What Is Histamine Intolerance?

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For those who’ve already tried a few of the typical diets or had meals sensitivity testing and also you haven’t improved, you could need to discover histamine intolerance. It may be the basis explanation for tough well being issues like migraines, pores and skin irritation, and digestive upset.

Histamine intolerance signs can mimic different situations, so it’s essential to rule out different well being points earlier than making an attempt a low histamine food plan. A low histamine food plan isn’t the very first thing you need to attempt to optimize your well being. 

What Is Histamine? 

Everybody has histamine of their our bodies. You’ve most likely heard of antihistamines for allergic reactions. Constructed from the precursor amino acid, histidine, it has many roles within the physique: 

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  • Contracts easy muscle tissues (like for respiration) 
  • Dilates blood vessels 
  • Influences blood strain 
  • Stimulates gastric juices 
  • Concerned in immunomodulation 

Histamine additionally helps the physique heal from accidents and allergic reactions by growing blood movement to components of the physique. It’s additionally a neurotransmitter within the mind, relaying messages and regulating the wake-sleep cycle. 

There are 4 forms of histamine receptors in our our bodies: 

  • H1 are in every single place within the physique 
  • H2 – are primarily within the gastrointestinal tract (abdomen, duodenum, and small gut)
  • H3 – are within the nervous system 
  • H4 – are current in a small quantity in sure tissues, just like the pores and skin, tonsils, and spleen

What Is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance (HIT) is when an individual can’t correctly metabolize and degrade histamine of their digestive tract and in the remainder of the physique. It’s not an allergy or meals intolerance however extra like a build-up or a bucket overflowing that causes signs. 

Some hypothesize that the overuse of antibiotics has handicapped our microbiome and its capability to interrupt down histamine. You’ll see that HIT is linked to different situations, and we’re nonetheless studying precisely how.

Signs of Histamine Intolerance

The signs of histamine intolerance usually happen anyplace between half-hour to 72 hours after ingesting sure meals. Folks are likely to expertise totally different signs and will expertise them from just one class, a number of classes, or all of them. An official analysis requires: 

  • an enchancment or remission of signs with a low histamine food plan
  • at the least one optimistic lab or genetic marker 
  • two or extra signs as soon as your physician guidelines out different situations (see signs beneath) 

The 4 forms of histamine receptors all around the physique might clarify the variability of signs. Listed below are the frequent HIT signs by physique system: 

Pores and skin

  • Redness and flushing
  • Rash
  • Urticaria (hives)
  • Pruritus (itchy pores and skin) 
  • Edema 

Digestive tract


  • Hypotension (low blood strain) 
  • Dizziness 



  • Painful intervals 
  • PMS signs like cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, and many others. 

Histamine could also be a part of the cascade that creates uterus contractions throughout your interval and it’s doable that HIT could also be a big participant in hormonal migraines.

HIT Causes 

How does an individual get to the purpose that their physique can now not metabolize histamine? There are just a few totally different causes of HIT to discover. 

First, it’s important to rule out prescription drugs. Sure medicine could cause histamine intolerance by inflicting diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, so test along with your pharmacist about that potential interplay. 

Histamine has two essential enzyme pathways within the physique: histamine-N-methyltransferase (HNMT) and DAO. Genetic mutations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of amino acids could cause each of those to perform abnormally. The following sections are just a little dense but it surely’s important to grasp in the event you’re fighting this. 


HMNT breaks down histamine all through the physique. When you’ve got the MTHFR mutation, you could battle to interrupt down histamine except you complement with a methylated vitamin B. That is necessary to observe rigorously as a result of an excessive amount of vitamin B could also be inflammatory, so that you’ll have to work carefully with a physician on it and get common bloodwork.

You may dig extra into this analysis I’ve already carried out on MTHFR: 


The DAO enzyme primarily breaks down histamine within the intestines, kidneys, and colon, protecting it from leaking into the bloodstream. Regular DAO ranges hold histamine ranges from rising above regular within the bloodstream. Some take into account DAO exercise like a bouncer within the mucosal lining of your digestive tract, protecting an excessive amount of histamine from crossing. 

We do know that the physique wants copper to make DAO. A typical first step is to do blood assessments for copper, zinc, and a copper/zinc ratio. You may by accident overdose on zinc and deplete your copper, which prevents the correct breakdown of histamine. For some, merely including a copper complement can scale back their HIT signs. 

Researchers have recognized over 50 SNPs in DAO genes that alter its exercise and will result in histamine intolerance. In case your assessments come again regular, or in the event you complement with copper and it doesn’t alleviate any of your signs, speak to your physician about taking a DAO enzyme like this one by In search of Well being.

Curiously, the placenta produces excessive quantities of DAO, which can result in some girls discovering aid throughout being pregnant. This doesn’t occur for everybody with HIT although. 

Why It’s Laborious to Diagnose HIT

In an effort to get a HIT analysis, your physician should rule out the next: 

As soon as all of these have been dominated out, some medical doctors will attempt to measure: 

  • DAO – within the blood plasma 
  • Histamine – within the blood plasma (however you must know that an correct measure requires speedy freezing (chilly centrifuged) to be correct, so name the lab beforehand to ask in the event that they do that, however don’t be shocked if they are saying no…. Simply know that the degrees of histamine is probably not correct.) 
  • Urinary-N-Methyl Histamine – to rule out mast cell activation issues and mastocytosis 
  • Vitamin B12 & B9 – to rule out MTHFR and HMNT points
  • Copper and zinc – to make sure the physique can adequately make DAO 
  • Genetic SNPs – like DAO and HNMT with a check just like the StrateGene DNA Equipment

Ideally, you’ll need to get these assessments carried out earlier than limiting histamine in your food plan so that you simply get an correct image of your well being. 

Find out how to Do a Low Histamine Weight-reduction plan

The first remedy for HIT is to cut back your histamine consumption as a lot as doable so your physique can settle down. Some practitioners will advocate a short-term low histamine food plan to see if signs scale back, particularly if the affected person lacks the assets to get assessments or can’t entry them. (It’s not possible to do a very histamine-free food plan.) 

It’s normally a good suggestion to observe a low histamine elimination food plan for 4-8 weeks to see if it lowers your signs. Some will proceed to remain on the primary part for six months if additionally they battle with mast cell activation syndrome. 

After getting accomplished your elimination food plan, you can begin a check part. Reintroduce meals into your food plan and see the way you react for 3-4 days earlier than introducing the following one. As at all times, I counsel specializing in wholesome meals equivalent to greens and produce which are in season.

From there, discover the proper long-term stability for you. It’s greatest to not keep low histamine for too lengthy as a result of histamine is required for sure organic capabilities equivalent to daytime waking, regular therapeutic cycles, and abdomen acid manufacturing.

Excessive Histamine Meals

This record incorporates some normal developments. There isn’t a consensus amongst sources on which meals are literally excessive in histamine because the approach meals are grown, saved, and transported can extremely have an effect on the quantity of histamine.

The well-known histamine-rich meals are: 

  • Fermented meals – sauerkraut, alcohol, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, and vanilla extract
  • Aged meats and dairy – beef (it’s usually aged for two weeks except you particularly ask the butcher to not), fish (it usually sits on a ship within the fridge for days or perhaps weeks), jerky, and aged cheeses 
  • Floor meats
  • Canned mealsbeans, lentils, fish, greens, and fruit
  • Refrigerated meats – any meat that hasn’t been instantly frozen and just lately thawed 
  • Gradual-cooked meals bone broth, chili, and different crockpot meals  
  • Nuts – peanuts, walnuts, and cashews 
  • Avocado 
  • Strawberry
  • Spinach 
  • Chocolate 
  • Tomato 
  • Eggplant 
  • Banana
  • Mushroom
  • Synthetic dyes and colours
  • Synthetic sweeteners

For those who eat one thing and also you suppose you react, make an observation of it. You might have considered trying to perform a little research to see if some sources counsel it might have extra histamine than you realized. 

Methods to Scale back Histamine Ranges in Meals

In an effort to be low histamine, you should deal with meals a sure approach. Listed below are the principle ones: 

  • Frozen meat – Purchase meat that you realize they instantly freeze, like ButcherBox and Very important Selection
  • Flash thaw – Soak meats in heat water to defrost them rapidly. This works greatest for thinner cuts like salmon filets. 
  • Freeze leftovers – Instantly place them within the freezer in glass containers (not plastic) in order that histamine-releasing micro organism can’t develop.
  • Prompt Pot – Use the strain cooker perform to infuse flavors in meals that you simply normally gradual prepare dinner to cut back histamine. 
  • Contemporary produce – Purchase domestically out of your farmer’s market or well being meals retailer after they’re in season. 
  • Frozen produce – For meals that you would be able to’t guarantee how they’ve been dealt with, purchase them frozen to cut back histamine. 

Different ideas: 

  • Tomatoes  – Purchase small tomatoes like cherry or grape as these have much less histamine than the bigger ones (just for later phases or if you need to indulge). 
  • Carrots – Search for carrots with recent inexperienced tops, so you realize they’re recent.
  • Bone broth – Use the Prompt Pot model on this recipe to maintain histamine low. Chances are you’ll scale back the cooking time to half-hour to nonetheless glean a few of its advantages. 

Different Components That Increase Histamine Ranges within the Physique

There are different influences on histamine you must know which are each meals and lifestyle-related. 

Histamine Liberators

Some meals have amines that will enhance histamine ranges within the physique. The meals that set off this are: 

  • Pineapple
  • Citrus fruits
  • Papaya
  • Cocoa
  • Raw egg white (frequent on mayo) 
  • Olive oil 
  • Sugar – Chances are you’ll need to keep away from sugar and any sugar substitutes that increase blood sugar (like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and many others.) and follow stevia and pure monk fruit


Some medical doctors hypothesize that oxalate poisoning can set off an elevated histamine response, so in the event you’ve tried a low histamine food plan, you could need to speak to your physician about slowly lowering your oxalate consumption. 


Along with bacterial infections, some probiotic strains might enhance histamine ranges. The principle ones are within the Lactobacillus household, so speak to your physician about switching to the advised ones within the subsequent part. 


Stress raises cortisol and histamine ranges within the physique. Comply with these ideas to assist scale back stress naturally

Consuming too Incessantly 

Each time you eat, your physique expresses histamine. For those who can, intermittent quick to cut back your consuming window to 12 hours or much less. It will assist scale back your physique’s histamine burden. 

Pure Cures for Histamine Intolerance Signs

As soon as an individual has decided that histamines may be the problem, they will use these instruments to assist handle their signs along with a low histamine food plan.

DAO Enzymes

For those who’re questioning whether or not or not you have got sufficient diamine oxidase, you could need to speak to your physician about taking In search of Well being’s Histamine Block. It’s a pork-based DAO enzyme that helps your physique break down histamine in your intestines. They advocate taking it about quarter-hour earlier than consuming any histamine-rich meals. Some take it throughout their elimination part to assist them break down any extra histamine of their techniques. 

For extra assist, additionally they have Histamine Block Plus. It not solely has DAO but in addition extra vitamins, together with a stability of copper and zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B. 


Tributyrate might assist your intestinal lining break down histamine. Take heed to this podcast with Steve Wright on the way it may modulate mast cells and scale back their histamine launch within the intestine lining. 


These probiotic strains might assist break down histamine: 

  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus  
  • Bacillus household 

Whereas I normally advocate these probiotics, the strains in ProBiota HistaminX particularly work to degrade histamine build-up within the gastrointestinal tract. 

Homeopathic Antihistamines 

We’ve used Genexa’s Allergy Care, and it might assist with signs of histamine intolerance, particularly ones that mimic seasonal allergic reactions. 

Don’t take any type of antihistamines in case you are pregnant or nursing because it reduces milk provide and might intrude with hormones.

Natural Antihistamines 

Earlier than taking an OTC antihistamine, begin with pure ones. The principle components you need to see are: 

The very best product I’ve discovered with many of those included is HistaminX.

OTC Antihistamines 

When pure treatments aren’t sufficient, there’s no disgrace in utilizing the most effective of standard drugs. Even holistic practitioners will counsel OTC antihistamines to assist alleviate extreme signs throughout the elimination part and as a bandaid throughout the reintroduction part. They work on the H1 receptors. Nevertheless, attempt to restrict them to short-term use as many warn towards long-term unwanted side effects. If myself or a cherished one ever acquired thus far, I’d strive a 2nd technology antihistamine like Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin.

Extra Assets

This text was scientifically reviewed by Beth O’Hara, FN. She is a practical naturopath who makes a speciality of histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome, and mildew toxicity. Discover her work at mastcell360.com

Have you ever tried a low histamine food plan? Did it assist alleviate any of your histamine intolerance signs?


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  2. Comas-Basté, O., et al. (2020). Histamine Intolerance: The Present State of the Artwork. Biomolecules, 10(8), 1181. 
  3. Thangam, E. B., et al. (2018). The Position of Histamine and Histamine Receptors in Mast Cell-Mediated Allergy and Irritation: The Hunt for New Therapeutic Targets. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1873. 
  4. Hrubisko, M., et al. (2021). Histamine Intolerance-The Extra We Know the Much less We Know. A Overview. Vitamins, 13(7), 2228. 
  5. Farzam, Ok., Sabir, S., & O’Rourke , M. C. (2021). Antihistamines. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.



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