Chronic Urticaria/Hives

Urticaria, or hives, is a result of a vascular skin reaction forming red or white welts that are often itchy in nature. The welts typically vary in size and can appear and fade repeatedly.  When hives occur for greater than 6 weeks or recur over an extended period, they are classified as Chronic Urticaria or chronic hives. These hives are not contagious or life-threatening, but they may be uncomfortable and interfere with daily activities, sleep, and eating if present around the mouth or lips.

Common signs and symptoms of chronic hives include:

  • Batches of red or white welts, usually on the face, trunk, arms, or legs
  • Welts that vary in size, change shape and appear and fade repeatedly as the reaction runs its course
  • Itching
  • Swelling that causes pain or burning, especially inside the throat and around the eyes, cheeks, lips, hands, feet, and genital region
  • Symptoms worsen in heat, exercise, and stress
  • Symptoms recur frequently and unpredictably, sometimes for months or years

Chronic hives are typically a sign of an underlying health problem. The following conditions may contribute to chronic hives.

  • Food allergies
  • Environmental allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Autoimmune conditions (thyroid disorder, lupus, Sarcoidosis,etc.)
  • Leaky gut
  • Specific medications
  • Histamine intolerance
  • Mast cell disorders
  • Acute or chronic infection

The first step is to identify the root cause, or the imbalances, that are triggering symptoms.  Collecting data is essential to determine the course of treatment.

“The first step is to identify the root cause, or the imbalances, that are triggering symptoms.  Collecting data is essential to determine the course of treatment.”

 

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