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  • Writer's pictureSara Aloimonos

Is Histamine Just about Allergy Season?

When one thinks of histamine, they think of allergy season. Red, itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing come to mind and are quickly remedied with an anti-histamine. All fixed, right? Well, yes but, did you find out WHY this is happening in the first place? Getting to the root cause of your symptoms not only relieves you of these annoying reactions but also, allows you to manipulate your diet in an effort to overcome histamine intolerance, clean up your gut (and histamine issues often begin within the gut), and avoid further strain/stress on your body.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter involved in the nervous system, central nervous system and aids in proper digestion. The role of histamine is to cause an immediate inflammatory response. When a person has an infection or problem within the body, histamine causes your blood vessels to dilate allowing white blood cells to quickly and efficiently attack said infection.

Normally, enzymes within the body called DAO (diamine oxidase) break down the histamine in the gut, so it doesn’t build up and create what’s known as ‘histamine intolerance.’ However, here may be things standing in your way of properly breaking down histamine, which we will discuss further on. Histamine affects your gut, skin, brain, cardiovascular system, and lungs. Interestingly, stress alone can bring on histamine symptoms such as rashes and flushing. Basically, histamine intolerance means, there’s an imbalance between your histamine intake and its metabolism.

What causes high histamine levels? 🔔Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) 🔔Leaky gut 🔔DAO deficiency (If you have any issues with methylation, your body won’t be able to properly break down histamines in the body) 🔔Medications that block DAO and HNMT (enzymes which break down histamine within the body) 🔔Histamine rich foods (many of these foods are healthy yet cause unbearable symptoms: tomatoes, spinach, peanuts, alcohol, soy milk, energy drinks, walnuts, fermented foods (think of the vinegar flush), chocolate, cheese, bone broth, citrus, strawberries…some of these also liberate histamine within the body) 🔔Gluten intolerance (every single person reacts to gluten to some degree) 🔔Allergies (IgE reactions often linked back to leaky gut)

Not only are there so many foods that block the production of DAO, there are also foods containing histamine liberators which trigger mast cells to release histamine into the body.

Symptoms are the only way your body has to communicate an imbalance to you. Pay attention! It is s so important to get to the root of why you are experiencing these symptoms in the first place. Why live is discomfort and rely on medication to get you thru the day? Why not dig deep…dredge up where these symptoms are stemming from and fix them properly?

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