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Vitamin D levels are lower in patients with chronic urticaria (hives)

Posted on: April 17, 2011   by  John Cannell, MD

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Question: True or False?

Doctor Jill Poole not only listens to her patients, she conducts research based on what they tell her. Together with other researchers at the University of Nebraska, Dr. Poole conducted a study and she is now successfully using vitamin D to treat “chronic urticaria” (long-term hives).

Answer: True.

Patient Heather Schultz had ten miserable winters in a row, fighting “urticaria” or hives; think of how itchy whelps can be, like after a bee sting; imagine 10 years of it.

Antihistamine medicines help a little but seldom relieve the suffering. Corticosteroids help a lot but put the patients at risk for early death.

On her own, Heather started taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D and within several weeks her hives were much better. So she told her doctor, Dr. Jill Poole, about the vitamin D. Instead of getting angry or blowing her off, Dr. Poole listened to Heather. Dr. Poole not only continued Heather’s vitamin D treatment, she did a study proving vitamin D levels are lower in patients with chronic urticaria. I would like to meet Dr. Poole; she has not forgotten why she went to medical school.

Thorp WA, Goldner W, Meza J, Poole JA. Reduced vitamin D levels in adult subjects with chronic urticaria. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Aug;126(2):413.

Healy K. Study looks at link between vitamin D and chronic hives. World-Herald January 26, 2011.

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