What Is Histamine Intolerance?


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In case you’ve already tried among the typical diets or had meals sensitivity testing and also you haven’t improved, you might 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 situations, so it’s essential to rule out different well being points earlier than making an attempt a low histamine weight loss plan. A low histamine weight loss 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. Comprised of the precursor amino acid, histidine, it has many roles within the physique: 

  • Contracts easy muscular tissues (like for respiration) 
  • Dilates blood vessels 
  • Influences blood stress 
  • 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 varieties of histamine receptors in our our bodies: 

  • H1 are all over the 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 not 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 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. Individuals are inclined 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 weight loss 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 varieties of histamine receptors everywhere in the physique might 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 stress) 
  • 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 prescription drugs. Sure medication may cause histamine intolerance by inflicting diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, so examine along with your pharmacist about that potential interplay. 

Histamine has two predominant enzyme pathways within the physique: histamine-N-methyltransferase (HNMT) and DAO. Genetic mutations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of amino acids may cause each of those to perform abnormally. The subsequent sections are somewhat dense nevertheless it’s important to grasp in case you’re scuffling with this. 


HMNT breaks down histamine all through the physique. If in case you have the MTHFR mutation, you might battle to interrupt down histamine until you complement with a methylated vitamin B. That is essential to look at 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 health care provider on it and get common bloodwork.

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


The DAO enzyme primarily breaks down histamine within the intestines, kidneys, and colon, holding it from leaking into the bloodstream. Regular DAO ranges preserve histamine ranges from rising above regular within the bloodstream. Some contemplate DAO exercise like a bouncer within the mucosal lining of your digestive tract, holding 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 checks for copper, zinc, and a copper/zinc ratio. You may 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 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 Searching for 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 Exhausting 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 medical doctors 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 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 might not be correct.) 
  • Urinary-N-Methyl Histamine – to rule out mast cell activation problems 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 checks achieved earlier than limiting histamine in your weight loss plan so that you just get an correct image of your well being. 

How one can 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 settle down. Some practitioners will advocate a short-term low histamine weight loss plan to see if signs scale back, particularly if the affected person lacks the assets to get checks or can’t entry them. (It’s unattainable to do a completely histamine-free weight loss plan.) 

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

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

From there, discover the correct 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 tendencies. There isn’t a consensus amongst sources on which meals are literally excessive in histamine for the reason that 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 until you particularly ask the butcher to not), fish (it usually sits on a ship within the fridge for days or even 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
  • Synthetic dyes and colours
  • Synthetic sweeteners

In case you eat one thing and also you suppose you react, make an observation of it. It’s your decision to perform a little research to see if some sources recommend it might have extra histamine than you realized. 

Methods to Cut back Histamine Ranges in Meals

With a view to be low histamine, you should deal with meals a sure approach. Listed here are the principle ones: 

  • Frozen meat – Purchase meat that you realize they instantly freeze, like ButcherBox and Important Alternative
  • 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.
  • Instantaneous Pot – Use the stress cooker perform to infuse flavors in meals that you just normally sluggish prepare dinner to cut back histamine. 
  • Recent produce – Purchase regionally out of your farmer’s market or well being meals retailer after they’re in season. 
  • Frozen produce – For meals that you could’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 contemporary inexperienced tops, so you realize they’re contemporary.
  • Bone broth – Use the Instantaneous 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 Elements That Elevate Histamine Ranges within the Physique

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

Histamine Liberators

Some meals have amines which will enhance 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 elevate blood sugar (like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and so on.) and stick to stevia and pure monk fruit


Some medical doctors hypothesize that oxalate poisoning can set off an elevated histamine response, so in case you’ve tried a low histamine weight loss plan, you might need to speak to your physician about slowly decreasing 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. Observe these ideas to assist scale back stress naturally

Consuming too Steadily 

Each time you eat, your physique expresses histamine. In case 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 may be the difficulty, they’ll use these instruments to assist handle their signs along with a low histamine weight loss plan.

DAO Enzymes

In case you’re questioning whether or not or not you’ve got sufficient diamine oxidase, you might need to speak to your physician about taking Searching 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 section to assist them break down any extra histamine of their techniques. 

For extra help, in addition they have Histamine Block Plus. It not solely has DAO but in addition further 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 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 allergy symptoms. 

Don’t take any type of antihistamines if you’re pregnant or nursing because it reduces milk provide and might intervene with hormones.

Natural Antihistamines 

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

One of the best product I’ve discovered with many of those included is HistaminX.

OTC Antihistamines 

When pure cures aren’t sufficient, there’s no disgrace in utilizing one of the best of standard drugs. Even holistic practitioners will recommend OTC antihistamines to assist alleviate extreme signs throughout the elimination section and as a bandaid throughout the reintroduction section. They work on the H1 receptors. Nevertheless, attempt to restrict them to short-term use as many warn in opposition to long-term unwanted effects. If myself or a cherished one ever acquired so far, I’d attempt 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 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 plan? Did it assist alleviate any of your histamine intolerance signs?


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

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