Histamine Intolerance – Find Out What It Is!
Eating fermented foods, beans, spinach and other healthy stuff is great for your health, right? However, it is not so for some people because of an intolerance called histamine intolerance. If you suffer from it, most healthy foods will make you feel worse. It is regarded to be the underlying cause of inflammation and chronic symptoms seen in patients.
Histamine Intolerance – What is it?
Chemicals that are produced during an allergic reaction are called histamines. When an allergen trigger the immune system, a kind of white blood cells called mast cells tend to release histamines. This happens in a healthy and balanced immune system.
However, there also exist foods that naturally have histamine or trigger its release in the body. The actual problem occurs when there is a histamine overload due to a dysfunction or deficiency of the enzymes that are known to break down histamine. In the absence of these hormones the body cannot get rid of excess histamine and its overflow can cause a lot of problems. This is called histamine intolerance.
Symptoms of histamine intolerance
Histamine intolerance is called psuedoallergy sometimes as it is basically an allergic reaction that occurs without the allergen. The typical symptoms are rashes, breathing trouble and a runny nose.
The other symptoms seen in patients with histamine intolerance are:
- Digestive problems
- Brain fog
- Racing heart
- Hormone imbalances
- Low blood pressure
- Low sex drive
What foods should you avoid?
Those who suffer from histamine intolerance should avoid the following high-histamine foods
- Alcohol (That includes wine)
- Canned foods
- Bone broth
- Fermented foods (yogurt, kefir and the like)
- Processed foods
- Smoked meat products
- Legumes (chickpeas, soyabeans, peanuts)
Foods that release histamine
There are foods that are low in histamines but are capable of triggering the release of the compound and create a problem for those who have histamine intolerance.
The foods are:
- Citrus fruits
Moreover, there are foods that block the enzyme that break down histamine. They are energy drinks, alcohol, green tea, black tea and yerba mate tea.
What should you do when you have histamine intolerance?
If you have the above mentioned symptoms or the foods above make you feel uncomfortable then you have to take a few important steps.
1) Find out if you have an intolerance
First visit the doctor to get yourself tested for histamine intolerance if you have any of the symptoms above. The doctor will then further investigate why you have it.
2) Elimination diet
An elimination diet is the best for finding out about foods that trigger inflammation. Learn more about an elimination diet here.
Low histamine foods are:
- Coconut milk
- Egg yolk
- Fresh organic meat
- Fresh vegetables (leaving out eggplants, tomatoes, and spinach)
- Gluten-free grains (rice and corn)
- Herbal teas
- Non-citrus fresh fruits
- Rice milk
Focus on consuming fresh foods as far as possible.
3) Heal your gut
It is not always the food that results in histamine overload. Even gut bacterial imbalances can be the reason. In these cases probiotics can be helpful. However, please consult your doctor.
4) Get rid of excess histamines with food
It is recommended that you increase intake of foods rich in vitamin B6, vitamin C and copper. For vitamin B6 eat chicken, potatoes. For copper eat asparagus and liver and for vitamin C eat fruits and veggies.
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