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.