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Dr. Gott: Reader links hives to allergic reaction to coffee creamer

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Dear Dr. Gott: I enjoy your column very much. I went to a physician for hives. He did a host of blood work and only found low vitamin D levels. He said there is an ingredient called carrageenan that causes allergic reactions and inflammation in the body. He told me to go home and check everything I use to see if it's in there. Sure enough, the creamer that I have every day had it in there. I thought that this couldn't possibly be the answer; it was too simple. I stopped using the creamer anyway, and my hives disappeared. Just to be sure, I used the creamer again and broke out with hives within 30 minutes.

The amazing doctor who suggested this to me during my one visit then “ran off” to Arizona to practice integrative medicine. I only knew him as Dr. P, but I will always be grateful to him. Please share this with your readers so that maybe it can help some of them, too.


Dear Reader: Carrageenan is a seaweed extract used in processed foods. It is used as an emulsifier (prevents liquids from separating); helps stabilize crystals, such as ice and sugar; and changes the texture of foods (thickens or makes them chewier).

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart