you still follow this thread, please look it up! For me, getting a correct diagnosis and proper meds made the difference between being a functioning and non-functioning human being.

Gbakerbrons
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/17/2013 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I have suffered from severe chronic hives for over 7 years now and lately they became worse than ever before. My doctor prescribed doxepin as an alternative ti prednisone and doxepin 10mg combined with Zantac 150 and singular has helped a ton. It has only been one day, but I'm hoping that the relief will last. In the past, the only thing that has really helped is high doses of prednisone or Medrol. I am also currently doing the xolair injections which do not seem to really help. Has anyone else tried xolair and had success?

Hivesbegone
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/14/2014 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had chronic hives off and on for the past fifteen years. I am on prednisone, hydroxyzine, reactine, zantac, and singulair. I have also been receiving xolair injections since October. Still fighting the darn hives nearly everyday. To say they are life altering is an understatement. Plus the frustration of normal people having no clue what you are going through makes things ten times worse. I feel like a lost cause and a garbage receptical for prescription meds. Xolair seemed to have worked for me during my last episode 4 years ago but this time around my doc has already doubled the dose and there has been no real results. It's hard to even tell what is working since I am on so much stuff. It's only been a week with singulair so I'm hoping that it will begin to help soon.
I am interested in doxepin. Can anyone shed some light on their success with it? Any words of wisdom would be great!

Jeanm
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/22/2014 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Four years ago I came out in a rash which completely made my life a misery for one year, after taking lots of different antihistamine for the year there was no improvement, eventually a got an appointment at the hospital were I was diagnosed with idiopathic chronic Urticuria. I had blamed the antibiotics that I had been taking for repeated urine infection on the rash as it had started at the same time, when I had taken medication with Asprin in it my face would swell up and had to go to the hospital a number of times, I was informed by the doctor that infact it wasn't the antibiotics causing the problem but instead it was more than likely that the infection in my body. Apparently infection, or viral infection of even stress can trigger Urticaria. I was put on a high dose of Prednisolone Steriods, 8 a day for a week, the next week 6 a day the following 4 a day for a week and then 2 a day for the last week. After a year of misery I was free of my Urticuria, I still can't take Asprin but that is easily avoided.

After 3 years free of Urticuria just this past weekend it came back, I wasn't well for a few weeks after Christmas and I think that's what triggered it this time, I didn't hesitate to go back on the steriods along with Fexofenadine and already I am seeing an improvement, unless you have experienced Urticuria it would be hard understand how much of an impact it can have on your life so my advise to anyone in in this position would be to ask their doctor to put them on Steriods as they were the only things that helped me.

Hivesbegone
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/22/2014 5:52 PM (GMT -6)   
That's great that prednisone helps you. It did help me when I'm on it but once I stop the hives return. You are lucky they went away completely after taking them.

Jeanm
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/23/2014 8:11 AM (GMT -6)   
It is a shame your hives returned, did you take the same dose as I did.

KittyWobs
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/23/2014 3:29 PM (GMT -6)   
summerrain1617 said...
I just ran across this post while googling. I don't know if any of you still follow this thread but I just couldn't not reply after reading this discussion.

Speaking only from my own experiences, have any of you looked at some sort of "mast cell disease?" There are different variations from "mast cell activation syndrome/disorder" or MCAS/MCAD to "systemic mastocytosis." I personally have been diagnosed with mast cell disease and can see some VERY similar symptoms in reading the threads of this post. I strongly urge you all to at least research it. Mastocytosis is considered a rare disease but MCAS/MCAD seems to be a more common variation and, it seems from research, that it is probably very under-diagnosed meaning that there are a lot more people out there with mast cell disease than have been officially diagnosed.

Hives, itching, rashes, flushing, low blood pressure, tachycardia, shortness of breath, asthma-like issues, syncope, swelling, heat intolerance, headaches, body pain (bones, joints, muscles), abdominal pain, food intolerances, fatigue, diarrhea, etc. are just some of the symptoms associated with mast cell diseases.

Please, if any of you still follow this thread, please look it up! For me, getting a correct diagnosis and proper meds made the difference between being a functioning and non-functioning human being.


I am very curious about mast cell disease. I am at the point where I am a "non-functioning human being".

Iram
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 145
   Posted 3/4/2014 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Folks,

I have been suffering exactly the same problem. Severe hives and the itching burning is absolutely the worst, want to sometime just rip my skin off. So last week I went to the allergist, they drew nearly half-liter of blood. Still waiting for the blood tests and, on Zantac and Claritin. I already take prednisone for my IBD (even complications with it). Will keep you posted. The discussion here is helpful.

Bree J.
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/26/2014 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm unsure how I stumbled upon this blog but I'm glad I Did. I first started getting hives mid January of 2014 & I'm still suffering from them they are off & on but annoying as heck. I have been to the ER & doctor's office several times only to be put on Benadryl & Prednisone. but after im finish the treatment they come back. At night is when I get break outs. If anything rubs against my skin I see hives. It's to the point where I sleep naked. Im at my wits end. ...these hives have taken over & it's only been a few months but when I get a break-out it itches, even frightens me to the point where I have an anxiety attack. Tomorrow I'm getting up & calling my doctor to see if I should start this 3 medicine cure. God I hope it works.
Thanks everyone for your posts they have really helped me.

bdanger3000
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/27/2014 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I have all these symptoms and am on ranitidine, doxepin, montelukast, nexium and dolera when I need it. I hate these symptoms. I'm glad I'm not alone -- not that I wish ill of anyone. But,

Does anyone know of a CURE for this? I'm tired of band-aids. I've had all of these symptoms for a year now and there's no end in sight. Does anyone know how to fix this condition???

Rosy Das
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/28/2014 3:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I get hives at night as well. I had this before 10 years and i tried all doctors, all medicines but no cure. But once i took some iron tablets, my hives disappeared and i dint get back.

Again now from 3 years i an getting hives at night. Iron tablets does not work.
Once i became pregnant, these disappeared and did not get till 4 months after delivery but once my periods started, hives also started now.

One doctor told me that there is a relation between Thyroid and hives in the night but needs much research to be done.

I am just taking citrizine tablet and it helps but in long run this tablet is not good for health.

Not a cure. :(

Columbotoo
New Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/6/2014 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
I stumbled upon this thread and signed up to make this reply: I second Summerrain's suggestion about checking out mast cell disorders if you have some of the symptom's she lists. Her information is spot on. Unfortunately mast cell disorders are like the dirt under the rug. If your doctor or pathologist doesn't look for them, they won't know they are there. Mast cells require a special stain, a specific count per high power field, and trained eyes to recognize irregularities. I am recently diagnosed after a lifetime of allergies, rashes, etc., and a recent heightened period of intractable diarrhea that was accompanied by a multitude of new food allergies, fatigue, brain fog, joint pain, etc. In my case my symptoms got bad enough to warrant a complete investigation, but still I was lucky my allergist knew enough to suspect mast cell involvement or the cause would have remained a mystery. I have probably had Mast Cell Activation Syndrome for decades. While there is no cure, it can be managed and I am feeling better already. But if I had been diagnosed and treated before the major involvement the past six months, I would probably have far fewer environmental and food allergies. I just want to help get the word out that treating a mast cell disorder sooner is always better. It is considered a rare disorder, but the docs at the forefront think that will not be the case for long. If you suffer multiple chemical sensitivity, you are not crazy and probably have an abnormal mast cell response.

NoMorePanic
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/8/2014 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had chronic hives for 2 years now :( they have no idea why. I had all the testing done and everything was normal. I have been on hydroxyzine, doxepin, zantac, allegra, zrytec, and singulair. I could not tolerate the antihistamines that are sedating. at the time I started I had a 6 month old who didn't slep through the night. so I couldn't do it. I was on prednisone off and on until the past year I have been taking it daily. when I stop the hives come back full force. I only take 5mg a day however a few weeks ago I did get hives when I missed a dose. and they were BAD - I then took more prednisone for about a week now im back to 5mg. but im really worried about taking the prednisone now. ive been tired a lot the past 6 months and this past week the fatigue has been horrible. today has been especially bad. I am also on an antidepressant so I don't know if this is from the decrease in the prednisone or from my antidepressant? but I can hardly stay awake - I am also very depressed. I can barely function. sorry I didn't mean to hop on this thread but I saw some people talk about prednisone and was wondering what their experiences were with it and going off it? thank you.

jcarmichael
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Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/17/2014 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, after reading all these posts it makes me so sad that other people suffer from this too. I don't need to go into detail about how horrible it is because we are all already acutely aware of that.
I'm curious to know if anybody has been successfully treated for leaky gut syndrome. It was the only thing that made sense with my hives (allergy shots, steroids, antihistamines, specialty diets weren't working). I'm currently being treated for it, and I have seen some really good progress but also been discouraged with how bumpy the process is. I was hoping for a steady improvement, but it's more like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, etc.
Please respond if anybody has any input. Thanks! I'm disappointed but still hopeful about this. It would be so nice to have my life back.

Pharmchic78
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/19/2014 3:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I am glad I'm not the only one! Not that I wish it upon anyone!! It's only been 8 1/2 weeks for me this time around. 4 years ago I had it under control with prednisone in just under 6 weeks. This time nothing seems to be helping though. I'm on my second go round with prednisone and I'm also on ranitidine 150mg and Zyrtec 10mg twice daily along with singulair 10mg at night and hydroxyzine 25mg on the nights when I don't have to get up early. I have another follow up appt in 3 weeks. I may have to talk to her about the doxepin. I am also celiac and avoid gluten. They ran allergy tests and nothing came up too high as far as foods go. I am allergic to cats, dogs, horses and of course grass and molds but have no pets and don't go rolling around in the grass regularly.

I honestly don't know how some of ya'll have gone as long as you have. I'm going crazy in the "short" time it's been for me. Hopefully we can all find relief soon!!!!

Artguy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/28/2014 8:42 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had chronic hives for the last 6 months and I am going insane. I am on a whole slew of meds. My doctor has me on a daily regiment of 100mg of Dapsone (autoimuno suppressant) 100 mg zantec, 12 mg cyproheptadine, 60 mg zyrtec, 150 mg hydroxazine, 100 mg doxepin, and 10 mgsingulair. I still have hives the size of silver dollars up and down my legs. I had to switch doctors because my last one said not to call him until it started effecting my daily lifestyle! I also battle angiodema of the extremities and face so I carry an epi pen.

I since have a new doctor and have been waiting 4 weeks for the paperwork for xolair to get filed and the prescription dispensed. I am really hoping this one works so I can get rid of some of the other meds. I have to get my blood checked every 4 weeks to make sure the dapsone doesn't lower my cell count. I have a 6 month old daughter and this all happened a week after she was born. My wife has been pretty stressed because dealing with this has made it hard for me to help with my daughter. I couldn't hold her for the first 2 weeks because holding her close made my torso and arms itch like made. I spent 4 months last year losing weight to I could be health and active for my daughter. Now all that is gained back from the prednisone and cyproheptadine. I had a lull in the hives so I build a swing to push my daughter in and now I cant because it is too hot for me to go outside and the hived are back with a vengeance. The steroids and antihistamines are not a good mix with a new baby because they make me irratable. Sucks......

I got checked for lupus and that came back negative, had a comprehensive blood test that came back fine. Organ function is fine, even checked the kidneys. Had a allergy test via blood work because I couldn't go off antihistamines and it came back negative as well. Changed up my diet like no other with no luck. It getting scarey because every time I go on a new med it works for a week or so and then my body finds a way to break through it.

So here is my question, sorry about the long history rant, has anyone else had a similar situation where not a single med works and then had good luck with xolair? Thanks in advance for your help. If you have no info on xolair success could you recommend another place to post my question?

Artguy
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2014
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/28/2014 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   
oh and ps, had my thyroid checked as well.

Findacure14
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/21/2014 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
My symptoms are similar to the others. Chronic hives for over 12 years. Hashimotos ( autoimmune thyroid disease ) as well as recently diagnosed adult onset of Type 1 diabetes which is typically known as a Juvenile Diabetes. Something is triggering the immune system to go on attack and when it does the hives and angioedema rear their ugly heads. It is pure misery as I am sure you all can relate. Having diabetes and being put on prednisone has been an utter nightmare. I have tried cyclosporine, doxepin, singularity, Zantac, Zyrtec, Allegra, Prilosec, colchicine, the list goes on. None have worked. Recently I have started xolair injections and it seemed to help initially, but then a few days after one injection I had what I call an asthma attack, and I do not have asthma. My palms were swelling and throat was getting tight and wheezing. I took alb uterus breathing treatments and started on prednisone and it helped, as I was about to use the epi pen. Does anyone know of a treatment for the mast cell disease and if it is worth trying the immunologist again. I have had the whole work up done before, blood and skin allergy tests, h pylori test, vitamin d supplements, etc. Thanks for any help in advance.

Duggie
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/3/2014 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been dealing with chronic idiopathic auto immune urticaria for the past 12 years, since menopause. This is not an allergy. Over these years, the condition has gone into remission several times. Just recently, they were in remission for 1.5 yrs. I took a regimen of 60mg prednisone for 7 days, and that knocked them out. However, my recent bout for the past 5 months (started in Feb. after a UTI infection, concussion, and cold) had no such results unfortunately. I take the same meds everyone else does with minimal effect. I was recently approved for xolair injections. I had two, one in ea arm, about ten days ago, and am still waiting/hoping for some relief. I understand some people respond immediately, 50% have great results including complete remission, and the remaining % have improved results too. I've been told it takes a while to kick in. Here's hoping they go into remission asap! I am scheduled to take the injections once a month until December. Good luck to everyone suffering with this disorder. I hope this helps someone.
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