Symptoms of Urticaria are itching, swelling and flushing. Then swellings are often pale in the center and red on the outside. The size of the swellings range from a few millimetres to more than 10 cm across. Urticaria can be seen anywhere on the skin.
The autoimmune reaction
Approximately half of all patients with chronic Urticaria suffer from the autoimmune form.
Autoimmune Urticaria means that autoantibodies in your own immune system
(1) react with your own mast cells. The reason they occur is unknown
(2). These autoantibodies can be detected in your blood by measuring release from blood cells in the laboratory
What is the incidence of the autoimmune Urticaria
0.1-0.3% of the adult population is supposed to suffer from this disease. This is comparable to the frequency seen in children.
Does the autoimmune Urticarial indicatea history of allergy
-No people with autoimmune Urticaria do not have allergy as a cause of it. Allergy can be shown to be the cause of Urticaria in only a few cases. However, you will need to visit your doctor to get this confirmed or excluded. The doctor's assessment may include testing for relevant allergies and autoantibodies.
The doctor has told me that I have a positive Urticaria test for autoantibodies
As your disease is not caused by food allergy you should not try to cure it by dieting.
Please note that a positive Urticaria test in the blood may indicate a more severe and protracted course of your Urticaria.
How does the doctor diagnose the autoimmune Urticaria
The diagnoses and treatment of autoimmune Urticaria is undertaking by a specialist after taking a careful case history and excluding other forms of chronic Urticaria.
What treatment is available
Urticaria can be a very distressing disease that affect the quality and enjoyment of life so treatment is important. Antihistamines are always the first choice. They reduce the itch and, in many cases, relieve the symptoms. In severe cases that persist despite antihistamine treatment the doctor can choose other drugs or combine different drugs. However, it is important to note that drugs relieve the symptoms of Urticarial rather than curing it.
For how long time can I expect to have Urticaria
It differs from person to person. Studies have shown, however, many patients become free of symptoms within 1-5 years. About third of patients become free of symptoms. About a third of patients with autoimmune Urticaria will still have their disease after 5 years.