For millions of Americans, a sudden break-out of hives has been diagnosed as a condition called “Urticaria.” The condition is referred to as idiopathic. For most, they get the same response from their physician that it has no rhyme or reason. Some have noticed this rash appears during stressful times, many see it come on after eating certain foods, and some have never been able to pinpoint their breakouts to a certain factor.
Research has shown that a large percentage of people with Chronic Urticaria (can last up to a year) also have an underlying autoimmune condition known as “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis”. This is also known as an under-active thyroid. To diagnose Hashimoto’s disease, your doctor will order a hormone test and an antibody test. If your thyroid is underactive, the level of thyroid hormone will be low and your TSH will be elevated. The antibody test will confirm the presence of antibodies against thyroid peroxidase (TPO antibodies), an enzyme normally found in the thyroid gland that plays an important role in the production of thyroid hormones. A low TSH would suggest more of an overactive thyroid state.
An underactive thyroid is treated with a synthetic hormone and an overactive thyroid is treated with radioactive iodine and/or medications.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Weight gain
- Hair loss
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Muscle aches
- Muscle weakness
- Stiffness in the joints
Other chronic diseases that are linked to hives-
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Celiac disease
- Raynaud’s syndrome
- Type 1 diabetes
Treating the underlying autoimmune disorder or thyroid condition may increase the chances of remission in people who also have chronic urticaria.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make if you have a thyroid disorder.
- You can change your diet (adopt an anti-inflammatory diet).
- Keep your GI tract healthy (check for “leaky gut”).
- Try to keep up with exercise.
Sufferers from unexplained rashes/hives should write down their symptoms and see their family physician for blood tests and a more thorough diagnosis.
Ref. MSN/health, healthcentral.com
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