Case study: Overcoming chronic urticaria (hives)
Susan was an 18 year old lady that came to see me several months ago for help with chronic urticaria. Urticaria is the medical term for hives. Hives occur when the body releases histamine, a chemical secreted by white blood cells that dilates blood vessel walls and allows fluids to leak into surrounding tissues. That’s what causes the swelling, redness and itching.
Urticaria can occur as a result of an allergic reaction or could be an immune system reaction to components of the skin. In the second instance it is an autoimmune disease.
It is not uncommon to experience a one off bout of hives, as a result of coming into contact with a substance you are allergic to – such as nickel, a plant or an insect sting. Susan’s problem was chronic urticaria; she had been suffering with it for the past 4 months.
Susan initially tried anti-histamine tablets, which provided some relief, but never made the rash go away entirely. She changed her soap and washing powder, which is the most common response in someone suffering with any type of skin rash. She tried to pinpoint what she was allergic to but couldn’t.
Susan had read that dairy products can aggravate hives, therefore removed them from her diet completely. This did help, as dairy products encourage the release of histamine by white blood cells, therefore they can make all allergic and inflammatory conditions worse. Susan was certainly on the right track, but she needed to go further with the diet changes.
Inflamed skin conditions always go hand in hand with leaky gut syndrome. The skin lining your digestive tract is really just your skin on the inside. If the skin on your outside is red and inflamed, you can bet the skin on your inside is too.
Susan had a complicating factor, which was stress. She was in her first year of college and living away from home and she felt continually stressed and anxious. This affected her ability to sleep at night, therefore she felt tired all day and found it difficult to concentrate. Therefore she struggled with her assignments and exams, which stressed her further.
My recommendations for Susan
Firstly I asked Susan to take a magnesium supplement. Stress depletes the body of magnesium and that makes a person prone to anxiety, restlessness and insomnia. I asked Susan to take 1 teaspoon of magnesium powder with her evening meal.
I gave Susan a fish oil supplement because the omega 3 fats in fish oil help to inhibit the production of inflammatory eicosanoids. These are chemicals made by immune cells that can increase pain, swelling, redness and itching. I asked Susan to take 3 fish oil capsules twice daily just before meals for a month. She was able to reduce the dose to 2 capsules twice daily after a month.
In order to eliminate potential food allergens and heal a leaky gut, I placed Susan on a diet that is free of dairy products, gluten, corn, soy and nuts. I asked her to base her diet on vegetables, fruit, fish, poultry, eggs and red meat (preferably grass fed), along with healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.
I asked Susan to take Intestinal Parasite Cleanse capsules to reduce the levels of pathogenic microbes in her intestines. Having an overgrowth of harmful bugs in the intestines can cause chronic inflammation and irritation to the gut lining. This can impair nutrient absorption and increase the absorption of toxins and wastes into the bloodstream.
I also asked Susan to take a glutamine supplement, as glutamine helps to heal and seal an inflamed gut lining. Glutamine is used as fuel by the cells lining the intestinal tract. Glutamine can be found in our Ultimate Gut Health Powder.
Two months later
When I saw Susan two months later the first thing that struck me was how much more relaxed she appeared. She was smiling and had a more carefree attitude. The hives were approximately 80 percent better.
Susan noticed that the dietary changes made an enormous difference. Wheat in particular seemed to be the big culprit for her. She ate a piece of pie at a friend’s house one evening and could barely sleep that night because of the intense itching that started 2 hours later.
I asked Susan to continue with the diet and supplements for longer, in order to give her intestines and immune system more time to heal. She was happy to comply because she was feeling so well.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.