So I have had hives for the past 6 weeks and they were driving me crazy. I found out a lot of things about hives over the past 6 weeks and went through phases of changing laundry detergent, checking for bed bugs, allergic reactions, etc. I finally decided to use the elimination factor and stop drinking milk, and stop eating peanut butter. Behold, things got better. I thought that for sure I was allergic to one of those foods. But I found that I was still having episodes of hives that were worse and better every day, fluctuating. One thing to know about hives is that they are caused by the release of histamine, which is a chemical that reacts to allergies. So I brainstormed and came up with this: Chronic Dehydration. These are some things that are kind of interesting about when I reacted. I hope it helps because hives can drive a person crazy. I know. I am also very active which contributes to the amount of water I need to intake to function normally.
1. I am dehydrated, thus my skin is itchy and dry.
2. Because my skin is itchy and dry, I scratch and hives are the result.
3. This is because my body cannot release toxins efficiently because of lack of water; a key source in releasing toxins. This also may be the cause for toxins that usually do not affect my body, cause me to have an allergic reaction. My body cannot handle them without water because it is not functioning normally.
4. Allergic reactions are a result of histamine release. Dehydration causes release in histamine because of the inability to flush out toxins and hydrate skin.
5. I drink alcohol, and my hives fade. While drunk I do not itch, scratch, or have the outbreak of hives. Alcohol temporarily reduces histamine and can hide the affects of its release. This may be due to the release of serotonin, which makes you feel good etc.
6. When I wake up after a hard night of drinking, the hives are the worst. This is probably because of dehydration.
7. Drinking causes dehydration, among other things such as vitamin deficiency, etc.
- For example, alcohol inhibits antidiuretic hormone, which leads to excessive urination and dehydration. Dehydration accentuates the symptoms of a hangover.
- When the body is dehydrated, histamine is increased and the body releases cortisol. The body also releases cortisol when you consume caffeine. Cortisol suppresses the production of white blood cells, weakening the immune system. If an allergen is present, either in the body (food allergy) or outside the body (environmental allergy), symptoms such as sneezing, asthma, hives or rashes will occur. Thus, it is easier for you to have an allergic reaction when you do not have enough water in your body.
8. My first outbreak was when I was 15 and had just started on acne medication. Acne medication in short dries out the skin and stops oils from producing to help heal acne among other things the chemicals do. Tetracycline, Septra, Accutane, Oxycycline were all medications I used. The dryness of the skin only increased the amount of water I needed to stay hydrated.
All of this led me to believe that dehydration was the key. At first when I stopped drinking milk, I noticed things to get better. This was only because I was drinking more water, since I could not satisfy myself with milk anymore. I drank more water as a result and my body was better hydrated.
I hope this helps, there are many causes of hives but I think I have finally found mine. If you have hives, give this a shot. I hope I am not repeating what has already been said but this worked for me extremely well.