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Hives, Histamine and Vitamin D

Hives. When they show up, you look for ways to make them go away. Itchy, stinging and irritating, the red bumps take over smooth healthy skin and have you running for relief.

Hives, also known as urticaria, is a skin disorder that may be acute or chronic, depending the presentation. Both types have distinct characteristics:

§    Acute Urticaria. When hives come and go quickly over the course of 24 hours this skin condition usually results from food, medication, or chemical sensitivity. Histamine in the body is often created as an inflammatory response to irritating food, which may not clear out of the system quickly enough, leading to the urticaria. Beyond foods that a person is naturally sensitive to, certain high histamine foods like seafood, refrigerated leftovers, and fermented foods may cause urticaria as well.

Treatment Options: Ingestion of the natural enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is often helpful in managing histamine intolerance. DAO breaks down the histamine; people with acute urticaria appear to lack the ability to produce enough in their small intestine.  

§   Chronic Urticaria. This allergic skin condition is usually connected to an autoimmune disease and lasts for 6 weeks or more. It remains present, unlike the acute condition, which may appear and reappear. Currently, the cause of chronic urticaria is unknown, the symptoms are vast, and treatment is limited to anti-inflammatory remedies.  

Treatment Options: Hope for an effective treatment may lie in vitamin D supplementation. Recent studies have shown that increasing vitamin D significantly, up to 4000IU/day, is highly effective and beneficial. Though the necessary amount varies among people, on the whole, vitamin D is extremely helpful for regulating the immune system, decreasing urticaria symptoms, and having an extended impact on various diseases.

Still, if vitamin D is ineffective, Mediator Release Testing (MRT) and the Lifestyle Eating and Performance (LEAP) elimination diet are strong options.  The MRT food sensitivity test is very accurate for determining possible food triggers. Also, a gluten-free diet may be helpful. All of these options have been shown to quickly reduce reactions to hive-inducing foods.

Read the full article here: Hives, Histamine and Vitamin D | George Mandler LDN LicAc