Hello Fellow Hive sufferers. ..
I'm really only writing to share what I've learned in my odysey of enduring hives in the hope I can help someone out there going through what I've been through.
I NEVER had hives until I was in my late twenties. Ironically, my mother and I both went through simultaneous episodes - she at the age of 62 or so, me 26, 27. We were geographically separated by about 2000 miles in completely different climates, so I am pretty sure it's a genetic connection more than a food or other allergy.
Anyway, my hives elluded reasonable diagnosis despite over a year of active attempts. I tried food elimination, stress relief (although it was a very stressful time) and other remedies including steroids, topical and injected adrenaline, and lots and lots of benedryl. No success.
I finally determined a few remedies on my own that seem to work well. The SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE is heat - a hot shower, hot pad, even a warm cup of water held to my face will prevent a hive from going full-blown. Cold will actually make the inflamation a lot worse. This works for giant and small hives and is most effective if I can start treating it as I feel the initial tingling that signals the start of the hive. I get small hives almost daily on my butt - seems to come from lots of sitting. These are easily resolved by a hot shower or bath.
In general, my hives are brought on by pressure - a back pack strap, crossed legs, even binding clothes will result in a giant hive. However, I can do these aggravating things and have no reaction if my overall health is good.
In the end, I've concluded this is a viral thing. I believe there is a latent virus in me that pops up whenever my immune system is compromised by stress or a cold. Then I'm sure to get at least one giant hive or a swolen foot/hand/face. I practice yoga and workout regularly and haven't had a serious outbreak in over two years.
I've met only one other person who has this same experience and his results have been the same as mine. Although his outbreaks seem to be triggered by repeated exposure to certain foods over time - I think that supports the virus theory, though, since a food allergy
will weaken the immune system.
Anyway, I'm seeing a lot of conflicting information on this and I think there are probably a gazillion types of hive outbreaks. I just hope my advice is helpful to someone.