Do you experience headaches after drinking alcohol (usually wine), eating chocolate, or cheese? Do you tend to sweat excessively at night, suffer from hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) or excessive, long-lasting reactions following mosquito bites (swelling/itching)? Do you experience motion sickness or sea sickness? If you’re female, do you experience abdominal cramping prior or during menstruation? If you answered “Yes” to most of these questions, you may have a Histamine Intolerance.
Histamine intolerance is a relatively common condition. Symptoms are usually similar to that of an allergy so they can be misdiagnosed or left untreated. Symptoms may include: irregular or rapid heart beat, bloated or cramping stomach, headaches or migraines, skin disorders such as psoriasis or eczema, asthma or breathing problems, and even anaphalaxis.
Histamine is indispensable for the human body since it fulfils vital functions. For example, it helps to regulate the function of the gut and to dilate blood vessels when irritation is present. It is both produced in the body and taken in with food in various quantities.
A histamine intolerance occurs when the enzyme Diamine Oxidase (DAO) is inhibited or deficient, and has trouble breaking down the histamine in foods. The DAO enzyme is responsible for the break down of histamine in the body, ensuring excess histamine is flushed – without it your body builds up an unhealthy amount of histamine, which can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms after consuming foods that are high in histamine.
High Histamine Foods can include:
- Some fish such as: Tuna, Sardines, Mackerel and Herring
- Some cheeses such as: Emmental cheese, Parmesan, Gouda and Gorgonzola
- Some vegetables such as: Spinach, Eggplant and Avocados
- Processed meats such as: Salami, Ham, Sausages and cold cuts
- Wine (in particular red wine), Sparkling wine, Champagne, Dessert wines
- Beer (in particular wheat beer)
- Balsamic vinegar
Many have benefited from eating a low histamine diet. Others have done well with medications. I prefer staying away from medications as medications can cause more stomach problems and deficiencies. If you can continue healing the gut area and get to the root of the problem, I believe you can heal. In the meantime, if these foods are a problem, stay away from them until you can find the answers you need.
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