Hives: Not just a quick fix

Hives are itchy, raised bumps (also known as welts and wheals) that appear on the skin after expos­ure to any­thing the body sees as for­eign. The med­ic­al word for hives is urticaria. It is derived from urtica dioica, a lat­in name for a herb also known as sting­ing nettle. Ever touched sting­ing nettle? It’s ubi­quit­ous in Ireland and I have many a time been stung as a little girl there. Ouch. Very itchy welts on the skin, red and angry. 

Hives are often seen as a nuis­ance when you know their source, but what about when you don’t? I fre­quently get calls about the treat­ment of hives — can I “cure” them (I really react strongly to that word!), and what is my approach? The bet­ter ques­tion is will we be able to determ­ine what is the trig­ger from your body, and will we be able to calm it down? The answer is yes.

There are so many dif­fer­ent causes for hives (phys­ic­al, tem­per­at­ure, allergy — food or envir­on­ment­al — stress hor­mones, histam­ine in the diet) that I am sure you are tired of look­ing for answers that are spe­cif­ic to you how­ever there is always an answer.

Ask your­self: have you have explored all of your options? Meaning have you sat down with someone who is going to take the time to explore all of the options for you? You can find out the answer, with a little bit of patience and per­sever­ance from you and your health care pro­viders.

Common causes I see in my office are:

  • Severe hor­mone stress lead­ing to immune sys­tem sup­pres­sion.
  • Immune sys­tem sup­pres­sion trig­ger­ing instabil­ity and allergy to intern­al or envir­on­ment­al factors.
  • Genetics pre­dis­pos­ing to all of the above!

So how would we go about treating this issue?

  • Identify the trig­gers and remove them.
  • Stabilize and bal­ance the immune sys­tem.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, it often is. It’s not always a quick pro­cess, but it is pos­sible to find out your trig­gers with two heads doing detect­ive work rather than one. Eventually you will be get­ting the sleep you so deserve.

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