Histamine Intolerance takes place when there is histamine build-up in the body. Diet, nutritional deficiencies, environment, medical conditions, and drugs can cause histamine intolerance. Factors which give rise to women are more prone to histamine intolerance are as follows:
- An increase in the amount of Histamine, an individual’s digestion releases
- A decrease in the abundance or ineffectiveness of DAO or diamine oxidase, the chief enzyme which breaks down consumed Histamine.
- A decrease in abundance or ineffectiveness of HNMT or Histamine-N-Methyltransferase is an enzyme that aids the break down of Histamine within the cells.
Histamine intolerance is quite rare, influencing an estimated 1% of the population. Individuals many-a-times mistake it for conditions like gastrointestinal diseases and food allergies.
Causes of Histamine Intolerance
Most drinks and food consist of Histamine. Generally, the DAO enzyme, or to some lesser degree HNMT, breaks down consumed Histamine averting it from being ingested in the gut and going into the bloodstream. However, few factors might interfere with HNMT and DAO’s working or the quantity of these enzymes in the gut.
Some common factors which interfere with the HNMT and DAO levels comprise several prescription drugs, like:
- Heart medications
- Airway medications like theophylline
- Pain medications
- Muscle relaxants
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease, nausea, and GERD
- Tuberculosis medications
- Malaria drugs
Other influencing elements include:
- Liver conditions
- Intestinal injuries or conditions which compromise the gut lining and influences digestion
- Chronic or extreme stress
- Copper, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 or zinc deficiencies
- Temperature extremes
- Low Oxygen states
Some individuals are predisposed to develop histamine intolerance due to hypersensitivity to the OTC medications like NSAIDs.
When the human body doesn’t disintegrate the Histamine from food and discharges through the lining of the intestine, it gets into the bloodstream and can lead to an immune response. Individuals with histamine intolerance tend to possess various symptoms, which can make it tough to ascertain the sources.
Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
Histamine Intolerance symptoms may vary yet tends to imitate those of all other allergic reactions. Some common symptoms comprise of:
- Chronic headache
- Watery, itchy or red eyes
- Flushing, mainly of eyes and chest
- IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Itchy, runny and congested nose
- Itchy, raised, red or hives, burning bumps
- Unexplained anxiety
- Very itchy skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic constipation
- Stomach pain and cramps
- Bloating or gas
- Vomiting and nausea
- Unexplained exhaustion
- Severe menstrual pain
- Increased or irregular heart rate
- Scaly, patchy or dehydrated skin
Less common symptoms comprise of:
- Sleep problems
- Low blood pressure
- Swelling around eyes, lips, and throat
- Loss of consciousness
Treatment for Histamine Intolerance
Diet isn’t enough. You need to treat any underlying disorder initially, since this may enhance histamine intolerance. This problem requires an integrative approach since it frequently happens in conjunction with all other diseases that must be addressed under dietary modifications.
Diet: A low diet for Histamine is a treatment of choice. This diet can be challenging and inspiring if an individual is so far on a restricted diet like a low FODMAP or gluten-free diet and must be performed under any health care professional’s guidance so that thorough nutritional intake is supported. The tolerance towards Histamine varies amongst every individual, and the quantity of Histamine tolerated should be subtracted through trial and error. Few individuals can tolerate minimal amounts, and others are more liberal. The tolerance to Histamine improves once the underlying problems are addressed.
Support: Dietary restrictions and health issues are challenging and stressful. You may seek out some support from local support groups, online support groups, faith organizations, community, and family. You must avoid those Individuals who come up with negative interactions. These negative interactions slow down healing.
Sleep: Seven to eight hours of night sleep is enough.
Relaxation: The advantages of relaxation techniques can’t be stressed enough. Progressive muscle relaxation or breathing exercises are free, portable, and accessible. Meditation and yoga are eminent as well. You may also relax by playing music, enjoying your time with friends, and though reading.
Exercise: Any kind of exercise is useful for treating Histamine. You must aid for 30 to 60 minutes regularly. Don’t get demotivated you perform activities for 15 minutes since it shall still benefit you.
Supplements: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Copper, Zinc, DAO supplements and promoters, Quercetin, Mangosteen, Magnesium, topical creams are the supplements utilized often for treating Histamine Intolerance. Supplements might offer toxic side-effects.
Medications: Topical creams/ steroids, topical homeopathy, oral steroids, Antihistamines, plant-based lotions, and creams for rashes
Role of Diet
Most individuals are known to associate Histamine with immune reactions in the human body. However, all drinks and food consist of some amount of Histamine that generally rises as the food ferments, spoils, or ages. Some drinks and food also include compounds that aid release Histamine in the human body and obstruct the effectiveness or production of DAO and HNMT enzymes.
Researchers are yet working out to find out the level of Histamine present in drinks and food, also accurately the number of nutrients impairing HNMT and DAO activities. As per current research, usual drinks and food that are rich in Histamine comprise of:
- Aged cheeses
- Fermented, pickled and canned food
- Smoked products like sausages, bacon, salami, and ham
- Several prepared meals
- Preservative sweets
- Salty snack foods
- Legumes like lentils, soybeans, and chickpeas
- Cocoa and chocolate
- Green tea
- Most citrus fruits
- Canned fish like Tuna and Mackerel
- Chilli powder
Foods which trigger the discharge of Histamine comprise of:
- Pulses and beans
- Wheat germ
- Dyes, preservatives, and additives
- Chocolate and cocoa
- Citrus fruits
Foods which interfere with HNMT and DAO actions and levels include:
- Raw egg whites
- Mate tea
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Yogurt based on bacteria type
- Energy drinks
Most types of bacteria, mainly the common food contaminants, might generate a histamine kind in the gut. For instance, if these bacteria occupy the gut and thereby multiple, they may produce enough Histamine to give rise to symptoms.
Individuals having Histamine Intolerance or are seeking to reverse or minimize the condition shall often require choosing a low-histamine diet. Generally, this indicates restricting the intake of food rich in Histamine rather than eliminating them. Individuals with histamine intolerance must focus on the rising consumption of drinks and foods containing low levels of Histamine.
Drinks and food having low histamine levels comprise of:
- Cooked egg yolk
- Rice and coconut milk
- Whole grain pasta, noodles, crackers and bread
- Milk products, pasteurized and fresh milk
- Most berries and fresh fruits besides cherries, citrus fruits, and strawberries
- Skinned fresh chicken
- Flash-frozen or fresh fish and meat
- Cream cheese
- Most cooking oils
- Most leafy green vegetables except spinach
- Herbal teas except for the mate, green and black tea
- Citrus based juices and fruits
Various minerals and vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of DAO. Thus, individuals with histamine intolerance might benefit from adding more drinks and food rich in such nutrients in their diet. Individuals may take supplements if it’s too tough to obtain few nutrients due to low histamine diet availability or restrictions.
Minerals and vitamins that can be good for individuals with histamine intolerance are:
- Vitamin B6 that aid DAO to break down Histamine
- Vitamin C aids in reducing histamine level in blood and aids DAO in breaking down Histamine
- Magnesium might boost the allergic response entrance.
- Copper helps in enhancing the DAO blood level and also breaks down Histamine.
- Zinc helps in breaking down Histamine. Also, it can have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Calcium reduces skin flushing and hives
- Folic acid
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B1
Medical Treatment Of Histamine Intolerance
Apart from the dietary treatment, there are no such treatments for individuals with histamine intolerance. However, most individuals with this condition might benefit from some other medical treatments based on the situation’s cause and symptoms.
Some most conventional medical treatments comprise of:
- Antihistamine medication
- DAO enzyme supplements
- Avoiding medicines linked with histamine intolerance like pain drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Switching prescription medicines
In a small study from 2016, 13 on 14 individuals with histamine intolerance revealed a reduction in a minimum of one symptom ahead of ingesting DAO capsule supplements, 15 minutes before dinner or lunch for two weeks.
How is it Tested?
There is no such single or a certain way through which a doctor can examine Histamine intolerance. An immunologist or allergist shall probably start by verifying an individual for food intolerances and allergies. In case they suspect, they might have Histamine intolerance.
A professional called gastroenterologist may examine individuals with persistent intestinal symptoms for conditions like:
- Lactose intolerance
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Celiac disease
Individuals suspected of histamine intolerance are usually asked to maintain a food diary for a minimum of 2-4 weeks so that the doctor can identify diet and symptom patterns. Doctors may even request a blood test to examine the enzyme activity and DAO levels in individuals.
Finally, researchers have suggested a skin-prick test to diagnose Histamine intolerance. However, this technique isn’t utilized widely and is not known to be reliable.
Histamine intolerance may give rise to several uncomfortable symptoms, yet it can be treated and cured with a diet in low levels of Histamine. You must not diagnose histamine intolerance since its symptoms are very close to other infections, disorders, and allergens. In case you think you’re experiencing some irregular symptoms or intolerances, you must speak with your doctor.