What are Histamines?
Histamines are chemicals produced during any allergic reaction. During this reaction, some of your white blood cells (mast cells) release histamines during the inflammatory immune response. This is all part of a healthy, balanced immune system.
What is Histamine Intolerance?
Though there are foods that naturally contain or trigger histamine release within the body, a histamine intolerance actually occurs when there's a histamine overload from a deficiency or dysfunction of enzymes that break down histamines. Without these enzymes, the body cannot effectively get rid of the excess histamines.
***NOTE: Histamine intolerance is NOT the same as a food allergy.***
What are the Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine intolerance is rare. Basically, it is an allergic reaction without the allergen. It is considered a pseudoallergy. The symptoms of histamine intolerance and allergic reactions are similar. Symptoms include the following:
- Breathing difficulties
- Nasal congestion or sinus problems
- Brain fog
- Digestive problems
- Racing heart
- Low blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalances
- Low libido
What is the Root Cause of Histamine Intolerance?
The root cause of a histamine intolerance varies from leaky gut to methylation impairments or disorders like mastocytosis (leads to many mast cells). Medications that block diamine oxidase (DAO) function or prevent production are also a cause. For most people, leaky gut is the culprit.
Can Histamine Intolerance be Healed?
If the histamine intolerance is caused by a leaky gut, healing can take place. The first step is to avoid foods that that lead to a leaky gut (i.e., junk food, gluten, sugar, and starchy carbs). Also, healing any nutrient deficiencies is a must. The best diet for healing a leaky gut is the bone broth diet and then the carnivore diet as both are elimination diets. In essence, these are elimination diets as they remove any plant toxins (i.e., lectins, oxalates, etc.).
Are there Supplements that Can Boost Healing?
To relieve histamine intolerance, healing of a leaky gut must take place. Following are some supplements that can help.
Pure Encapsulations® G.I. Integrity: Includes four powerful nutrients to provide optimal support for gut integrity and health, to enhance immune defense with the gastrointestinal tract, and to maintain gut comfort and function.
Pure Encapsulations® Saccharomyces boulardii: As a probiotic yeast, this supplement is designed to nutritionally support the health of the gastrointestinal tract and help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora.
Gaia® Herbs Professional Solutions Oil of Oregano Phyto-Caps: Containing phytochemicals, oil of oregano is a natural antioxidant that supports a healthy microbial environment in the intestines as well as a healthy immune system.
How Long Does it Take to Heal Histamine Intolerance?
Healing time for histamine intolerance depends on a person's body and how bad the histamine issue is. For some, it may take a few weeks or months. Others may need a few years. You can always ask your practitioner to run labs on a regular basis to check your histamine/DAO ratio.
Just remember that histamine intolerance is rare and is NOT the same as a food allergy. Just because a person has a specific food allergy doesn't mean s/he has a histamine intolerance.