Well I just wanted to update everyone on my own hives situation, and also tell you about a few experiments I am going to try with my diet soon.
First of all, as many of you may know, I have already determined through a diet test that milk is no longer my friend. Apparently, I have some sort of milk intolerance/allergy. I was completely unaware of this until recently, and used to eat lots of ice cream, etc. I only noticed this after having a lot of stomach problems, and completely removing milk from my diet a few months ago. I then reintroduced milk into my diet, and had severe stomach problems.
So, after this little experiment I decided I would try to reduce the milk in my diet, and when I felt the urge to eat it, I would simply take those lactose pills so it wouldn’t upset my stomach. Overall, the lactose pills worked well (but they are fickle & you have to make sure to take enough of them).
Anyways, I have been taking the pills, and still eating some milk products here & there. Then, over this past week, I got a lot of snack food on my grocery store visit. I got a lot of those little snicker bars (milk), some chocolate peanut butter cups (milk), ate a peanut butter milkshake (milk), and had a pizza (milk), and a couple of twix bars (milk), oh yeah, and those little peanut m&m’s (milk).
I did have some stomach upsets (just a little cramping), but that isn’t the reason I am writing this post. Instead, I think there is a strong possibility of a food intolerance with at least some Cholinergic Urticaria sufferers (myself included).
After about 2-5 days of eating all of these little snacks loaded with milk/dairy ingredients, I began to develop a small red/itchy bump on the inside of my finger. I have had CU off/on for about 7 years now (almost 8), and I never had any rashes or eczema issues. But I did develop a rash on the back of my neck/arms/hands about a year ago, which I was able to eliminate by reducing my milk intake, and with the help of a topical steroid cream.
Now, by eating a lot more dairy than usual, this bump appears (it appeared before in the exact same spot when I had my rash outbreak last year). Here is a picture of it (it is kinda hard to see with the lighting in the pic).
But that isn’t the only thing that has happened. Many of us on the forum have been trying to use a “sweat” type of therapy, which involves trying to make our bodies more adapted to sweating. Well I had been trying this with great results. I worked outside a few days during the week, and was sweating fine. Then, I had a period of a few days where I mostly stayed indoors (also the same time when I was eating all the milk products).
Well, suddenly after these few days I became super-reactive. Literally, I started getting prickly just sitting in my apartment. The thermostat read 71 degrees, and I am usually fine at that temp. I continued breaking out like this for 2 days. I walked outside & immediately got prickly. I also got prickly in my sleep. Ugh. I hate the painful symptoms of cholinergic urticaria!
I even had a “BAD” type of outbreak. I was just sitting in my apartment. Suddenly I felt the prickly stinging/itching sensation in a few spots. So I scratched & didn’t think about it. Then, it kept doing it. I thought…Okay why am I breaking out right now. I then start scratching myself like crazy on my head, chest, abdomen, arms, etc. I told my wife to grab our camera. Then, after intense itching, my chest became red in a lot of areas, and I developed a few of the “pinpoint” hives. Here are some pictures of this whole event: PS..I apologize in advance about the small amount of chest hair, but in my defense, I am a guy…hehe.
The pictures above are right in the middle of my outbreak. It was itching & stinging very intensely before any physical symptoms appeared (such as the red flushed skin & hives). I usually don’t have very visible symptoms, only during a very bad attack like this one. I was itching so badly I could barely hold still long enough for my wife to snap the shots.
By the way, about 10 minutes later, the hives and redness were completely gone.
I will be making another post detailing my thoughts & a new diet test I will be trying…
UPDATE: 1/21/13 This is an old archived post, and I have made more recent posts regarding my new diet and how I was able to finally get my hives under control. Read more about it on my cholinergic urticaria diet page. What I essentially did was keep a journal and do several allergy elimination diets.