Histamine Intolerance

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine is a chemical involved in your immune system, proper digestion, and your central nervous system. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning that it communicates important messages from your body to your brain. It is also a component of stomach acid.

When eating something you are sensitive or allergic to, histamine will cause your blood vessels to dilate, so that your white blood cells can quickly find and attack the infection or problem. When histamine builds up in your system you will start showing symptoms such as headaches, feeling flushed, feeling itchy and getting hives. This is part of the body’s natural immune response, but if you don’t break down histamine properly, you could develop what we call histamine intolerance.

Histamine travels through your bloodstream and may affect your gut, lungs, skin, brain, and cardiovascular system. This can lead  to a wide range of problems often making it difficult to diagnose.

Source: Mind, Body, Green


foods that contain histamine

 Click Here for a Good List of Foods to Avoid

Anti Histamine and Anti Inflammatory Food List

Cause of High Histamine Levels

Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) Click Here to Read what SIBO is.
Leaky gut
GI bleeding
Fermented alcohol like wine, champagne, and beer
Diamine Oxidase (DAO) deficiency
Histamine-rich foods
In addition to the histamine produced inside your body, there are also a variety of foods that naturally contain histamine, cause the release of histamine, or block the enzyme that breaks down histamine, diamine oxidase.

Source: Mind, Body, Green

How do I Break Down the Histamine in my System?

Histamine in the central nervous system is broken down primarily by histamine N-methyltransferase (HMT), while histamine in the digestive tract is broken down primarily by diamine oxidase (DAO).  If you’re deficient in DAO, you likely have symptoms of histamine intolerance.

DAO-Blocking Foods:

Alcohol Click (Here to Read Why)
Energy drinks
Black tea
Mate tea
Green tea

Source: Mind, Body, Green

What Can I Eat?

freshly cooked meat, poultry (frozen or fresh)
freshly caught fish
gluten-free grains: rice, quinoa
pure peanut butter
fresh fruits: mango, pear, watermelon, apple, kiwi, cantaloupe, grapes
fresh vegetables (except ones listed above)
coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk
olive oil, coconut oil
leafy herbs
herbal teas (accept green tea)

Causes of Low DAO

Gluten intolerance
Leaky gut
SIBO (Click Here to Read what SIBO is.)
DAO-blocking foods (See List Above)
Genetic mutations
Inflammation from Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Medications can also cause low DAO

(And we know most Lyme patients have been on many of these for long periods of time.)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, aspirin)
Antidepressants (Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Zoloft)
Immune modulators (Humira, Enbrel, Plaquenil)
Antiarrhythmics (propanolol, metaprolol, Cardizem, Norvasc)
Antihistamines (Allegra, Zyrtec, Benadryl)
Histamine (H2) blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac)
Although histamine blockers, a class of acid-reducing drugs, seem like they would help prevent histamine intolerance, these medications can actually deplete DAO levels in your body.

Source: Mind, Body, Green

Articles on Histamine Intolerance and DAO

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Helpful Books on Histamine Intolerance 

ME/CFS Angels

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