Sorry, this is long. I’m female, 64 years old. Weird that after all these years, I would just develop something weird like this rash. I’ve never had a food allergy. Good health, but about 40 pounds overweight.
I’m very insulin resistant – insulin count 39, but blood sugar is low to normal, so not a diabetic. These symptoms started the second week of June, 2016. If I start to heat up – either from sun, inside doing vacuuming, watching a tense movie, so heart rate starts to climb – my arms and legs become covered with a red splotchy rash and it stings really bad.
It is not a raised rash, bump, or welt. It is not blisters or little bumps like prickly heat. As far as sweating, my head/hair, face and neck sweats, but no sweat on my body – arms, legs stomach, back. It’s like my sweat glands below my neck are blocked and the sweat is trapped under the skin. And, if I get hot, even though I have no sweat on my lower body, my neck, face and scalp sweat really bad. My hair gets wet from the sweat.
It was happening randomly, but after about 6 weeks, the redness started to occur almost every day. Just sitting at my desk at work – not heating up. I’d start feeling a tingle in my arms and legs and start seeing a faint blushing. Also, at night my eyes would start watering and itching, my nose itches, my ears itch both inside and on the outside, and my face itches.
The skin on my throat and face feels hot to the touch, but my temperature is normal – no fever. It has gotten so bad that it is interfering with my sleep. During this time, I’m not having the bad red rash on my arms and legs and they don’t itch or sting. It’s like my body heats up and itches during the day, at night it cools down and my throat and head itch.
I am having hair loss and my normally oily hair feels dry and brittle kind of like dried straw, and my throat hurts and my tongue feels like it has been burnt on hot coffee all the time. I think this is called thrush. My tongue is rough, has red bumps, sore to touch and is almost white every morning – covered with a pasty looking stuff – goes away somewhat after I brush. And, my mouth seems very dry, like I’m not making enough saliva to swallow easily sometimes.
This all started the second Saturday in June – I was sitting outside at a restaurant, then I had a repeat on July 3 – I was steam cleaning my carpets inside my air conditioned house. Both times, after I cooled down, the stinging stopped and my skin went back to its normal color.
It is becoming much frequent and now I can see the spots all over my arms and legs a lot of the time, although they get much redder when my body heats up and then the stinging starts. My normally oily skin is very dry. I don’t think this is prickly heat, because it doesn’t take hours to go away. I have had friends who have prickly heat and my rash does not look or behave like theirs.
I think I have either have a really bad Candida yeast overrun ( the diagnosis by dermatologist) and/or have an overabundance of histamine due to an allergy – probably food -and the histamine reaction is what I am having at night. I started back on coconut oil pills, but it hasn’t helped.
I was miserable all summer and basically a captive in my house. I can’t exercise. I can’t walk my dogs. I can’t go out in the sun. I can’t go to night time concerts without being miserable. So far, as soon as it starts, I’ve been able to put cool water or an ice pack on my arms and legs and get cooled off and it settles down and stops burning and itching. I don’t really know what might happen if I was somewhere that I couldn’t get cooled down.
I definitely think my sweat glands on my arms and legs are blocked and possibly are probably infected. ?? The hair follicles turn red. I’ll be sitting at work, cool as I can be, and my arms and legs have red splotches on them. No pain or itching, but now, the redness isn’t going away. It just like a blotchy sunburn. It just gets much redder and stings once it starts.
I’ve done a lot of research, but haven’t found anything that sounds like this. Checked Lyme disease and Lupus, but doesn’t sound like those. Got the results of my blood tests and all of my blood counts look pretty normal, as far as kidney and liver output and red and white cells, mast cells etc. Was worried about non Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but blood counts look normal, plus my skin on my arms and legs just looks weird. Lots of weird looking little lines running everywhere – like I have no moisture in the skin and I’m extremely dehydrated, but I drink quite a bit of water.
My hair is extremely oily, as is my skin, but now is so dry and brittle and it is coming out and breaking off really bad. It feels like straw. Hot oil treatments are doing nothing. I found another forum on web md and there were about 50 posts from people who have something like this. No one had figured it out. These were both men and women, young and old, from all over the country, so probably wasn’t environment related.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor, but I have been trying to do some research. I think this is some preservative we are all consuming through some food. One thing I have read in my research is that too much MSG can cause you to have too much histamine in your body. I really try to not eat things with MSG, but I also found out that now there are several alternative MSGs that companies are using, so you won’t see “MSG or Monosodium glutamate” in the ingredients. These new products are: Sodium Metabisulfite – also shown as disodium, sodium bisulfite, sodium sulfite.
I’ve gone over everything I’ve been eating or drinking over the past few months. I’ve probably had 2 or 3 glasses of white wine total. I don’t drink cokes or sodas. Pretty much it’s coffee, regular tea, lemonade and water. I did start drinking Starbuck’s Very Berry refreshers in May.
I was drinking 2 or 3 a week, Venti size. This has green coffee bean extract, which can affect histamines from what I’ve read. I stopped drinking them, just in case if was the green coffee beans, but no improvement after 4 months now. I also started trying to drink more water this summer. I don’t like plain water, so I was putting a couple of big squirts of liquid ReaLemon in each glass for flavor – drinking 5-8 glasses a day. I checked on the ReaLemon ingredients and it has Sodium Metabisulfite ( a new MSG alternative).
So, I was getting quite a bit of this new MSG. I stopped drinking it in my water last week and went to using a real lemon. No improvement yet. At this point, if I do have a histamine overload, I’m not sure how long it will take to get back to normal. I’ve tried Benedril and it does help a lot (which also makes me think it is allergy related), but it puts me to sleep and I cannot work I’m so drowsy.
Even though my skin is still red, I haven’t experienced the bad burning and stinging in a while, but I also have not gotten over heated, but it could be one of these items. I also have not had the itching in my eyes or on my face in a few weeks now. I did have a kidney infection back in May. Doctor thought I might have kidney stones, so sent me for an ultrasound, but everything looked normal. No stones in kidneys or bladder, no cysts or tumors either. I did go on an antibiotic and 3 weeks later all of these symptoms started. Antibiotics normally give me a vaginal yeast infection, but nothing like this.
Also, Grandson got sick the first week of June while on vacation and he developed Thrush and got a really bad diaper rash. I didn’t think too much about it, but after reading, it does say that left untreated, it can manifest in skin rashes. So, it’s possible all of this is related to a case of thrush that I caught from him.
When I have a bad day or night – rash, severe itching on head and face, or wake up several times during the night itching , I make a list of everything I ate the day before and started looking up ingredients. Found 2 items that I eat regularly that have Thiamine Mononitrate in them. One is Honey Wheat bread and one is Lance low-fat brand cheese and peanut butter crackers.
I’ve been eating these crackers all summer as an afternoon snack. Sometimes 2 packs a day and I put additional coconut oil peanut butter on them. You know how you suddenly see something you used to eat, haven’t had it in a long time, so you start eating it again.
I got hooked on the cheese peanut butter crackers and ate a pack or two everyday with tea as my afternoon snack at work. And, after doing that for a few weeks, this red rash started. I’ve also noticed that after eating the crackers, within 15-20 minutes I’d start feeling the thrush in my mouth and throat.
So, an allergy to one of these new additives could be the culprit. I just hope we can figure it out. I stopped eating the cheese crackers in October, but the rash has not gone away. But, could be that I am getting something from a different food that also has one of these additives.
Also, I don’t know if there is an allergy test specific to these new MSG products. But, it makes sense that if all of this is caused by a new food additive, then going on a paleo or all natural diet would improve it. I have been to 4 different doctors. None of them know what it is. They are quick to write me a prescription to try to alleviate the symptoms, but none seem interested in finding out the cause.
I will post if I find out anything.