Autoimmune Disorders and Urticaria #urticaria #hives #chronichives

Autoimmune Disorders and Urticaria

Autoimmunity is thought to be one of the most frequent causes of chronic urticaria. In about half of patients with chronic idiopathic hives, the explanation is that body’s immune system is, in a sense, overactive. The urticaria is “autoimmune”. The immune system is attacking the normal tissues of the body and causing hives as a result.

Various autoimmune or endocrine diseases have been associated with urticaria, including:

Urticaria is also known as hives.

Autoimmune Disorders and Urticaria #hives #urticaria #autoimmunedisorders #autoimmunediseases

Autoimmune Disorders and Urticaria

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, about half the cases of chronic idiopathic hives are due to immune systems that attack the body’s own tissues (also known as autoimmunity). Thyroid disease is the most commonly reported autoimmune condition in people with chronic hives, followed by rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. A study published in September 2013 in the European Journal of Dermatology found that celiac disease is also associated with chronic hives.

However, says Anand, “we don’t know if the disease causes urticaria or if the person’s propensity to have an autoimmune reaction causes it. But if we don’t find any triggers when we test for allergens, then we look for an underlying infection or autoimmune disease.” Anand adds that treatment for that condition can help clear the hives.

Once the diagnosis of autoimmune hives has been made, the goal is then to select the best combination of medications to reduce the frequency of outbreaks.

Long-term, this autoantibody may go into remission and it may be reasonable to try periods off suppression medications every few month to see if they are still needed.

There has been a high incidence of autoantibody to thyroid glands reported among those with anti-Fc-receptor antibodies and it is suggested that yearly thyroid testing be done by the primary care physician. (Fc receptors are a class of cell surface receptors that bind to the Fc portion of antibodies to form immune complexes and recruit the complement and/or effector system to defend the body against pathogens.)

Urticaria Diagnosis

You may want to keep a journal to track your hives. This may help your doctor with your diagnosis.

  • Your activities
  • Any medications, herbal remedies or supplements you take
  • What you eat and drink
  • Where hives appear and how long it takes a welt to fade
  • Whether your hives come with painful swelling


Chronic hives can go on for months and years. They can interfere with sleep, work and other activities. The following precautions may help prevent or soothe the recurring skin reactions of chronic hives:

  • Wear loose, light clothing.
  • Avoid scratching or using harsh soaps.
  • Soothe the affected area with a bath, fan, cool cloth, lotion or anti-itch cream.
  • Keep a diary of when and where hives occur, what you were doing, what you were eating, and so on. This may help you and your doctor identify triggers.
  • Avoid known triggers.
  • Apply sunscreen before going outside.




6 thoughts on “Autoimmune Disorders and Urticaria

  1. Stefanie Ellison says:

    I have CIU this is my second time having it. I had it for 13 mos and then on its own went away. I was free of the hives for 2 yrs now I have have them back and this time i have had them for a year now and I am really suffering. I was wondering if they have a site that people with CIU can talk and compare what other problems we we have to see what we have in common. I already listen to every YouTube videos I listened to vicki larwence. I am getting the xolair shots that are really for asthma. I have been on every website gone to lots of doctors and now I am running out of ideas.
    Stefanie Ellison
    760-409-3794 cell


    • Brenda Mueller says:

      It sounds like you are being very vigilant in finding what is out there. I don’t have any fresh ideas for you as far as websites and groups. I hope you do find one that will help you. If you do run across a new one that helps, would you come back and make the link available to others? That would be very much appreciated.


      • Stefanie Ellison says:

        I will be happy to let you know if I find anything out that you do not know. Please keep my info and key me know if you find anything out. I am so miserable right now .
        Thanks for getting back to me.

        Stefanie Ellison


  2. Kiauna Izliah says:

    My 8 year old has been suffering for over 2 years now with allergies and CIU. His regular doctor is on maternity leave and he saw a new doctor yesterday that says he has dermatographic urticaria. Idk what to think about this. He is finally leveling from the daily occurrences of hives to maybe 3 monthly. He has been on an immune suppressant since December 2018. I’m kind of thinking I should get another opinion. What do you think?


    • Brenda Mueller says:

      I think that there is always room for a second opinion. There is so much to be learned about these disorders/diseases that having a second opinion is a good thing. I had hives once and I can’t imagine how an 8 year old handles it. Bless his heart. And bless you for wanting to learn more so you can do more for your son.


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