Could Cholinergic Urticaria Be Caused by Stress or Anxiety? Post by: bbroom on October 09, 2008, 08:35:40 PM
I realize that i may be one of the only in this forum that has suffered from cholinergic urticaria for 20 + years, but has anyone had their hives go away for a period of time and then reappear? as i have stated, mine began in 1980. finally finding meds that worked to lessen the severity some time in the mid 90’s. around the end of the 90’s i divorced my first husband. (yes a very stressful 20+ year marriage.)
Within 6 months i noticed that i was not breaking out. i tested this theory by subjecting my self to extreme heat exposure. 95 degree weather in a car with windows closed and no a/c . this produced massive sweating and no hives. no uncomfortable feeling on the skin etc. i quit taking my meds and had had no incidents of cholinergic urticaria at all. i thought that finally they were gone.this continued until 2003. i had re- married by then and the standing joke was that if the hives came back i new it would be time to get rid of husband #2. lol.
Well in 2003 they reared their ugly head again. and no i did not get rid of #2. lol. but i did realize that more stress had returned to my life. that year i lost my job, my father took ill and passed away, my search for employment was not as successful as i had hoped. financial worries were ever present, bankruptcy loomed and then came 2005 and hurricane katrina. 9 1/2 feet of water and no flood insurance . the last 3 years have been quite challenging. needless to say the stress level has been enormous in the past 5 years and the cholinergic urticaria is in full bloom. i wonder if the stresses of our lives today have any role in how our body responds to things? any thoughts?? bbroom
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: HivesGuy on October 10, 2008, 06:21:55 AM
Yes, some believe stress can trigger cholinergic urticaria. Stress has been known to lower the immune system, and some suggest or think that stress can trigger autoimmune dieseases, allergies, and more.
When I first developed cholinergic urticaria (heat hives), I was not going through a terribly stressful period, but I was a little stressed. Then, after I had it for several months, it just kind of went away. I then enjoyed a 2-3 year period of complete remission. It was completely gone. I would just sweat like normal. No itching or anything when I got hot.
Over time, I was able to eliminate the rashes by cutting down the milk intake. But I still had some rashes and stomach issues as well. That is one reason why I am on a diet right now. I am completely eliminating milk, gluten, and highly processed foods. I suspect food could possibly be linked to this, but I am not sure (time will tell).
But yes, just like you, I also had a remission period, and then it came back worse, and for a longer period of time. I have read where some people have gone through like a 20 year remission period, and then it came back after that long. So this hives thing is definitely crazy! It could be related to stress, but I don’t know for sure. Maybe stress just makes it a bit worse? Who knows.
But that was terrible having to deal with Katrina like that, and all of your other problems. All of that on top of this Cholinergic Urticaria. All I can say is that it takes a lot of strength to keep pushing forward like you have! Keep it up, and don’t lose hope!
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: billysielu on October 10, 2008, 10:07:56 AM
I had a breakout at the interview for my second job.
So I’ll agree, stress is a factor. I’m becoming more and more convinced it’s breathing related. I’ve been reading about something called Leukotrines, I really want to hear more from others about that in particular.
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: Duper on October 10, 2008, 04:19:20 PM
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: bbroom on October 10, 2008, 08:31:48 PM
on another note: do you know of any current info on mast cell involvement. I keep finding reference to their degranulation ( i think that’s the correct term) and possibly of new meds to stop this process
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: bbroom on October 11, 2008, 02:45:47 PM
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: HivesGuy on October 11, 2008, 04:55:36 PM
I know exactly what you mean! That is a HUGE frustration for me is just: What is causing this? Can it be treated? Is it curable? Is it genetic? Why us? Why does it go away and come back? etc. etc.
Just answers to those questions would be nice. Not only do we have to deal with this crazy itching/burning/prickling when we get hot, but there is almost nothing known about it!
Title: Re: STRESS?? Post by: L421 on October 12, 2008, 01:53:12 PM
Title: Stress exercices for Cholinergic Urticaria Post by: hieveryone on January 23, 2010, 07:20:20 AM
Title: Re: Stress exercices Post by: dice on January 24, 2010, 07:40:27 PM
Title: Re: Stress exercices Post by: hieveryone on January 25, 2010, 07:00:28 AM
Title: I’m hearing two common elements Post by: silvertones on April 14, 2010, 05:30:57 AM
Title: Re: I’m hearing two common elements Post by: HivesGuy on April 14, 2010, 07:39:08 AM
But then again, it was just a hundred or two hundred years ago that doctors would “bleed” you if you got sick. They had virtually no idea that things like bacteria or viruses existed, and so forth.
Unfortunately, doctors are still incredibly ignorant about a great many diseases and conditions. Sucks for us I guess, lol. 😉
Title: Re: I’m hearing two common elements Post by: luckyjoej on April 14, 2010, 01:32:07 PM
Silvertones how are you doing with that med for anxiety?
Title: Re: I’m hearing two common elements Post by: silvertones on April 14, 2010, 02:11:52 PM
Title: Re: I’m hearing two common elements Post by: Joeshep on April 28, 2010, 03:02:57 AM
Title: Stress related hives that are temporarily cured when doing something I love Post by: manicat on June 27, 2010, 11:14:50 AM
I do get temporary relief from taking a tepid shower with oatmeal soap, smearing baking soda paste on the hives, brushing it off when it dries and spraying the hives with rose water. This cuts the itching by about 75% for several hours.
Title: Heat & Stress related Urticaria Post by: littlemiss1t on June 28, 2010, 01:46:23 AM
Am I new to this forum, so Hi!
I was SO suprised to see how many other people suffer with this awful condition, and when I searched for a forum, was so relieved to see that by talking and reading other threads that there is hope and it may help.
I have had urticaria for over 3 years now, my worst ever case was the first one but I still get bad cases now, every 3 months, sometimes more regular.
I have seen a professor, 5 different dermatologists and had skin biopsy’s, numerous blood tests and so many different anti histamines, along with steroids that I am now not sure what to do, as nothing has helped.
I feel that stress, anxiousness and heat really trigger my condition. I have had anaphylaxis (sorry if this is not the correct spelling) twice and been to hospital with this.
Who finds stress & heat a trigger and apart from the obvious with regards to clothes and trying to keep calm and relax, what else can you do or take?
I feel like I am a “test” when it comes to taking different tablets, as I have tried & spent so much money on different tablets, in the hope that it might be the “one”.
I look forward to hearing your replies.
Title: Re: Heat & Stress related Urticaria Post by: HivesGuy on June 28, 2010, 03:01:47 PM
Thanks for your great posts and welcome to the forum!
I am glad you found the forum, so you can know that there are lots of us suffering with these annoying hives.
Your post sounds like many of our experiences. I have been to several doctors too, had a few blood tests done, and tried countless treatments–nothing has helped. Luckily, my hives are more controllable right now, so it isn’t as bad. But I know in the winter they will be terrible (if things stay the same).
As far as trying to manage it, you may want to continue experimenting with antihistamines. You said you have tried many different ones, so they may not help. However, you may be able to find a combo (talk to a doc about this), that does help to at least knock the symptoms down a bit. I think we all know that antihistamines are no cure though.
You can try experimenting with your diet, but that may only slightly help too. There are several threads of many different ways people have tried to manage this, and also some ways people are able to manage their hives. That may help you some.
For me, just suffering through the attacks when I get them, trying to stay positive (which is sometimes super hard), and just avoiding stressful situations/heat, etc. are the best things I can do. I know that isn’t easy, but that is about all I have found that I can do.
Thanks again for your post, and once again…welcome =).
Title: Re: Stress related hives that are temporarily cured when doing something I love Post by: silvertones on June 29, 2010, 01:51:13 PM
Title: Re: Stress related hives that are temporarily cured when doing something I love Post by: manicat on June 29, 2010, 02:23:33 PM
Title: What I think about Cholinergic Urticaria, my experience with it. Post by: RLahens on July 13, 2010, 01:43:34 AM
This was my junior year, I was hard at work trying to get good grades for college, so I did in fact spend alot of time with my brain in the meltdown zone. It makes a bit of sense that it would start then. Some of my largest outbreaks was when I wo uld get into a fight (All boys school, I think you see where I’m going with this) I would actually be backing away from someone, while I’m scratching, but this was during gym, where I would already be itchy. It some to come when I was nervous or just VERY worried.
Specific spot: My lower back seems to be like a ‘source’ of some kind to this. Lets say I suddenly get nervous, I would get a shock of pain in my lower back, and could feel it move up and throughout to my arms, sometimes massaging it can help weaken the effects by just a bit.
Weight loss: I recently lost about 20 lb(woo!) but still very much out of shape, where skin would…jiggle. I actually thought this was that cause of the pain.
Timing: Started in february, got a little bit worst throughout the year, started to get a little less severe at the end of year, and now gone as we enter mid-summer, I’m now more calm, happy, less stressed, and have very happy thoughts about college.
It’s late right now so I can’t even remember everything I was going to post but eh… I was just in the middle of exercising to get in shape (jogging in place, ftw?) and was actually sweating alot, also have the AC off to help me sweat.
Tomorrow I’m going to ask my father about this, he mentioned something about itching when he was my age. My theory? Cholinergic Urticaria may have started because of stress… help me out here.
Title: Re: What I think about Cholinergic Urticaria, my experience with it. Post by: HivesGuy on July 13, 2010, 03:56:55 AM
Excellent post and welcome to the forum.
I am glad to hear that you are currently free of hives. Let’s just hope it stays that way ;).
I agree with you that for the majority of people with Cholinergic Urticaria, there seems to be a lot of stress, anxiety, or tension in their lives. I definitely think that stress can play a huge role in sudden auto-immune type reactions. In fact, I was recently reading a book on John D. Rockefeller called Titan (he was one of the richest guys in the history of the world), and when he was in his 50’s, he was really stressed out because a lot of bad publicity was coming out about him. He suddenly started losing all of the hair on his body (alopecia), and it never came back. That is just another example of how severe stress or anxiety could initiate an odd condition to form in the body.
Unfortunately, there is one thing I have noticed though: Even though high amounts of stress and anxiety can potenitally cause Cholinergic Urticaria to develop, you often can’t cure it easily by “de-stressing.” I have often tried to live a relaxing and calming lifestyle, but it hasn’t really helped the hives to go away for me.
Anyway, great post, and welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: What I think about Cholinergic Urticaria, my experience with it. Post by: RLahens on July 13, 2010, 11:48:20 AM
Another reason I believed it was stressed related was because Earlier this year when it first started, I visited my cousin in college and the attacks were so rare and so very weak that all I had to do was poke my back a little bit and it would stop, I was even in a party with him with peoplel all around me, it was hot and barely any breathing room, never had an attack. It was like me being happy, away from, and being free stopped it. Of course when I got back, it returned. I should also mention that it’s very cold where his school is, and when I went inside a room where there is heat, then outside, I never had an attack.
Oh yeah, actually some of my worst attacks came from when I was drinking water, my stomach would begin to itch and when I was cleaning my house and I had to bend over alot.
Title: Re: Heat & Stress related Urticaria Post by: patB on July 20, 2010, 06:23:13 AM
Title: Re: Heat & Stress related Urticaria Post by: No I Got Hives on August 13, 2010, 07:33:11 PM
I can definitely agree stress, anger, nervousness, anything emotion related is a huge contributor to what we might think it’s heat hives while not noticing our stress levels! In the beginning I thought I had heat hives, now that I think back, my stress and emotion was present when I was exposed to heat!
Hearing that you get them every 3 months or so makes me sort of jealous! If I could I would rather have them occur once or twice every 3 months than nearly daily! Better yet I wish I will never have them again, then again don’t we all!
Title: 5 htp: Its a god send Post by: cyruschn on September 06, 2010, 09:04:49 PM
1. First It relieves depression and anxiety so it improves my condition a lot. You also get tons of motivation to do things and it makes you very happy
2. second it promotes healthy sleep patterns and good sleep is good for your skin
3. Third it decreases appetite and makes you feel more satisfied(when you eat less it seems to make the condition better)
This stuff is amazing you can get it at health food stores like henry’s and i highly suggest you buy it.
Title: Re: 5 htp: Its a god send Post by: HivesGuy on September 07, 2010, 12:53:18 PM
If it is working for you, and your doctor says it is safe, then stick with it!
I have recently tried a shot of steroids, which I am hoping will help decrease my intense flare over the next few weeks. I am also on a new antihistamine. So far it is too early to tell if they will help though.
Good luck with your treatment.
Title: Could cholinergic urticaria be attributed to stress? Post by: velocicow on September 26, 2010, 11:32:44 PM
Title: Re: Could cholinergic urticaria be attributed to stress? Post by: Rogerq23 on September 27, 2010, 05:16:47 PM
Title: Re: Could cholinergic urticaria be attributed to stress? Post by: HivesGuy on September 28, 2010, 12:58:27 PM
There have been many times in my life where I had incredible amounts of pressure and stress on me, but I actually didn’t have hives or allergies. I had some stress in my life when I developed it (both times), but I wouldn’t say it was extreme stress. I have been far more stressed before.
But there is definitely an association with hives and stress in general. I think having Cholinergic Urticaria actually causes me far more stress than what I had before I got it–simply because I can’t function normally without having hives. So the majority of the stress in my life right now is the hives.
Title: Re: Could cholinergic urticaria be attributed to stress? Post by: Rogerq23 on September 28, 2010, 11:27:53 PM
Title: trigger Post by: starz on November 06, 2010, 03:16:40 PM
Title: Med? Post by: starz on November 06, 2010, 03:30:47 PM
Title: Re: Med? Post by: willdev on November 07, 2010, 08:39:19 AM
Cholinergic Urticaria does have a effect psychologically, when I get happy, sad or nervous I get Cholinergic Urticaria so your certainly not alone!
Title: Re: Med? Post by: HivesGuy on November 08, 2010, 02:33:53 PM
Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your contributions!
Like WillDev said, doxepin might be helpful, since it does deal with psychological stuff and it is also often prescribed in Cholinergic Urticaria. It may be worth a shot. Other than that, there are lots of drugs like Xanax and others prescribed to help with nervousness and anxiety issues, as well as antidepressants. I would talk to your doctor and make sure to research the side effects of these.
I sometimes get anxiety and stuff too, but I try to avoid those drugs as much as possible due to their side effects and so forth. But you could always give it a shot to see if it helps.
Title: Re: trigger Post by: HivesGuy on November 08, 2010, 02:37:00 PM
It is uncertain at this point, and more research is needed before we can know the exact physiological processes going on. But the mind, emotion, and so forth can definitely have an impact on the hives—there is no doubt about that.
Title: My story =/ Post by: FromRussia on February 07, 2011, 01:57:30 AM
Title: Re: My story =/ Post by: HivesGuy on February 10, 2011, 09:23:33 AM
Thanks for the great post and welcome to the forum! I am glad the ketotifen and famtidine is helping you. That is great that you are able to get some relief from that. Yes, I agree with those 5 things you listed, and I am sure they may have a hand in many people’s cases of urticaria.
Thanks again for your post and welcome.
Title: Massage Therapy Post by: Slick1020 on May 07, 2011, 09:22:42 AM
I went for a walk this morning, but I popped an allegra pill about two hours prior. It was cool outside with a breeze. I had at least 6 to 8 reactions during my walk and I had bumps all over my arms, stomach, chest, and back. Talking about a hellified combination of some itching and stinging for an hour. Anyway I completed my walk. When I returned home I sat under a super cold shower to help relieve my bumpy skin. Then I set the thermostat to 77 degrees. Doing well and its either the Allegra or my body but I can feel my body staying heated, which allows me to be in a room with a temperature equal to the temperature outside.
Title: Re: My story =/ Post by: FromRussia on July 09, 2011, 10:55:48 PM
Title: neurological??? Post by: jakesmom on December 27, 2011, 10:36:51 PM
Title: Re: neurological??? Post by: Cathie on December 29, 2011, 07:44:12 PM
Title: Re: neurological??? Post by: VIP on January 01, 2012, 01:04:15 PM
Does she cry a lot?
Does she get a very warm surface body temperature?
Title: social anxiety and cholinergic urticaria Post by: Jeylin on January 31, 2012, 06:32:11 PM
It’s only been happening for 2 or 3 weeks, but it’s already becoming difficult to put up with. I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow about something else, but I’m going to bring up this to see if she has any suggestions.
I have social anxiety. I have high levels of anxiety in social situations. And what does anxiety do? Make me flush and warm. Which brings on an attack of Cholinergic Urticaria. And then I’m either stripping down to try and cool off, or I’m itching my back and head constantly, which makes me more embarrassed, which makes me itchier and in more pain.
I’ve started noticing that I start getting a little panicky every time one of these Cholinergic Urticaria attacks happens, because I’m anxious of what people think of this random dude itching. I’ve started trying to calm my breathing, because when I start getting prickly, I start getting anxious, which makes it worse.
Yesterday a friend said something that embarrassed me, cue the Cholinergic Urticaria, and then she hugged me to apologize, but I felt like I was being stabbed with needles so I wouldn’t let her hug me. I was afraid she would think I had fleas or something and would think I was gross.
I’m completely new to this. I have no idea what to try. I’ve heard eliminate caffeine, but I’ve drank caffeine for years and years, large quantities of it, with no problems. Do I really need to eliminate it? I’ve only tried one brand of antihistamine, reactine extra strength, but it didn’t help at all.
I don’t know what’s causing this, but I think it might be stress. I’m in a very precarious living situation right now and I’m under a lot of stress.
Where should a newbie start?
Title: Re: social anxiety and cholinergic urticaria Post by: shaneelrod on February 01, 2012, 04:00:32 AM
Title: Re: social anxiety and cholinergic urticaria Post by: HivesGuy on February 11, 2012, 07:03:47 AM
Welcome to the forum, and great post.
About the caffeine question–I personally found that drinking lots of caffeine started to cause aching in my lower back (around where your kidneys are located). I’d be careful about high consumption of it. Not only that, but all of the other junk they put in foods is what you have to be careful about. The great thing is–if you are unsure about it, you can always remove it or cut it in half to see if it helps. If not, you could always go back to it if you wanted. At this point I avoid it 100%.
I read in the news a few weeks ago about how a new study is linking some of the preservatives they’ve used in foods in the past to cancer. The fact is, our bodies were not created to handle large quantities of preservatives, dyes, drugs, etc.
So for me, paying close attention to those things, and spending a tremendous amount of time and experimenting removing foods, avoiding excessively packaged foods, etc. has led me to a place where my hives are gone and I am living life healthy and well again. It not only helped hives, but I was getting terrible bloating, stomach cramps, skin rashes, and other issues over time, that went away as well.
I know without a doubt now (due to multiple personal tests with foods), that foods will absolutely make my Cholinergic Urticaria come out, and be far more aggressive than ever.
Is this true for everyone? It’s hard to say at this point. I’d certainly recommend everyone to get serious about the foods they put in their bodies. For one thing, a lot of people aren’t really willing to eat a super clean diet (it can be admittedly tough). Eating nothing but fruits, veggies, and lean mean may not be doable for everyone. But I know that it is worth it for me. I’m even expanding my personal garden this year to grow even more veggies to make sure they aren’t getting dowsed with something.
With regards to antihistamines, Allegra worked best for me, and was by far my favorite as it causes no drowsiness for me (whereas Zyrtec and others DO cause it). However, people really react differently, so for the short term, you may want to talk with a doctor about trying different types to see which helps best with minimal side effects.
Hope that helps, and welcome!
Title: Re: social anxiety and cholinergic urticaria Post by: jo on March 05, 2012, 04:04:01 PM
Title: 18 years Post by: Denise1026 on March 21, 2012, 10:03:50 PM
Title: Re: 18 years Post by: HivesGuy on April 05, 2012, 10:28:12 AM
Great post, and welcome to the forum.
I’m sorry that you’ve had this for so long. My only advice would be to spend some time browsing this forum and the website so that you can learn a bit more about it, and see what’s helped others with this.
Thanks again for your post!