Hives: top 5 triggers that you wouldn't expect
Updated: Mar 10
Hives, also known as urticaria, are red, raised, itchy welts that appear on the skin. Depending on how long you have the hives for, the condition is considered either acute (for 6 weeks or less) or chronic (for more than 6 weeks).
The cause of hives is due to an increase in histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical that is secreted by immune cells during an inflammatory response. Trying to identify the triggers that lead to an increase in histamine levels, and eventually the appearance of hives, can be very challenging. A lot of the time, it seems as though the hives appear out of nowhere.
Let’s look at some triggers that you may have not considered up to this point.
5 triggers of hives that you wouldn’t expect
Dehydration. We lose water primarily through urine, sweat and our breath. Histamine levels in the body increase if you are dehydrated. In the state of dehydration, the body senses “a state of drought” and activates certain mechanisms to prevent further water loss. It is hypothesized that one of these mechanisms involves the release of histamine, which induces the secretion of a hormone called vasopressin (1). Vasopressin helps to regulate water levels in the body by decreasing urine formation and constricting the bronchioles in the lungs, therefore increasing water retention within the body.
Heat (sweating). It is fairly common for people with hives to have a flare up either when they exercise or when they sleep. It’s possible that in both scenarios, the body heats up, causing an increase in perspiration (sweating), which then reduces the amount of water in the body (creating a state of dehydration). With increased dehydration, histamine levels increase, which then may lead to the formation of hives.
Diet. Some people break out into hives immediately after eating certain foods. This is usually due to a food allergy. The most common foods that people are allergic to include shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk and eggs. But sometimes, the problematic food is not that easy to identify. The reaction can be delayed (even up to 3 days after consuming the culprit food). Keeping a food journal can be very helpful to identify what the food trigger may be.
Outdoors. Insect bites, pollen, trees, grasses and/or ragweed may be your triggers. These are usually easy to identify. However, less obvious triggers can include direct sunlight exposure, temperature fluctuations, or just hot or cold temperatures.
Emotions. There is a connection between emotions and hives (2). You may notice that when you are feeling stressed, anxious, angry or frustrated, you break out into hives. This is not a coincidence. Emotionally charged situations can cause certain emotions to arise, which then cause the body to heat up and histamine to be released.
A faster way to identify your triggers and what to do about them
Sometimes, identifying your trigger(s) can be a frustrating process, especially when there doesn’t seem to be a consistent trend. Also, there could be more than one factor that makes up your trigger. For example, it could be the combination of a food and exercise that are the issue. When you eat a particular food and then exercise, you may break out into hives; however, if you eat the same food without exercising, you don’t experience hives. Below, I discuss a 2-step process that can help you identify your triggers more quickly, and what you can do once you know them!
Step 1: Identifying your trigger(s) through muscle testing: Muscle testing is a simple test that will determine your body’s response to the frequency patterns of various substances. Frequency patterns of different substances are placed up to a test muscle, and if the muscle fatigues, that is an indication that the body is unable to properly recognize the frequency pattern of the substance. Without proper recognition of a substance, the body will not know how to respond to it appropriately, therefore, giving rise to various symptoms, including hives. For the frequencies your body does not properly recognize, they get imprinted onto your body through electromagnetic waves. This process is called BIE (BioEnergetic Intolerance Elimination).
Step 2: Normalizing your body out to the stressor with BIE: By imprinting the frequencies onto your body, your body gets “re-educated” on what the identity of the substance is, so it can now properly recognize it and respond to it appropriately. As a result, your body returns to a more balanced energetic state.
A little bit about the theory behind BIE
The theory behind BIE states that a past stressful event has resulted in your body making a negative association between the “trauma” of the event and any substance that your body was exposed to. By your body thinking that the substance is the culprit of the stress, it now identifies the substance as “harmful” (when it is not). Consequently, your body “blocks” or “rejects” the substance everytime your body is exposed to it. The interesting part is that the substance can be anything --- food, pollen, dust, geopathic stressors (ex. heat, high/low humidity, cold etc.), just to name a few! BIE gets your body back to being able to properly recognize the frequency pattern of the substance, so that your body no longer thinks that the substance is “harmful.”
If you are experiencing hives and don’t know what your triggers are, or, if you have already identified your triggers and are interested in normalizing your body to them with BIE, book an appointment with our BIE Practitioner, Jennifer Ide here or call the clinic at (416) 214-9251. She looks forward to meeting you!
Want to learn more?
Jennifer Ide is a BIE Practitioner and Holistic Nutritionist, based in Toronto. She has helped many people with eczema, acne and hives, heal their skin naturally. She is here to support you and answer any questions that you have. There are many ways to connect. You can email directly (hyperlink to email), send a message on instagram @holsitickinartisan, or book a free meet-and-greet. Connect and see how she can help you!
Batmanghelidj, F. (1990). Neurotransmitter Histamine: An Alternative Viewpoint. SciMedicine. 1, 8-39.
Altinoz, A.E. et al. (2014). A cohort study of the relationship between anger and chronic spontaneous urticaria. Advances in Therapy. 31, 1000–1007.