The thing is, when your body is already full of stress, poor hormones, poor eating, not enough sleep, heavy metals, candida or bacterial overgrowth, you’re not able to eliminate histamines from your body in the proper way.
Histamines are not all bad, they’re chemical messengers! So, they are good until we have too many. Like anything in life, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing.
With histamine intolerance, it is basically a mast cell activation which begins to make us more inflamed and run-down.
In my practice I see it play out all the time. Approximately 1 in 4 people have histamine issues.
The majority don’t even know they have it and that is when I ask them to remove the foods high in histamines and track their symptoms. If their symptoms improve then we already know they have histamine-based issues.
However, it doesn’t stop there right? That would just be addressing the symptom and not actually looking as to why they have the histamine issue in the first place and as you probably know by now, that’s not how I operate. Let’s figure out the WHY.
DO YOU HAVE HISTAMINE-BASED SYMPTOMS?
- Any type of skin itchiness but especially allergy-based itchiness (the eyes, the nose, ears and skin in general).
- Swollen face during allergy season.
- Low blood pressure and fainting is commonly associated with histamine intolerance.
- Chest pain, irregular heart rate or dizziness upon standing are also a big one.
- Skin issues. I’ve had clients with rosacea that comes and goes, and it was all linked to histamine issues.
- Red cheeks after drinking alcohol.
- Anxiety can also be absolutely related to histamines.
4 MAIN CAUSES OF HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE
1. Blood sugar dysregulation
The majority of people think about the gut and they are right but an issue most people don’t think about is blood sugar dysregulation (highs and lows in blood sugar levels).
We can get blood sugar dysregulation caused by excess processed sugar in our diet. Our body then begins to create more inflammatory reactions. Think Omega-6s causing inflammation vs Omega-3s which are anti-inflammatory. That is why using a good quality Omega-3 fish oil works so well with histamine-based issues.
Fruit is not the enemy unless you’re having four bananas with a meal. However, I’m talking about a real balanced diet.
2. HPA AXIS
We also need to look at the HPA axis and adrenal fatigue-based issues. Highs and lows in cortisol can absolutely affect histamine dysregulation. When I say histamine dysregulation, I mean throwing histamines out of whack.
So, it is not just high cortisol or low cortisol. It’s the rise and the drop in cortisol levels. It is absolutely crucial that we have healthy levels of cortisol.
On top of that, if DHA is too low, you’re not going to be able to balance your Th1 to Th2 immune system. Th2 is chronic inflammation and that is where histamine lives.
We want to make sure that we balance our levels of cortisol. Dysregulated blood sugar typically throws cortisol out of whack and then high cortisol levels can lead to higher blood sugar so it’s a vicious cycle…
Another one that most people never think about is medications that some people are even promoting today that could be actually harming your body’s ability to degrade histamines
Many people are using aspirin, Advil or Ibuprofen. These medications actually weaken your body’s ability to produce diamine oxidase which is the enzyme used to degrade histamines that is floating around in your blood stream.
4. Gut health
This is the most important one. Diamine oxidase (the enzyme that breaks down histamines) is actually produced in your gut so if it is not functioning properly, how are you going to produce this enzyme?
Then on top of that, not only will you not be producing that enzyme but if you have an imbalance of gut bacteria together with the build-up of bad bacteria in the gut, you are most likely producing more histamines from that bacteria.
One of the reasons that people have so many issues with histamines is because the most popular diet of the day is low carb. The problem is that a low carb diet will throw off your microbiome. I get that Keto or low carb can work great in terms of losing body fat and it works great for 3-6 weeks but please do not do it in the long-term. You’re not supposed to stay low carb forever. That is not a natural human inclination either.
There are many underlying root causes. So, histamine intolerance may be one of the underlying root causes as to why you’re not feeling well but there are underlying root causes of histamine intolerance as well. So, as you peel back that onion everything starts to expose itself and as you do that and figure it out, it’s not coming back because now you’ve rebalanced your body and that is what it is all about.