I doubt this solution will work for everyone, but it worked for me, and what turned out to be causing my Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria was such an ubiquitous food, that virtually everyone eats it. (Remember though, I’m not a doctor, and you’re responsible for doing your own research and making your own decisions.)
First some background: I’ve had a lifetime of hay fever and allergy to house dust mites. From as early as I can remember, summers were a hell of runny noses and sneezing for me. Then for no known reason (hence idiopathic), when I was 18 I started getting urticaria (itchy skin rashes) all around my body. They would appear and disappear, and then appear somewhere else.
The only thing that could help was an antihistamine pill, but they only worked for about 24 hours. After that, I was in itchiness hell all over again. For the next four years, until a few months ago, I would take antihistamines almost every day.
Then I read a book about the causes of cancer, and one of the primary causes given was nutrition, especially sugar. It turns out that paleolithic humans likely ate no more than 5 grams of refined sugar a day (from scavenged honey). The average American adult eats 110 grams. The average american teenager eats 170 grams. That’s more than an order of magnitude above what our bodies are made to handle.
What the book didn’t really mention, and what I discovered later, is that almost all simple carbohydrates are digested into sugars too. Polysaccharides are basically sugar molecules stuck together with more sugar. When they enter our bloodstream, the effect is the same as if we had eaten raw sugar itself.
For a fun experiment, look up the Glycemic Index (a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise) values for sugar and white bread. They’re pretty much the same.
You’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria. I’m getting there.
What does blood sugar do? Blood sugar levels are toxic outside of a very narrow range. So when our blood sugar level spikes after a high-carb meal, the Pancreas releases Insulin, which forces the body to store fat, leaving only sugar behind. Our cells have no choice but to use the sugar for energy instead of the fat, thereby lowering the blood sugar level.
But here’s the relevant part – when Insulin is released, IGF-1 is also released. IGF-1 is a pro-inflammatory hormone. Inflammatory, as in – unexplained skin rashes and urticaria!
Not that IGF-1 is only implicated in that. It’s also implicated in cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases of inflammation.
But the point is that when I limited my sugar intake to about 10 grams a day (two teaspoons), and limited my carbohydrate intake to less than 150 grams per day, my allergies disappeared. Not just the Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria – all my allergies are virtually gone. I haven’t used an antihistamine since going on a Paleo diet (to be fair, I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve incorporated as much of the Paleo diet as I can right now).
And when one day I could not resist the urge and ate too much sugar, the next 24 hours or so all of my itchiness and urticaria came back!
So – get rid of grains and sugars as much as possible (and vegetable oils too), and see if that can help. Most people are eating large amounts of pro-inflammatory foods. You want to do the opposite.
Humans were never meant to eat so much sugar, nor so many grains.
Not a single doctor I had personally talked to, including a professional allergologist, ever suggested anything except taking antihistamines or doing desensitizing vaccinations. It seems like sometimes they don’t care to deal with the causes, and are happy merely suppressing the symptoms of a health problem instead.
But if the urticaria was an outside manifestation of chronic inflammation, just imagine the inflammation going on inside!
However, since getting onto a Paleo diet, I’ve lost excess weight, stopped having intestinal troubles from all those grains (literally) rotting in my gut, and a blood test has shown my CRP levels (a marker of inflammation) to be 0.7, which is considered low.