Acute urticaria, or hives, is the most common form of the skin condition. Chronic urticaria is much more bothersome and autoimmune urticaria is thought to be the culprit in over half of these cases. While acute urticaria is usually not a severe medical concern, chronic cases are. The symptoms are very interruptive for the patient and they sometimes become desperate for help. Autoimmune urticaria is thought to be the cause in about 56% of the chronic cases. Chronic autoimmune urticaria is often difficult to diagnose but it can be done with persistence.
Autoimmune urticaria symptoms
The symptoms of autoimmune urticaria are the same as for acute urticaria. The itchy wheals appearing suddenly are the most common of symptoms and most apparent. It is thought that chronic urticaria autoimmune disease is not caused by the same triggers, however. Autoimmune urticaria usually starts as an autoimmune response where the mast cells of the skin release histamine under the skin, resulting in the swelling and the wheals. It’s not really understood why this happens. In fact, when a doctor diagnoses autoimmune chronic idiopathic urticaria, it is a medical terminology meant to say the cause is unknown.
Autoimmune urticaria diagnosis
If the hives persist beyond six weeks, they are classified as chronic. Chronic cases are not typically the result of any external symptoms, so allergy tests are probably a waste of time. The doctor will want to rule out anemia and parasites and may have some interest in the patient’s intake of caffeine, drugs, alcohol, as well as any mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
An erythrocyte sedimentation rate test, known more commonly as an ESR can help to identify immune system problems, which is the likely cause. Thyroid function and liver function tests are generally helpful because autoimmune chronic urticaria is often a reaction to one of these organ’s problems.
Chronic autoimmune urticaria can go on for years
The most compelling reason to try to treat idiopathic chronic urticaria is that these cases can go on for years. Around half of patients will show improvement after three to five years. But that is a long time to deal with the severe und uncomfortable symptoms. A full 25% of patients will have symptoms that continue for 10 years or longer. This causes many to fall into depression, and understandably so.
A whole body or homeopathic approach to strengthening the immune system seems to make sense to treat autoimmune urticaria. Since the causes are generally unknown and often never discovered, many patients find that treating the entire immune system in a holistic manner makes the symptoms disappear or at least go away to the point where life becomes normal again.