Do you have a Histamine Intolerance?

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Do you have a Histamine intolerance?

Do you experience unexplained headaches, migraines or symptoms like a runny nose or itchy mouth? How about hives, abdominal cramps or irregular menstrual cycles? Does your face flush or do you have difficulty regulating your body temperature? Are your symptoms improved after taking anti-histamines like Zyrtec? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could have a histamine intolerance.

What is histamine?

Histamine is a chemical compound that is involved in the immune system response. It is often associated with seasonal allergies, food allergies, and symptoms like headaches, nasal congestion, sneezing and difficulties with breathing. Sometimes you may experience symptoms that aren’t associated with the environment, such as a runny nose, sneezing, itching after wine or certain foods like bananas, avocados or tomatoes.

Histamine has an important role where it helps the body to communicate with the brain, alert the immune system to a potential threat, and launch an inflammatory response. 

 

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance can occur when the body is unable to break down histamine properly. One of the ways the body deals with histamine 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 in the list below can often occur following the consumption of foods and drinks that contain a large amount of histamine. 

Common Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance: 

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches/migraines, Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling asleep/easily woken
  • Sneezing, itching, nasal congestion
  • Abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting
  • Hives, tissue swelling
  • Difficulty breathing, vertigo, dizziness
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Vertigo/dizziness
  • Hypertension, 
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Irregular heart rate
 
There can be many reasons that cause an increase of Histamine or difficulty breaking down Histamine. Some of these include allergies, digestive imbalances or damage, enzyme deficiency, or a diet too high in histamine-containing foods. 

Can you test for Histamine Intolerance?

The good news is your Naturopath can organise a lab test for histamine and DAO 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 do you reduce Histamine Intolerance?

To combat this, your Naturopath would look at your lifestyle and diet factors, aiming to boost your enzymes and minimise the histamine load. 

 

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

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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.

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