You need to clear your histamine from your body when histamine intolerance starts to appear in your body. Many things including drugs, some health conditions, environmental factors, diet, and nutritional deficiencies can cause histamine intolerance.
What is Histamine?
Histamine is a chemical substance that is released in response to an allergen by mast cells in the body. The release of histamine will tell you that your body is allergic to something you just ate or you are surrounded by.
In a quick histamine reaction, you might face itching, puffiness, watery eyes, sneezing and sometimes coughing.
What is Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine intolerance means that your body can’t tolerate histamine anymore as it is produced in more than the usual amount and build up in your body. Usually, when histamine is released but it is not metabolized properly, it builds up leading to histamine intolerance.
Causes of Histamine Intolerance?
When histamine is produced it is broken down by two enzymes.
- DAO – diamine oxidase, which is mainly responsible
- HMNT – it also plays a part.
There are some factors that decrease the level of these enzymes, which ultimately leads to an increase in histamine level leading to histamine intolerance.
Factors that interfere with DAO level:
Several factors which decrease the level of DAO in the body are:
- Drugs: drugs that contribute to histamine intolerance are:
- Heart medications
- Respiratory medications
- Pain relievers
- Malarial drugs
- GI Problems: conditions which affect the lining of the gut and alters digestion pattern will also lead to histamine intolerance.
- Metabolic Causes: some deficiencies including;
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin c
Will alter the amount of DAO.
- Stress States: there are a few stress-related conditions that lead to altering in DAO levels:
- Chronic stress
- Low oxygen levels
- Extreme temperatures.
Role of Food in Histamine Intolerance:
Surely histamine is released in response to the immune reaction but many food items and drinks contain histamine in them.
Histamine rich food and drinks:
- Canned foods
- Fermented foods
- Smoked products
- Aged cheese
- Citrus fruits
- Chili powder
Food items that release histamine:
- Citrus fruits
Food Items Interfering with DAO and HMNT levels:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Egg white
- Energy drinks
Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance:
Histamine tolerance presents the same as an allergic reaction because both are because of histamine release.
These symptoms vary from person to person but some common symptoms include:
- Itchy and runny nose
- Raised, red, itchy bumps on skin
- Itchy skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Gas and bloating
- Irregular heart rate
- Severe menstrual cramps
How to Control Histamine Levels in Our Body?
Histamine levels can be controlled greatly with diet. If you are histamine intolerant, stop eating the list of items that cause histamine release or which alters the level of DAO.
Shift to the food items which are low in histamine levels and helps to lower the symptoms.
Low in histamine food items are:
- Leafy green vegetables except for spinach
- Cream cheese
- Coconut milk
- Bread, crackers
- Milk and milk products
- Fresh fruits except citrus fruits and strawberries
- Cooking oil
- Cooked egg yolk
Vitamins and minerals required in maintaining histamine level:
Apart from diet, there are some vitamins that maintain the level of histamine by aiding in the normal activity of DAO. Vitamins that are necessary includes:
Some minerals which are good to take in histamine intolerance include:
Medical Treatment for Histamine Intolerance:
The best way to treat histamine is intolerance is by diet. However, some people also go for medical treatments. Some drugs which are helpful in histamine intolerance include:
- DAO enzyme supplementations
- Changing prescribed medicines which are altering your histamine release and metabolism
How to Test For Histamine Intolerance:
There is no direct test to identify histamine intolerance in a person. It is usually diagnosed when you rule out all the other possible causes.
Your doctor might test you for food intolerance and allergic reactions and sometimes for GI diseases such as celiac, IBS, or lactose intolerance.
Doctors also advise patients to make a food journal to write their diet and symptoms for 2 to 4 weeks.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:
How long will it take to lower the histamine levels?
It depends on how strictly you are following the diet and taking supplements. If you take care of everything mentioned above, it will take 15 to 30 days to bring the histamine level back to baseline.
Does drinking water reduce histamine?
Drinking less water and dehydration will cause the release of histamine. However, drinking water will prevent the release of histamine and allergic reactions.
What is the role of vitamin C in histamine intolerance?
Vitamin C works as a natural anti-histamine. Consuming vitamin C will lower the level of histamine naturally and lowers the allergic reaction in your body.
Will Air purifiers help in allergic reactions?
If your allergy is due to the environmental factor or seasonal changes, air purifier will play a great role. It will take in air which will cause allergy due to dust, pollen or mold spores in it and give back purified air which will not lead to an allergic reaction and histamine release.
Histamine intolerance occurs when histamine is not broken down by DAO. You can clear histamine from your body by making some dietary changes or taking some medications such as anti-histamines and supplementations of enzymes and vitamins.
Avoiding histamine rich diet is the best preventive step and keep an eye on the medicines you are taking if they are triggering your histamine release.