'Tis the season of Mysterious Hives. They've occurred before, they'll (:::knock wood:::) go away eventually, and they'll likely occur again.
Why Hives? That's the big unknown. Could there be an environmental factor, now that this corner of the desert is beginning to awaken from the winter? Possibly.
Could it be "stress"? Many doctors are prone to dismiss the physical complaints of a middle-aged woman as "stress" (as we recall the doctor who questioned whether my problem was related to "stress," until my gallbladder was revealed as being Very Ugly Indeed). I'm certainly very, very busy these days, with periodic annoyance and fatigue and occasional Moments of being overwhelmed, but I also do have a support system to provide reassuring words when I'm struggling. Is that stress? Seems like regular Life to me. Does it cause Hives? Who knows?
There do appear to be some food-related ties to Hives. Artificial coloring will always invite the Hives to make an appearance; tomatoes may also be problematic; perhaps potatoes? Peppers? Several things in processed foods? Hard to tell. There are foods that lead to headache, but not necessarily Hives: artificial sweeteners, chocolate, buttermilk, citrus, nitrites. There are foods that should be avoided in order to minimize chances that another kidney stone will appear: soy, nuts, spinach, tea. As an added bonus, there is distinct overlap among the categories.
I am very frustrated with what I know I can *safely* eat. One would think that with such limitations, I would be thinner -- but sometimes, I throw in the towel, and just take ibuprofen or an antihistamine (or both) with a meal. I suppose that perhaps the Hives are just an indication that I'm now paying the piper. Assuming that there is, in fact, a food component to the hives and that it's not just an unfortunate Thing.
At any rate, I'm once more on the merry-go-round that is overlapping antihistamines of different types, in an attempt to keep me from scratching myself raw. I'm avoiding any clothes that may put any pressure at all on my skin, since that definitively makes new welts appear. (No belts. Loose shoes. And, when things are terrible, no brassiere -- which, although indecent, is helpful. Though cannot leave the house in that state.) And I'm really, really hoping it stops soon.
It is Awful. I would rather have a migraine. Or possibly even a kidney stone, since I would know that a stone would eventually pass. Right now, there's no end in sight for the Hives. Alas.
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