It’s called exercise-induced hives many times, because one of the triggers is physical activity, categorizing cholinergic urticaria in the bracket of physical hives. Running, walking, lifting, exercising; almost any form of physical activity that can increase body temperature can trigger an outbreak.
Different activities can change your body by different amounts of degrees, and depending on the momentum and vigor that you conduct them with, can also influence your internal body heat.
Sometimes cholinergic urticaria is referred to as heat hives, because other factors can activate it. Spicy foods are one of the most common reasons people break out. Emotional triggers also play a contribution in the outbreaks. Anxiety, anger, extreme laughter and even blushing can all cause cholinergic urticaria to raise it’s ugly head.
The word cholinergic as described in any medical dictionary means “related to acetylcholine”. This is a parasympathomimetic, meaning an action caused by the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
With cholinergic urticaria, a heat trigger of some kind causes the body to release acetylcholine at the nerve endings in the skin, leading to a hives-like reaction.
Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter in both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, and it has many functions, but one is to help in muscle contraction.
Unfortunately, this subject matter is so complex that many doctors and scientists are not exactly sure what really causes a person to have a hives reaction to their own body heat or even sweat.
Many things have been suggested, such as possible autoimmune disorders and even blood disorders.
Managing Cholinergic Hives When It’s Caused By Stress
The real treatment at this time is management of this strange form of skin hives. One thing that is noted is that stress seems to play a huge role in people with heat hives, especially amongst teenagers.
Stress management is a serious option to consider if you can determine that your skin reactions are due to being overwhelmed, anxiety, anger or general emotional feelings from current events in your life.
It is more than just possible for a person who struggles with cholinergic urticaria to get relief by countering the stress trigger; using breathing techniques, relaxation strategies and stress management techniques.
The reason this is important, is because stress causes a defensive mechanism in your body to activate. When this happens, your “fight or flight” response is triggered, and your core body temperature can increase.
An increase in dermis (shell) or core temperature can trigger an outbreak if you suffer with cholinergic urticaria.
Assessing Your Diet – Are Spicy Foods The Problem?
Eating spicy foods can also elevate your temperature. These mainly include hot peppers, but also root vegetables that cause your body to rise in temperature in order to digest.
Also, foods that are heated can cause an episode of hives. Liquids such as hot chocolate, coffee, and warm soups can raise your temperature, especially if consumed too quickly.
Many foods activate a process known as thermogenesis, which causes your body to produce heat during the digesting process of certain edible items. Some will have a thermogenic effect on the body a little more than others, and although eating foods that are high in the thermogenesis process is great for weight loss, it can trigger itching, stinging and burning skin sensations in people who have cholinergic urticaria.
Internal Body Temperature Control
Thermogenesis, thermoregulation and emotional state can influence the temperature within your body as well. It’s very important to understand all of these triggers so that you can cut them off at the pass.
Light, physical activity can cause an episode with cholinergic urticaria, but obviously more strenuous and intensive exercise will make matters worse.
Some people who have C.U. also have poral occlusion, which means that they struggle with sweating because of blocked sweat glands. As a result, toxins build up in the system which can cause a whole plethora of problems for your body.
Some cholinergic urticaria patients choose to exercise through the itching and stinging skin sensations so that they can get a good sweat out. You have to be careful in doing this, because over-doing this process can cause your body to go into shock.
Sweating through the urticaria seems to help a lot of people who have C.U. though.
External Body Temperature Control
Environmental temperature change is one of the biggest factors to keep in mind. Outside temperatures, hot water (either consumed or bathed in), thermostat settings and even the clothing you wear, how much of it is worn, and fabric materials are required to understand in order to manage cholinergic urticaria.
You may find that using sweat wicking shirts when doing exercise really helps. These draw the fluids away from your skin, and they are fairly effective in doing so.
Also consider using a dehumidifier for your office or home environment. This will keep the humidity at bay and help you exist in a habitable environment.
Finally, cool compresses work very well if you feel an outbreak of hives coming on. There are many different ways to make these, and you can even combine herbs and essential oils that have skin healing & soothing benefits.
To make one is simple. Just take a clean, cotton cloth and dip it into a bowl of water. Whether you want to include some herbs or oils is up to, but those would go in the water as well.
Normally water compresses are made very hot, but there are cold ones as well; making simple use of cooler water. This method is not appropriate for people with aquagenic urticaria (water hives), but is helpful for people who struggle with cholinergic urticaria.