My Hives attack
If you have ever had the misfortune to have body hives, then you know how massively discomforting they can be, and how much they affect your life, especially if they are chronic.
Body Hives medically known as urticaria are red itchy , raised areas of the skin that appear in varying shapes and sizes. They are sometimes known as “nettle rash” They usually develop quite suddenly, beginning as small spots and spreading quickly. They can also disappear, and recur somewhere else. While they tend to burn at first, later they itch tremendously.
In more serious cases, the mucous membranes of the lips,tongue, and mouth are affected. Typically less severe cases, resolve in a few hours or days. However, hives can last for weeks even years.
An explanation given to me about hives made complete sense. It was stated that when hives appear, and keep appearing chronically, it’s the bodies way of communicating “clean me out”! It’s saying it’s full of toxins and needs help to function properly.
A wide variety of reasons are available for why we get body hives. They can appear as a reaction to an external cause, such as insect bites, or stings as well as temperature extremes. Most commonly hives occur from a response to the ingestion of certain foods, especially shellfish and food additives, or medications, particularly penicillin, and aspirin.
Preservatives, flavorings, colorings, and stabilizers in foods are often the source of hives. As are nuts, strawberries, eggs , wheat, dairy, chocolate, tomatoes, and citrus.
Stress is a major factor in hives appearing. When we are under emotional stress and hold it all in without expressing all the rage, sadness, grief, inability to cope etc, then this can trigger our immune system and hives can result.
Intense exercise can be a trigger to. It is important to look at overall health, especially digestion. Poor digestion from inadequate amounts of stomach acid and excessive permeability of the intestinal walls ( leaky gut ) are possible problems for people with allergies.
Coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol can aggravate this condition as well. And as my neighbor and I found out recently, one of our major triggers for swelling and body hives is ginger, so beware any of you out there suffering from hives. It is hidden in a lot of thing, so read, read, read. Also a tooth abscess and other hidden bacterial infections could be the cause. So by paying close attention to how and what we feed our bodies becomes very important when dealing with hives.
Because hives are often caused by the release of the histamines from mast cells as a result of eating certain foods, a change of diet can help. Start by eliminating the more common known triggers for 6 weeks and then slowly re-introduce them one by one. Avoid food additives as they increase the number of mast cells in the skin and are likely to be the cause of chronic outbreaks in most people.
Avoid cured meats and processed foods as these foods contain vasoactive amines which increase intestine permeability.
All kinds of skin conditions benefit from essential fatty acids in the diet. Flax seed oil is an excellent source of Omega 3 essential fatty acid, alpha, linolenic acid, and also contains the other essential fatty acids, such as omega 6. To help heal the skin, add a tbsp. of freshly ground flax seed oil to salad dressings or on baked potatoes.
Although overall health should be improved by supporting the immune system and avoiding the source of the problem wherever possible, internal supplements can help allergic reactions and help prevent recurrences. Vitamin C, and B 12 are the main vitamins for treatment. Beta carotene is particularly effective for body hives caused by heat.
Herbal remedies can be used to treat hives with no side effects what so ever. Juice of the stinging nettle leaves in most cases help with hives, a tablespoon three times a day is recommended. Horsetail, Valerian, birch leaves, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and peppermint, reduce inflammation and pain, Combine as a tea and drink three times a day.
In case of emergency where hives are causing difficulty breathing, call medical help first and in the meantime you could use Apis in a 30c potency ( a homeopathic remedy) every 15 minutes until help arrives.
In other cases, you could use 6c strength of Apis or Artica every 10 minutes for three doses, if hives are not serious. Then 3x daily up to one week if necessary. Apis is made from the sting of the bee, and is used where swelling and heat are pronounced. The face, eyelids and lips can become swollen.
So, as a woman, my journey now lies with writing articles about chemical free living and I can tell you this all began for me because I have lived with chronic hives on and off now for the past 4 or more years. I have learned by trial and error and a really knowledgeable group of people, including my naturopathic doctor, an easy to follow heal your gut program, good friends and being proactive myself, how to avoid all the trigger foods and other things that have kept me sick for so long.
And I am pleased to say as I type this article that I am totally hive free, and on my way to getting better everyday:) It is a learning process and I am willing to learn. And as a result of this journey my body has become so much healthier then it’s been in years, and my body hives are GONE! So take the time, do your research and avoid all the triggers that may be keeping you unwell all this time.
Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia by Natasha Campbell- McBride
And The Heal Your Gut Cookbook: Nutrient-Dense Recipes for Intestinal Health Using the GAPS Diet by Hilary Boytnon