Do You Have a Histamine Intolerance?
Did you know that histamine can show up in multiple ways?
It can appear as gut inflammation, brain inflammation, anxiety, hives or even sneezing on the inside (as I like to call it), which is an inflammatory response with multiple vectors of expression. Whichever the case, histamine can be a key factor to many reactions... and not all of them are so obvious.
You’ve probably heard of antihistamines. But what is histamine?
They’re chemicals your immune system makes to fight off a perceived invader. However, over-secretion is where the intended rebalance goes sideways. Therefore being mindful of what you consume and eating the right foods is most important.
Foods such as avocados, bananas, certain nuts, mushrooms and fermented or sprouted foods are high in histamine and could be making your symptoms worse!
In fact, during the pandemic, our practice has seen a massive, exacerbated histamine response.
Signs of a histamine intolerance include:
- Rash/urticaria (hives)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Low blood pressure
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Swelling of faces/hands/lips
- Itchy skin
- PMS headaches
Clinical studies have recently shown that COVID-19 may influence the body’s inflammatory response and as a result, trigger the release of cytokines. Cytokines are small proteins important for signaling inflammation in the body.
Histamine has a sneaky way of disguising itself, as it can also show up as flushing, anxiety or skin irritations. Histamine is not just about hives and allergies, but also acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter that modulates the release of other neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.
In our practice, we have found the supplement, Diamine Oxidase (DAO) to be helpful in combating histamine intolerance during the pandemic. This is because DAO is an enzyme naturally found in the body that helps to break down excess histamine.
If this is something that affects you, let’s remember to:
- Manage stress and anxiety by finding ways to relax and ease your mind, body and spirit.
- Stick to a low-histamine diet that avoids avocados, figs, dried fruits and cured meats.
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