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[IP] Re: insulin-pumpers-digest V7 #165

Hello all,

 I'm getting caught up on all the posts today so please forgive me if I post
about a billion messages... :)

 One thing I've been wanting to ask this list about forever is my experience
with hives, and the questions about the hive response to the dog finally
prompted me to do so now.

 About four years ago, I started getting horrible hives covering my entire legs
and abdomen, and sometimes my face and arms. Sometimes it got so bad that my
legs were literally 100% covered with hives--i.e., there was no skin left that
was not a hive. Along with the hives, I would sometimes get various kinds of
swelling--especially in my joints, but sometimes in the tissue at the ends of my
fingers, sometimes in my eyelids, and sometimes in my nostrils and throat
(incurring many trips to the ER). I saw allergists, rheumatologists, and finally
an allergist-rheumatologist who was an expert in hives. They tried every
conceivable kind of medication--Allegra, lots of other prescription allergy
medicines, Prednisone, other steroids, some antacid I don't remember, some
antidepressant I don't remember, and something called Plaquinil which is
evidently used to treat malaria and can itself cause blindness. Nothing worked.
They tested me for lupus again and again, and it kept coming back

 negative. They decided to do a biopsy of one of the hives--yes, they cut one
right off my leg--and found that it was indeed vasculitic, meaning that my blood
vessels were inflamed, resulting in the hives and the other swelling. But the
vasculitis wasn't the cause, it was just the TYPE of hives I was experiencing.

 We tried looking at food causes, pet causes, laundry detergents, blood sugar
correlation, menstrual cycle correlation, etc. We found NOTHING. At times it was
so awful it was just unbearable. People kept telling me that stress could be the
cause, and would ask if was under a lot of stress, and I would say, "YES--from
the hives!!!" Then, after about a year or so of this, it started to get a little
better. Now, I still get periodic bouts of it, but nothing nearly as bad as it
was. The official diagnosis wound up being acute idiopathic vasculitic urticaria
(translates into "really sucky, we don't know why you're getting it, but your
blood vessels are inflamed, hives"). Now when I get them, I treat them with
Children's Benadryl, and that stops the itching and swelling.

 But basically I am convinced that this is another auto-immune diabetes-related
thing, and I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this. The hive-expert
basically said as much, but said that really no research has been done on this.
So I just want to know if I am alone on this, or anyone else has it.

Sorry so long!!
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