All About Histamine Intolerance – Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

  • Histamine intolerance

Are you repeatedly undergoing few problems like allergies, headaches, fatigue, itchy skin, and rashes, or a runny nose even though you are eating a healthy, real foods diet?

The problem might be histamine intolerance, a condition which affects about 1% of people. It is feasible that even more people are experiencing histamine intolerance since the problem is so under-reported.

When you are trying to handle your stomach from a lifetime’s worth of mistreatment, it could be from a result of antibiotics, incorrect diet, disease, stress, or a combination of these elements, it can be really frustrating when all of your hard work and dietary changes fail to improve your varied, unpleasant symptoms.

Headaches, stomach unevenness, tiredness, energy exhaustion, skin eruptions such as hives and rashes, all these things could be the result of just about anything, and it’s hard to know where to begin.

What Are Histamines?

What Are Histamines?

Histamines are neurotransmitters that are manufactured during an allergic response. Histamine’s in your body is to cause an instant inflammatory response and serve as a warning sign to your immune system, notifying it of any potential attackers.

It’s this inflammation that provides you the swollen, puffy eyes or skin breakouts when you experience an allergic reaction. This may describe why doctors prescribe anti allergy medicine for skin when you present with food or seasonal allergy.

Histamines are main chemicals that interact messages from your body to your brain and a component of the gut acid responsible for breaking down the foods you eat.

Mostly from a stomach-health perspective, histamines can be occupied from histamine-containing foods. They can also be manufactured by bacteria in the gut.

What Is Histamine Intolerance?

In some healthy people, the building of histamines is stabilized out by an enzyme known diamine oxidase (DAO), which breaks down the histamines and ensures they are never given the opportunity to accumulate in the body.

But some people have a deficiency of diamine oxidase so that histamine levels can run wild. Impaired methylation can also be a cause of histamine intolerance.

Histamine N-methyltransferase enzyme (which, is generally like DAO, is also involved in histamine breakdown) requires methylation to function efficiently, and so compromised methylation will cause a decrease in the breakdown of histamine and allow levels to accumulate.

When this happens, it can cause few types of headaches, lethargy, irregular bowel movements, itchiness and leave you feeling, rather miserable.

While this is level and fragment of the human body’s natural immune response, if there’s a lengthen period where you don’t break down histamine properly, you could develop what’s known as histamine intolerance.

Because it travels all the way through your bloodstream, histamine can influence all of your bodily systems, including your gut, skin, brain, lungs and cardiovascular system. This describes why it may cause such a wide range of problems.

What Are The Causes Of Histamine Intolerance?

Overall, there are two main reasons for the skin allergy symptoms to manifest.

1. Overproduction of histamine caused by

Gut dysbiosis/ SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) – certain types of bacteria in the stomach produce histamine, and other types of bacteria degrade it maintaining balance.

However, if there more than required of the histamine manufacturing bacteria, histamine excess will occur.

Histamine-degrading bacteria include bifidobacteria species, particularly Bifidobacterium infants, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium infants, Bifidobacterium longum, and also Lactobacillus Plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus salivarius, and Lactobacillus gasseri. Research on probiotics continues so our knowledge is expanding, but it’s incomplete for now.

Overactivation of mast cells, which are the cells that highly contribute histamine. We don’t fully understand what causes this at present.

2. Impotence to penetrate histamine down caused adequately by

Impaired methylation – histamine N-methyltransferase enzyme (involved in histamine breakdown in the liver) requires methylation to function correctly for it to work efficiently. Therefore compromised methylation will cause a decrease in the breakdown of histamine.

Not enough histamine-degrading bacteria – which is related to gut dysbiosis.

Genetics – genetic defects involving two enzymes: diamine oxidase (DAO) or histamine N-methyltransferase which bind and breakdown histamine preventing excess. Few people don’t make sufficient of these enzymes because of faulty genes.

Also, some medications can facilitate histamine release; others can decrease the effectiveness of the DAO enzyme. As a result, the level of histamine increases and may cause signs and symptoms, even in a person who has shown no symptoms of histamine intolerance in the past.

General painkillers like aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),  antibiotics, some diuretics, and antidepressants are among the medications that can affect the functioning of DAO.

Furthermore, people who are with adrenal fatigue who have cortisol production variances such as high cortisol, low cortisol or faulty production of cortisol throughout the day, are more likely to produce excess histamine due to increased inflammation which triggers the release of histamine as a defense mechanism.

Therefore dealing with adrenal fatigue is an important treatment step as well.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Hives (urticaria)
  • Itching (pruritis) – especially of the skin, eyes, ears, and nose
  • Tissue swelling (angioedema) especially of facial and oral tissues and sometimes the throat, the latter causing the feeling of “throat tightening.”
  • Getting dizzy when standing up quickly
  • Low blood pressure and fainting
  • Rapid heartbeat/heart racing (tachycardia).

Symptoms resembling anxiety or panic attack

  • Chest pain
  • Nasal congestion, runny nose, seasonal allergies
  • Fatigue, irritability, insomnia
  • Conjunctivitis – irritated, watery, reddened eyes
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Flushing and rosacea
  • Blacking out / loss of awareness for a few seconds unexplained by other causes
  • Digestive tract issues especially heartburn, indigestion as well as constipation and diarrhea.

Please note that not all of the above signs and symptoms occur in any one individual and the hardness of symptoms varies, but the pattern seems to be consistent for each person.

Importantly, if someone has multiple allergic responses that are not associated with any particular trigger food(s) or allergy test results are negative, it could be an issue with histamine intolerance.

What Are The Essential Foods to Avoid If You Have A Histamine Intolerance?

  • Histamine-Rich Foods
  • Few fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne, and beer
  • Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc
  • Avoid Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
  • Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs
  • Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc
  • Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Avoid Most citrus fruits
  • Aged cheese including goat cheese
  • Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
  • Avoid Smoked fish and certain species of fish: mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines

What Are The Histamine-Releasing Foods?

Foods to Avoid If You Have A Histamine Intolerance

  • Alcohol
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Wheat Germ
  • Bananas
  • Chocolate
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Nuts
  • Papaya
  • Shellfish.
  • Many unnatural preservatives and dyes
  • Alcohol
  • Energy drinks
  • Black tea
  • Mate tea
  • Green tea. All these are natural antihistamine foods.

What Are The Foods To Enjoy If You Have A Histamine Intolerance? And anti allergy ?

Whew! That was a long list. You might be wondering now what on earth you can eat, so here is the list of low-histamine foods as well. Recollect that freshness is essential when you have histamine intolerance!

  • Low-Histamine Foods
  • Freshly cooked meat or poultry
  • Cooked eggs
  • Fresh vegetables (except tomatoes, spinach, avocado, and eggplant)
  • Freshly caught fish
  • Gluten-free grains: rice, quinoa, corn, millet, amaranth, teff
  • Pure peanut butter
  • Fresh fruits: mango, watermelon, apple, kiwi, pear,  cantaloupe, grapes
  • Dairy substitutes: coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk
  • Cooking oils: olive oil, coconut oil
  • Leafy herbs
  • Herbal teas.

Can Supplements Also Treat Histamine Intolerance?

1. The Right Probiotic

1. The Right Probiotic

It should be a more extensive-spread word of caution that when selecting supplements for histamine intolerance, probiotics are one of the most essential to pay attention to.

It is important that care is taken to choose the right strains, as the wrong combination of bacteria can aggravate symptoms!

This is because many “beneficial” bacteria produce histamine. This product is organic and, in a healthy, non-histamine-intolerant individual, the body will degrade this histamine easily.

However, in a histamine intolerant individual, it’s essential to ensure you’re not adding any histamine-producing bacteria into your system and, instead, balancing your microbiome using histamine-friendly probiotics.

To avoid aggravating symptoms, a low-histamine, tailored probiotic would be best starting supplement for histamine intolerance, as it will help to balance your gut bacteria using particular strains of probiotics that are histamine-friendly.

Few probiotics combine three non-dairy, stomach acid resistant strains of beneficial bacteria that are, most importantly, low histamine.

These probiotics have proven effective in numerous studies. They can be successfully administered with great results both orally and rectally. This is one of the good allergy treatment.

2. Vitamin C

2. Vitamin C

Here is something you have doubtlessly heard from your mother before: a daily dose of Vitamin C can help boost the body’s immune system. This notion doesn’t simply come from the wisdom of old wives’ tales – it’s corroborated by science.

The number of studies has shown that intake of Vitamin C as a supplement for histamine intolerance can reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance itself.

Additionally, Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and supplies number of additional advantages to the body, including preventing biological aging which is associated with disease status later in life.

Keep in mind that citrus fruits, some of the highest common sources of vitamin C, are restricted on a low histamine diet, which may make meeting the daily requirement even harder. In this case, supplementation can be both practical and therapeutic.

3. Quercetin

Quercetin, a plant pigment found in the number of proclaimed superfoods, has been shown to be an effective supplement for histamine intolerance by directly blocking the release of histamine from mast cells. Mast cells contain molecules called mediators which are secreted when the cells are triggered.

Some of the popular studies have shown quercetin to exhibit both anti-inflammatory and also antiviral properties. It works more effectively with a good supplement which consists of bromelain as well.

4. Bromelain

Bromelain is a phytochemical compound that is found in significant concentration in the stem of pineapples. In other words, it’s a general mistake that consuming pineapple chunks will give you an adequate source of this beneficial compound!

Bromelain has been used in Ayurvedic as allergy tablets across the world for centuries and, recently, science has begun to dive into the evidence behind this “miracle compound”. These are anti allergy tablets which provides you better results.

Few studies have shown to be useful in the treatment of numerous histamine-associated symptoms, while simultaneously improving absorption of specific compounds in the gut.

5. Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles, or Urtica dioica, has been shown to work better in blind tests than a placebo to reduce symptoms of histamine intolerance. Let us see what occur beyond the screen when the body ingests Urtica dioica…

Amazingly, the stinging hairs on the leaves of the species are abundant in serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) and acetylcholine.

Through the process of freeze-drying, Urtica dioica can protect its anti-allergen properties and work similar to existing antihistamines in the market.

A randomized, double-blind study using 300 mg freeze-dried Urtica dioica to treat patients with allergic rhinitis found that 69 of patients who participated in the study rated it as more effective than a placebo. This is also one of the allergic rhinitis home remedies.

Another 58 percent felt it was successful in relieving their symptoms. It’s interesting that this treatment has been effective, despite the fact that the stinging hairs themselves contain histamine.

The reason for this is because histamine can work as a local regulator to modulate the immune response, therefore resulting in decreased signs!

6. N-acetyl cysteine

N-acetyl cysteine is an important supplement for histamine intolerance, as it has shown to be responsible for potentiating inhibitory effects of mast cells on histamine release.

In other words, N-acetyl cysteine acts as an assistant for maximizing the effect of other supplements that are used to reduce histamine release.

This assistance can produce profound effects, as an increased release of histamine from mast cells is one of the primary causes of histamine intolerance, thus indicating that N-acetyl cysteine can relieve symptoms by targeting the cause of histamine intolerance, rather than the symptom itself.

All who have histamine intolerance of any kind need to take steps to manage it and bring it back under control using specific diet and supplementation. Most foods contain histamine, so we can’t have a histamine-free diet like we can have a gluten-free diet.

Above all are home remedies for allergies. For anyone who is experiencing histamine intolerance, it is necessary to follow above tips and consume above supplements for a period, depending on an individual and the severity of symptoms. This all tips are especially important during the gut repair period of the treatment.

2018-07-05T12:22:15+00:00June 29th, 2018|Health|

About the Author:

Mukta Agrawal is a qualified nutritionist, and has been in the health and fitness arena since 7 years. She has a post graduate degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics, and is passionate about educating people regarding the truths and myths of health through the InLife Blog. Her belief in the fact that good health is for everyone is one of the highlights of her writing.

2 Comments

  1. Kaptan Singh September 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing great healthcare articles.

    • Mukta Agrawal September 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hi kaptan, Thanks for liking the content.

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