So, remember back in 2011 when I was suddenly hit with a mysterious case of chronic hives?
Well, they came back in full force at the end of July. (yay for me!) When I have my first bout of them back in 2011, I was simply told that I suffered from an autoimmune disease known as chronic urticaria (or in plain terms, chronic hives). I was treated with several rounds of prednisone and an intense antihistamine routine. Eventually the hives thankfully burned out (in Jan 2012), but it was a long frustrating 7+ months to get there. From that point on, I didn’t see any hives, however I always had issues with rashes/itching when I would workout and my body would overheat. Due to that, I had to scale back on the intensity of workouts in order to stay comfortable. I got pregnant and I was all good.
Fast-forward to this summer… At the end of July, I noticed a couple of hives on my stomach. I thought nothing of it at the time and just popped a Reactine. As the days went on, the normal off-the-shelf Reactine wasn’t working as well anymore, so I made my way to the walk-in (my dr. was on mat leave) for a renewal of my prescription of a higher dose. The higher dose helped to keep hives at bay for a few weeks, but then they got worse. By mid-August, my hives were back in full-force (facial swelling and all) so back to the walk-in again I went in order to get all meds required for the intense antihistamine routine that worked for me previously. Unfortunately this time it didn’t work. Being a sufferer of chronic hives is so extremely frustrating simply because you can never know the cause and you never know what you’re going to look like when you wake in the morning. Finally my dr returned from mat leave, so when Amy had her last appointment, I asked to be re-referred to the allergist who I saw 3 years ago.
My allergist’s initial reaction to the return of my hives was along the line of “Yes, it sucks, but unfortunately that’s how chronic hives work. You get them, they’ll go away for a while, and they’ll just come right back. No explanation”. She then went on to tell me about a new drug that has come available for chronic hives sufferers and recommended that I give it a shot. I was very hesitant because I am still breastfeeding Amy, but agreed to begin the process of applying for this new drug as my last resort.
Throughout that appointment, I continued to push the fact that I was not ready to wean Amy and needed to figure out something to help me, but would allow me to continue breastfeeding. And that is when I brought up the fact that I had noticed that I felt cold and tired all the time.
Telling the allergist those facts raised some flags and she decided to send me for blood work to test my Thyroid. The next day, I got a call from her office saying that my Thyroid levels were low and they wanted me to go back for a more in-depth blood test the Thyroid even further. It turned out my Thyroid levels were VERY low. The allergist then actually suggested I go direct to my dr. to get on some hormone therapy for my Thyroid. Believe it or not, some chronic hives sufferers showed a relationship between their thyroid levels and the hives. My dr had not heard of this particular relationship, but agreed to prescribe Synthroid to me as it was obviously a much safer option to try to help the hives vs. going on a new, intense drug.
Well… I have been taking Synthroid for about 3 weeks now, and it is WORKING!!!! I was able to slowly decrease my intake of antihistamine within a week of beginning synthroid and now at the 3 week mark, I am only taking 1 antihistamine pills a day! At my worst, I was taking up to 10!!!! At this point, I am about 99.9% confident that my hives issues stemmed from my low thyroid levels and am so thankful that I actually have some sort of answer to why I had been going through hell.
When I found out about my thyroid issue, my obvious first reaction was to google and look up symptoms of under active thyroid and I was amazing at how many symptoms are listed!! If I had never brought up the simple fact that I felt cold and tired all the time, I feel that I would have never been sent for those additional blood tests.
Moral of the story: if you know there’s something not right with you, bring it up with your dr and push for a test!