What Is Histamine Intolerance?

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Should you’ve already tried a few of the typical diets or had meals sensitivity testing and also you haven’t improved, chances are you’ll need to discover histamine intolerance. It may be the basis reason 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 in all probability heard of antihistamines for allergic reactions. Constructed from the precursor amino acid, histidine, it has many roles within the physique: 

  • 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 allergy symptoms by rising blood circulate to elements of the physique. It’s additionally a neurotransmitter within the mind, relaying messages and regulating the wake-sleep cycle. 

There are 4 kinds 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 isn’t 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 skill 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 sometimes happen anyplace between half-hour to 72 hours after ingesting sure meals. Folks are likely to expertise completely different signs and should expertise them from just one class, a number of classes, or all of them. An official prognosis requires: 

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

The 4 kinds of histamine receptors everywhere in the physique could clarify the variability of signs. Listed here are the widespread 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 so on. 

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 a couple of completely different causes of HIT to discover. 

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

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


HMNT breaks down histamine all through the physique. If in case you have the MTHFR mutation, chances are you’ll wrestle to interrupt down histamine except you complement with a methylated vitamin B. That is vital to observe fastidiously as a result of an excessive amount of vitamin B could also be inflammatory, so that you’ll must work carefully with a health care provider on it and get common bloodwork.

You possibly can dig extra into this analysis I’ve already performed 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 maintain histamine ranges from rising above regular within the bloodstream. Some contemplate 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 exams for copper, zinc, and a copper/zinc ratio. You possibly can by accident overdose on zinc and deplete your copper, which prevents the right 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 should result in histamine intolerance. In case your exams come again regular, or in case 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 Looking for Well being.

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

Why It’s Exhausting to Diagnose HIT

To be able to get a HIT prognosis, your physician should rule out the next: 

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

  • DAO – within the blood plasma 
  • Histamine – within the blood plasma (however you must know that an correct measure requires fast freezing (chilly centrifuged) to be correct, so name the lab beforehand to ask in the event that they do that, however don’t be stunned if they are saying no…. Simply know that the degrees of histamine will not be 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 Package

Ideally, you’ll need to get these exams performed earlier than limiting histamine in your food plan so that you just get an correct image of your well being. 

Easy methods to Do a Low Histamine Food plan

The first therapy for HIT is to cut back your histamine consumption as a lot as doable so your physique can relax. Some practitioners will suggest a short-term low histamine food plan to see if signs scale back, particularly if the affected person lacks the assets to get exams 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 wrestle with mast cell activation syndrome. 

After you have 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 subsequent one. As at all times, I counsel specializing in wholesome meals equivalent to greens and produce which are in season.

From there, discover the precise long-term steadiness 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 checklist incorporates some common traits. There isn’t a consensus amongst sources on which meals are literally excessive in histamine because the means 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 sometimes aged for two weeks except you particularly ask the butcher to not), fish (it sometimes sits on a ship within the fridge for days or perhaps weeks), jerky, and aged cheeses 
  • Floor meats
  • Canned meals – beans, lentils, fish, greens, and fruit
  • Refrigerated meats – any meat that hasn’t been instantly frozen and not too long ago 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

Should you eat one thing and also you assume you react, make a remark 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 Cut back Histamine Ranges in Meals

To be able to be low histamine, you could deal with meals a sure means. Listed here are the principle ones: 

  • Frozen meat – Purchase meat that you recognize they instantly freeze, like ButcherBox and Very important Selection. 
  • Flash thaw – Soak meats in heat water to defrost them shortly. 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.
  • Immediate Pot – Use the strain cooker perform to infuse flavors in meals that you just normally gradual prepare dinner to cut back histamine. 
  • Contemporary produce – Purchase regionally out of your farmer’s market or well being meals retailer once 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 whenever you need to indulge). 
  • Carrots – Search for carrots with recent inexperienced tops, so you recognize they’re recent.
  • Bone broth – Use the Immediate Pot model on this recipe to maintain histamine low. It’s possible you’ll scale back the cooking time to half-hour to nonetheless glean a few of its advantages. 

Different Components That Elevate 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 improve histamine ranges within the physique. The meals that set off this are: 

  • Pineapple
  • Citrus fruits
  • Papaya
  • Cocoa
  • Raw egg white (widespread on mayo) 
  • Olive oil 
  • Sugar – It’s possible you’ll need to keep away from sugar and any sugar substitutes that increase blood sugar (like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and so on.) and persist with stevia and pure monk fruit


Some docs hypothesize that oxalate poisoning can set off an elevated histamine response, so in case you’ve tried a low histamine food plan, chances are you’ll need to speak to your physician about slowly decreasing your oxalate consumption. 


Along with bacterial infections, some probiotic strains could improve histamine ranges. The primary ones are within the Lactobacillus household, so speak to your physician about switching to the urged ones within the subsequent part. 


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

Consuming too Incessantly 

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

Pure Cures for Histamine Intolerance Signs

As soon as an individual has decided that histamines is perhaps the difficulty, they’ll use these instruments to assist handle their signs along with a low histamine food plan.

DAO Enzymes

Should you’re questioning whether or not or not you’ve got sufficient diamine oxidase, chances are you’ll need to speak to your physician about taking Looking for Well being’s Histamine Block. It’s a pork-based DAO enzyme that helps your physique break down histamine in your intestines. They suggest 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 added help, additionally they have Histamine Block Plus. It not solely has DAO but in addition extra vitamins, together with a steadiness of copper and zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B. 


Tributyrate could assist your intestinal lining break down histamine. Hearken to this podcast with Steve Wright on the way it would possibly modulate mast cells and scale back their histamine launch within the intestine lining. 


These probiotic strains could assist break down histamine: 

  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus  
  • Bacillus household 

Whereas 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 allergy symptoms. 

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

Natural Antihistamines 

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

The perfect 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 one of the best of standard drugs. Even holistic practitioners will counsel OTC antihistamines to assist alleviate extreme signs in the course of the elimination part and as a bandaid in the course of the reintroduction part. They work on the H1 receptors. Nonetheless, attempt to restrict them to short-term use as many warn towards long-term unintended effects. If myself or a cherished one ever obtained so far, I’d attempt a 2nd technology antihistamine like Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin.

Extra Sources

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 mould 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 Function 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 Assessment. Vitamins, 13(7), 2228. 
  5. Farzam, Ok., Sabir, S., & O’Rourke , M. C. (2021). Antihistamines. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

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