Urticaria Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Diet for Urticaria

Urticaria Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Urticaria is an allergic skin rash also known as ‘nettle rash’ or hives.

Urticaria is classified by your medical doctor or dermatologist as acute or chronic.

There are two distinct types of Urticaria

  • acute urticaria, which is often caused by an allergy. This type of urticaria can last for between several hours and six weeks
  • chronic urticaria persists beyond six weeks. Most hives go away within days to a few weeks. Occasional unlucky individuals will have itching and swelling that come and go for many years.

 

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What is the Cause of Urticaria?

The real cause behind Urticaria is unknown, people have been told that just about everything imaginable, including sun exposure, can cause urticaria.

The most common causes of urticaria or hives can include food allergies and related allergies to food additives, medications, toxins, insect bites and stings, contact with caustic or toxic plants, infections, chemicals exposure, even in water water, in some cases even pressure, friction, sweating, exposure to heat and cold, endocrine diseases like hyper/hypothyroidism, common cancers like leukemia, lymphomas, colon cancer etc, contact allergy, inhaled allergens such as dust or pollen, stress.

Then if that weren’t enough to make your head spin, there is what is called, chronic idiopathic urticaria, which is simply a case of urticaria where no causative factor could be identified even after extensive testing.

Urticaria symptoms

  • Red or white patches on the skin; Raised red and white patches which appear on the skin. These are typically accompanied by sensations of burning, intense itching, and stinging. As much as you may want to… Don’t Scratch! Rubbing and scratching usually aggravate the condition. An outbreak of urticaria is sudden and may affect any part or the body. The rash  may be as small as pin heads or as large as a rupee. The lesions may fade in a few minutes to an hour in one place, but then it often may reappear in another.
  • Fever, Digestive disturbances etc. Other symptoms which accompany the hives could be fever, digestive disturbances, and prostration. The problem can sometimes last from a day or two to up to a week or more. Recovery is often rapid and complete, though recurring attacks may take place at varying intervals.

Urticaria treatment –

The best treatment for urticaria is to identify and avoid the cause and any other aggravating factor.

Doctors prescribe anti-histamines for immediate relief of symptoms. Antihistamines, when taken orally, take about an hour or so to relieve a rash. They work best if taken on a regular basic to prevent the eruption of urticaria. To avoid side-effects like drowsiness, heaviness, non-sedative antihistamines are often taken side by side.

Elimination diets are not of much help unless a particular food allergen is suspected.

As urticaria usually has its origin in the gastrointestinal tract, the best way to commence the treatment is to adopt an all-fruit diet for about five days. In this regimen, the patient should take three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits such as oranges, apples, pineapples, grapes, pears, peaches, and papayas. The patient should drink a copious amount of hot water.

Follow A proper diet

After the all-fruit diet, the patient may embark upon a well balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits and raw vegetable salads

Food to avoid during Urticaria

The patient should avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, all flesh foods, refined foods, and all foods which are difficult to digest

Water and Lemon intake

If you suffer from urticaria you should drink at least eight glasses of water daily between meals. A glass of water containing the juice of half a lemon is often recommended to be drank one hour before each meal and also between meals. Often patients are advised that they should spend at least two or three days on an all-fruit diet, at regular intervals. This will further help to cleanse the system of toxic material in the body and help recovery. This is what is commonly referred to as a “detox diet”.

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Home Remedies For Urticaria

Oral antihistamines control the rashes and itching for the majority of patients with urticaria. Avoid taking aspirin and codeine. Although it is usually safe to take paracetamol and the newer Cox-II inhibitor type anti-inflammatory medications but you must avoid consuming alcohol. Non-sedating antihistamines (loratidine, fexofenadine, terfenadine, cetirazine, and astemizole) are less likely to cause drowsiness than the less expensive over the counter antihistamines such as benedryl.

If female you may have a problem in becoming pregnant or maintaining your pregnancy.

Terfenadine and astemizole may increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms.

They should be avoided if you have heart disease or you are also taking erythromycin, ketoconazole and some other medications.

Fexofenadine, loratidine, desloratidine and cetirazine are usually considered to be safe.

Oral steroids (prednisone) are useful for severe acute urticaria but not recommended for long term use, because of serious adverse effects.

 

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