Often confused with food allergies, it gives very similar symptoms, although other mechanisms are causing.
What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine intolerance is a rarely diagnosed ailment despite the fact that a large number of people suffer from it. The most vulnerable group are women between 35 and 55 years of age. Most often, such people are diagnosed for tachycardia or food allergies, where the cause lies elsewhere.
What is food intolerance?
In practice, food intolerance means the lack of an enzyme that breaks down a given substance. There are the following types of food intolerances.
- Lactose intolerance, i.e. the lack or insufficient amount of lactose degrading enzyme found in dairy products.
- Fructose intolerance, which is mainly found in fruit.
- intolerance, Histamine intolerance, a substance found in many food products, as well as produced by our body and bacteria in our intestines.
What is histamine?
It is a biogenic amine in the human body responsible for managing H1, H2, H3 and H4 prescriptions, i.e. many processes in our body. It is also the main element of inflammatory reactions, also those associated with allergies (IgE antibodies). In the human body, it occurs in the gastric mucosa, muscles, lungs, mast cells. Some fruits and vegetables like avocados, spinach, tomatoes and strawberries naturally contain histamine. Others become strongly histamine in connection with the ripening process, i.e. blue cheese, cabbage and pickled cucumbers, wine. A full list of products containing significant amounts of histamine can be found at the end of the article.
What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine, when introduced into the body in the form of food, should be broken down by the enzyme diamine oxidase. Unfortunately, due to both genetic predisposition and various intestinal diseases such as celiac disease, diamine oxidase may not be produced, or insufficient amount may be produced, which causes accumulation of histamine in the body, causing many ailments.
What are the symptoms of histamine intolerance?
Due to the fact that histamine controls four histamine receptors and is an extremely pro-inflammatory amine, ailments that may occur are:
- redness of the face and cleavage,
- red, itchy spots or hives on the skin,
- itchy skin,
- feeling nervous, anxiety after a meal,
- acceleration of action heart, arrhythmia, tachycardia,
- headache and migraine,
- runny nose,
- balance disorder,
- smooth muscle
- spasm, bronchospasm,
- vasodilatation and increased permeability,
- increased gastric secretion,
- mood change by affecting neurotransmitters i.e. dopamine, serotonin etc.
- frequent ear inflammation,
- heavy and painful periods,
These symptoms may appear simultaneously or individually. Most often, the first symptoms of histamine intolerance are facial flushing and an increased heart rate after a meal containing large amounts of histamine. Over time, if high histamine food is still consumed, the reactions may become stronger and involve various body systems and parts.
The above list shows that many processes depend on the amount of histamine in our body. It is necessary in the body to maintain a circadian rhythm, regulate the level of stomach acid, intestinal peristaltic movements, heart rhythm and many others. However, too much of it causes a lot of ailments, and as a consequence, it can lead to diseases in the long run, i.e. erosions in the gastric and duodenal mucosa, it can be one of the causes of irritable bowel, etc. Undiagnosed histamine intolerance increases the permeability of the small intestine, which in the long run can lead to many food allergies and hypersensitivity to salicylates. A large amount of histamine circulating around the body can create inflammation, as a consequence, the body often begins to suffer from autoimmune diseases. Then the immune system is overloaded, and resistance to external threats such as bacteria, viruses, fungi is much smaller.
Why eating chocolate before the period can be harmful?
It is widely believed that chocolate contains a lot of magnesium, and therefore eating it before the period should relieve abdominal cramps. Unfortunately, the reality is just the opposite. Cocoa contained in chocolate additionally blocks the diamine oxidase enzyme, consequently increasing the amount of histamine in the body, and at the same time the length and severity of uterine contractions as well as the intensity of bleeding. Having histamine intolerance, eating almonds is also inadvisable, which is why the easiest solution is to start supplementing magnesium malate one week before the period.
How do you diagnose histamine intolerance?
The first thing to do is to monitor your well-being after eating high-histamine products, such as wine or blue cheese. If there are indications for suspected histamine intolerance, tests for blood levels should be done diamine oxidase.
How to treat histamine intolerance?
The main method to prevent histamine intolerance is histamine low-diet, consisting not only of low-histamine products but it is also important when the meal was prepared. The longer the interval between food preparation and consumption, the more histamine will be produced. The amount of protein consumed is also important because histamine also arises from the histidine present in the protein. So eating a large amount of protein, even low histamine, can cause a histamine reaction. There is a possibility of incidental ingestion of the enzyme diamine oxidase in capsules, but it is not recommended for daily practice.
It is necessary to take care of the condition of the intestines, first of all, diet, rest, plenty of water. Take care of reducing stress, its level also has an impact on histamine levels. You can additionally help by taking sodium butyrate, low histamine probiotics (be careful when choosing because many strains of bacteria produce additional histamine), magnesium. If you think there are any abnormalities in your body when it comes to enzymes or neurotransmitters, it’s worth doing DNA tests to check your metabolism for epigenetic reasons. For details, write to us.
High-histamine products and those that cause the release of histamine from mast cells: Blue
cheese, wine, alcohol, sauerkraut, pickled cucumbers, salmon, tuna, herring, mushrooms, everything in the can, tomatoes and preserves, marinated products, strawberries, bananas, citrus fruits, eggplant, avocado, spinach, very ripe fruit, ripening ham, pork, nuts, dried fruit, candied fruit, pepper, pumpkin, chocolate (cocoa reduces diamine oxidase secretion), pineapple, papaya, raspberries, kiwi, stale, reheated food, soy sauce, pods, seafood, smoked fish, vinegar except spirits, mackerel, salami, tofu, spices i.e. cinnamon, anise, cloves, nutmeg, curry.
For example, the average low histamine vegetable is around 20 mg/kg histamine compared to over 1100 mg/kg canned tuna.
Health begins in the intestines, and therefore on your plate, so it depends on your choices.