As a new member, I would like to share what I have learned for myself about hives. Chronic hives started for me around my 50th birthday and became so severe, several trips to the ER began. After my physician trying all she knew, she referred me to a dermatologist, who advised me that hives are internal and not a reaction to laundry soaps, etc. She then referred me to an allergist who tested me for the most common food allergies, all with negative results. She then prescribed a low dose anti-depressant used for hives and sent me on my way.
After almost a year of absolute misery, I asked my doctor to test my progesterone levels, of which she agreed to do. All the above stated they did not feel hormones were to blame. When my results came back low, at .50 for pre-menopausal, should be 1.0, I purchased the over-the counter progesterone crème "Now" from Whole Foods. It took only a few days and my hives began to diminish. I use the product as suggested on the label and have been hive free for almost two months. No more steroids, anti-histamines, etc. It is so nice to have my life back again, I can exercise and eat what I want.
Hope this helps someone!