Histamine Intolerance: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment
Doctors give most people with on-going gastrointestinal or skin issues a pill or cream. They then send patients on their way. This is instead of giving them a diagnostic test. Diagnostic testing is the only way to determine high histamine levels in the blood or urine that can point to this condition.
Why Do People Get Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine intolerance is when the body creates too much histamine or cannot properly break down histamine. Histamine is a chemical the body produces naturally. It involves various processes, such as digestion, immune response, and neurotransmission. When the body produces too much histamine or cannot break it down properly, it can lead to symptoms ranging from mild to severe.
Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
The symptoms of histamine intolerance can vary widely. Many people may not even be aware that they are suffering from this condition. Shortly after eating histamine-rich foods, symptoms occur. Histamine-rich foods include aged cheeses, fermented foods, and alcoholic beverages, or they can be triggered by other factors such as stress, medications, or environmental allergens. Some of the common symptoms of histamine intolerance include:
- Headaches and migraines
- Skin rashes and itching
- Digestive issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating
- Anxiety and depression
- Fatigue and weakness
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Low blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you must speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if histamine intolerance or DAO deficiency may be the underlying cause. Don’t be surprised if your doctor says you have been spending too long on the internet. Keep looking until you find a provider that will help you.
Diagnosing Histamine Intolerance
Diagnosing histamine intolerance can be challenging because there is no single specific test for it. However, a healthcare provider may diagnose histamine intolerance based on a combination of symptoms and a thorough medical history combined with a consistently high histamine level in the blood or urine. A healthcare provider may also recommend a low-histamine diet or a food diary to help identify trigger foods. In addition to modifying your diet, several supplements can help to increase DAO levels and reduce histamine intolerance symptoms.
Supplements and Herbs for Histamine Intolerance
Several herbal supplements may help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance. These include quercetin, stinging nettle, and butterbur. Quercetin is a plant flavonoid that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Stinging nettle has been used for centuries to treat allergies and inflammation. Butterbur is a plant that has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Some of the most commonly used supplements for DAO deficiency include vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, and zinc.
DAO for Histamine Intolerance
Low DAO levels may cause histamine intolerance. DAO deficiency can occur due to various factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle. Some people may have a genetic tendency to low DAO levels. Others may experience DAO deficiency due to poor dietary habits, such as eating foods that are high in histamine.
Fortunately, there are several ways to address histamine intolerance and low DAO levels. One of the most effective ways to manage histamine intolerance is by reducing your intake of histamine-rich foods. Some foods high in histamine include fermented foods, aged cheeses, cured meats, and alcohol.
Dietary Changes for Histamine Intolerance
In addition to herbal supplements, dietary changes may also help reduce the symptoms of histamine intolerance. The Plant Paradox Diet, developed by Dr. Steven Gundry, is a dietary approach that emphasizes the consumption of foods that are low in lectins. Lectins are proteins found in many foods that can cause inflammation and other health problems.
The Plant Paradox Diet focuses on consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats while avoiding or limiting certain foods that are high in lectins, such as grains, legumes, nightshade vegetables, and dairy products. The diet also emphasizes the consumption of fermented foods that are low in histamine, such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
Histamine intolerance is a condition that can cause a variety of symptoms and can be challenging to diagnose. Few healthcare providers know it, so you often have to educate them about it. Meanwhile, dietary and herbal interventions such as the Plant Paradox Diet and supplements such as quercetin, stinging nettle, and butterbur, make it possible to manage the symptoms of histamine intolerance and improve overall health and well-being.
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- Histamine Intolerance: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment