Hives, medically known as urticaria, are raised white or yellow bumps surrounded by red, inflamed patches of skin. Hives usually cause a burning sensation at first, which soon gives way to intense itching. Aside from these symptoms, the course of hives is unpredictable. The rash may erupt suddenly and then disappear almost as quickly, or it may linger for weeks or even longer. It most often appears on the arms, the legs, or the trunk, but it can develop on any part of the body; sometimes it erupts in one place and vanishes, only to appear somewhere else.
Although we don't tend to think of skin as an excretory organ, it actually plays a significant role in allowing toxins to pass out of the body. During the flu, for example, the body's temperature rises so that the virus can be expelled through a cleansing sweat. Just as poisons leave the body through sweat, they can also be excreted via skin eruptions like hives. Hives, like the symptoms of the flu, are an indicator that your body has detected a toxin and is trying to eliminate it.
An episode of hives is most frequently a response to an allergen or an irritant, which in either case is a normally harmless
substance that produces a toxic response in your body. Possible allergens and irritants include insect bites, cosmetics, perfumes, detergents, and household cleaners. Certain foods may also trigger an allergic response. Shellfish are notorious for causing hives, but dairy, meat, and poultry are frequent instigators as well. Any food made with additives, preservatives, or pesticides may also produce a reaction. Some people with chronic or recurring cases of hives find that their triggers are frustratingly ubiquitous: heat, cold, sunlight, and stress have all been known to bring on a rash.
Drugs and viruses can also cause hives. Antibiotics, especially penicillin, cause hives in some unfortunate people; during a bacterial infection, they will need to work closely with their doctors to determine the best course of medical action. Lately, doctors have linked viruses like hepatitis B and Epstein-Barr to hives, and the fungus Candida albicans has also been known to trigger the disorder.
Some people suffer from recurring hives due to the effects of stress. In these cases, it is important for them to incorporate stress-reduction techniques into their lifestyle. Also, hives can be symptoms of more serious conditions, such as parasitic infections, hepatitis, cancer, hyperthyroidism, and rare blood disorders.
Anyone who suffers from chronic or recurring hives should consider that his or her digestive system may not be functioning properly, thereby forcing the skin to throw off toxins that would normally be excreted by the intestines. A close review of dietary and lifestyle habits is in order.
The good news is that hives, although irritating and itchy, rarely pose a significant health threat. In almost all cases, they disappear from the skin without leaving a scar or other marks, and they do not damage any other organs. The best treatment is to identify the irritant or the toxin and avoid it; you'll also want to employ methods that help you speed up the detoxification process. Sometimes, however, hives can cause the tongue and the throat to swell up; breathing becomes difficult, if not impossible. If you have hives and experience any trouble breathing or swallowing, you have a medical emergency. Call for medical help immediately. If you know that you are prone to severe hives, keep an emergency adrenaline kit on hand.
Prescription for Natural Cures by: James F. Balch, M.D. & Mark Stengler, N.D.
Super Prescription #1 Homeopathic Apis - (Apis mellifica)
Take a 30C potency every fifteen minutes, up to four does. This remedy is specific for hive outbreaks where there is itching and swelling.
Super Prescription #2 Vitamin C - LifeSource Products - See All of our Vitamin
This nutrient reduces the effects of histamine, a chemical that is released by the body during an allergic reaction. Take 1,000 to 2,000 mg three times daily. Reduce the dosage if diarrhea occurs. Use a non-acidic Vitamin C product.
Super Prescription #3 Quercetin - LifeSource Product
This nutrient reduces the effects of histamine, a chemical that is released by the body during an allergic reaction. Take 1,000 mg three times daily.
Super Prescription #4 Phyto Greens - Super Greens - LifeSource Products - See All of our Phyto
Take daily, as directed on the container, a blend containing super green foods such as chlorella or spirulina. You can also take these supplements individually. They support detoxification and neutralize acidity.
Super Prescription #5 Burdock root - (Articum lappa)
Take 300 mg or 3 ml three times daily to support detoxification of the skin.
Super Prescription # 6 Vitamin B12 - LifeSource Products
Taking 1,000 mcg of the injected form (given by your doctor) one to three times weekly can help reduce the severity of acute hives. The oral form is not as effective, but you can take 400 mcg of sublingual B12 daily.
Super Prescription #7 Nettle leaf - (Urtica diocia)
Take 300 mg three times daily of a freeze-dried nettle product. Nettle leaf has an antihistamine effect.
- Burning or itching white bumps
appear, surrounded by areas of redness and inflammation.
- Hives may appear anywhere on the
body and may come and go without warning.
- Response to an allergen or an
- Certain drugs, especially
- Infectious agent
- Poor digestion
Foods to Avoid
If you have a chronic case of hives
and cannot identify the cause, it is highly recommended that you buy food in
its natural state whenever possible and prepare it yourself. This eating plan
will drastically reduce your chances of encountering a food allergen.
Everyone with hives should make it a
priority to follow a high-fiber diet that includes oats, brown rice, beans, and
raw fruits and vegetables. You'll improve your digestion and reduce the
necessity of expelling toxins through your skin. If your hives are triggered by
sunlight, eat lots of deeply colored vegetables. They're high in carotenoids
and will improve your skin's resistance to the sun.
Essential fatty acids reduce
inflammation. Eat cold-water fish several times a week; if you're following a
vegan diet, add flax seeds to your salads, or use flax seed oil as a dressing.
Candidiasis may be a factor in
persistent hives. Although live active yogurt is generally recommended for
people with candidiasis, you should stay away from it if you are allergic to
dairy. Instead, try kefir or sauerkraut. Many people with dairy allergies
choose to drink sauerkraut juice daily - an acquired taste, to be sure, but one
that goes a long way toward replacing the friendly bacteria that fight Candida
Drink a glass of clean water every
two waking hours. You'll flush out impurities and encourage the health of
nearly every body system, including the skin.Hives are often caused by a response to a food allergen or an irritant. Some people can't even come into contact with allergenic foods, let alone ingest them, so stay as far away from these as you can. Any food can conceivably cause hives, but shellfish, dairy, eggs, cured meats, citrus fruit, and peanuts are the most common triggers.
Avoid foods that prevent your body from functioning optimally. Processed, junk, and refined foods all depress your immune and digestive systems, even if you're not allergic to the. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics that pull nutrients out of your body. Since your poisoned system needs all the support it can get, stay away from these substances.
Digestive problems are linked to all skin disorders. Do not eat meat, fried foods, or foods high in saturated fat; they take too long to travel through the intestines and lead to constipation. Avoid dairy products, as they slow food down on its way through the digestive system.
Aloe vera reduces inflammation and is soothing to the skin. You may smooth a cream or a lotion directly onto the hives for temporary relief; to address the body's imbalances more directly, drink aloe vera juice.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a good all-around tonic for hives. Used in a cream it relieves itching. Drunk as a tea, it eases stress.
If you need more potent relief from stress or anxiety, drink valerian (Valeriana officinalis) tea once during the day and again just before bedtime.
People with skin disorders often have stressed livers. Milk thistle (Carduus marianus) will help cleanse this crucial organ. Find a product standardized for 70 to 80 percent silymarin, and take 200 to 250 mg twice daily.
An oatmeal bath can reduce itching. Add a cup of oatmeal powder, such as Aveno, to a warm bath. The other alternative is to put oatmeal into a cheesecloth bag and tie it with a string, hang it under the faucet or float it in the tub. Soak in the warm bath for five to fifteen minutes. When you're done, pat your skin dry so that a film of oatmeal is left on your skin. This film contains the anti-itch properties of the oatmeal.
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