Do you suffer from allergic-type reactions but cannot find their cause? If so, you may have a histamine intolerance.

What is Histamine?

To better understand histamine intolerance, we first need to recognize histamine and the role it plays in our bodies. Histamine exists all around us: from the foods we eat, to animals and plants, and in our own tissue. Most of the histamine in the human body is contained in mast cells, a type of white blood cell, which play roles in not only our allergy and anaphylactic systems, but also in protective bodily responses like wound healing. In an allergic response, histamine is released from the tissue mast cells into the bloodstream and causes allergic reaction symptoms such as inflammation.

Histamine Intolerance

Normally, the histamine you consume is broken down in your body through various degradation processes—but when your body can’t break down the histamine, it can result in a variety of unpleasant symptoms. The problem is called histaminosis, or histamine intolerance. Since histamine intolerance can result in a host of allergic reactions, it’s impossible to diagnose based on symptoms alone. Rather, if you experience the symptoms below but continue to test negative for allergies, histamine intolerance might be the answer you’ve been searching for. Symptoms of histamine intolerance vary widely, and are quite inconsistent. Many are what you’d relate to an allergic reaction: sneezing, runny nose, trouble breathing, swelling and irritation, to name a few. But the list doesn’t stop there — histamine intolerance could also manifest through flu-like or even food poisoning symptoms such as heartburn, digestive problems, nausea, or hot flashes. If you have a histamine intolerance, you may experience these symptoms chronically, or after eating certain foods.

Histamine in Foods

Many foods contain histamine, but some have more histamine than others. Eliminating foods with high levels of histamine can help manage and eradicate symptoms of histamine intolerance. It’s also helpful to keep a food journal of everything that you eat—that way, if symptoms arise, you can track them back to your diet and know what triggers you. Foods with a high level of histamine tend to be processed, preserved, or pickled. Things that are fermented, like alcohol or kimchi, are especially high in histamine, as well as foods that are “matured,” like cheese and cured meats. On the other hand, foods low in histamine are fresh and haven’t been processed: fresh meats, fruits, vegetables, and pasteurized milk products tend to be low in histamine (1).

High Histamine Foods:

  • Alcohol
  • Pickled or canned foods – sauerkrauts
  • Matured cheeses
  • Smoked meat products – salami, ham, sausages….
  • Shellfish
  • Beans and pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
  • Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Chocolates and other cocoa based products
  • Vinegar
  • Ready meals
  • Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colourings

Low Histamine Foods:

  • Fresh meat (cooled, frozen or fresh)
  • Freshly caught fish
  • Chicken (skinned and fresh)
  • Egg yolk
  • Fresh fruits – with the exception of strawberries, most fresh fruits are considered to have a low histamine level (also see histamine liberators below)
  • Fresh vegetables – with the exception of tomatoes
  • Grains – rice noodles, yeast free rye bread, rice crisp bread, oats, puffed rice crackers, millet flour, pasta (spelt and corn based)
  • Fresh pasteurised milk and milk products
  • Milk substitutes – coconut milk, rice milk
  • Cream cheese, butter (without the histamine generating rancidity)
  • Most cooking oils – check suitability before use
  • Most leafy herbs – check suitability before use
  • Most non-citric fruit juices
  • Some Herbal teas

Diagnosing Histamine Intolerance

Histamine intolerance, as previously noted, is difficult to diagnose. Some diagnoses happen through process of elimination, or differential diagnosis. In a differential diagnosis, a doctor would first test for allergies and possible food sensitivities such as Celiac disease. If a differential diagnosis does not uncover a certain allergy or sensitivity, then your doctor can begin to directly test for histamine intolerance. Because histamine intolerance is the result of a lack of specific enzymes in your body to metabolize histamine (diamine oxidase), your doctor can test your levels of histamine and diamine oxidase before and after a low-histamine food regimen.

Treating Histamine Intolerance

If you and your doctor have determined that you suffer from a histamine tolerance, have no fear! Histamine intolerance is not permanent, and there are a few simple steps you can take to minimize your symptoms and feel healthy again. The first step you can take is modifying your diet so as to reduce your histamine intake. Eat fresh foods wherever you can, and avoid anything processed, cured, pickled, or fermented. After that, ask your doctor what supplements he or she recommends for treatment: depending on individual factors, they may recommend certain vitamins, antihistamines, or even a diamine oxidase supplement.   Navigating your path through and beyond histamine intolerance is not simple, but there are many resources and directives in place to demystify the condition and make it easy for you to live your life symptom-free.

Fill out the from below or call Tringali Vibrany Health today to book a consultation and get to the bottom or your symptoms today: 561-283-1166.

Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C

Request a Consultation

Fill out the form below or call us at: 561-283-1166 to schedule your consult at Tringali Vibrant Health.

2 + 8 =

20 Reasons to Detox in 2020

20 Reasons to Detox in 2020 There are way more than 20 reasons to detox, but since it's 2020, we'll stick with the theme.  Elizabeth Tringali PA-C discusses how our liver detoxes in length in her article, Liver Detoxing: Why Do It?, but below we have compiled a list...

HOCATT Ozone Sauna: Why it’s the Best

Why is the HOCATT Ozone Sauna Better Than the Rest? According to the manufacturers, the HOCATT was developed for a single purpose: "strategic wellness and vitality." Taking a holistic approach and using a combination of powerful natural modalities, perfectly sequenced...

Liver Detoxing: Why Do it?

Liver Detoxing: Why do it? Liver detoxing is a phrase that sounds redundant. Our liver is part of our body's own natural detox system. It helps to clean the body (along with the skin, lungs, kidneys, and intestines) of the toxins that we are exposed to everyday. So,...

What is Peptide Therapy?

What is Peptide Therapy? Peptide therapy is one of the most exciting new therapies to help treat disease and aging.  It is becoming more and more popular because it is generally considered safe with far-reaching regulatory and rejuvenation actions on the body....

Immune Health Month

November is Immune Health Month!  Just in time for cold and flu season, November is Immune Health Month! Accordingly, I've put together some of my favorite immune health supplements below to keep your immune system running its best. The immune system is your body’s...

DHH-B: A Natural Anxiety Medicine

A Natural Anxiety Medicine that you May Not Know About DHH-B is a natural anxiety medicine that is made from the bark of the magnolia tree. If you haven't heard of magnolia bark, your'e not alone. It's flown just under the radar of natural medicine trends, but it is...

Elizabeth’s Top Four Infrared Sauna Benefits

Four Infrared Sauna BenefitsInfrared saunas are among the best tools to detox your body, reduce pain, lose weight, and more. But, what is an infrared sauna, and what are all of the benefits that you can enjoy from this modality? Well, today we're here to answer these...

Glutathione the Master Antioxidant

Glutathione the Master AntioxidantIf there is one nutrient that is working OVERTIME in your body, it is Glutathione the Master Antioxidant. It is called the master antioxidant because it works hard to detox your body from toxins that we are exposed to everyday. We...

9 Year Old Violet’s Skate to Recovery

PHOTO CREDIT: Duran Photography 9 Year Old Violet's Skate to RecoveryWhen it comes to patient testimonials, we have to admit that 9 year old Violet’s is one of our favorites. With her and her parent’s permission, we are sharing her story to let you all know that...

How HOCATT Ozone Helps Women & Women’s Health

HOCATT Ozone Helps Women & Women's Health Let Me Ask You Something: What would you say if someone told you that you could slow the hands of time AND lose weight, simply by sitting and relaxing for just 30 minutes a day? Well, they say that “if it seems too good to...

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest functional medicine news, specials, and updates from our team.

-Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C

You have Successfully Subscribed!