About 2 years ago, I started having hive outbreaks that completely changed my lifestyle. Initially I and the multiple doctors I visited had a difficult time identifying my body's reaction as hives. They started by appearing as crescent shaped welts as well as targets, or circular welts with clear centers. Not long after, however, these outbreaks became quite severe. Tightly clustered hives formed super hives the size of dinner plates on my chest, back, and legs. I also experienced deep tissue hives that I could feel below the skin and near joints, which caused painful swelling. In addition, as if things were not bad enough already, I also suffered from pressure hives--too much physical pressure actually caused hives! I couldn't even carry a basket at the supermarket without my hands swelling from an outbreak.
Eventually, I found a naturopathic doctor that helped me identify my outbreaks as an immune dificiency. It turns out that I developed an allergic reaction to gluten, which was basically in everything I was eating. At the time all this happend, I was in my mid-thirties and in relatively good health. Cutting gluten out of my diet helped tremendously, but I found a few things that helped with my condition prior to receiving my diagnosis.
If I did nothing, my outbreaks would pass within two or three days, which was just far too long for me, so I found a few different ways to move the hives out of my system within a day to half a day. In some instances, I was able to rid the current outbreak within a few hours.
1. Cayenne pepper. I took cayenne pepper to increase blood circulation. I added 1/4 tsp to a glass of water (8 oz) and chugged it once or twice a day. This might be too much for some people (it was too much for me at times), so I would recommend experimenting with this measurement. As bad as it was at times to drink this concoction, it was worth the relief.
2. Physical exercise. Again, the idea was to increase blood circulation. I joined a local field hockey team and we played 3 times a week. This was better than a treadmill because it was fun, I made new friends, and I got the serious cardiovascular workout I needed.
3. Sea water. I was visiting the Dominican Republic for a wedding and had a breakout every single day that I was there. I discovered, however, that taking a dip in the ocean soothed my outbreaks and got rid of them pretty quickly. I never actually tried it but perhaps an epsom salt bath would also help? Anyway, I include this here in case it helps someone reading this even though I only used it during my visit.
4. Juicing. Hands down this is the best thing I tried for hives AND my gluten allergy. I bought a single auger juicer for about $260 (US). The reason I decided to juice is because I not only wanted the vitamins and minerals, but I wanted to make sure I was also getting the live enzymes that come from juicing. I mostly juice vegetables and some fruit. Initially, I juiced every day for about 3 weeks. I made some form of green juice and had a tall glass of it right away. After that time period, I juiced a few times a week instead of everyday. By the way, I'm not talking about juice fasting. All I did then, and continue to do now, is incorporate juicing into my existing diet.
There are obvious benefits to juicing, and with a little research you can find certain recipes for different ailments. I have a favorite one that I make specifically for heavy metal toxicity, which I suspect is the cause of my pressure hives. The overall result from jucing? I rarely have any hive outbreaks anymore. They're all but gone. I can also have foods that contain gluten such as pasta, breads, ketchup, soy sauce, beer.... The list is endless. Although I can have it again, I'm choosing a cleaner diet. I'm able to carry a basket at the supermarket again and I want to keep it that way.