What is histamine Intolerance?


Referred to as ‘histamine intolerance’, the symptoms of histamine spill-over are seemingly random and often debilitating.

This histamine spill-over occurs when the body accumulates histamine faster than it breaks it down creating annoying and often debilitating symptoms. The severity of the symptoms will be based on an individual’s genetics and their current state of health.

There always needs to be a certain amount of histamine in the body but once its done its job is should be quickly degraded by adrenaline and/or two enzyme systems (DAO –diamine oxidase and HMT – Histamine N-methyltransferase).

Managing this condition is complicated by the fact that many foods, drugs and environmental factors contain histamine, block the enzyme systems and/or trigger histamine release.

The treatment really has to be multi-faceted. The easiest way to start is to avoid situations that spike histamine production such as environmental factors. Some situations easier to avoid than others. Heavily scented cleaning products, air fresheners and perfumes are easily avoided ... at least within your own home. However avoiding being outside during pollen season is not as easy.

The next step is to cut back on histamine triggering foods. The most notorious histamine triggering foods are fermented alcohol (beer and wine), some aged cheese and cured meats, cultured food, and vinegar. And each of us that suffers from the condition also likely has two or more common foods that also cause them problems. 

For many people, just cutting back on histamine triggering foods can greatly relieve their symptoms without any other interventions. But if that is not enough to provide you relief you may want to check out the Histamine Intolerance workshop. Or for more personal exploration of your histamine triggers consider a consultation to gain insight into your particular situation and a personalized plan to help you avoid this annoying situation. 

NutritionJeananne Laing