Whether its a rash, allergy or hives, we itch and it can become very comfortable and annoying. But the need to scratch usually goes away and we can go about our day.
Yet some don’t get the relief that most of us do and hives plague them almost daily. This may be chronic idiopathic urticaria (CIU).
CIU is known as hives (urticaria) that occur almost daily without a known cause (idiopathic). Hives are a reaction caused by an allergy- triggered histamine release, which in turn causes blood vessels to leak resulting in swelling and the need to scratch.
Sporadic hives affect 20% of the population, but less than 1% may have CIU. Women appear to be more affected than men, and the average age of onset is between 20-40.
Many with CIU have an underlying autoimmune thyroid disorder and some may suffer from a rheumatological illness such as lupes or rheumatoid arthritis.
Since CIU is idiopathic, we do not know the cause. Allergy and Immunology specialists evaulate patients for triggers such as mold, pet dander, pollen, food and latex. However, frequently, hives may be caused by the following:
Tight fitting clothing, such as slimming underwear
Chronic infection including gum disease
CIU may affect a patient for years. However avoidance of triggers and antihistamine/allergy medications may provide some relief.
Emmy® Award-winning actress and comedienne Vicki Lawrence suffers from CIU. On CIUandYou.com, she states, “My allergist tested me for everything but we still couldn’t figure out a cause for the hives. It was so frustrating to keep searching for a cause. And as much as I was seeking answers, I wasn’t getting any, and wasn’t getting any relief either. Weeks passed, but the hives didn’t. Friends and family offered suggestions and their own explanations but they didn’t understand what I was going through.”
Above: Thelma Harper (aka Mama played by Vicki Lawrence) and Vicki Lawrence
She shares her story on the Dr. Daliah Show this week.
Vicki Lawrence and Daliah Wachs
For more information on CIUandYou, please visit here.