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Cold Urticaria allergy - triggered by infection


Senior Member
New Zealand
Yesterday I read posts on PR about cold urticaria, an allergy to cold temperatures. It was the first I had heard of it.

Then today I heard an item on Australia's Radio National about cold urticaria.
You can listen to the 8 minute item or read the transcript.

In sufferers, mast cells release histamines and other chemicals on exposure to cold. This can cause itchy hives and even full-on anaphylactic reactions. The mechanism is not well understood.

Cold urticaria can be inherited. But what I really found interesting was that ongoing cold urticaria can be triggered by an 'infection such as glandular fever or a bacterial stomach ulcer'. (Discussed around the 5 minute mark). It's the first time, I think, I have heard of an allergy being triggered by an infection.

Also, the item says that sometimes treating the underlying infection can eliminate the cold urticaria.


Senior Member
I have suffered from that for years, now it's less bad but still present and worsens with cold, in fact I have zero problems during spring and summertime. And I did have an episode of glandular fever right before the onset of those symptoms :rolleyes:

Thanks for the link, I will read the transcript. Docs seems to know little to nothing about this, though.

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Senior Member
Hmm. My mother-in-law, who died 8 years ago at age 90, suffered from cold urticaria. She was a dyed-in-the-wool Yankee - never complain about anything being wrong with you. She claimed many times that she had never had a headache in her life! My point being, she was not a fatigued or chronically ill person, except for the oddity the cold urticaria. I don't recall when it started. I know she was a nurse in WWII, stationed in New Guinea (that's where my husband's parents met - he was in the Air Force - US Army Air Corps until 1941- and retired as a colonel. (He's still alive, at 98). Anyway, wonder if she got some strange infection along the line somewhere.