Histamine Intolerance: Could This Be Another Reason Why You Are Sick?
Histamine intolerance is often accompanied by unexplained symptoms such as an itchy tongue and runny nose while eating certain foods such as banana, avocado, or eggplant. Sometimes patients experience a flushed face when drinking red wine, unpredictable menstrual cycles, or unusual headaches & anxiety. Any of these symptoms could be linked to histamine intolerance.
Histamine is a chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter, sending information between your body and your brain. It is also a key player in immune system, central nervous system, as well as your digestive tract. Histamine is found in your stomach acid so it has a role in breaking down food as well.
However histamine is most commonly thought of in relation to the immune system and seasonal and/or food allergies. Histamine causes a sudden and rapid inflammatory response, setting off an alarm within the immune system that invaders are present. As a result, white blood cells are called upon to swiftly identify and eliminate the foreign bodies. It is the quick flood and build up of histamine that can cause symptoms such as headache, itchiness, flushed face, and overall feeling inflamed and uncomfortable.
Histamine works through your bloodstream so high levels that aren’t broken down can potentially harm not only your gut but your lungs, brain, skin, and cardiovascular system. It is for this reason that symptoms can vary from person to person.
Symptoms commonly experienced with histamine intolerance:
Histamine and Eczema
In addition to the symptoms listed above, excess histamine can make some existing conditions worse. Eczema is an example. Eczema is an inflammatory condition in the skin, sometimes called atopic (allergic) dermatitis. When high histamine foods are consumed, people with less than efficient histamine tolerance may experience an increase in the severity of their eczema.
Causes of Histamine Intolerance
Histamine intolerance is caused by the bodies decreased ability to breakdown histamine. The next question is what would interfere with the bodies ability to do this? Over loaded histamine levels are brought on by a number of factors.
Nutritional deficiencies include Iron, Copper, Riboflavin (B2), B12, B6, and vitamin C. Deficiency in these vitamins can block the functioning of the DAO or HNMT gene.
Because the body already produces histamine naturally, histamine levels can quickly rise when the diet includes foods that are high in histamine, that cause the release of more histamine, and enzyme blocking foods that inhibit the break down of histamine.
Foods High in Histamine:
Foods that release Histamine:
9.-Several dyes and preservatives and frequent reheating of foods.
How to Break down Histamine
Enzymes in the central nervous system and digestive tract are responsible for breaking down histamine. The HMT enzyme supports break down in the central nervous system while diamine oxidase (DAO) plays a primary role within the digestive tract. Because DAO is most responsible for breaking down histamine, any deficiency in DAO or the vitamins that active the enzyme need attention.
DAO deficiency can be caused by:
**While it may seem that a histamine blocker would be beneficial, this type of medication ultimately drains the body’s DAO enzyme stores.
Treating Histamine Intolerance
Identifying individual food sensitivities, Eliminating all foods high in histamine for 6-12 weeks or longer depending on circumstances, is the best place to start. It’s also important to uncover why the intolerance is present in the first place; this is where functional medicine can truly make a difference. Perhaps the underlying cause is gut disbiosis, SIBO, gluten intolerance, leaky gut, or a course of medication you’ve been taking. Addressing the root cause of histamine intolerance, shifting the diet, improving gut microbiome, and replenishing DAO levels naturally help get the body back on track.
At the DrHagmeyer.com, we strive to fully understand the needs and concerns of our patients and we will work closely with you to ensure your good health is restored. To help ensure your health is improved, we offer extensive testing and customized treatment programs as well as an overriding dedication to helping you get better. When you consult the doctors at the DrHagmeyer.com, you are selecting healthcare providers that will be committed to meeting your needs and providing you with VIP service. Your health is our passion.
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