Histamine intolerances, which feel and look like an allergy, are not well understood in the medical world. Consequently, they are rarely diagnosed and treated accordingly. Even though only 1 percent of the population experience side effects to normal levels of histamine in food, the sensitivity to histamine has become very common these days.
Although histamine is naturally found in the body and many foods, problems occur when its levels fall out of balance. Since histamine has critical role in many body systems, the consequences of histamine imbalance can be quite dangerous.
Understanding Histamine Intolerances
Histamine intolerance due to decreased activity of histamine-degrading enzymes may stimulate the release of histamines during the inflammatory response.
Many foods contain histamine or trigger their release in the body. The problem arises when there is an influx or overload of histamine and the body is unable to break it down. These intolerances are caused by impaired enzymes activity, classified into 4 issues:
- Enzyme inhibitors (certain medicine or foods)
- Enzyme competitors (biogenic amines)
- Enzyme genetic defects
- Enzyme production problems (inflammatory bowel diseases or food deficiencies)
Symptoms of a Histamine Intolerance
Histamine intolerance is typically manifested by rashes, trouble breathing and nasal congestion. But, the reactions may vary and flare up in issues like the ones below:
- Low blood pressure
- Low sex drives
- Racing hearts
- Brain fog
- Digestive problems
- Hormone imbalances
Foods and Histamine
Even though foods vary in their histamine levels, their reaction is pretty much the same. Whether foods are low or high in histamine they still stimulate the release in the body similarly.
- Smoked meat products, like bacon
- Bread and gluten-rich foods
- Canned foods
- Bone broth
- Citrus fruits
Histamine Intolerance Cures, Solutions and Reversal
Taking the following steps is of utmost importance in case of histamine intolerance:
1. Get professionally tested for a histamine intolerance
In order to determine if the body is unable to process the histamine-rich foods in your diet or break down this compound, you need to have a doctor run labs, looking for high histamine ratio.
2. Find the root issue
Since histamine intolerances are often secondary reaction to other inflammatory issues, you should also be tested for problems like gluten intolerance, nutrient deficiency, and leaky gut syndrome.
3. Follow an elimination diet
Eliminate or reduce high-histamine foods and reintroduce them after a month or two in order to find which one of these foods caused the problem in the first place.
4. Focus on fresh foods
Try to consume as much fresh, low-histamine diet as possible, such as fresh veggies, gluten-free grains, rice milk, fresh wild-caught salmon, or herbal teas.
5. Heal the gut
Ingested foods are not the only cause for histamine overproduction in the body and most of these issues can be solved by gut bacteria imbalances. In order to fight off candida overgrowth or leaky gut syndrome, you should consume more probiotics.
6. Eat histamine-combating foods
Vitamin B6, copper, and vitamin C have the ability to help the body eliminate excess histamine, meaning that you should eat more foods packed with these nutrients in order to combat histamine intolerance.