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Histamine Intolerance

Why do I get so tired so suddenly?

Why do I have a sudden influx of drainage?

Why am I suffering from skin rashes?

The answer might be Histamine Intolerance NOT allergies

Histamine intolerance is difficult to diagnose and often gets misdiagnosed. Symptoms of histamine intolerance can range from skin conditions, bloody noses, headaches, to joint paint, irritability, insomnia, and fatigue. If you also suffer from other conditions, such as an autoimmune disease, a histamine flare can trigger other flare ups, leaving your body feeling worn out and in agony.

A histamine dump (when your body becomes flooded with histamine) means our body is unable to metabolize the histamine with the DAO enzyme. Histamine will steadily build in our system until it reaches a point when our body cannot suppress the symptoms any longer. This dump can leave us feeling as though we have been hit by a semi-truck.

Histamine intolerance is not an allergy. It does not mean that we are sensitive to histamines but rather we are unable to process them out of our body properly (Campbell 15). An allergy can exacerbate the intolerance symptoms, but in no way is an allergy the reason for the intolerance.

Histamine travels through the bloodstream so it has direct access to every part of the body the blood supplies. Therefore, a histamine build up can effect all parts of the body. There are a number of things that can trigger a histamine dump. Certain foods have higher levels of histamine, such as avocado and spinach, which is why eating these foods can lead you to feeling overly exhausted after the meal. Exercise can cause a histamine dump, which is why after strenuous work-outs some people might feel overly tired, their joints ache, they may get headaches, making it difficult to find the motivation to exercise.

Once the diagnosis of histamine intolerance is established, the second battle is discovering the cause of the HI. Histamine intolerance is still a conundrum for doctors in that there is not one cause for the syndrome. Often HI develops from another condition. Leaky Gut and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome being two possibilities. Autoimmune diseases can exacerbate HI and vice versa. Gluten intolerance has been linked to HI because gluten is inflammatory, but gluten can also cause Leaky Gut due to the release of zonulin that opens junctions in the gut, creating holes for toxins to leak through (Campbell 29). Leaky Gut is probably one of the most prominent causes in our society because of our reliability on antibiotics and NSAIDS (ibuprofen and aspirin) because both inhibit the substances necessary in rebuilding our gut lining (Campbell 33). Anxiety and stress can increase your chance of developing HI. Anything that causes inflammation in the body can trigger HI.

The good news is there are ways to combat the discomfort. Eating low-histamine foods, for one, for another finding the possible source of HI. If it is Leaky Gut or MCAs there are natural remedies to heal the gut or detox the body from toxins.

You do not have to be resigned to living with the pain. Make an appointment with your local Naturopath to find a solution to your illness and start your path back to wellness.

Below is a list of possible symptoms HI can cause:

  • Headaches/migraines

  • congestion/runny nose

  • diarrhea

  • low blood pressure

  • hives

  • asthma attacks

  • eczema/psoriasis

  • crawling sensation on skin or scalp

  • hypertension

  • vertigo

  • fatigue

  • flushing

  • abnormal menstrual cycle

  • tachycardia

  • anxiety

  • heart palpatations

  • insomnia

  • irritability

  • difficulty regulating body temperature

  • nausea or vomiting

  • bloating

  • tightness in the throat

Campbell, Becky. The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan: Getting to the Root of Migraines, Eczema, Vertigo, Allergies, and More. Page Street Publishing Co. Salem, MA. 2019

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