Hello all you fellow hives sufferers,
It has been a while since my last official post, and I thought I’d do a few updates. So here we go:
Update on Hives
I am so very happy and enthusiastic to say that so far, despite cooler weather settling in, my hives have been 100% under control just as in the summer. This means I am able to go shopping, lift heavy weights in an intense workout, and more–all without fear of Cholinergic Urticaria stopping me and ruining my life. I am able to sweat fully as well.
I am doing this without antihistamines, steroids, or other pharmaceutical drugs which may potentially have side effects. I am so very pleased and I hope and pray daily that I can sustain this for the rest of my life.
Update on my Diet
I am also just as pleased to say that I have finally been able to expand my diet to include more veggies and snacks, without my hives coming back. This is great because I was starting to worry about the long term effects of my very restricted diet I was on previously. The foods I eat now look something like this:
- Turkey (real turkey, not the packaged stuff)
- Sunflower Oil–very rarely if I cook something in it
- Maple syrup (added to rice to sweeten it)
- Sweet potatoes
- White rice
I am still avoiding dairy, fast food, wheat, excessively processed foods, packaged snacks/candies, etc. I am also eating within my calorie range. Here are two videos that describe my current diet and diet journey:
I am totally happy that I have been able to expand without skin symptoms, hives, or any stomach issues. So needless to say this has probably been the best year for me in a long time. I am healthy, my diet is good, I am exercising and slowly building muscle, and things are going well.
If you still have CU and are dreading the winter and having bad attacks, I strongly suggest you experiment with diet (among the other things I listed below). Someone on the forum recently mentioned a documentary called, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” The documentary follows a guy named Joe Cross who suffered with chronic urticaria (although I don’t think it was CU, just regular urticaria). It is on Netflix right now by the way, if any of you want to watch it.
I actually did watch most of it (although I skipped some parts). The guy goes on a veggie/fruit blender diet and lost a lot of weight, and his hives improved tremendously. He also got a truck driver who was overweight (and also had urticaria vasculitis if I recall correctly), and his hives also improved to the point of no longer needing medication.
The video seemed to suggest that the weight loss and healthy eating seemed to be the key factor that made their hives get better. I thought that was interesting, and I have certainly noticed the same thing–dropping weight, getting in shape, sweating regularly, and eating healthy (and minimizing food sensitivities).
Help For Those Who Still Have Hives
I am going to, when I get the time, write a comprehensive post in extreme detail about everything I’ve done. But since this will take a lot of time (and I am always so busy), I will list the main points below. Here are things I would recommend every person talk to their doctor about and try if you are still suffering.
These are all the things I am doing basically. Again, only attempt the following if you have spoken to a doctor and got approval. These things may not be safe or practical for all people.
- Diet–You need to do 2 things here: Remove foods that you may be unknowingly allergic or intolerant to, and eating within your means (to achieve a healthy weight with minimal body fat). An allergy elimination diet can help you realize what may be causing problems. Dairy and wheat are often main culprits, as are excessive preservatives and additives.
- Exercise regularly–This not only helps reduce inflammation in your body by eliminating inflammation-causing fat, but the regular sweating has been known to help keep Cu symptoms away for most people. One thing I do now that it is winter is to put a vaporizer in my workout room for a while first, so that it is nice and steamy. If you have severe CU, or anaphylaxis issues, it may not be safe to do this. Talk to a doctor first, and take precautions (such as having an epi-pen or adult with you).
- Supplement if Necessary–I take Calcium (since I don’t eat dairy), a daily multivitamin, Vitamin D3, and 2 different kinds of probiotics (digestive advantage and probiotic pearls). Probiotics help digest food, and may help the immune system as well. Some people on the forum have been tested and have been found to be extremely deficient on certain vitamins (such as vitamin d). You can buy most supplements over the counter, and your doctor can give more information on this (or give a simple blood test to check for deficiencies in a certain vitamin).
- Super Skin Moisturization–Since winter is coming here in the US, you need to take action to keep the skin damage free from the cold weather and low humidity. I have been doing this and have gotten INCREDIBLE results. Here is what I do: Cooler showers (not piping hot), shower filter (made by Culligan) that removes scale and chlorine that irritates skin), use Eucerin Calming Creme 1-2 times per day as needed (immediately after a shower), a vaporizer runs at night while I sleep and during the day in whatever room I’m in at the moment to add humidity to the air. My skin has thanked me!
- Removing external allergens–If you are allergic to any environmental things, avoid them as much as possible. For example, if you are allergic to pets, minimize contact.
- Hypoallergenic Products--I use hypoallergenic detergent (by All brand), hypoallergenic soap by Dove, Old Spice deodorant, Eucerin lotion, and that is pretty much all that touches my body. I also have dust-mite proof bedding, no carpeting in my house (all hardwood laminate), and keep my house cleaned regularly. The idea is to remove all sources that could potentially inflame your body or cause an allergic response. I also have no pets, and as much as I love animals, I’d never live with one again (my mom has 5 indoor pets, and I grew up with it).
I would strongly recommend that everyone still suffering with hives take the time to do the above. It has paid off tremendously for me. Some things weren’t easy (exercising, altering my diet, etc.), but I am so much happier and healthier now.
As I said, I hope that within the next few months I can re-organize this site a bit and make a few minor changes. I hope to also expand on what I wrote above and be much more detailed (and show pictures of the brands and things I’m using). I am also considering writing an eBook for people suffering so they can get the main points in an easy-to-read format (UPDATE: eBook is now available on Amazon and most major retailers).
Well, I hope your hives are improving. If not, don’t lose hope. I was a mess a couple of years ago and I feared my entire life was over. Nearly everything I did would result in a painful attack all over my body. Now I am happy and I have my life back. I pray that the same happens to you. Be ACTIVE, try things above after talking with a doctor, and don’t give up.
Oh, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving next week!