I struggled with the hives and my diet...I tried, in turn, eliminating everything I was eating for a few days. Nothing made a difference. I did give thought to things like laundry detergent and soaps. But it's just my wife and I, and when we buy that stuff, we try to buy it at Costco, in big boxes. We haven't opened a new box of laundry detergent or dryer sheets or anything like that since before I started getting the hives!
It was getting worse, not better...finally, after looking at not only what I was eating, but the total calories I was eating, I saw that at such a low calorie amount, I'd lose weight no matter what diet I was on. To see if the hives went away, I switched to a more traditional diet, higher in carbs. I still kept the calories low. I continued to lose weight...but the hives didn't seem to change much...some days they were less...some days not. And I could still find no pattern that matched the hives. I didn't go anywhere different, wasn't more or less stressed out.
At my last doctor's appointment, which was about 6 weeks ago, he gave me a steroid injection. That cured them completely for two weeks, then they returned. He prescribed an oral steroid medication, which I took over the next 6 days. Except for one day since then, I've been hive free...and that one day was after an 18 hour non-stop drive from Las Vegas to Dallas. I had hives in places where my shoes rubbed, or clothing was bunched...top of the foot, around the beltline, etc. Been OK since then. So, I'm not sure about the hives...I don't feel they're 'gone'...but they're not currently bothering me. I'm hopeful that they've run their course...I'm not happy about trading one medication for another.
But that brings me to what I'm most happy about. The doc told me, after looking at my BP, and looking at the logs I'd kept, that after I lost a little more weight, it would be OK to stop taking the BP medicine and see what happened. I stopped taking it when I lost 25 pounds. That was about a month ago, and my BP this morning was 123/80.
My total weight loss so far is 33 lbs...but the BP meds are diuretics...I gained about 4 lbs of what I assume was water when I stopped taking them, and had to lose that all over again.
I'm still on the (relatively) high-carb diet. I've increased my calories to about 1600/day, but I'm also exercising a lot. I walk 4.2 miles every night at a brisk (just under 4mph) pace. That takes me about 66 minutes, and my heart rate usually averages about 112-115. On alternate days, I also use our step climber for 45 minutes, which is a much more intense workout...my HR usually averages about 135 during those workouts. With the weather getting nice, I'm also out working on the yard, out in my kayak, etc.
I plan to continue on as I'm doing now. I'm not paying much attention to carbs/fat/protein, and I know I'm not anywhere near a keto-based diet...but I'm counting every calorie. I'm not eating anything that's causing wild spikes in blood sugar, my BP is down, I'm still losing weight and I feel pretty good overall.
Thanks everyone for the ideas on getting rid of the hives. Hopefully, they're gone now...but if they return, I will have to look somewhere else for the answer other than blaming it on the no-carb diet.