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Strange reactions to Alcohol and Anti-Histamines

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by Solo, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Solo

    Solo

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    For over 10 years, since a drug use gone wrong happened, I've had a strange mast-cell phenomenon happening. It started with an ecstacy tablet that left my arms and legs rushing with numbness and a panic that set in throughout my body. A couple days later, I developed the condition Chronic Urticaria (hives) which was in full effect for several years, but now in remission. Through this experience, a couple of strange and seemingly unique reactions occurred:

    1) The drugs Zyrtec, Allegra and Benadryl were attempted to resolve the hives. Instead of providing any relief, each drug produced more hives to appear all over the body; except for the face. It was not a true allergic reaction (i.e. Anaphylactic shock). Just a bundle of hives that covered my body for a couple days after the trial.

    2) Alcohol resolved my Cholinergic Urticaria condition entirely. Not rubbing alcohol, but drinking alcohol like beer and liquor. Only a couple shots were necessary, but once I had ingested a few drinks, I no longer had any hives on my skin what-so-ever.

    Can anyone relate to these experiences or know of any similar ones? I have not yet been able to pin-down the dysfunctional cause of this.
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Alcohol has been shown to increase cortisol production - directly by increasing ACTH and also indirectly by causing it to unbind to cortisol binding globulin and albumin so that the free levels are higher in the blood.

    Cortisol is a very potent anti-inflammatory agent. If you are low in cortisol, alcohol may have increased the production temporarily and this may be a potential mechanism for why the hives disappeared after the ingestion of alcohol.

    You might think about doing a saliva cortisol test to properly assess your levels. Lots of people have trouble with allergies especially when their HPA axis is dysfunctional. It's a key symptom.

    Ema
    merylg and Enid like this.
  3. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    How quickly?
  4. Solo

    Solo

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    I've had cortisol saliva testing done and was not determined to have issues with my cortisol. Several Endocrinologists and many tests have confirmed this -- for whatever that's worth. However, I'm glad you brought up the cortisol topic, because that's another huge piece to my puzzle. Here's the nugget: Throughout the last 10 years, only one drug has taken me from zero to hero in a matter of weeks, and that's Prednisone. I tried explaining this to doctors, but they always come up with some theory about inflammation and everyone feels this way. But, I don't think they understand how crucial it is to my particular dysfunction. With more research on the amygdala, I'm starting to think the cortisol link may lay here.

    Sherlock: Within 20 minutes I would notice a slow evaporation of my hives.
  5. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Solo, I'd asked because I'd figured from your OP that you'd indeed meant it was quickly. The one case that I'm familiar with of severe hives (from an Abx allergy) took days for the hives to disappear on 80mg pred. That's a lot.

    Aside from that, the common link that I think of is that both alcohol and histamine breakdown involve aldelhyde dehydrogenases. (Then, since nothing is simple, histamine in turn can activate ADH.)

    Possibility: your system for some unusual reason was not producing ADH in order to counter the histamine - but when the alcohol hit your system, ADH was produced to metabolize the resulting acetaldehyde, and in the process it took out the histamine-driven hives.

    That leaves your point #1. The antihistamine drugs are H1 receptor blockers. In your case, maybe your H1 receptors have some anomaly and were getting activated by the blockers. That'd be analogous, say, to ISMA in beta blockers.

    You might want to buy some quercetin, on which there are many threads here.
    merylg likes this.
  6. Solo

    Solo

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    Sherlock: Oh you guys are good. You both have hit on major experiences for me. Allow me to share my experience with supplements, especially Quercetin.

    This was one of the stranger experiences I had with supplements. I started taking Zinc, Quercetin and Co-Q10 at the same time. Within a couple days I noticed something strange was happening to my skin -- it was becoming translucent, frail and breaking open easily with scratches. Concerned, I quit all supplements at once and my skin returned to normal within a couple days. I later tried each one at different times and was able to pin-down that Quercetin is the cause for this reaction to my skin. I have since tried it again, but am left with the same result.

    The only other supplement that has the exact same effect was called RegeneMAX for hair and skin. It contains Choline. After a week on this supplement, I was having severe cognitive problems as well as very frail skin.

    What do you think about that with your other thoughts?
  7. Sherlock

    Sherlock bicarb for exercise recovery and taming candida

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    Wow, you react fast to things :)

    You probably know that thinning of skin is a side effect of corticosteroids. Querectin is said to reduce cortisol.

    Choline is also said to be anti-cortisol, IIRC.

    [edit: so those are seemingly paradoxical effects]


    Btw, was your kidney function harmed by the C.U. at all?
  8. Solo

    Solo

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    LOL Sherlock, I swear you are great.

    If Quercetin is said to reduce cortisol and causes issues with my skin, then it fits that Prednisone raises cortisol and it made my skin better than it's been in years.

    All my tests always come back normal. No kidney malfunction and several different Endocrinologists have found nothing of concern for my adrenals even though I've made hard cases for it. However, I've always wondered about this sharp pain I would get on my side around my kidneys. I actually thought perhaps my adrenals were the pain I was feeling and not the kidneys. I don't think the C.U. harmed anything honestly. It's not much of a concern for me today and far less of an issue than other problems I'm dealing with -- fatigue, visual trails, sinus inflammation, chest tightness, joint pain, joint fluid insuffienciency are bigger concerns for me.
  9. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    FYI, Prednisone is what mastocytosis patients take when in the middle of a crisis.
  10. GcMAF Australia

    GcMAF Australia Senior Member

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    I am surprised about the negative effects of quercetin. How much quercetin.

    For inflammatory conditions such as chronic prostatitis or interstitial cystitis, users should take 500mg twice daily, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Allergy suffers can use 250mg to 600mg daily in several divided doses. A general dosage for treating inflammation and other conditions is 100mg to 250mg three times daily
    when taken in large doses--those exceeding 1g daily--it may cause damage to the kidneys, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center
  11. Enid

    Enid Senior Member

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    Interesting topic and thanks Ema - I certainly found a conundrum when able to tolerate wine again. Half bottle with food not only gave a good nights sleep but for some reason feeling a bit better in the morning. Was it sleep, sulphites (the sulpher cycle) or something else, seems it may be to do with cortisol levels if I read you correctly.
  12. Solo

    Solo

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    nanonug: I'm aware, haha. Prednisone is the wonder-drug of my life -- except there's a catch. I have a rebound effect from it after coming off (mostly emotional stuff), but it's very hard to tell because at the time I was not keenly aware of what to look for. Also, after about a week on the drug, my sinus septum will start to become very sore and bleed. So, I can't stay on it for long.

    GcMAF: That's how I am, my friend. Most people cannot relate to my experience.

    Ema: I re-read your response, and I have to say you hit on something else I wasn't paying attention to. Out of all my bloodwork, the only thing that really comes up strange is my Globulin/Albumin levels. It's never enough for doctors to care, but it always concerned me. My Albumin level borders high around 4.8-5, and my Globulin gets below 2, sometimes 1.5. That makes the A/G ratio a bit high sometimes.

    One more thing, Ema. My BUN level is always low. The worst I saw was 5. But, I drink a lot of water and the doctors said that had to be the reason, because they saw nothing else wrong. I just have to ask what you think, because you all were so quick to pick-up on some issues I've been dealing with.
  13. xks201

    xks201 Senior Member

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    yeah dexamethasone cleared up my skin (acne) and it is a strong version of cortisol. take too much of any cortisol and your skin will look thin and like crap though.

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