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I've been gluten-free for nearly 2 years, barring cross contamination problems. My only visible symptom is chronic hives, which I've had for close to 8 years. During this time, they've gone from small patches to completely covering my back, shoulders and parts of my chest and stomach. They drive me INSANE all the time, and even more when I've been glutened -- and today was one of those accidental CC days. 

 

For those of you who get hives, what's your course of action for coping? Benadryl makes me sleepy, and not much else even takes the edge off. I'm allergic to oats as well, so oatmeal baths are out of the question. I'm at my wits' end; sitting at work and itching myself all over like a crazy person is not cutting it. Help!

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I get dermographia, sometimes really bad like I can't rub against anything, etc.  Not related to gluten, though.  I find a bath with a cup of baking soda added helps with the itchy skin.  I also like the cortisone liquid roller things... I get this one : http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Cortizone-10-Easy-Relief-Applicator-Maximum-Strength-Anti-Itch-Liquid?skuId=690754  of course you can't use it all over your body, but on mild days it helps to soothe small patches.

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I get dermographia, sometimes really bad like I can't rub against anything, etc.  Not related to gluten, though.  I find a bath with a cup of baking soda added helps with the itchy skin.  I also like the cortisone liquid roller things... I get this one : http://www.cvs.com/shop/product-detail/Cortizone-10-Easy-Relief-Applicator-Maximum-Strength-Anti-Itch-Liquid?skuId=690754  of course you can't use it all over your body, but on mild days it helps to soothe small patches.

That sounds like a good idea.

 

@ "StephWhoClimbs," though, you may want to do research on all of this cortisone liquid's ingredients to make sure there are no known skin irritants in it (especially since you're allergic to oats and this has "Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract" in it).

 

For example, I used to use Sarna lotion on my rashes, but when I'd use it the rashes never seemed to go away. Only a few weeks ago I found out that both Sarna and the shaving cream I had been using had one of those skin irritants: benzyl alcohol. So, needless to say, I had to find something else that works for me.

 

But for now, I just use my aunt's essential oils, and lavender and peppermint seem to be pretty effective at making the rashes go away, or at least become much more tolerable. Just fyi, though, some people (like my mom) can't stand the smell of lavender, so if you know you're going to be around people that day, peppermint might be a better choice, and should still be just as effective. I hope that helps.

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Some people can't stand the smell of lots of things. I love lavender, but it tranqs me. My husband can't stand peppermint when it's strong. I'm allergic to eucalyptus which is in lots of essential oil blends. It's all a preference thing, don't let the idea that some people might not like it stop you from trying something that might help. Wait until someone mentions it's a problem, then apologize, explain it was a treatment for a medical issue and hopefully contact can be limited until you're not wanting to scratch your skin off your body.

 

All I've ever managed for hives when I get them that is (moderately) effective is buttloads of calamine lotion after cool showers. That may be a little difficult if it's on your back, but hopefully either you can reach or have someone who you trust to help you apply something. I do benadryl too, but like you it knocks me right out so I can't take it if I'm out of the house. But if I'm home? Sleeping 16 hours a day beats scratching myself raw and bleeding which I've been known to do. :ph34r:

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Hives are crazy-making.  I'm so sorry you have them!  

 

A couple of things...  artificial colors and dyes can cause hives, such as yellow and red dyes in foods and medicines.  

 

In addition (and you are probably already doing this!)  check your laundry products for colors, scents, chemicals that irritate, etc.  Maybe a product like Dreft for babies would work for you.  Don't use fabric softener, even if it's dye and fragrance free!  I use a cup of white vinegar in every load of laundry, in the final rinse cycle, because it helps remove soap residue, and even helps a bit with softening the clothes.  And your laundry won't smell like vinegar, I promise!  Use as little laundry detergent as possible.  Often, there is enough old detergent in the fabric fibers to get the clothes clean for a wash or two without additional detergent.

 

This article may be useful for you:

 

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12303-15-signs-of-histamine-intolerance.html

 

I hope you feel better and can be hive free soon.

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Wow! I definitely didn't think I'd get so many responses.

 

@ LauraTX - I'll definitely have to try the baking soda bath. The heat we're getting in DC is excruciating and a cold bath might just do the trick.

 

@BassetteHound22 - I definitely stay away from benzyl alcohol and the like -- it only dries my skin out and makes things worse. How do the essential oils work? I'm not opposed to slathering myself in something if need be, but I'm curious what does the trick.

 

@ Adalaide - I'll look into lavender EO because, if nothing else, it smells good (and I'll definitely stay away from eucalyptus -- I'm allergic to it too). That sounds like the best option I've got at the moment. And I can definitely agree that sleeping is better than being raw and in pain. Yuck!

 

@BethM55 - I haven't had a single processed food in two years (since I was diagnosed), so no artificial dyes here! Also, when I was a kid, my mom took us all off of scented and colored detergent as well as all fabric softener. It cleared up whatever she had, but did nothing for me. I'm a huge proponent of vinegar and an an extra rinse cycle to make sure there's no soap residue, too. I also don't use deodorant (switched to coconut oil a year ago), scented lotion, and really any other potential skin irritant. It really boggles the mind why I have hives (aside from the gluten problem), because I've tried SO HARD to be good to myself. Ugh!

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Wow! I definitely didn't think I'd get so many responses.

 

@ LauraTX - I'll definitely have to try the baking soda bath. The heat we're getting in DC is excruciating and a cold bath might just do the trick.

 

@BassetteHound22 - I definitely stay away from benzyl alcohol and the like -- it only dries my skin out and makes things worse. How do the essential oils work? I'm not opposed to slathering myself in something if need be, but I'm curious what does the trick.

 

@ Adalaide - I'll look into lavender EO because, if nothing else, it smells good (and I'll definitely stay away from eucalyptus -- I'm allergic to it too). That sounds like the best option I've got at the moment. And I can definitely agree that sleeping is better than being raw and in pain. Yuck!

 

@BethM55 - I haven't had a single processed food in two years (since I was diagnosed), so no artificial dyes here! Also, when I was a kid, my mom took us all off of scented and colored detergent as well as all fabric softener. It cleared up whatever she had, but did nothing for me. I'm a huge proponent of vinegar and an an extra rinse cycle to make sure there's no soap residue, too. I also don't use deodorant (switched to coconut oil a year ago), scented lotion, and really any other potential skin irritant. It really boggles the mind why I have hives (aside from the gluten problem), because I've tried SO HARD to be good to myself. Ugh!

I can see why the source of your hives is such a mystery!  Maybe you are allergic to real food!   :rolleyes:   Is it possible there is something in conventional fabrics, such as pesticide residue or something similar, that causes this?  I'm thinking anything that touches your skin.  Or a product someone else in the house uses?  I think I read somewhere that people who are highly sensitive are more highly evolved than the rest of us...   

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Might you have a histamine problem?  I am no expert, but there are people here who have food/histamine reactions, and hives would be one of the reactions.  I saw an allergist earlier this year.  He said he would like to put me on an antihistamine program, but this was just before I had the scopes done and didn't want to add anything else into my system.  Perhaps you could look into histamine allergy, and foods that are high in histamine.  Good luck. I hope you find an answer.

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Might you have a histamine problem?  I am no expert, but there are people here who have food/histamine reactions, and hives would be one of the reactions.  I saw an allergist earlier this year.  He said he would like to put me on an antihistamine program, but this was just before I had the scopes done and didn't want to add anything else into my system.  Perhaps you could look into histamine allergy, and foods that are high in histamine.  Good luck. I hope you find an answer.

This article talks about histamine issues.     http://eatlocalgrown...ntolerance.html

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Zyrtec helps us with hives. You may want to also consider h. pylori. Good luck getting it sorted!

Hi.  I am a credentialed school nurse in California, have been for many years.  In fact am about to retire.  Perhaps I can help with the school health issues?

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My Dr. Has me on 2 Zyrtec a day. Yes it is the 24 hr. Zyrtec. I also have a friend who takes 2 Zyrtec a day. So it's not just my Dr. That prescribed it like that. I also get hives, It usually starts at 3 am and by noon gone. I took pics of them to show my Dr. The zyrtec takes care of it. Recently I quit taking it because I wasn't DX'd Celiac at the time it was prescribed and was eating a regular diet. But a couple days of being off of it bam! Started getting hives again. Good luck. 

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Hi.  I am a credentialed school nurse in California, have been for many years.  In fact am about to retire.  Perhaps I can help with the school health issues?

I can't figure out how to PM you....and I think this is for me. We resolved our school issues by moving to Australia. What a difference! A community that treats our celiac issues with care and respect makes ALL the difference in the world. Food manufacturers that are diligent, caring, and required to meet "no detectable gluten" has made our lives so seemingly NORMAL.

We have to treat our celiac issues like a severe allergy....in all fairness we have wheat/gluten allergy issues in addition to celiac. But getting our COMMUNITY to respect our gluten issues as a severe, life-threatening allergy makes a huge difference in our health and well being. Our hiving issues were possibly triggered by a couple of things, 1)chronic low-level exposures in the school environment and 2) an h. Pylori infection.

We have learned the hard way to hit hives with antihistamine early. We had serious complications from not understanding how severe our reactions were.

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I can't figure out how to PM you....and I think this is for me. We resolved our school issues by moving to Australia. What a difference! A community that treats our celiac issues with care and respect makes ALL the difference in the world. Food manufacturers that are diligent, caring, and required to meet "no detectable gluten" has made our lives so seemingly NORMAL.

We have to treat our celiac issues like a severe allergy....in all fairness we have wheat/gluten allergy issues in addition to celiac. But getting our COMMUNITY to respect our gluten issues as a severe, life-threatening allergy makes a huge difference in our health and well being. Our hiving issues were possibly triggered by a couple of things, 1)chronic low-level exposures in the school environment and 2) an h. Pylori infection.

We have learned the hard way to hit hives with antihistamine early. We had serious complications from not understanding how severe our reactions were.

Hi.  I've heard positive comments about living gluten free in Australia from others, too.  Good to hear the schools are another positive for you and your young ones.  The school systems in the US could learn a thing or two from Australia, in regards to keeping students with allergies safe in the school environment!  Also, someone else mentioned Zyrtec (cetirizine) for hives.  It's a good alternative to Benadryl, as it has less of a drowsiness reaction for most people.   

 

Peace...

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I broke out in hives after taking Penicillin a few months ago. First time having hives. I thought I was going to die. I can't imagine dealing with this all the time. I had to go to the ER and get a steroid shot. they also gave me Atarax for itching. It helped, but made me tired. Everything makes me tired!

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