Could High Histamine Food be causing your Headaches, Itchy mouth, Anxiety or Bloating?

Emiliano Vittoriosi 1173728 Unsplash

What is histamine?

Histamine is a compound that is released from immune cells as a normal part of a healthy functioning immune system. It helps us communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response.

Histamines can be released in response to environmental triggers such as pollen, animal fur and dust but can also be released in response to the foods and drinks we consume, as well as digestive imbalances, and enzyme deficiency.

What happens if I have too much histamine?

When there is toomuch-circulatingg histamine we can feel an increase in allergic-like symptoms such as sneezing, itching, watery eyes and nasal congestion, but also symptoms that aren’t as easily identified as being related to histamine – such as migraines, headaches, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty regulating temperature, amongst many others.

There are 3 main reasons we can have elevated histamine levels:

  1. We’re eating too many foods high in histamine, and/or
  2. We’re consuming too many histamine liberating foods or drinks and/or
  3. We lack enough of the enzyme that helps us break down and eliminated histamine from the body.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when your body is unable to break down the histamine efficiently. One of the ways the body does this is through the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme which inactivates and metabolises histamine.

If you don’t have enough DAO or its ineffective, histamine can be absorbed through the intestines causing a wide range of symptoms. The symptoms such as those listed below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine like bananas, avocado’s, spinach, tomato’s, fermented foods, aged cheeses, and alcohol.

Histamine content of foods increases as the food ages. For example, aged cheeses tend to contain higher histamine levels than fresh cheese. A boiled egg left in the fridge for 1 day would have higher histamine than a boiled egg eaten immediately.

We know that fermented foods are extremely beneficial for our gut health but as they are fermented, they may also be high in histamines and therefore not tolerated by some people when their histamine balance is compromised.

What are the Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?

Because histamine is released into many body tissues its effects are far-reaching. Some of the more common symptoms may include:  

  • Digestive issues like abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting 
  • Nervous system issues like fatigue, anxiety, difficulty or light sleeping
  • Vascular issues like headaches and migraines, tissue swelling, vertigo, dizziness, high blood pressure, difficulty regulating temperature, irregular heart rate, or flushing after histamine-containing food and drink – especially wine and beer
  • Immune issues like sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy mouth
  • Skin issues like hives, rashes or itchy skin
  • Reproductive issues like irregular menstrual cycles

How can I find out if I have high histamine or histamine intolerance?

Our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health can take a thorough case and diet history from you, and if appropriate can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO enzyme levels. A high ratio of histamine/DAO signifies that you may be consuming too much histamine and that you may not have enough DAO to break it down.

 

How can I recover from symptoms of histamine intolerance?

Our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health would look at your Lifestyle and diet factors, aim to boost your enzymes, minimise the histamine load, and regain balance to your body.

Most importantly, working with a Naturopath will enable you to find out what is your root cause for your histamine intolerance, and will be able to design a personalised dietary or supplement protocol to help restore balance to your body and to your symptoms.

If you would like to investigate this area of your health further, please call our Naturopaths at Brisbane Natural Health on 07 3367 0337.

 

Evi Km Cropped

Katherine Maslen

Author

Hey, I’m Katherine Maslen, naturopath, nutritionist, host of The Shift podcast, author and renegade for health.
Since completing 2 bachelor degrees in health science over 12 years ago, I’ve been helping peeps just like you to be their best through awesome health. I’ve spent most of this time one on one in clinical practice – in the trenches with my clients to navigate them through the minefield that is imperfect health.

Book Your Holographic Kinetics Appointment Online

Book Your Kinesiology Appointment Online

Book Your Hypnotherapy Appointment Online

For more information on our hypnotherapy treatments for smoking, anxiety, or depression, contact our Brisbane clinic today on 07 3186 5605.

Book Your Naturopathy Appointment Online

Current wait time for a naturopathy appointment is approximately 2-3 weeks – be sure to check the next few weeks for availability if your search results come up blank. If you have an urgent concern that cannot wait, please call us on 07 3186 5605 and we will do our best to fit you in earlier.

Please note you will need to ‘make a profile’ to book an appointment – this will then send us your personal details and create a client file for you. If you’d prefer to call then go through this process then please do!

Book Your Acupuncture Appointment Online

Download our cycle tracking guide!
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Mind Shift Img2
Your gut is the centre of everything!

Your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients determines your health, and your microbiome (the bacteria that live inside you) are so important for preventing disease.

Take the quiz now to discover.
  1. How well you are digesting food
  2. If you’re eating the right things for a healthy gut
  3. The state of your microbiome
  4. Your overall gut health score
Fai Content Img F 2@2x

Share This

Select your desired option below to share a direct link to this page. Your friends or family will thank you later.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on skype
Share on pinterest
Share on email