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Hives or urticaria is red itchy spots that appear on the skin, their bump-like appearance being the reason for the given name. They usually occur when a person develops an allergy to a drug, insect sting or food item. Infections or stress may also lead to the condition due to the release of certain chemicals such as histamine or mast in the body. Histamine is released when the body is in contact with toxins or pollen. This is a common condition that usually occurs in individuals who are more prone to allergies.

Normally hives lasts about one to two days and in this duration it may change rapidly in size and location by the hour. It may appear to have completed receded, only to quickly reappear in another spot. Hives may be accompanied by a deeper swelling known as angioedema and may also appear in mucous membranes, the eyes and lips.

Chronic urticaria lasts about six weeks and in about 80% of the cases cannot be traced to any allergic reaction. Urticaria may cause difficulty in breathing and shock but this occurs only in rare cases and hives hardly leads to life threatening situations. Hives affects 15 to 20% of the population at some time in the course of their lives. Acute hives in children may be caused due to a viral infection.

Stress hives

It is said that having hives may lead to stress, but stress does not lead to hives. However some studies show that emotional stress may cause hives, as do extreme hot or cold weather conditions. Chronic stress and tension may cause hives, so it is important to find ways to relax and take some time off your normal routine. Stress affects the immune system and may indirectly lead to hives especially when it persists for a long period of time. Stress is known to affect the hormonal balance and the body chemistry leading to hives.

Hives usually recedes by itself without any serious implications. In severe conditions, drugs or injections may be prescribed. Only in rare cases where a swelling blocks the airway and prevents the person from breathing properly, would it be described as an emergency.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headache or as it is variously known as Histamine Headache, Red Migraine or Horton's disease, is an intense, severe one sided pain centered around the eye or temple. Though the pain lasts for one to two hours on average, it may recur several times in a day. Usually it affects more men than women.

Causes of Cluster Headache Hormonal, Vascular or biochemical changes appear to induce these headaches. Other causes which can as a trigger include:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Allergens
  • Stress
  • Hypoxemia (A condition where there is decreased blood Oxygen levels in the arteries)

Secondary symptoms may include the following:

Eye tearing
Nasal congestion
Pupil contraction
Facial drooping

A medical examination includes headache details like frequency, duration, time, severity of the pain, region where it occurs and potential triggers. Careful evaluation is done to exclude other potential causes.

Treatment: Cluster Headache treatment may begin with induction therapy to control the headache cycle and thence to maintenance therapy for the long term. Persons suffering cluster headaches are also likely to experience anxiety, agitation and suicidal feelings. This kind of headache is usually a result of a trigger to the trigeminal autonomic vascular system. Alcohol, stress, glare and specific foods are known to trigger cluster headaches. Sumatriptan, Zolmitriptan or Dihydroergotamine are often prescribed. Stimulating the occipital nerve might help. Corticosteroids or Dihydroergotamine may be used in the beginning. Verapamil, Lithium Carbonate, Ergotamine and Methysergide may be used for the long term treatment.


Quercetin is not a nutrient but a flavonol, a sub-class of Flavonoids. Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and cardio-protective properties of Quercetin help in fighting diseases and improve over all well-being. It helps to get rid of damaging free radical molecules. It inhibits the formation of LDL cholesterol and various enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.

Role of Quercetin

The anti-histamine properties of Quercetin play a vital role in fighting allergies, specifically seasonal allergies (pollen, mold or dust). Quercetin inhibits histamine, (the chemical released by the immune system to trigger an allergic reaction) release from immune cells and helps reduce itching red eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. Quercetin is beneficial to people with interstitial cystitis, high blood pressure, prostatitis. Quercetin also inhibits tumor growth.

Research indicates positive use of Quercetin in treating cellular damage in brain cells. Lesser damage to cellular proteins and DNA cells have been confirmed. By improving the strength of capillaries, Quercetin helps alleviate bruises, edema, varicose veins and fragile capillaries. A study on healthy but un-trained exercisers suggested that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Quercetin help boost endurance capacity as well as maximal oxygen capacity. Headache and stomach ache are common side effects. High dosage can however lead to complications. The most common of the Quercetin side effect is heartburn that occurs soon after taking a large dose. Acid reflux may also occur.

Tags: #Hives #Cluster Headache #Quercetin
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 20, 2024