I will have some new albums to show everyone at this end of this week. Until then, I want to go off topic for a moment...
For anyone who has chronic urticaria, aka chronic hives - you need to read the following blog: http://www.cholinergicurticaria.net/blog/
First off, his story is just amazing. I don't even have the same kind of hives he does and I was still completely drawn in. The Hives Guy has the type of hives brought on or made worse by heat and exercise. My hives would just come and go and the only thing I could specifically relate them to was when I started my first semester at ASU, then when I began my first job with Caremark, then again with my job at Aetna. Stress? Hard to know exactly and I never fully figured it out. Although when I took a weeks vacation from my previous job, they were definitely not as present. Altogether, I have had hives four times. The first 3 times I started Prednisone - dosing at 60mg, then tapered down - continuing it for 6 months. I know - horrible. Who knows what damage has been done to my body long term. But the hives did eventually disappear after the six months of steroids. Then a few years later or in this case - five years later, they would return. I would read for hours about hives on the internet searching and desperate for a solution. I know hives aren't life threatening and that is honestly why the medical profession pays little attention to them. But when you have hives, you may as well have cancer. They are incredibly itchy - ALL over your body - not just one spot. They also burn badly. I would compare the feeling to a hot iron touching my skin. Sometimes for relief, I would turn on my shower at one of the hottest settings (most people would find this type of heat extremely uncomfortable or painful), but for hives, it feels great - like the water is scratching them and for a moment, it feels better. Many nights I couldn't sleep and would end up taking 3 or 4 Benadryl with my Ambien. When this goes on for weeks and months, it almost makes you want to give up on life. Some days my face would puff up with hives and I didn't want to go to work. When my hives began this last round in 2010 I started the Prednisone, but was determined not to stay on it. I also stopped seeing my doctor, because just as with all the previous ones, he was not helpful in finding a solution. I tried a homeopathic remedy (liquid herbal supplements including lavender (to help with stress), peppermint (to cool the skin), stinging nettle (to help with the itching), and a liver tonic. I would take these everyday with water in between meals (they have very strict instructions). It would help about 75%, but I still had some of the irritating hives.
One evening I watched the Beautiful Truth, a documentary that shows examples of how the American Medical Association is really in it for the money, not the patients. I was convinced after watching it that my hives had to be caused by my diet. I tried gluten free for a short period of time, but it didn't help much. Once I read the blog by the Hives Guy, I was ready to try his plan. Hell, I had tried everything else under the sun. He wasn't selling anything. His plan is very simple:
Exercise - Important
Diet - eat only the following: carrots, broccoli, salmon, rice, water, bananas, blueberries and strawberries. Sounds a little extreme I know, however I tried it and little by little starting adding in extra foods - everything in fact. As long as I have the smoothie everyday (bananas, blueberries and strawberries) or even just a banana when a smoothie isn't convenient - my hives are...well, I will say dormant. They are definitely not gone, but I have zero symptoms. So after listening to everyone, including doctors tell me that I have an allergy to something, it seems I rather had a deficiency. I never found that mentioned, not once on the internet, so it feels quite necessary for me to post this story and hopefully it will help someone with their hives. It might not be what you are eating, but rather what you aren't.