Sunday, August 14, 2011

Juicing for Hives & Urticaria

*UPDATE:
I have had so many people coming to my site for this post, that I have decided to make another blog strictly about hives/urticara and juicing. I hope you will check it out. There will be more information there, ways to follow along and information to get in contact with myself.
Please check out my new site here:
help my hives 

But by all means, finish reading here too, this is a good place to start.
Original post below:
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A few weeks back, during our weekly "I'm-bored-and-I-can't-sleep-late-night-phone-chats" my sister, Katie and I after laughing about "Dang you autocorrect" Katie brought up a documentary that she had recently watched{on an unrelated note, I don't know what it is with me and my sister and documentaries. It seems we are always watching them. It's Lloyd sister crack I guess.} Anyway, the documentary she brought up was "Fat, sick and nearly dead." she started talking about how she thinks he has the same "auto-immune disease" that I have. Sure enough he has exatly what I have. Urticaria. AKA cronic hives.

Some info about my condition: on my 16th birthday, instead of heading to the DMV to get my drivers license, I was busy rubbing calamine lotion all over my body and taking a benadryl every few hours.  I woke up covered (I mean covered) in hives. I have had hives almost every day since (about 7 years now) excluding my pregnancy from week 8 to 6 months post partum (a miracle that thing called pregnancy), they completely went away. I didn't even have to take my medication. After thinking I was cured, Maisie turned 6 months and one morning I woke up with a few random hives, a few on my belly, arm and leg. It gradually got worse from that day. I wasn't cured after all, but after many years struggling, that year break was very much needed. So after that very itchy day when I was 16 my mother took me to doctor after doctor in need of answers. I was on so many different medications including prednisone (a very addictive steroid that has scary and long term side effects). I think in my first year of my condition I went to over 10 different doctors. All had varied opinions. Here are a few of my favorites:

-Some people just get hives, even for years on end. You could have hives for 20 years.
-food allergies.
-allergic to SOMETHING, but who knows what.
-I need divine intervention (No joke. A doctor told me that.)
Stress related.

For obvious reasons my family and I were less than thrilled. We still had no answers until a blood test showed came back with some answers. I had an auto immune disorder, but why and how to treat it was a big fat question mark. What's an auto-immune disease? It's an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words my body is attacking itself. Bottom line, we still don't know what is causing this kooky chain of events. It could be a hormone, an organ, gland, lymph. It seriously could be ANYTHING in my body.

You know how when some one receives a donated organ they are at high risk of the body rejecting the new foreign organ? Well my body is reacting that very same way to something completely normal. Silly Sammie.

Anyway, the documentary {fat, sick and nearly dead} was about a man suffering from urticaria, but he was also very over weight. His goal was to completely detox is body. In order to do this he goes on a 60 juice fast. No food, except fresh fruit and veggies in juice form. Anyway, this guy totally cures his urticaria and loses an insane amount of weight. I obviously can't do a 60 day juice fast yet seeing how I am still breastfeeding Maisie, but I have started to supplement my meals with fresh juice. To tell you the truth, I haven't had hives since, but I am still on my medication and sometimes the hives lay dormant for short periods of time. The truth is the juice is good for me either way. I do have plans to do a 7-10 day juice fast/detox after Maisie is weaned, but right now I am just enjoying my nutritious drinks. Maisie even loves them too.

When watching the documentary take it with a grain of salt. I don't want people to think this is a disease that only affects super unhealthy, overweight people because like I said I was only sixteen, very active and healthy when diagnosed. Even now many years later, it wouldn't hurt if I lost some of my pregnancy weight, but my condition is not at all related to my weight because I am still in the realm of normal {I am dying to lose these extra pregnancy pounds though!}

My go to juices:

*Maisie's favorite*
8-10 organic carrots
1 local organic granny smith apple
4-5 hand fulls of fresh spinach
sometimes I add a pear and ginger in the morning

IMG_2112

*Mean Green*
2 granny smith apples
1 cucumber
1 bulk of kale
4 celery sticks
thumb sized piece of ginger
half of a lemon
sometimes I will add a few handfuls of spinach as well.

IMG_2109

If you have Netflix check out "Fat, sick and nearly dead." On watch-instantly. It's a good one.

UPDATE JANUARY 4TH, 2012: Maisie has {finally} weaned and I have plans to start my highly anticipated juice fast in two weeks when I return from vacation. I still juice most mornings and I can definitely tell theres a difference. My hives are less frequent and not nearly as aggressive. I will keep updates going as I start my first fast in the coming weeks.

UPDATE MAY 28TH, 2013: I am consistently surprised how many people are still searching for answers about their hives. It breaks my heart to see how many people suffer from this annoying ailment and it is my wish is that you all find the relief you need and the health you deserve.

 I have now completed several (at least 5) juice fasts. My longest was 5 whole days in which I lost 8 pounds (mostly water weight) and without medication controlled my hives. The other fasts were 2-3 days long. My goal is to do a 3 day fast every month to help reboot my metabolism . I have had a few outbreaks of hives this year, but still continue to take antihistamines at night (Zyrtec). If I had to recommend anything, I would say to incorporate as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible.

KALE is a miracle worker, no joke! Get it into your diet as often as possible. Use it in juice, smoothies, salads or kale chips. Without a doubt, I know this helps tremendously. Other foods? Wild caught salmon, green tea, papaya, blueberries, extra virgin olive oil, broccoli, sweet potatoes, prickly pear etc. Eat this often and organic.

I will hopefully update more from here on out. Please feel free to comment below. I do check this page a lot and try my best to respond to every comment.

49 comments:

  1. How is your hives coming along? i had hives for over 3 weeks now and i been juicing for a solid 5 days consistantly. I do notice some difference but i hope that its because the juicing is helping me and its starting to go away. I cant deal with this anymore because it bothers me every night and day. I feel like i cant enjoy my life having this all over me. I pray you are getting better and if you are im sure it should be 100% gone by now. please reply back we are waiting to see how you been.

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  2. Hi Henry! I am so sorry to hear about your hives. It is truly such an uncomfortable and frustrating ailment. I hope things get better soon! Keep juicing, I definitely can tell a difference when I juice especially first thing in the morning without eating or drinking first. March marked my 8 year anniversary of hives. They are no where near as bad and I go weeks without them surfacing (but I can still feel them, especially on my hands, feet, joints and legs if I forgot to take a pill). I am able to control them well with my daily/nightly regimen.

    Which is: juice first thing in the morning. (I'll admit I haven't been so adamant about this as of lately but that's mostly due to my broken juicer) but I can tell a difference every time, it may not fully make them disappear, but any relief is appreciated. Also I take Zyrtec/Allertec every night before bed. You could take it in the morning, but it makes me drowsy so I prefer to take it at night. Also, I know of people having great success with taking Benadryl and a Pepcid AC at the same time. I know the pepcid ac sounds like a crazy solution but it actually contains a different form of antihistamine that when combined with a regular antihistamine (zyrtec, benadryl, claratin, allegra) forms a double defense and helps with hives. Last step: drink tons of water, flushing out toxins is important!

    Also, depending on how severe your hives are (I imagine they are pretty bad and you are extremely uncomfortable) you could have your doctor prescribe Prednisone (the steroid mentioned in my post) and it works wonders in just one use. The only thing is, it's not a permanent solution because it can have some unwanted side affects. But just one pill will cause all the swelling to go down very quickly and hives to start to fade away. This could be used as a jumpstart to starting a regimen of your own. Since all the other solutions don't require prescriptions I would suggest starting there, but it's nice to have an emergency dose of Prednisone just in case.

    I hope this helps! I know you are frustrated, trust me I have been there! Just keep trying everything and let me know how it goes! Let me know if have any other questions and I will try my best to help you out. Good luck Henry!

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  3. Wow this was the most amazing reply/response i have read on any site so far. I thank you for all your help, I really hope this helps me and so far its actually getting better. I juice the same things you said on this and i swear i notice a major difference. I only get very small breakouts on my hands and the top of my feet now. It hardly itches anymore and I'm not sure if its because its going away already or if its the juicing that's helping me. I really hope this information you wrote helps tons of others who suffer with this same issue. I was scared because i notice my knees would hurt my fingers would really begin to hurt as well, Not to mention my feet! o boy the bottom of my feet use to get them and they use to hurt so much! I really appreciate this so much and i hope very soon you are 100% healed from this. God bless you and I wish you the best in life.

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  4. Hey just wanted to say I saw that same documentary and it motivated me to juice and I'm on day two of my hives appear to be reacting to it... If you have had hives for a while like me I can tell when they are trying to make a breakthrough to my skin... I had that feeling but I choose not to take my hive medicine and my finger got a little swollen ( 2 out of 10) but in past before juicing would have swelled extremely and attacked everywhere .. Ill post back in few more days to let I guys know how juicing is helping or not helping my hives... But I am starting to think its the anawer

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    Replies
    1. Hi anonymous,

      I'm sorry to hear about your hives, I know how terrible it feels. I have had hives for 9 years now, so I completely understand that weird pre-hive feeling you are talking about. It's weird, but I can pinpoint the exact location of a hive hours before it actually surfaces, it's strange, I know.

      Juicing has definitely helped me a lot. I have done a couple 4 day fasts and during those times, I had no sign of hives. I try to juice every morning, but having an almost 3 year old makes that pretty difficult, but I juice a couple times a week and I know for a fact it is helping me leaps and bounds not just with hives, but with energy levels and what not. So good luck, and please do report back! I wish you well!

      Samantha

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    2. Omg I just typed at leaf 500 characters easy but didn't up anonymous ... My email is fortch35@yahoo.com email me ... I believe most chronic hives are physiological I believe mine are email me ill explain mine personally to U... Juicing helped bc juicing and my mind state were even during that time I promise I'm not wasting your time .. Just say your from the google post I searched

      Delete
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  11. Hi Samantha,
    I am suffering from chronic hives right now. It's been about 4 months of EVERY day breakouts. I am on some medications which help but I definitely notice they are worse at certain times in the month. I watched the documentary yesterday. Hoping to try juicing and see if that helps. Feeling a little at my wit's end so I am hoping for answers and changes soon.
    Take care.

    Kristy

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  12. Hi Again,
    I made a connection between wheat and my hives. I have been gluten free for 1 week now and 0 hives. I have no antihistamines in my system anymore either and I was taking prescription strength Reactin and 60 ml of Atarax a day. Plus the odd Claritin and a stomach upset medicine that also was an antihistamine. I am sure now it is a gluten intolerance. You should all read "Wheat Belly". Changed my life.

    Kristy

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you found the answer! I tried going gluten free twice- first was a few months into having hives and the other years into, both times (i did it for over a month) yielded no significant difference in my hives. I will check that book out, I have heard good things about it.

      Delete
  13. I have had hives for nine months, been to the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale...$52,000 in diagnositcs just to let me knwo that what I have are hives,it could be worse,but in some cases I wish it were something so I can treat it. I have been on every flipping medication possible, had bone marrow biopses, been on prednisone,doxipin, zyrtec, zantac, benedryl, singular and xolair shots. Been to allergist, rhuematologist, accupunturist.....nothing has worked. Tried juicing for 7 days , didnt help.

    I am at my whits end. Oh well looks like I will be scratching like an ape for a long time to come.


    D...Dallas

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I have been there trust me! It's so frustrating. Have you tried going on two different types of antihistamines? Like Zyrtec and Pepcid AC? I have heard that's a magic combo for a lot of people. I had prednisone that I would take and that seemed to help a lot when i had a really bad flare. Good luck! I hope you find something that will work for you.

      Delete
    2. dont give up on the juicing it seemed like my hives got worse when i started juicing but w/in about 3 weeks they deffinately started getting better. i have had them for 8 yrs now juicing is the only thing working for me.

      Delete
  14. Hi Samantha,

    did you say your hives went away when you got pregnant? can you tell me a bit more about your hives and pregnancy? how did you cope? did it effect your pregnancy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember when I was first diagnosed that they said it would be interesting to see what would happen during pregnancy. My Doctor predicted that my hives would either get way worse or get better. Lucky for me it was the latter. My hives didn't come back until my daughter was 6 months old. It was a miracle... and while I am not super happy that they came back, I am still thankful that I got a break from them for a bit. I wonder what will happen with a second pregnancy...

      Delete
  15. Excellent post. I think the carrots have helped me a lot.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Teresa,
      I am also in Maine and have had hives for 3 years now. I have a blog on Google called autoimmune urticaria and angioedema. I am at this moment taking just 1/2 Allegra, but my body is starting to swell which means the inflammation is coming back. It was a nice to be without anything, but honestly as soon as I go off the swelling starts followed by leg pain from the inflammation. 5 Allegra was my max and I was zoned. Hard doing a job that requires typing. It throws off my coordination. Have you been on plaquinal?

      Delete
  16. I got my first bout at 16 too. I am 48 now and menopause was bad for my hives, but now I have been doing fairly well-but take 4 antihistimines a day. Fall is always worst for me, or if I get sick. I was always thin and ate fairly well-but now would like to get down to 130 (I am 5'7"). I notice preservatives and foods high in sulfites affect me-tomatoes, dark choc, lemonade, etc. I am going to get a juicer and try a fast.
    Teresa in Maine

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  17. At age 48 I was recently diagnosed with Chronic Urticaria, at first I really thought I was loosing my mind because I could not figure out which foods triggered my reactions, in addition, it seems that everything I was eating was affecting me, so I stopped eating and I was still affected. This blog has really given me comfort in knowing I am not alone and hopefully I will not have to take pills for the rest of my life. In keeping my food diary, I found citrus, red #40, yellow, blue food color triggers my hives. I've been juicing on and off over the past few years but I will now incorporate juicing into my daily routine. Thank you so much for this helpful information. Please continue to share your story!

    Cassandra Hicks

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  18. I am allergic to Kale. I found out during a juice cleanse. I juice regularly and I think it's important to alert people of the possibility of a Kale allergy. My doctor said he is seeing this allergy frequently. So, if you have allergies and are trying to help a breakout of hives, maybe leave out the kale!

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  19. I forgot to mention that I have Chronic Urticaria but juicing really helps.

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  20. I also used to have hives daily, I found some time ago that carrot juice daily would keep them away. It was discovered through a blood test that I had low potassium, which apparently can cause hives. After finding that out I realized that it was actually the potassium in the carrot juice that was helping me. Now that I have raised my potassium levels back up everything is better. Sometimes it can be what you are missing that can cause hives.

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  21. well good luck to all that suffer w/chronic hives...i have had them for 8 yrs and i had it under control for a long time until recently, they came back w/a vengeance for 5 months i was covered from head to toe pretty much 24/7 my mom and sis suggested i watch the fat sick and nearly dead movie...when i saw he was having the same issues as me i decided to give juicing a go..after all i tried everything else, steroids and antihistamines were not working..even steroid shots were not helping me...so ive been juicing for prob 6 weeks now and the severity of my hives is not anywhere near what it was. i can still feel them lurking but if i do break out its just very few spots and they dont even last an hr before they start to diminish. i still take one antihistamine a day just to be safe lol, but if you know anyone that has to deal w/this i strongly suggest they watch the movie and consider trying it..i am deffinately glad i did because the pain and itching from hives is almost unbearable... gl everyone :)

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  22. i do the juicing for hives...oranges seem to help i was reading that vitamin c is a natural antihistamine but i also do a lot of the veggie juice throughout the day

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    Replies
    1. i also read that your darker fruits and veggies like kale and red apples are high in a vitamin called quercetin which they say is good for hives...i stay away from spinach, strawberries, pineapple etc...cuz i read these are high in histamines.

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  23. I'm on my 4th day of UC, diagnosed since 18, 22 and now. Both recover only after 1 year taking meds and stuffs. This time UC happens during my juice fast! My JF community recommended me to continue with my JF, but I'm thinking whether I should go on with my antihistamine pill, I took from 24hr - 12hr - 6hr. It gets worse where it flares up not only the body but on my palms and feet too, esp during my sleep. I lost my self confidence to go out, to meet people and not enjoying life.

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  24. Hello and thank you all for the great information. I watched that same movie and got encouaged to try the juicing out for my cold urticaria and it worked wonders. I noticed an immediate difference because the hives went conpletely away. I did a 10 day fast and started introducing normal food on day 11. I tried to log everything I ate to see what could be causing the hives and it turns out that when I started eating food again my hives came right back and I have had them every day since. It is crazy that my cold urticaria comes up in Vegas 105•F ! I have linked mine back to either Gluten or Red Meat.. I am starting a juice fast today because the hives are so annoying and painful.

    ReplyDelete
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