What Is Histamine Intolerance?


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For those who’ve already tried among 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 behind difficult well being issues like migraines, pores and skin irritation, and digestive upset.

Histamine intolerance signs can mimic different circumstances, so it’s essential to rule out different well being points earlier than making an attempt a low histamine weight loss program. A low histamine weight loss program 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 respiratory) 
  • Dilates blood vessels 
  • Influences blood stress 
  • Stimulates gastric juices 
  • Concerned in immunomodulation 

Histamine additionally helps the physique heal from accidents and allergic reactions by growing blood movement 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 all places 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 skill to interrupt down histamine. You’ll see that HIT is linked to different circumstances, and we’re nonetheless studying precisely how.

Signs of Histamine Intolerance

The signs of histamine intolerance sometimes happen wherever between half-hour to 72 hours after ingesting sure meals. Individuals are inclined to expertise totally 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 weight loss program
  • no less than one constructive lab or genetic marker 
  • two or extra signs as soon as your physician guidelines out different circumstances (see signs under) 

The 4 kinds of histamine receptors all around the physique might clarify the variability of signs. Listed here 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 stress) 
  • Dizziness 



  • Painful durations 
  • PMS symptoms 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 not metabolize histamine? There are a number of totally different causes of HIT to discover. 

First, it’s important to rule out prescribed drugs. Sure medicine may cause histamine intolerance by inflicting diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, so verify 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 referred to as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of amino acids may cause each of those to operate abnormally. The following sections are slightly dense however it’s important to know should you’re battling this. 


HMNT breaks down histamine all through the physique. When you have the MTHFR mutation, chances are you’ll wrestle to interrupt down histamine except you complement with a methylated vitamin B. That is essential to observe rigorously as a result of an excessive amount of vitamin B could also be inflammatory, so that you’ll must work carefully with a physician 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, maintaining it from leaking into the bloodstream. Regular DAO ranges preserve 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, maintaining an excessive amount of histamine from crossing. 

We do know that the physique wants copper to make DAO. A standard first step is to do blood checks for copper, zinc, and a copper/zinc ratio. You possibly can by chance 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 checks come again regular, or should you complement with copper and it doesn’t alleviate any of your signs, discuss to your physician about taking a DAO enzyme like this one by Seeking Health.

Curiously, 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 Arduous to Diagnose HIT

With a view 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 it’s best to know that an correct measure requires rapid 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 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 take a look at just like the StrateGene DNA Kit

Ideally, you’ll need to get these checks performed earlier than limiting histamine in your weight loss program so that you simply get an correct image of your well being. 

Learn how to Do a Low Histamine Weight-reduction plan

The first remedy for HIT is to scale back your histamine consumption as a lot as doable so your physique can relax. Some practitioners will advocate a short-term low histamine weight loss program to see if signs scale back, particularly if the affected person lacks the sources to get checks or can’t entry them. (It’s unattainable to do a completely histamine-free weight loss program.) 

It’s often a good suggestion to observe a low histamine elimination weight loss program 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 getting accomplished your elimination weight loss program, you can begin a take a look at part. Reintroduce meals into your weight loss program 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 reminiscent of greens and produce which can be in season.

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

Excessive Histamine Meals

This record comprises some common developments. 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 foods – 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 mealsbeans, 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
  • Artificial dyes and colors
  • Artificial sweeteners

For those who eat one thing and also you assume you react, make a remark of it. You might have considered trying to do a little analysis to see if some sources counsel it might have extra histamine than you realized. 

Methods to Scale back Histamine Ranges in Meals

With a view to be low histamine, you need to deal with meals a sure means. Listed here are the primary ones: 

  • Frozen meat – Purchase meat that you already know they instantly freeze, like ButcherBox and Vital Choice
  • Flash thaw – Soak meats in heat water to defrost them rapidly. This works finest 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.
  • Instant Pot – Use the stress cooker operate to infuse flavors in meals that you simply often sluggish prepare dinner to scale 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 could’t guarantee how they’ve been dealt with, purchase them frozen to scale back histamine. 

Different suggestions: 

  • Tomatoes  – Purchase small tomatoes like cherry or grape as these have much less histamine than the bigger ones (just for later phases or once you need to indulge). 
  • Carrots – Search for carrots with contemporary inexperienced tops, so you already know they’re contemporary.
  • Bone broth – Use the Instant Pot version in this recipe to maintain histamine low. You might scale back the cooking time to half-hour to nonetheless glean a few of its advantages. 

Different Elements That Increase Histamine Ranges within the Physique

There are different influences on histamine it’s best to know which can be each meals and lifestyle-related. 

Histamine Liberators

Some meals have amines which will improve 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 – You might need to keep away from sugar and any sugar substitutes that elevate blood sugar (like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and many others.) and persist with stevia and pure monk fruit


Some docs hypothesize that oxalate poisoning can set off an elevated histamine response, so should you’ve tried a low histamine weight loss program, chances are you’ll need to discuss to your physician about slowly decreasing your oxalate consumption. 


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


Stress raises cortisol and histamine ranges within the physique. Comply with these tips to help reduce stress naturally

Consuming too Continuously 

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

Pure Treatments 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 weight loss program.

DAO Enzymes

For those who’re questioning whether or not or not you’ve sufficient diamine oxidase, chances are you’ll need to discuss 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 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 programs. 

For extra assist, 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 might assist your intestinal lining break down histamine. Take heed 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 might assist break down histamine: 

  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus  
  • Bacillus household 

Whereas I usually recommend 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 if you’re pregnant or nursing because it reduces milk provide and may intrude with hormones.

Natural Antihistamines 

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

The most effective 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 perfect of typical 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 beloved one ever acquired so far, I’d strive 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 focuses on histamine intolerance, mast cell activation syndrome, and mildew toxicity. Discover her work at mastcell360.com

Have you ever tried a low histamine weight loss program? Did it assist alleviate any of your histamine intolerance signs?


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  3. Thangam, E. B., et al. (2018). The Role of Histamine and Histamine Receptors in Mast Cell-Mediated Allergy and Inflammation: The Hunt for New Therapeutic Targets. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1873. 
  4. Hrubisko, M., et al. (2021). Histamine Intolerance-The More We Know the Less We Know. A Evaluate. Vitamins, 13(7), 2228. 
  5. Farzam, Ok., Sabir, S., & O’Rourke , M. C. (2021). Antihistamines. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.


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