What can the patient do?
The most important step is to identify the triggers and determine the individual threshold. Then, the trigger must be avoided to the extent this is possible. Do continue your diary to document the course of the disease accurately. Fewer attacks or a decrease in the severity of attacks is already a success.
In connection with some forms of urticaria, habituation similar to the immunotherapy used in connection with allergic patients is possible. In part this is because the mast cells, when they have discharged their histamine, take a while until they can be activated the next time. Some patients exploit this deliberately.
For example, a daily cold (arm) bath can cause cold urticaria symptoms to disappear for the rest of the day or at least mitigate these symptoms. A person who reacts to stress with wheals may trigger wheals deliberately by means of rubbing or pressure before a stressful situation such as an exam or a job interview in order to be spared itching in the later stressful situation. But please discuss such measures with the doctor, because reactions vary greatly and no one should take the risk of a violent reaction if no help is available.
Stress, by the way, is very often a trigger or an amplifier of urticaria. It is true that "avoid stress" is much easier said than done. Again, keeping a diary will help you identify urticaria-inducing stress. Learning relaxation techniques or autogenic training can help.
Avoid taking NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include, for example, acetylsalicylic acid (in aspirin, Thomapyrin etc.), diclofenac, ibuprofen, phenylbutazone. Taking even a single dose of one of these drugs can cause an attack of hives.
Especially avoid high-proof alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining so that specific enzymes of the gastrointestinal tract (diamine oxidases) that are required for the degradation of histamine can no longer break down the histamine ingested with food sufficiently well.
Histamine is then absorbed into the blood through the mucosa of the small intestine and can cause urticaria and associated discomfort. Alcohol can cause the mast cells, the main trigger cells of urticaria, to be more easily activated.
Spicy foods can also irritate the mucous membranes and are therefore often poorly tolerated and should be avoided by urticaria patients.
Documentation with Urticaria diary - App:
Take advantage of your personal urticaria diary in the following app: