Have you ever heard of histamine intolerance?

You have probably heard of histamine before because it is the chemical in your body that causes allergy symptoms like runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and stuffy nose. But did you know that histamine could cause other symptoms that affect your brain, gut and skin?

You have receptors for histamine all throughout your body, so when histamine levels go up, you may experience:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems, like constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hives
  • Stuffy nose or chest congestion
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in legs or hands

Lab testing for histamine intolerance is challenging since histamine does not stay in the blood stream very long, so can be difficult to diagnose. The good news is there are ways to help treat histamine intolerance. If you suspect you might be suffering from this condition, here are my top 5 strategies to overcome histamine intolerance.

Foods to avoid on a histamine diet

1) Start on a low histamine diet. Avoiding foods that are high in histamine can significantly lower your reaction to these foods. This list includes staying away from alcohol, fermented foods, smoked meats, dried fruits, avocados, tomatoes, bananas, eggplant, spinach, aged cheeses, shellfish, nuts, beans, chocolate and citrus fruits. Start eating fresh meats and low mercury fish, vegetables excluding the ones listed above, eggs, gluten-free gains and non-citrus fruits, such as berries or melons.

2) Heal your gut. Leaky gut can lead to histamine intolerance as large proteins pass across the intestinal wall and trigger reactions. Nutrients such as vitamin C, glutamine and probiotics can help heal your gut.

3) Get tested for gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance has become increasingly common, even if you don’t have Celiac disease. Most wheat products in the United States are sprayed with glyphosate (pesticide), which may make you more intolerant to gluten. There are blood, urine and stool tests available to find out if gluten is problematic for you.

Woman sleeping with eye mask

4) Get plenty of good quality sleep. Research suggests that alterations in your sleep cycle can have a negative impact on your mast cells, the cells primarily responsible for releasing histamine. So better sleep means less reactivity. Try to go to bed and wake up around the same times every day and turn WiFi off at night to improve your quality of sleep.

5) Take enzymes to break histamine down in your body. An enzyme called diamine oxidase is responsible for breaking histamine down and if it is not working well, histamine builds up and causes symptoms. In addition to eating a low histamine diet, taking an enzyme like Histamine Buster (insert link to https://dariningelsnd.com/store/product/histamine-buster/) can offer immediate relief if you get into something that aggravates your symptoms. You can also take 1-2 caps 10-15 minutes before meals to help prevent histamine intolerance symptoms.

Histamine intolerance is manageable when you take the right steps to control it. By following these steps now, you will see in 3 months or sooner that you feel so much better and know that your commitment to making these changes today led to enjoying a healthier life.

Yours in health,

Darin Ingels, ND, FAAEM