• Liyan Lu

Allergic Urticaria (hives) & Angioedema (facial edema)

Updated: Sep 23

Urticaria (hives or welts) are itchy, raised, reddish areas on the skin. It appears without warning and may happen at any age. Urticaria only affects the skin layers, occurs more commonly, and is less severe than angioedema. Angioedema is swelling below the skin’s surface and fatty tissue and affects the tissues beneath the skin (subcutaneous tissue). Allergic reactions, chemicals in foods, insect stings, sunlight, heat, medicines, and even exercise can induce the body to release a histamine chemical, making blood plasma leak out of the small blood vessels in the skin, causing hives or angioedema. Sometimes, doctors don’t know what causes urticaria and angioedema.

Healthy Ping’s suggestions for urticaria and angioedema:

Vitamin B2 supports a broad spectrum of health benefits, best known for its crucial roles in thyroid function and energy metabolism. It’s also essential for healthy vision, tissue repair, and the protection of the skin and mucosal. Daily taking vitamin B2 100mg can improve allergic symptoms in about a week.

Calcium & Vitamin C: Usually, people take Calcium to strengthen the bones and take Vitamin C to boost their immune system. Both also have anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties to help control hives & angioedema and reduce their recurrence. Take 500 mg calcium citrate three times a day and vitamin C 500 mg 1 or 2 times a day with a meal.

High dose of vitamin B6 and vitamin C: they stimulate the activity of the histamine-processing enzymes to break down histamine, avoid its build-up over time, stop urticaria symptoms throughout the body, and reduce angioedema on the face. Take vitamin B6 10 mg 1 or 2 times a day with a meal.

Zinc is required to store histamine. If zinc deficient, the body will release more histamine into the surrounding tissue fluids. Excess histamine can cause many common allergy symptoms such as running nose, sneezing, hives, and skin rashes. Taking 10 mg of zinc a day can help with allergic symptoms and skin issues.

Papaya & Pineapple enzymes help completely digest protein and fiber, clean allergic antigens in the gut, reduce leaky gut syndrome and relieve inflammation.

Probiotics: Friendly bacteria help normalize immune response, prevent allergies, eliminate harmful viruses, yeast and bacteria digestive tract; reduces inflammation and infection.

Anti-histamine medicines that you could take as needed to relieve severe symptoms from acute allergic reactions such as hives and facial edema; As soon as symptoms are under control, you might gradually try to taper off anti-histamine medicine. You won’t always need to take anti-histamine. Please see the case report.

Case -1, 65 years old, the female patient suffered from urticaria and angioedema for three months. She had hives and facial edema after her working out every day. Her blood tests showed her IgE doubled higher than the average level and the skin test indicated she only had a positive reaction to histamine. An allergist suggested that she take Allegra 180mg/day in the morning and Benadryl 30 mg/ day in the evening. Due to the side effects of anti-histamine meds, she could not take a total dose. She stopped taking Benadryl and only took 90mg of Allegra every 24 hours for three days. Since her symptoms did not worsen with lowering the amount of Allegra, she cut it down to 45mg, 30mg, 15mg, and 7.5mg. She took the same dose every 24 hours for three days. If her symptoms did not worsen, she took the lower amount. If her symptoms of urticaria and angioedema got worse on the lower dose, she went back to the higher dose. Gradually she tapered off anti-histamine medicine without any symptoms recurring. During tapering off Allegra, she stopped taking her daily supplements and then worsened her hives & facial edema. Therefore, meanwhile, she had to take daily supplements: vitamin C 500mg, vitamin B2 100mg, vitamin B6 20mg once a day, and calcium 600mg with vitamin D3 400 IU twice a day.

In her case, anti-histamine medicine (Allegra) and supplements play different roles in treating her hives and facial edema. It also showed that tapering off anti-histamine meds seems to get the same result as getting allergy shots from a different approach. Both ways help the immune system build up a tolerance to the allergens (desensitization). Eventually, the allergy symptoms diminish over time.

Case-2, female 70 years old, for over 20 years she had been suffering from seasonal hives and itchiness in the vagina and anus region. She started taking daily supplements as case-1 without taking anti-histamine; one week later, her skin issues improved 70-80% and were free of itching.

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