It seems that when I have heartburn I usually get hives. Or is it the other way around? Could it be the hives cause heartburn? Do you have any information

Both heartburn and hives are symptoms, and they develop due to certain underlying causes. In some cases, a single cause may also result in both the symptoms. However, the relation between the heartburn and hives as a cause for one another is not yet known.

Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a burning sensation, generally in the lower chest and throat area. This mainly occurs due to the weakening of the muscles between the stomach and esophagus. Due to muscle weakening, stomach acids enter the esophagus and cause heartburn. Excess acid produced by a certain form of diet is also a prevalent cause. Some of the risk factors associated with heartburn include obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking, diet rich in fats, consuming chocolates, intake of caffeinated beverages, and certain medications.

Hives or urticaria is a different symptom resulting in the formation of red itchy rashes on the skin. The rashes may cover a small part of the skin or may develop in clusters to cover an extended area. In certain cases, the hives disappear on their own, but again appear in some other areas. The causes of hives include the release of histamine from the mast cells. The mast cells are present alongside the blood vessels of the skin, and the secretion of histamine is caused due to certain allergic reactions either with food, environmental agents, or certain drugs used for different ailments. The symptoms of hives or urticaria include redness over the affected region, itching, irritation, and burning. Hives may be acute or chronic.

If you are experiencing heartburn and hives at the same time, chances are that you are being exposed to causes that lead to both symptoms. Emotional stress may be connected with both the symptoms. Some drugs such as aspirin and tetracycline may also result in heartburn and hives. Intake of alcohol, high fat foods, and fried foods may also act as triggers for appearance of the symptoms.

There are different treatments available for both conditions. Always check with your health professional to get access to any specific treatment. Below are some home remedies you can try out under proper consultation:

  • Perform stress relieving exercises to manage stress.
  • Intake of margosa leaves on empty stomach may help in hives.
  • Gently scrubbing the affected areas with margosa leaves extract may lessen the hives.
  • Applying honey also alleviates the irritation in hives.
  • Don’t overeat. Consume small quantities at intervals to reduce heartburn.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as these are responsible for increased stomach acids. More acid results in reflux and heartburn.
  • Avoid acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, etc.


answered by M W

Hives (urticaria) and hearburn (GERD, etc.) may be caused by particular foods (or food additives.) Heartburn is typically a symptom and not the cause of hives, nor vice versa. I would recommend you keep a daily "diet diary" of foods and symptoms and try to identify particular food triggers for your hypersensitivity reaction (hives) for at least two weeks. Keep track of what you eat, how you feel, and your symptoms. The most common food sensitivities are wheat, dairy, corn, soy, citrus, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, chocolate, peanuts and all processed foods.

answered by Dr K B N

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