Dietary changes may help improve chronic urticaria (hives)
Chronic urticaria (hives) is not caused by an allergy to food and there is no evidence that foods to heal chronic hives exist. There is evidence that dietary modifications may help some people with chronic hives.
Reducing histamine in the diet and increasing Vitamin D may help with hives symptoms.1,2 Elimination diets, which are free of pseudoallergens could also help, however it is difficult to predict who will respond.3
Avoidance of pseudoallergens
- There is evidence that certain substances found in natural and processed foods may trigger chronic spontaneous urticaria, including food dyes, aromatic substances and preservatives. These are termed “pseudoallergens” because the immune system does not respond in the same way as it does during a true allergic reaction.4
- Some studies have shown that people with the spontaneous form of chronic hives may benefit from a strict diet which avoids pseudoallergens.4,5
Low histamine diet
Some foods contain histamine, which is the chemical released by mast cells to produce hives. There is preliminary evidence that a low histamine diet may benefit people with chronic spontaneous urticaria, however this needs to be studied more.2
Vitamin D supplementation
There is some evidence that people with chronic hives have lower than normal levels of Vitamin D and that providing additional Vitamin D may benefit them.1,6
Explore on this siteChronic urticaria (hives) treatment options Is there a cure for hives? An update on urticaria (hives) pathology and how it relates to treatment
Locate a specialistAustralasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) Skin & Cancer Foundation Australasian College of Dermatologists
- Rorie A et al. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2014; 112:376-382.
- Wagner N et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2017; 31:650-655.
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. ASCIA Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria (CSU) Guidelines. 2015. (accessed 9 October 2018).
- Magerl M et al. Allergy 2010; 65:78–83.
- Zuberbier T et al. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1995; 75: 484-487.
- Thorp WA et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010; 126:413; author reply 413e414.