As I have been talking about for a while now, it seems that many people get relief from cholinergic urticaria during the summer months. There are many reasons why this could be happening. For example: They could be simply avoiding indoor allergens, they could be getting more Vitamin D and other vitamins from the sun and it corrects any unknown imbalances we may have, or they could simply get used to sweating more often, etc.
And most of us know that many articles online suggest that Cholinergic Urticaria gets worse for most people during winter months. We also even have a few posts on the forum by members who enjoy life hives free during most summer months when they are out in the sun. Even I experienced a remission of hives for about 1-2 years when I was getting regular sun exposure (although I don’t know yet for sure if it was because of the increased sun).
Does this mean it is all related to sun or outdoor activity? Maybe it is. Then again, it may have nothing to do with it at all. This is one thing that I intend on trying this summer (I just have to watch not to over-do it and get a burn or skin cancer). However, today I went grocery shopping and I noticed some Vitamin D-3 for a cheap price ($3.50 for 200 tablets) at Walmart. So I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a shot.” Here is what I bought:
It came with 200 tablets, and I will take 1 a day with my meals. So basically it will last for several months. I will occasionally update everyone and let you know if I see any changes at all (probably on a weekly or bi-weekly basis). That way you can know if it is working or not (for me anyways- we could all be different).
If you are planning on taking this, it would be a good idea to run it by a doctor. You can actually overdose on vitamin d-3 believe it or not, and plus it says not to take it if you are pregnant, nursing, or may become pregnant, or are on other medications/vitamins without talking to a doctor first.
Do I Think Vitamin D-3 Supplements Will Cure Cholinergic Urticaria (hives)?
Probably not! So Why and I trying them? Well, I thought it would be worth it to see if they had any effect at all while I took them. I do not even know if I am vitamin d deficient, although I strongly suspect I probably am considering I get almost NO sun exposure and don’t commonly eat the foods that contain it. I would like to see if I notice a decrease in symptoms, or no change at all. Also, there is always a small chance that it could make a big difference, however, I am not getting my hopes up at all.
I am taking them under the assumption that nothing at all will happen, and that they will not help my hives at all. This way I can at least say I have tried it. I honestly don’t think it can harm me in any way if I do this for a short time. Even some well-known public doctors recommend taking the supplements (Dr. Weil to name one).
Plus I look at it like this: I eat a very healthy and varied diet with lots of fruits and veggies. I should be getting most all vitamins and minerals I need from my diet alone. There is one exception, and that is vitamin D. You need the sun to get that in most cases, and as I have mentioned several times before on the blog, I get almost zero sun exposure (and when I do it is really spotty hit and miss stuff). So if I was ever going to take a supplement or vitamin, I suppose it makes sense to take the one I would actually have the greatest chance of being deficient.
Vitamin D-3, according to most medical articles, is supposed to be most similar to the kind of vitamin D that is produced when the sun strikes our skin (as opposed to vitamin d-2). There are various types of Vitamin D, and most articles I found seem to suggest D-3 is best. Plus it is pretty cheap.
Are Vitamin D-3 Supplements As Good as the Sun?
I personally think the sun is much better than taking supplements. I am not a “pill” type of person, and I reject most vitamins and medicines unless it is life or death.In fact, I really wish I could be doing the sun experiment right now, but it just isn’t feasible with the weather and my apartment set-up.
Just think about how important the sun can be: Take a plant that is dependent on the sun and move it indoors. It will die. The plant produces so many important nutrients when the sun hits it. It is due to photosynthesis, heating, solar radiation, etc.
We may not differ from the plants too much with our needs for regular (light to moderate) sun exposure. Vitamin D has been shown to affect the immune system, regulate hormones, increase digestion absorption, and much more. If you want to read more about vitamin D, you can google it.
There may be so many other positive benefits from the sun that science doesn’t even fully understand. Even people with dermatitis (eczema) can get out in the sun and usually see their skin clear up a lot. I know it worked wonders when I had an allergic eczema rash once.
Even if I see no results whatsoever with these supplements I plan to take, I am going to continue with the sun/outdoors experiments in about 3-4 months when summer arrives. Here is why:
1. The sun could be doing other positive benefits other than just producing vitamin d as I mentioned above. It could be creating unknown vitamins/minerals. It could be killing excessive bacteria/fungus on our skin. It could help in so many ways that the supplements may not be able to help. So if the supplements don’t work at all, I am still optimistic about the summer being able to help the hives.
2. I enjoy sunny weather anyways, and seem to feel more positive about life when I can get out and enjoy nature.
3. I want to see if sweating a lot helps or temporarily “cures” the hives when done regularly. The heat from the summer should allow my body to adjust to warmth and sweat more regularly anyways.
4. The sunlight could have some effect on our sweat glands, hormones, or other things that a supplement or “pill” simply won’t do. The sun does more than just produce vitamin d. The pill will only do that one thing.
Vitamin D seems to really do a lot of positive things for the human body, and I am sort of excited to see if I notice any change at all. Of course, this should take time (at least a few weeks or even a month or two to notice any real results). But again, at this point I don’t really think it will work at all. But it is always fun to hope!
I don’t plan on taking this long term. I plan to take it for at least 1-2 months (or until summer arrives). That should tell me if it is doing anything or not. Then, I will continue with the increase in outdoor activity.
Anyways, just wanted to post this to let everyone know that I am going to give it a shot and see what happens. I will keep you updated every so often.
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. I also do take Vitamin D3 daily, either as its own supplement or as a part of a multi-vitamin (centrum).