One day I was fine and the next day I itched. It was a strange little itch on my left bicep. I figured it was a bit of an allergy from something I had touched. But it didn’t go away, it just got worse. One morning I woke up with hives on my thighs. I couldn’t imagine why I all of a sudden had hives, but by mid morning they disappeared and I didn’t give them much thought again. As time progressed, the itching got worse. At its worst point, my whole body itched. I didn’t have hives, just itching.
At the same time the itching was progressing into something I couldn’t ignore, I began to have restless nights and hot flashes. I knew I was peri-menopausal, and had suffered a few hot flashes here and there, but now I was having five and six a night. So I itched and I tossed and turned and I had six hot flashes a night and I was a full on mess!
I was miserable. And I thought I was crazy. I didn’t have hives. I just had an invisible itch. So that’s where I started in my research. Once I started reading I was quite horrified to find out the various things it could be. And so many people complain about going to multiple doctors and finding no relief I thought I’d try to figure it out on my own first. The whole body itching had stopped but one arm was constant.
Along with trying to figure out what it was I was trying to figure out how to stop it. Oatmeal baths, Vicks Vaporub, lemon, vinegar, lotions, aspirin, I tried it all. Actually the aspirin was my own idea because I kept coming back to the idea of inflammation. I landed on capzasin as something that relieved it. But first it has to burn the living hell out of you to work.
So I kept searching for a cause while trying to manage it. I kept thinking it had something to do with certain foods, like chocolate, but when I researched chocolate allergies it was almost unheard of to be allergic to so I gave up on that.(as a note, histmine intolerance is not an allergy to food per se, but to the histamine in food; chocolate being a big offender.)
So on I went, suffering this weird itch, thinking I was crazy, until the one night I had a beer. And then it all fell into place.
I was out with my friends for drinks and dinner and ordered a beer. Within minutes of the first sip I was engulfed in flames. Well not really but it felt that way. My arms were ablaze with the itch from hell. I ran off to the ladies room to apply my ever present capzasin, and finished dinner. I did not, however, finish the beer.
I went home immediately and started to research the ingredients in beer. Many…but I hit upon histamine. And then from there I fell over histamine intolerance. And several hours later, after typing in menopause and histamine intolerance I saw it. Hormonal fluctuations can cause a rise in histamine which in turn causes an increase in hot flashes.
So I wasn’t crazy after all. Just menopausal.
So now my mission is to cure it, and if not cure it as least manage it until it hopefully levels out and goes back to normal. I haven’t figured out if that will happen. I hope so. But in the meantime, I manage it with a histamine restricted diet (you must keep a food diary!) and many different supplements. And I must say, though I still itch often, I do not suffer night time hot flashes as long as I stick to my nightly regimen of supplements.
I am refining what I take every day. So as I find more things out I intend to share. It’s only been a couple of months, so I still have much to learn. But all I have learned to this point is here. And I’m here to tell you, you’re not crazy either!