What is the role of a food or symptom diary in the treatment of acute urticaria (hives)?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Henry K Wong, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
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Answer

Suspected food allergies can be confirmed or disproved with the use of food diaries. A food or symptom diary for a fixed duration (eg, 2-4 wk) may be helpful. Note all activities in which the patient was involved for 6-8 hours before the onset of urticaria. Cases have been reported in which a food or activity (such as jogging) by itself results in no symptoms but when combined (eg, eating a shrimp cocktail and then jogging) may result in urticaria with or without progression to anaphylaxis. Excessive or prolonged use of a food or symptom diary is unlikely to be of benefit.


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