I have a celiac-related condition that causes severe gluten sensitivity and hives.  Two weeks ago, I visited a Naturopathic doctor. She and I talked for nearly three hours. It was a very good meeting where I shared my past physical issues and she took copious notes. When I had finished with my history she told me that my liver was having a hard time detoxifying my blood and that my constant hives were due to the body trying to detoxify through my skin. This was all very interesting but not very helpful. She then gave me some treatments that she said would help my body to detoxify and put me on a very strict diet. In the past I have had this nameless craving for "I don't know what" that I fed with chocolate and sweets. She took me off of all sweets. She also insisted that I learn what is gluten free...that was an education...it's amazing what has gluten in it, but helped me by telling me about a gluten free bakery and grocery in the area.

I had my doubts about whether I could keep to the diet, but hives are a big motivating force. Living with constant hives has been a nightmarish problem. I itch, burn and swell in various places...the hives travel around my body once they get started and nothing seems to rid me of them. Medicine is often only partially effective.

After following the diet as close as I can for the last two weeks, the hives do seem to have reduced. One of the complicating factors is that I am also allergic to cats, dust mites, mold, mildew, latex, spandex, penicillin, kidney beans and black eyed peas. Using mattress barriers, Mite-Nix spray and avoiding clothes with the problem fabrics has helped but it's hard to get rid of all the problems. My best friend bought me a seat cover for airline seats..that helped in travel a lot.

Today, I washed all the floors and cushions to get rid of cat dander and washed the cat with special anti allergy shampoo.

In the last four years I have probably had maybe one or two days completely hive free.  I've pretty much forgotten what it feels like to not itch and want to scratch myself bloody 24/7.  I can't say I'm hive free yet, but there is definitely a change with this treatment. 

She has me taking Anti-hist and UltraInflamX protein powder mix each day.  It does appear to help a lot. 

One of the additives she recommended was magnesium.  Not clear why this was important but it does appear to be a mitigating factor in this process.  I have also taken a lot of epsom salt baths during this time which is magnesium too.

The problem with this condition is that it is never really clear why the hives are there.  They seem to arrive about and hour to two hours after the exposure and each discovery of the allergen seems to help but never completely rid me of the problem. If I am in public and touch something dirty and then touch my skin before I can wash my hands, an hour later I have a hive there.  One time a boyfriend was the source of the problem...each time he touched my arm or my skin anywhere, I would get a hive.  Never did figure out what he was touching that caused me such a serious problem.  Feathers also caused me a serious outbreak of hives during a trip to China.  So serious I ended up in a Chinese hospital..another nightmare.

A regular allergist did not help a great deal.  He wanted me to take Allegra and Zyrtec together to control the hives.  However, I didn't believe that taking more stuff would be a good idea, knowing what I had been exposed to previously.  I decided to take Claritin only when I couldn't stand it any longer and learned to live with the itching. 

It's only been four years that this has been happening.  Prior to that I knew I was allergic to penicillin only.  Then Latex was identified when I went to the dentist and had a severe reaction in my mouth and throat from his latex gloves. 

This evening I'm sitting on my dining room chair writing this with only one small hive on my shoulder.  It's nice to sit on my furniture without a reaction.  I sprayed Mite-Nix on everything today.  That usually helps a lot with the pet and dust mites problems. 

If you have this condition, don't give up.  I know it's depressing and stressful to have hives so much.  It can really get you down.  I won't say it hasn't been hard because it really has.  On days when my face is swollen up to twice it's normal size and I still have to work and be seen in public, I feel the most depressed.  But those days pass and the hives move to other, unseen parts of the body and I go back to just tolerating the itching.  My hope is that I'll discover all the sources and find ways to eliminate or avoid the problems.  I have to believe that can happen.  Taking one day at a time...one hive at a time.  Not thinking of the future as clouded, that's what keeps me getting up every day. 

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