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Diagnosed With Chronic Hives...but...
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Hello all.  For the past 3 years, I have had a rash in different areas for different lengths of time.  I have been to the regular doc for steroid shots, to the dermatologist for more steroids and antihistamines, and to the allergist - repeat that cycle 3 times over the years.  The allergist said my histamines were very active and my mast cells were attacking everything.  I showed mild allergic reactions to all the typical environmental allergens.  He put me on 3 different antihistamines to try to break the cycle with very little success.  I'm not satisfied with not knowing what has caused the overactive histamine production in my body - SOMETHING had to cause it.  About 2 months back, a friend told me about his journey with a rash that was more like very dry skin.  He went gluten free and the skin rash cleared very quickly.  So I figured, why not try it?

 

My rash is "welty" and bumpy.  It itches like crazy (though it doesn't disturb my sleep most nights).  When I itch it, it burns like a sun burn.  I don't see any fluid in the bumps but as it "dries in" it gets crusty.  I've had it on the backs of my hands, my chest, my palms (without the bumps), my neck, my cheeks and nose, my upper back, my scalp and the front and back of my elbows - never all of those places at once.  Loose clothing rubbing across it when it's in a flare is almost unbearable.

 

So I began a gluten-free diet 2 months back.  After a week of no gluten, my hives started "drying" in.  They didn't hurt or itch as badly.  I wasn't sure if it was a coincedence or not so I started gluten again and it flared again.  So, it seems that my hives are caused by gluten.  However, my rash looks more like hives than individual bumps.  And my hives are the most uncomfortable when I am hot.  I was miserable yesterday after having eaten gluten Thursday - Saturday and the temps and humidity both went up.

 

I'm pretty convinced that my rash is gluten driven.  I have in the past had IBS which seems to have subsided (for about 3 years).  Does my description of my funky rash ring true with any of you?  Regardless, I'll probably try to stay Gluten-Free because what can it hurt? :)

 

Beth

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It doesn't sound like your rash acts like typical dh acts. Do you get it on both sides (bilaterally) at once?

There are many skin issues related to celiac disease & non celiac gluten intolerance --- yours could be any of a # of things. If you don't care about a dx then by all means go gluten free for a good 6 months & see what happens. Being gluten free certainly won't hurt you Beth. And your hives or whatever they are certainly seem to be tied to gluten consumption.

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Sounds like you may be Celiac.  I have had blisters that oozed a substance in addition to welt like bumps that do not have liquid in them.  DH is extremely itchy, stings and burns.  When my lesions are healing I have the 'sunburned skin' feeling also.  I take Dapsone which calms the rash and I also take Benedryl everyday.  

 

After all I've been through with the medical professionals. . . If a gluten free diet resolves the rash I'd keep it up and save yourself some money.  Now, I'm not a doctor, that's my personal opinion.

 

You may want to consider cutting out iodine too.  Squirmyitch will probably respond and she is a good source for info.  She has helped me throughout the past 15 months.  Good luck!

 

Lyn

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Hello all.  For the past 3 years, I have had a rash in different areas for different lengths of time.  I have been to the regular doc for steroid shots, to the dermatologist for more steroids and antihistamines, and to the allergist - repeat that cycle 3 times over the years.  The allergist said my histamines were very active and my mast cells were attacking everything.  I showed mild allergic reactions to all the typical environmental allergens.  He put me on 3 different antihistamines to try to break the cycle with very little success.  I'm not satisfied with not knowing what has caused the overactive histamine production in my body - SOMETHING had to cause it.  About 2 months back, a friend told me about his journey with a rash that was more like very dry skin.  He went gluten free and the skin rash cleared very quickly.  So I figured, why not try it?

 

My rash is "welty" and bumpy.  It itches like crazy (though it doesn't disturb my sleep most nights).  When I itch it, it burns like a sun burn.  I don't see any fluid in the bumps but as it "dries in" it gets crusty.  I've had it on the backs of my hands, my chest, my palms (without the bumps), my neck, my cheeks and nose, my upper back, my scalp and the front and back of my elbows - never all of those places at once.  Loose clothing rubbing across it when it's in a flare is almost unbearable.

 

So I began a gluten-free diet 2 months back.  After a week of no gluten, my hives started "drying" in.  They didn't hurt or itch as badly.  I wasn't sure if it was a coincedence or not so I started gluten again and it flared again.  So, it seems that my hives are caused by gluten.  However, my rash looks more like hives than individual bumps.  And my hives are the most uncomfortable when I am hot.  I was miserable yesterday after having eaten gluten Thursday - Saturday and the temps and humidity both went up.

 

I'm pretty convinced that my rash is gluten driven.  I have in the past had IBS which seems to have subsided (for about 3 years).  Does my description of my funky rash ring true with any of you?  Regardless, I'll probably try to stay Gluten-Free because what can it hurt? :)

 

Beth

I also have had a bad time with my skin as the heat & humidity has soared.  I have been gluten free for 2 1/2 years & my skin still erupts.  Often I cannot pin point the source.  I recently attended a wedding reception & was assured my food was gluten free which was probably true, but it was prepared in the same kitchen & with the same utensils, etc as the non gluten free foods.  I believe that is what started this outbreak.  Since we have had high temps & high humidity I have had a terrible time.  My most vulnerable spots are elbows, upper arms across back and buttocks. Heat is an automatic trigger for my skin breakouts.

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Thanks to all of you! I truly believe that my rash is food-related. I'm going to try gluten-free for 6 months and see how things progress. I'm a grumpy girl at night with the heat and humidity going up and my rash has flared on my back and shoulders.

I guess the thing that is frustrating is that the response to stopping gluten is so slow. It takes a week to see any improvement in my rash, so it's hard to tie the Gluten-Free diet directly to the rash. And the improvement is just that the rash is less itchy/painful, not that it totally disappears. Argh!

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I understand your frustration with things not clearing up immediately but remember that it probably took years to get to this point so overnight healing is not going to happen.

 

Hang in there! :)

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I'm going to disagree and tell you it could be dh.

I'll also tell you how you can sort of test it and see if you get a reaction that may indicate dh. Warning: this could make it flare like a wildfire.

When you get it calmed down a bit, off gluten or whatever else irritates it....eat some gluten free high iodine foods:asparagus, whole eggs, potato skins, seaweed (gluten-free sushi). If your rash blows up from gluten-free high iodine foods you've never reacted to before....it's a signal it's dh. You could also take a gluten-free iodine supplement for a few days (so no new foods).

This is how I figured out my rash was dh. I was gluten-free two months - and it helped...and then after getting off steroids it went into remission...until I added a multivitamin with IODINE in it.

Not all dh is iodine reactive, but if yours is you will find out this way. But I am warning you - this can be ugly and miserable and painful. It could make it flare terribly. Good news, though - you can help control the rash with a low iodine, gluten-free diet.

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