Allergies can be simply inconvenient or they can be downright life threatening. For the less than life threatening types, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of the allergy. Allergists use a set of tools, including pinprick tests and standard blood tests to discover allergies, but they may also ask you to keep an allergy diary to help narrow down the possible allergens. These diaries are often used for food, but can also be beneficial for other types of allergies.
Step 1: Pick the Right Book
For an allergy diary to provide useful information, you will need to find a version that you can keep with you at all times. For some people, this will be a small notebook that fits in a pocket or purse. For others, a simple folded sheet of paper in the wallet is the best option. If you are more of a digital person, you can even keep your record on your favorite smart phone note taking app, just make sure to print or transcribe the info for your doctor before your next appointment.
Step 2: Create a Standard Logging Procedure
Standardizing your recording style ensures the same information is recorded for each possible allergy-inducing situation. It also makes your log easier to read and to understand. For example, each symptom entry should include the date, time, and the type and duration of symptoms experienced.
Step 3: Include Important Environmental Information
Environmental info is important, even if you suspect the allergy is food related. Make a few notes for each day's entry about where you were and what you did that day. For example, "worked in the garden in a.m., grocery store in afternoon, checked on neighbor's dog in p.m." Notes such as these, when combined with the symptom log, may show a pattern in your allergies that your allergist can use to narrow down the possible culprits.
Step 4: Record Food Completely
Food notes are also important, even if you don't suspect food allergies. For those who are more concerned with seasonal allergies, a few brief notes of your basic meals each day are probably sufficient. If you are specifically keeping a diary for food allergies, you will need to be more thorough in your note taking. Record the time you ate, everything that you ate, and the quantity eaten. If possible, save the ingredient lists from food packages and keep these in the diary as well. This makes it easier to narrow down the possible causes of your reactions.
It is best to maintain the allergy diary for a couple of weeks so that you can collect enough data for your allergist to begin seeing patterns. Contact an allergist like Southern Allergy and Asthma PC for more information.Share
30 March 2016