Excessive Histamine

Could your headaches and migraines be associated to the foods that you are eating? Do you experience a runny or itchy nose after eating certain foods? Perhaps your cheeks flush red after you drink alcohol. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you may have an intolerance to histamine

Histamine is a chemical within the body that is responsible for many major functions including, the process of communicating messages to the brain, assisting the digestion process through the release of stomach acids, and assists immune response after am injury or allergic reaction occurs. When levels of histamine within the body are excessively high, these functions can be implicated.

The Role of Diet:
Levels of Histamine could be high due to the enzyme (DAO) responsible for breaking down this chemical, being prevented by excessive amounts of histamine-rich foods. If the body is unable to break down histamine from foods consumed, it can enter the bloodstream, causing an immune response. 

Below, there is a list of some high and low histamine foods: 

Some High-Histamine Foods:

  • Fermented dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt, sour cream.

  • Sauerkraut

  • Pickles

  • Kombucha

  • Tomatoes

  • Eggplant

  • Vinegar

  • Fermented or cured meats – sausages, salami

  • Spinach

  • Wine, beer, champagne, and other alcoholic drinks

  • Chocolate

  • Avocados

Some Histamine Lowering Foods:

  • Apples

  • Almonds

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Beans

  • Ginger

  • Peas

  • Zucchini

  • Carrots

  • Cauliflower

  • Brussels Sprouts

  • Coconut

  • Chai

  • Blueberries

  • Quinoa

Some symptoms that may suggest an intolerance to histamine are:

  • Headaches/migraines  

  • Sinus and nasal congestion

  • Fatigue

  • Hives

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Irregular menstrual cycles

  • Digestive issues

  • Dizziness

  • Unexplained bloating

Some ways in which you can treat a histamine intolerance include, a change in diet to foods that are low in histamine, 7-8 hours of sleep a night, daily exercise, and relaxation techniques, including breathing exercises and meditation. These strategies will all assist in promoting a healthy lifestyle.

References and Further Reading: