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    Scott Adams

    Chronic Urticaria (Hives) and Associated Celiac Disease in Children

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Pediatric Allergy and Immunology Volume 16 Issue 5 Page 428 - August 2005

    Celiac.com 09/27/2005 – Italian researchers have discovered a link between celiac disease and chronic urticaria (hives). The researchers conducted a case control study that screened 79 children with chronic urticaria for celiac disease, then compared the results to that of 2,545 healthy controls in order to determine the clinical relevance of any association. Children and adolescents who had chronic hives for at least 6 weeks that did not respond to oral antihistamines were used as subjects in the chronic urticaria group, and each group was screened for celiac disease via anti-transglutaminase and anti-edomysial antibodies, with confirmation done via endoscopic intestinal biopsy.

    The researchers found celiac disease in 4 of the 79 chronic urticaria group—a full 5%, and in 17 of the 2,545 controls (0.67%). The four children found to have celiac disease in the chronic urticaria group were put on a gluten-free diet and after 5-10 weeks their chronic urticaria symptoms completely disappeared (while it took 5-9 months for their serological tests for celiac disease to return to normal).

    The researchers conclude that the presence of celiac disease in children with chronic urticaria is significantly more frequent than in controls, and children with chronic urticaria should be screened for celiac disease, and, if it is found, they should be treated with a gluten-free diet.


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    Thanks. I have been diagnosed with Celiac since 2001 and am 61 years of age. When I was in high school I developed urticaria that was diagnosed as being associated with heat/exercise. It lasted well into my 20's. Is it likely I had Celiac at that time, or was just predisposed based on my genetics. Thanks. Terry

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    Guest Gail Shallcross

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    My 21 year old son developed hives within the last two months. Antihistamines did not give him much relief. He has strictly monitored his diet for the last 2 days, eliminating gluten. I think that is the ticket.

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    This article is amazing. When I was a child, I spent a lot of time with giant welt-like hives of mysterious origin. We blamed everything from milk to red dye. I bet we have our culprit now.

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    Been wondering for years why I had such bad digestive problems. Noticed I could tolerate sour dough bread for a while but then my face started breaking out with something like what you describe here. A days ago I stopped all wheat and barley intake and it seems to be getting better. Still need to go in for celiac disease screening via anti-transglutaminase and anti-edomysial antibodies; but it looks like I may have stumbled on something. Thanks!

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    I was diagnosed with cold urticaria a few years back. It took 11 doctors and 4 years of suffering to figure out that ice cold not touch my skin. Which meant I had to give up my career as an athlete, being unable to ice down any injuries or sore muscles. Although I then knew what was happening, no one could really tell me why. Then the gastrointestinal issues started to occur as well as inflammation in all of my joints. I could barely walk half of the time. I'm on my third week with a gluten-free diet, and I haven't had a stomach ache since. I've also gone down a whole dress size as my swollen belly seems to be melting away. Now I'm thinking gluten was the culprit to my cold allergy too.

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  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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