Sunday, 28 September 2008

Itching, hives, allergies

1)Patches of itching, can be aywhere on my body..this happens virtually every day..starts as a tingling that I feel the need to "rub" then have to scratch...scratching leads to huge "hives"...after about 20 mins the hives skin isnt broken or sore before or after the itching/ seems to be under my skin. Have tried to identify what I could be allergic to, have had a cat in the house for a year but this problem only started three months ago. It also happens when away from home, even abroad!
2) have had about 3-4 night sweats over the past couple of months....wake up in the night and the bed is drenched in sweat... wondering if these could be related?

2) It's generally uncomforatble when the intching starts and until the hives have gone down.

This problem can occur anywhere over my body....both on exposed and unexposed skin.

Cannot find anyway to relieve or stop this. Have tried Piriton... not much help as on the whole this itching and hives thing is self limiting.

5) Becoming incredibly irritating...and looks unsightly when the hives appear....and I cant stop scratching!!

This feels like an allergy but ,have never had anything like this before...I just have a nagging feeling that it's a systemic thing as opposed to an allergy.

8) none

9) none

10) Over three months now since I last felt right

Never had allergies before.

11) I rarely visit my GP, as I am a generally healthy individual.. I am concsicous of not wasting his time....also, as this itching and hives thing comes and goes throughout the day...I may not be having "attack!" when in the surgery and therefore wont have the symptoms for him to see!!.. So my question is....coulD this be a systemic thing that could be investigated or is there some allergy testing kit I could try at home first to see if there is a simple answer to this.

28 September 2008 14:34


  1. Thank you for your consultation.

    It sounds as though you are describing urticaria, also known as hives. This is an allergic reaction in which cells in the skin discharge histamine and this causes the microscopic blood vessels in the skin to dilate leak fluid - which is the swelling and redness you see on your skin,

    As you say, most commonly this occurs in relation to specific allergens, this may be your cat but again it doesn't seem to make any difference when you go away. In that context, however your clothes may be covered with cat allergens so that you are taking it with you. Perhaps next time you go away make sure that all your clothes have been freshly washed (I am sure you do anyway!)

    More commonly, hives occurs in relation to something you have eaten - strawberries, shell fish, aspirin, food colourings, almost any dietary additives or chemicals, even dairy products.
    It can be difficult to find out which food might be causing this, so in the first instance it is worth trying a detox diet for a couple of weeks - no dairy products, no processed food, no tea and coffee and seeing if that solves the problem. If it does, then it is a matter of gradually introducing various foods back into your diet until you find which one caused the problem,

    Other causes can be stress, cold or heat.

    Usually urticaria lasts a few months and then settles spontaneously - disappearing as mysteriously as it came.

    In terms of treatment, antihistamines are helpful but you need to take them the whole time - regularly. Piriton sometimes makes people drowsy but it may prevent the allergic reaction. Try taking them 3 times a day or using one of the more modern antihistamines such as Claryityn

    Very rarely, it can indicate an underlying condition called Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis - this can be picked up on a blood test. Your GP could arrange the test for you. However this is extremely rare and only if none of the above measure are helpful, is it worth considering it.

    The night sweats are unlikely to be related -

    I hope this will be of some assurance to you. If you have any further questions please email again and do let us know how you get on.

    With best wishes

    Dr Liz Miller

  2. Dear Dr Liz Miller,

    Gum movements occurring after use of D-vitamin:

    Since May 2007 I have experienced several incremental movements forward of what seems to be the gum. A month prior to the first gum movement in May 2007 I reacted strongly to a 2-week D-vitamin supplement as prescribed by my physician (2000-3000 IU) - symptoms included strong tiredness and pale face for several months. It seems that the gum is more prone to an incremental movement forward in situations where I am more tired, e.g. a night with few hours of sleep, or accumulation of little sleep over 2-3 days. I also suspect that my calcium and D-vitamin processing and processes are not as they should be.

    This condition has been presented for a few physicians which have not been able to propose any hypotheses. I have been advised to consult a maxillo-facial specialist by the British Dental Health Foundation. I have visited a few dentists concerning this matter, but no tests have been taken.

    Moderator variables:
    Age: 31
    Sex: M
    Cigarettes/week: 0
    Alcohol Units/week: Little
    Height: 1.86
    Weight: 71kg
    Exercise Sessions/week: Several

    Thank you for your time.

    Best regards,