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 Post subject: Cold Urticaria
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario
Well after a very enjoyable outdoor concert at City Hall last night, I got back in the car with my family and became a bit itchy as my legs began to return to regular room temp.
This is not that abnormal for me however I became a little concerned and lifted my pant leg up to my knee. Well my knee was covered in hive like bumps and was a purpulish colour. My boyfriend and brother played it down and told me to just drive.

Anyhow, as the rest of me began to warm up I got itchier and itchier. I attempted to let it
slide because in the last six months I have been having many allergic that sometimes I just feel like "this is all a bad dream and I am going to wake up and go back to living my life as I did this time last year."

Once we got home an hour and a half later I figured I should at least look at my itchy legs.

Well...what had been bumps earlier had become continents of hives running down from my waist to my kness with a bit on my feet.

So I have looked it up and found that it is most likely Cold Urticaria. My question for all of you is, do you have this or anyone else you know? I live in Southern Ontarion and although it's not Nunavut it's only going to get colder in the next few months. How do I deal with this until I can see my new allergist in January? Can I get it on my face?

I woke up this morning...12hrs later....and still had some hives however most had died down. I had chest pains and dizziness with this as well. My blood pressure also dropped a bit. I didn't go to the hospital I just took some Benadryll and did my best to wait it out. I have been feeling sore today and dopey.

If anyone has been through this or is dealing with any advice would be MOST appreciated it. This is just another allergy I've had to add to my list and I am finding this a very very stressful time. I am 21 and had a few allergies in the past but something has set my system off and it appears to be only getting more complicated.

http://www.dermnetnz.org/reactions/urticaria.html


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
I would suggest you ask your Doctor for a referral to an Allergist. Don't try to self diagnose and don't let a GP do the work of a specialist.
An allergist should be able to give you advise on what medication to use and when as well as when to go to the hospital.
Don't mess around with chest pains, dizzyness and sudden blood pressure drops!

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
You can check out a previous discussions on this topic here:
http://www.allergicliving.com/forum/vie ... =urticaria
Also try doing a search for "urticaria" using the search engine at the top of this page to see others.
I agree that you really should see a doctor about this -- you don't want to let "things slide" with allergies. I don't know if you currently carry an epinephrine auto injector (Epipen or Twinject) for your other allergies, but according to this article: http://www.jaoa.org/cgi/reprint/101/5_suppl/1S.pdf , it's important to carry epinephrine with this diagnosis. Get an appointment with an allergist soon so you can be clear on what your dealing with.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I see that you have an appointment with an allergist in January---I'd call the office and explain the situation--perhaps they will get you in sooner. If not, I think you should make an appointment with your family doctor ASAP to discuss whether you should have an epipen prescription right now. Cold urticaria can be pretty serious. The only other advice I would have it to try to keep warm!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Also, just fyi - depending on your financial situation, you can get an EpiPen over the counter without a presciption. (I'm not sure about the Twinject.) But I don't think private insurance companies will reimburse you without a prescription.

But I would definitely start becoming a squeaky wheel with the medical professionals and see if you can get in sooner than your allergist appointment. Calling daily to ask if there has been a cancellation has worked for some people I know. If you don't want to be that big a pain, you could ask them to put you on their cancellation waiting list and make sure you give them a cell phone number (if you have one) so that they can reach you any time.

I can only imagine how hard this must be.... I hope we can offer some support, even if we don't have all the answers.

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario
I made it a point to get up this morning and make an appointment with my current allergist. I am in the midst of seeing a new one in January however your replies really did spur me to make this appointment. Luckily I've gotten in within the next few days so hopefully he can help me learn to deal with this new allergy.

I do have an EpiPen...I have a Twinject. My allergies have become so random and unperdictable that I have my pen whereever I go and next to me when I sleep. I've used it once too so I feel at least experienced with it.

I am just finding dealing with all these new problems difficult as my family is very layed back and I think to an extent in denial about all of these allergies. They all want me to get through my last year of university (as do I)...but it's not going to matter if I don't have my health...and sanity!

Thank you for your support and empathy.

_________________
Allergies: tree nuts, peanuts, most fruits and vegies, penicillin, ceclore, advil, very cold and very warm temperatures.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
I know that there are some resources out there for students with health difficulties that aren't that well advertised. I just learned not too long ago that disability services also deals with chronic health problems----uncontrolled asthma for example. If you might need extensions past the end of term (when I was an undergraduate student, I had no idea this was possible) it might be a good idea to register with disability services. I just know that if your health isn't good things can seem very unmanageable----when you're in school, you can't take sick days, but there are ways of gaining some extra time.

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a difficult time--keep us updated!


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 Post subject: Thanks for you support.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario
I have actually been using my schools resources to try to deal with my allergies. I ended up dropping a course as it involved a semester long project that I was just not able to maintain with being sick so often. I don't like having to raise a white flag...but if anything my recent condition has shown me is that sometimes it's just necessary and for the best. I am also allergic to a building at school...for unknown reasons I haven't had time to investigate. I know a worker in the disability department however and she was able to have my class moved to a different building. Luckily the entire class hated the room we had been in before and I know the prof well so there was no resistance to meeting my unusual need.

I would really like to be able to take next semester off and be able to invest my time into my health. It would be a lot better for my grades and my sanity. I have become very forgetful as Benadryll is the only thing that works for me when I have a reaction and it makes me quite dopey.

I am not in the position to take off a semester however as I do not have familial support nor the financial means. That lack of support has also contributed to being a bit more stressed about my allergies however they do offer a little so I manage with what I have. So far I have been lucky to have understanding profs who know me personally however next semester it's a whole new set of people most of whom I haven't met before...which is a bit unnerving. I am just going to do my best and hopefully come April I'll be done my degree!

I see the allergist tomorrow after a final exam I have so hopefully he can offer me some help in stabilizing my reactions.

Thanks for a listening ear...
LBD

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Allergies: tree nuts, peanuts, most fruits and vegies, penicillin, ceclore, advil, very cold and very warm temperatures.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Good luck tomorrow at your doctor's appt! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
littleblackdress,

I went through a period of time( about 15 years ago now) where I went through a similar situation. At the time, my dr. thought it was a food allergy that we could not pinpoint. But it seemed to happen when I was outside in the deep cold for an extended period of time. My entire face and hands would swell and I'd be covered in hives. I'd love to know how your appointment went and what your dr. had to say. Good luck!

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject: Back again...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 12:30 am
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario
Well I just got back from the allergist. I have been having other problems with my allergies as well as the recent cold reaction so I tried to keep my facts organized as it seems every time I see my allergist I have developed something new.

He really gave me no information with regard to the allergy to the cold. He gave me a larger dose of anti-histamines that I am to take every evening. Apparently that will solve ALL my hive problems. I am willing to do what ever it takes at this point however I am a bit speculative. I wish he had offered more with regard to how to deal with the cold physically and symptoms when I should be/ shouldn't bother rushing to the hospital. I get this feeling that unless I am in the ER on life support it really does not matter or make sense to anyone around me that my allergies are running me down in ways other than the visible physically manifestations such as hives. Taking the medicine makes me tired, I have trouble breathing etc. etc. They are like you just need to relax...sleep more etc. I sleep a lot these days and being sick with all this stuff has caused a lot late assignments and having to run around for notes. I am putting health first...cause in the end it's all we have. I don't know what I am doing wrong I feel like I am just not using the correct language to deliver my message.

My allergist believes that my immune system is going through a "phase" in a sense. Kinda like how some peple get pregnant and their allergies flare/go away. I think so as well...but that really doesn't help me deal with them in the mean time. I realize I may not be able to solve the problem but I would like to DEAL with it.

So I don't feel satisfied really with today....I feel there is a significant communication barrier that is impeding find a resoltuion. I am going to take the anti-histamines and avoid being in cold weather like the plague. It seems to be worsened by when the skin becomes physiclaly numb...so I just won't let it get numb :D ... to the best of my ability.

AND I WILL RELAX!!!! Lol jk :wink:
Cheers! I hope you all are well.

P.S. Gem did your cold hives go away? Or do you still get them? Did you get any other symptoms with them?

_________________
Allergies: tree nuts, peanuts, most fruits and vegies, penicillin, ceclore, advil, very cold and very warm temperatures.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
Sorry your appointment didn't go as well as you had hoped.

For me, the situation lasted on and off for about a month. It has never returned ( knock on wood). In addition to the hives , my head and hands would completely swell up. Not a nice look for school.

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
Sounds like a frustrating appointment. The whole reason for going to it was because you weren't sure when you should be taking your epipen when you react to the cold, right?

Hopefully things will go better with your new allergist. I definitely think that you need clear instructions about what to do. When you do figure out what you're reacting to (or perhaps even before then), you could ask your allergist for an "action plan."

You can download a form from here:
http://www.allergysafecommunities.ca/ The doctors who wrote this document advise that each person at risk for anaphylaxis should have written instructions for what to do in case of a reaction.

Maybe your allergist isn't sure because he/she doesn't know why you are reacting and can't figure out how severe it is :? Still, even if there is no hard and fast rule as to when you should take the epi, your allergist could have discussed this with you.

My strategy in situations like this is to keep asking the question another way until I get an answer (can be annoying :lol: ) In this situation, if the doctor didn't answer a more general question about when to take the epi, I would go into describing a specific situation in which I wasn't sure what to do and ask his/her advice on that. Then as a last resort (if I had it with me), I'd whip out my copy of that document from allergy safe communities and ask for an action plan.

This having been said, I don't actually have a written plan. And no matter how prepared I am in advance, I find that communication problems tend to crop up in medical appointments!

Let us know how the January appointment goes. Hopefully your new allergist will be able to figure out the range of things you are reacting to through testing. If not and if
(s)he feels that there are unidentified foods that you are allergic to, (s)he may put you on an elimination diet in which case, I'd be happy to share my experience with this.

Having allergic reactions all the time can definitely take a toll! And I don't deal well with Benadryl either----it is hard to think straight when drugged! Fortunately, I only have to take Benadryl on the rare occasion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:50 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6462
Location: Ottawa
Don't know but, would the Benedryl cream be effective on this type of a reaction?

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:24 pm
Posts: 94
Location: Toronto area
little_black_dress - my older daughter has had hives on exposed skin in cold air or cold water (also living in Ontario) for a number of years. I knew it was triggered by cold, as I had done some reading about it. She was in her early to mid teens when she first showed signs of it - now almost 20 and still has it, though not as much. I believe it might be related to age or hormones as I had this during pregnancies myself. She spent a great deal of time outdoors last year in an outdoor sport course and had less trouble than other years. Antihistamines do indeed help - and she often took one as a precaution - also kept her Epi-pen nearby in case it was needed. Definately keep your doctor informed about this and do not ignore when the hives occur - take an antihistamine. My reading showed that in extreme cases, blood pressure can be affected so check this out with your doctor. Also continue to check it out on the Internet. Years ago they never believed yellow food coloring could affect a child's behaviour - now they agree that it can (found that on the Internet too and showed it to my doctor). not all doctors are "up" on everything so always do your homework and research whatever you can. Knowledge gives you the power to be heard.


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