Hi there fellow hive sufferers! Hives are no joke & I feel your pain. This forum has helped tremendously. So many people out there with different stories, maybe different causes & treatments which work, but sharing them is better than any doctor I can visit. Thank you all & hang in there. You are NOT alone! :)
My story is an ongoing saga which started 16 years ago. I was stressed, working non-stop & started to get what looked like mosquito bites on my elbows/arms. Didn't take long for my entire body to be covered. Trips to the doctor started me on Zyrtec & Prednisone (for a week). Hives went away but as many of you know, they come back with a vengeance. I've actually posted my first story in 2009 (I think my name was sick_of_hives under chronic urticaria. Anyway, the hives went away after about 6 months, then 10 years later they returned. I seem to get them every year or two now & they last about 4 months.
So I am hypothyroid & had Hashimotos (probably back when I first got hives but not diagnosed...darn HMO!) They say autoimmune hives & Hashimotos are linked. For me, they don't seem to be directly linked. My labs for thyroid are good & I switched to a compounded natural dedicated thyroid a few years ago ( it's like Armour but no other additives so its good for me & hypoallergenic). I've had hives about 5 times in my life. I become depressed & obsessed to find a cure or at least put them in remission again. When I'm not having a hivey problem, I am not allergic to anything. Maybe some dust sneezing allergy but not bad. When I'm suffering, it's like a switch turns on & I'm super sensitive to lots of things. I avoid citrus, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, wheat/bread, sugary foods. I limit coffee, tea, & soda but I have so much on my plate that I can't give it all up.
So my hives are better. I'd say they're almost "gone" but what I've found is that my angiodema is sticking around a bit or maybe the hives focus on a couple areas & swell, like my wrists, knuckles or under my eyes. Like I said, my hives, at least initially, are stress induced. I'm not surprised I have them now. Work is crazy, working late nights, not enough sleep, not working out, eating crappy food, drink a glass of wine every night to destress. I'm actually a somewhat fit & healthy. I do eat out a lot (not a lot of time to cook). But that's my background. I get stressed & there might be a trigger like a stomach virus or feeling like I have to burp.
Sorry for the long story, but here is what seems to be helping me. I am drinking a ton of water & actually coconut water seems to help even more. I believe in the cellular dehydration problem. I also believe in the stomach/ possible leaky gut link. I've been drinking "intestinew" for the past 2 months. It has the L-glutamine. I also take a good probiotic. & added 1000mg of salmon oil 2x a day. I take a bunch of supplements & not sure what is exactly working (yes, desperation). But another one which I could see the difference is 400 mg of magnesium glycinate & 500mg to 1000mg of L-lysine 2 times a day (watch out! This makes your stools loose! Not a bad trade off though). I do take Zyrtec although I've been taking it for so long (even when I don't have hives) so not sure they were working. I was taking 10 mg 2x a day along with 150mg to 300mg of Zantac. I just started 10 mg of Xyzal 2 weeks ago & it wasn't the miracle cure I had hoped but it may be helping. My doc said its the same as Zytec but I read people's posts that it worked wonders. Mighty expensive though! Since my hives have improved I'm taking 10mg of Xyzal am & 10 mg Zyrtec pm.
I'm also 5 days into a Candida cleanse called "Candi Gone". That might be helping. I'm not really following the candida free diet but eating better. Since I'm stressed, & I was having trouble taking a deep breath & relaxing, along with anxiety of SEEING hives, Xanax has helped (or Alphrazolam). Not an antihistamine & I don't take it all the time but maybe 0.5 mg in am & half at night. I take hydroxyzine if I'm covered & can't deal with the itching but have cut this out except for one at night just in case.
My supplements are 6000iu of Vit D, 400 iu of vitamin e, 1000mcg of B12, 10 mg of DHEA, lots of vitamin c (I use sodium ascorbate which is supposed to help your adrenals). I also take coq10 & holy basil. A lot of supplements I know & I sometimes take curcumin & green tea too. Covering all bases. :). But what has helped the most I think is the l-lysine, magnesium, Vit c, Vit D, Xanax & of course Xyzal & Zantac.
I believe hives mean something is off or imbalanced in our body. Our immune system is confused. One other thing that's helped me is Advil. This is NOT a remedy for all. Many people get hives from NSAIDs ' my doc told me not to, but I do it anyway. It helps the hives go down, stops inflammation. Not the itch but I tell you my legs aren't covered with big lumpy cellulite looking red splotches for the past week. Be careful testing it out!! I think someone else in this post said it was bad for her. I'm just saying it worked for me. But I always seem to be weird like that & don't follow by the book. :)
My hives are not gone, but improved. I hope I'm on the road to remission. I hope this can help someone else as well. After the candida cleanse, I plan to cleanse my liver, then kidneys, then parasites. All through herbal cleanses from a company called Renew Life. It's a long process, but I'm focused now on my overall health & finding a balance. Don't forget water water water! Coconut water has potassium, calcium, & magnesium. So good for you! Good luck! Here's to no hives or puffy faces!! :)