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The Histamine Pirate

Histamine

Definition

Histamine is a biogenic amine that is counted among the so-called tissue hormones. This substance is relevant for many physiological and pathophysiological processes in the human body. Among other things it is an important mediator for inflammatory reactions.

Chemistry

Chemical formula: C5H9N3. Alternative terms for histamine are: 2-(4-Imidazolyl)ethylamine, 2-(1H-Imidazol-4-yl)ethanamine or 4-(2′-Aminoethyl)-Imidazole. Structural formula:

Histamin.png

Occurence

Histamine is found almost everywhere in the human body, i.a. in the skin, lungs, the mucous membrane of the gastro-intestinal tract and the hypothalamus. Also, food contains significant histamine concentrations. Some plants use histamine as a substance for defense (e.g. stinging nettle).

Metabolism

Histamine arises from decarboxylation of the amino acid histidine in the human body. The conversion is catalysed by the enzyme histidine decarboxylase (HDC). Histamine is metabolised to n-methylhistamine by histamine-n-methyltransferase (HNMT) or converted to imidazole acetic acid by diaminooxidase (DAO).

In cells that contain higher doses of histamine, e.g. mast cells, histamine is being stored intracellularly in vesicles, in which it is bound to heparin.

Function and receptors

Histamine is a potent mediator, which triggers many consecutive reactions in the organism. It unfolds its effects via bonding to membrane-bound histamine receptors, of which there are 4 known ones, H1-, H2-, H3– und H4.

The most import pharmacological effects which occur in several tissues due to activation of the receptors are as follows.

1. Blood vessels

Histamine triggers via the H1-receptor vasodilatation and an increase of the vascular permeability of the blood vessels. Due to the vasodilatation the arterial blood pressure falls and the generation of adrenaline increases. Another arising effect is the emergence of edema (skin and mucous membrane). Typical abnormalities in the skin due to histamine are swellings, redness/flushing and itching. When it comes to migraines or other headaches the vasodilating effects of histamine may play a role, too.

2. Bronchi

In the bronchi histamine, also via the H1-receptor, leads to bronchoconstriction. Histamine therefore is of special importance for understanding the allergic bronchial asthma and its pathophysiology.

3. Gastric mucosa

Histamine induces a higher secretion of gastric acid via stimulation of the H2-receptors of the parietal cells of the gastric mucosa.

4. Central nervous system

In the central nervous system Histamine operates as a neurotransmitter. It influences also the release of other neurotransmitters via presynaptic H3-receptors. It has bearing on noradrenergic, serotoninergic, cholinergic, dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurones. The diverse effects of histamine in the body are the subject of intensive research and are not fully understood as of yet. Among other things histamine is involved in inducing vomiting and it also is involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle.

Histamine Intolerance

Definition: Histaminosis or histamine intolerance are general terms for excess histamine in the body (locally or systemically) that disrupts the well-being or the physical/mental functions. Different from an allergy, there are no antibodies involved in histamine intolerance. There are problems in breaking down histamine, therefore symptoms occur.

The term histamine intolerance, refers to a dysfunction in breaking down histamine due to a deficit in diamine oxidase (DAO).

Not only DAO (diamine oxidase) but also another enzyme HNMT ( histamine N-methyltransferase ) is involved in breaking down histamine.

The following graphics show that also MAO (Monoamine oxidases) play a minor role in breaking down histamine.

Due to the different enzymes operating at several spots in the body to break down histamine there are different forms of histamine intolerance – with different causes and cances of recovery.

Forms and possible causes of histamine intolerance

As of today the exact causes of histamine intolerance are still controversially disputed, especially because there appear to be various types of this ailment, depending on which histamine-receptor/s is/are affected (see above), also depending on if one was born with it or not. In any case, there is dysfunction in breaking down histamine. Read here more about possible causes.

If one is born with histamine intolerance it can last for a lifetime. In that case one will try to eat food low in histamine lifelong. This form usually is treatable, but not curable.

A dysfunction of HNMT can be caused by chemical influences (environmental toxins), it is then usually only temporary and therefore can be cured.

Most cells produce both DAO and HNMT. Yet, the amount varies considerably according to organ respectively cell type. In the central nervous system (CNS), in the bronchial mucosa and in the skin HNMT is the main way to break down histamine. Therefore these organs, especially the brain, tend to be effected strongly with malfunction of the HNMT. (Note: In these organs there are also a lot of mast cells.)
Mast cell activation disease must be considered as a possible cause, too, especially when symptoms linked to the organs named above are featured.

With a DAO deficit symptoms linked to the central nervous system are rather rare. DAO is an excretory (= releasing to the outside) enzyme, that is mainly being produced and discharged by cells of the intestinal mucosa. It degrades histamine already in the bolus/food that has been taken in, before it “hits” deeper in the body. HNMT on the other hand is degrading histamine in the body cells, especially in the kidneys and the liver (detoxication).

Due to the spatial and functional “labour devision” when it comes to histamine (enzymes active in different organs, in the cell and outside of the cell) it is likely that one enzyme is not fully able to substitute the other in case of a deficit.

Among other things, pre-existing conditions, especially when bacteria were/are involved or metal pollution, are possible causes for histamine intolerance. If the affected person is treated respectively detoxicated and if the diet is strictly low in histamine for a while this kind of histamine intolerance can be overcome. Sometimes the root cause can be found quite easily in the mouth. Nowadays outdated amalgam fillings can intoxicate the body, if the filling on top of that is carious the bacterial involvement will make it worse.

Other influences that might lead to histamine issues are antibiotics that destroy(ed) the gut flora.

Furthermore if the hormonal balance is off this may cause histamine issues, too. The biggest role here presumably plays oestrogen. The amount of oestrogen is not crucial, but rather the balance between oestrogen and other hormones, such as progesterone, testosterone, is decisive. Women are more prone to this “hormonal” type of histamine issues.

The hormonal balance can be disturbed by…

  • female cycle (menstruation)
  • hormonal contraception (e.g. birth control pill)
  • menopause/climacteric period
  • puberty
  • oestrogen dominance respectively progesterone or testosterone deficit
  • hormones or hormone-like substances in natural foods (e.g. oestrogen in hop/beer)
  • hormonally active environmental toxins, substances with hormone-like effect in everyday products such as plastics, sun screen, cremes/lotions and more
  • (maybe hormones applied to animals in “food production”?)

Indications of a connection between histamine and hormones:

Considerably more women than men are affected and histamine intolerance often occurs first with the beginning of menopause. The intensity of histamine issues depends on the female cycle (menstrual cramps as a histamine symptom).

Afflictions of people sensitive to histamine can worsen OR better with hormonal contraception depending on the individual hormonal balance.

During pregnancy the DAO-level approximately rises to 300 times of what it was before to protect the embryo from histamine. With the effect that during pregnancy allergies and other histamine issues seem to improve.

These complicated connections are not fully understood, yet. One explanation might be:

For the degradation of oestrogen vitamin b6 is needed. If excess oestrogen has to be degraded it might be there is not enough vitamin b6 available for DAO and histamine degradation. Vice versa the histamine level also influences the hormonal balance. It is possible that not only DAO is affected hormonally, but also other processes of histamine degradation.

The problem with pseudoallergies

Histamine can be released from mast cells in the body and it can be taken in with food. A healthy body is able to break down histamine, so usually no problems occur. However, if the body is confronted with many histamine sources and unable – for whatever reason – to break down the histamine, then the histamine level rises in the body. (Some people tend to speak of “their histamine bucket” that can overflow.) If the individual tolerance threshold is surpassed (the bucket overflows), symptoms occur, often resembling symptoms of poisoning. One symptom might be rashes, similar to an allergic reaction, but also migraines or other headaches. The similarity in symptoms lead to the term pseudoallergy.

Different from an allergy, there are no specific IgE antibodies involved in pseudoallergies.

Just the reaction seems similar. Yet, this is one reason why histamine intolerance is still difficult to diagnose. People affected by it are often suffering for years or months until they are treated properly. Sometimes they are denounced hypochondriacs or their symptoms are linked to a psychosomatic disorder. The patient then does not receive proper treatment. The symptoms can resemble those of other intolerances and pollen allergy:

  • swollen nasal mucosa, running nose, sneezing, phlegm, irritation of the throat, difficulties breathing
  • digestive problems: diarrhoea, stomachache, bloating, acid reflux
  • itching, skin rashes, redness
  • hot flush, attack of sweating, disturbed temperature sensation
  • tachycardia, rapid heartbeat, allodromy, drop in blood pressure
  • headache, migraine, dizziness
  • insomnia/sleep disorder, fatigue
  • nausea, vomiting
  • menstrual cramps
  • edema (e.g. swellings)

Histamine is not any poison in the general sense. This is also important so one will not be afraid of supposedly “toxic” food. Histamine is one of the body’s own neurotransmitter with several functions as described above. In people affected by any kind of excess histamine the regulation of these processes is disturbed.

There are several causes of histamine intolerance. Furthermore the kind of histamine intolerance – more DAO or HNMT – is important for the individual cluster of symptoms. Often the first step after diagnosis is a dietary change (low histamine foods). I hope I can help you with this. Please feel free to get in touch with other people affected via this website. My main goal is it to gather yummy recipes here that will help people who got hit with HIT.

General information: diet

Most patients are advised to omit high histamine foods once they got diagnosed with histamine intolerance.

But this is usually where the problem starts. When having a common allergy then one just omits, say nuts. Products nowadays have to reveal allergens like nuts.

Also vegetarians can now often find products labelled as “vegan” or “vegetarian”.

But with histamine intolerance it is no allergy and certainly not only one food or only one food group. That would be the case for people suffering from lactose intolerance, who have to avoid all dairy products.

Moreover the body itself produces and releases histamine, because it is important for many processes, e.g. the sleep-wake cycle. Histamine is also being released in the process of digestion.

How do I find histamine in food?

How do I know if histamine is in the food? Well, actually very few foods are completely free of histamine (e.g. pure substances like water, salt or sugar). Apart from that, many foods contain histamine – sometimes more, sometimes less.

But there are also foods, which contain significantly high doses of histamine (foods high in histamine) and others which are known to trigger the release of histamine in the body (histamine liberators or triggers). Triggers often don’t contain much histamine, yet especially for people suffering from HNMT related histamine issues, triggers can cause symptoms and they certainly also fill up your “bucket”. Some (food) triggers are coffee (caffeine), cacao (theobromine) and many exotic fruits…

Furthermore there are so-called “DAO blockers“. Nicotine is such a DAO blocking substance for instance. So smoking can be an issue when having histamine intolerance.

The detective work – finding the histamine offenders – is something everybody has to do individually. Not everybody reacts the same way to every substance. Certain food lists, though, can be very helpful, especially to get started. They give you an idea what the histamine “suspects” might be. The Swiss organisation SIGHI tested a lot of foods on those affected by histamine intolerance and they also determined the histamine concentration in some foods. Here is the list.

The actual histamine concentration in food depends also on how it was produced and how (long) it was stored then. Food that needs long to ripen (like parmesan for instance), that was warmed up again (leftovers reheated), that goes bad easily (e.g. fish) or overripe food (especially fruits) should be avoided.

Besides food lists concerned with the histamine potential or concentration in food, lists concerned with the histidine concentration can be helpful, too. This is because histidine is a precursor in building histamine. Histamine develops through unspecific L-amino acid decarboxylase respectively through specific histidine-decarboxylase that is present in many tissues.

Fish, which contains a lot of protein and a lot of histidine can develop high histamine counts fast. It is important to gut the fish as soon as possible since the bacteria in the gut are the main cause for transforming histidine into histamine.

Histamine develops also easily in other foods which need microorganisms/bacteria for ripening, e.g. Sauerkraut or cheese.

When it comes to the histamine concentration in food freshness is the essential thing. Histamine is the result of spoilage. Histamine develops in huge numbers when spoilable foods that contain a lot of the amino acid histidine (e.g. fish) are colonised with bacteria and yeasts. But histamine can also develop during intended fermentation and ripening processes. What is actually intended to make the foods longer-lasting and more aromatic (e.g. Salami, cheese, Sauerkraut, wine, beer) drives up the histamine count aswell. In the course of longer storage the histamine concentration can increase, too (e.g. canned food).

Depending on individual sensitivity symptoms might not occur until several high histamine foods are combined (e.g. cheese with red wine). Also “healthy” people can develop symptoms depending on the dose. Almost everybody knows the typical feeling/headache after drinking an adulterated wine. Often it is not the bacteria that cause problems in the gut but the biogenic amines that are being released because of them. DAO is partly also in charge of breaking down other biogenic amines (besides histamine). A minor part in degradation plays the MAO. Other biogenic amines are rival to histamine when it comes to DAO, actually it is even worse, because DAO prefers other biogenic amines than histamine. The degradation of histamine slows down significantly when DAO is already occupied with breaking down other biogenic amines.

The selection of low histamine food is one thing one might look out for the other is to be aware of preparation and storage of the food. Freshness, again, is the important factor here.

There should be no interruption in the cold chain when buying or storing deep-frozen goods. I do not recommend slow defrosting (e.g. in the fridge), because this leads to more histamine again.

Avoid finished products or products that only need to be warmed up, e.g. breads that need to be finished in your oven. Many people cannot tolerate the inherent preservatives. Besides, the cold chain can often not be guaranteed during transportation.

Look out for certain food additives (e-numbers in Europe). Alcohol, vinegar and other substances (often of preservation) are being masked by those cryptic names or numbers.

When preparing meat, fish, vegetables or fruits (also from your own garden) make sure to wash it first. Histamine is temperature-resistent. It cannot be destroyed by freezing or heating up, but it is soluble in water. Therefore I recommend to drink enough water at meals.

Do not use pickled or canned food.

Do not warm up food again. If you want to use leftovers, freeze as soon as possible after cooking.

Try to avoid all foods with histamine potential (especially in the beginning):

  • high histamine food
  • histamine triggers/liberators
  • other biogenic amines
  • DAO and HNMT blockers

The individual tolerance threshold can vary depending on:

  • what one eats before, at and after meals (again, drink enough water at meals)
  • stress (better tolerance of food during holidays, stress as histamine trigger)
  • current vitamin balance and current mineral balance
  • physical labour or certain sports
  • environmental toxins (smog, fine particles), smoking (nicotine) and passive smoking
  • for allergy sufferers: contact with allergen(s) and cross reactions
  • duration and quality of sleep, sleep pattern (jetlag)
  • change in the weather (especially cold fronts and windy weather)
  • etc.

Sometimes symptoms occur and sometimes they don’t, although one is eating the same meal. This is a special challenge with histamine intolerance. The histamine concentration depends on how the food is prepared and stored.

Beware: Sometimes it is hard to notice the effect of histamine triggers and other biogenic amines, because they often appear delayed.

Once you started a low histamine diet over time it will get easier. You might also be able to add more foods to your diet again (once your “bucket” was emptied). You might have reacted to one thing in the beginning and therefore eliminated it from your regular diet, sometimes it is worth trying again after several months.

Please be mindful about a balanced diet respectively consult a dietician!

Histamine ————– Definition Histamine is a biogenic amine that is counted among the so-called tissue hormones. This substance is relevant for many physiological and pathophysiological processes in the human body. Among other things it is an important mediator for inflammatory reactions. Chemistry Chemical formula: C5H9N3. Alternative terms for histamine are: 2-(4-Imidazolyl)ethylamine, 2-(1H-Imidazol-4-yl)ethanamine or 4-(2′-Aminoethyl)-Imidazole. Structural…

The histamine intolerance link and how this paleo girl went vegetarian — and back again — dysregulation demands it

Update 2018: When we’re healing our needs are a moving target. Healing is not static! We need to respond to our body and be willing to change up what is helping at all times. This is a good thing. It is the opposite of taking a drug for the rest of our lives for maintenance. It means our body is alive and changing. Getting in sync with it’s language to come to understand it takes time and what is needed changes all the time. (that might include pharmaceuticals for some folks at least som e of the time. We are all endlessly variant and our needs, based on our history, are all going to be different. Practicing love for whatever our bodies need right now is also difficult and highly desirable. We can only come to ourselves right now in this moment…with whatever chaos or lack of chaos we might be in the midst of.

I found the below article getting traffic again lately about my dietary adventures…it’s sometimes good to read old stuff and see how things have changed and/or remained the same. Sometimes I’ve forgotten my own insights…or not thought about them for a long time and they are again helpful. my dietary adventures have since gone through many other permutations yet the foundational insights seem to continue to be useful. (that means the *details* are now different and not exactly the same as what is explained in this post)

Updated note: July 2014 — I was helping out a friend yesterday who has discovered histamine as an issue and I had reason to think about my early days of discovery. At the time…during the process of cleaning out my system, I ended up totally vegan for about 8 months by necessity…this was something I truly never thought could be possible given how much I needed meat prior to understanding the histamine issue. I’ve now discovered I need far less meat, but I do eat some again. Anyway…this speaks to some issues that arose in the early days and I thought it might be helpful to other folks now. I now eat a varied diet with a lot of foods I couldn’t eat early on…healing happens…but I do remember the early days and how difficult it was.

Update 2016: Histamine issues are only a piece of the vast holistic puzzle that the drug injury left me with. The histamine link serves as one possible window to access the chaos that has been my injured nervous system. It was a very helpful window for a couple of years. It’s not the window I prefer or use primarily anymore, though the information I gleaned from using this framework moved me along in my healing in significant ways. I prefer to now use more holistic understandings of body/mind/spirit. Histamine is one tiny molecule in our bodies interacting with millions of other microorganisms and chemicals in our bodies. It really doesn’t need to be given such prominence in the long run. Lately I prefer to use Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to understand the intense complexity that is our human body . Still, the below info on histamine may be very helpful if this is what is currently resonating for you.

People keep asking me for updates on how the low histamine diet is going. I wrote about histamine intolerance and my discovery on how it was affecting my health and wellbeing at the beginning of January. As I predicted it resonated with many folks in the withdrawal community and many of them want to hear more. It’s still impossible to tell how many people may be affected by this particular factor.

So having discovered the histamine intolerance this (pretty much) paleo girl has now been vegan for several weeks. That was something I certainly did not expect to happen at this juncture. Although, I have to say I’ve not ever been attached to dietary ideology which is why even though I generally ate very much in keeping with paleo rules, I rarely used the word paleo. I listen to my bodies needs, not the prevailing hip dietary scene. It just so happened that paleo was working for me within the context of not knowing I had an issue with histamine. I also still strongly believe that eating that particular form of nutrient dense diet has helped me recover in spite of not being aware of my histamine intolerance and given I did not know about it paleo was totally a must while I was eating that way.

For a long time now it’s struck me that there are many ways to eat whole real food and be healthy. When people get ideological about their dietary choices it’s easy to find studies and articles arguing for whatever dietary ideology you believe in the current moment. Data has a way of being shaped to support whatever argument people want to make — especially if you neglect to ever consider conflicting data from the other camps in nutrition.

So, while it became clear to me that for a long while I needed to eat meat, I also thought that maybe there was a missing piece that would make meat less essential for me and oddly enough, or maybe not oddly at all, for me that missing link was my bodies idiosyncratic histamine intolerance. Clearly others have this issue too, but just because now my body is clearly preferring vegetarianism doesn’t mean I join the ideological veggie crowd. Nor was I ever a militant or strongly ideological paleo person.

I wish getting information about diet and nutrition wasn’t such an exercise in wading through dogma, but it is. Food as religion. Well, my body is my master here and I listen to it and then with the information it gives me I wade through the diet and nutrition mine fields and discover my own personal optimal diet.

So this is what went down for me and how I shifted my diet.

My blood sugar was dangerously high when I ate too many high histamine foods and that in turn meant I needed meat since it was the only thing that stabilized my blood sugar. Of note I could not tolerate grains and legumes or most carbs. If I ate grains or legumes my blood sugar simply stayed too high. I was not interested in full-blown diabetes (I was pre-diabetic when I still ate grains and legumes and meat but that was corrected when I cut out grains and legumes. Meat at that point was essential.)

Now, having altered my diet to low histamine, meat actually becomes part of the problem. It was not the source of problem in that I was eating other food much higher in histamine (most notably LOTS of fermented veggies but other vegetarian sources too). So once I lowered the histamine in my diet via other sources, meat started to make a difference in that it continued to keep my histamine level too high.

So the trick to finding the histamine link was like finding a needle in a haystack…health can be anything but straight forward.

Note: not everyone who has histamine intolerance needs to eliminate meat. It really depends on the severity of the intolerance and very FRESH meat and fish can be eaten safely by many. The sooner after slaughter the better.

This was like winning the dietary lottery for me since I actually haven’t wanted to eat so much meat for a long time. It was a constant conflict for me as I don’t consider it ideal or humane to kill animals even when they’re grown in natural and humane habitats. I’ve not eaten factory farmed animal products for many years. Since I also believe that as a living being we must learn to survive and thrive and that we have a right to be healthy that means eating meat might be a conflict I would have to live with. I would post this disclaimer when talking about my need to eat meat in previous posts:

In our society today whether people eat animal products or not is a hot issue. I would prefer not to eat meat but have found I must. I’ve also found that I’m intolerant of dairy (except for ghee) and eggs, so that leaves only meat and fish. I have found others like me in my community with similar physical ailments who have found that animal products are essential. I’ve experimented heavily with purely vegetarian methods of nourishing myself without meat since I deeply value the lives of animals and have failed. This choice does not come without pain. I’m always happy for those who find they can thrive without animal products and I certainly don’t begrudge those who can. I hope someday to regain enough health that I might be able to once again carefully tweak most if not all the meat out of my diet. I write explicitly about this issue because we are all different and people need to find what works for both their body and their spirit together. Sometimes the needs of the body and the needs of the spirit seem to conflict. Such is life. Never simple. I take comfort in the fact that all of nature eats itself and I’m blessed with a consciousness that can recognize that I am part of this web of life, complicated and lovely as it is.

I continue to stand by that statement since our needs are all so individual. There are so many possible variables that make a difference in some of our bodies.

The whole histamine thing (for me) is fascinating if also rather frustrating in many ways.

So I had to stop eating meat as meat elevates my histamine (stopping ferments and lots of other things I was eating daily was even more important) and this is how it’s played out so far.

I was concerned about my blood sugar because I’ve been impacted with fairly serious metabolic issues due to the psych drug history (many psych drugs cause diabetes and other serious metabolic issues)….and paleo/GAPS helped me in the past and I simply had a very strong belief that I need meat too. I have not ruled out adding back some meat and/or animal products as needed and as I might tolerate it in the future.

The fascinating thing was that at first as I added legumes out of necessity, my blood sugar did, indeed go up…higher than I would like…and I was still eating some meat…but I finally threw in the towel and stopped all animal products since it was clear they were problematic with the histamine issue and lo and behold, within a few days my blood sugar dropped and stabilized…to WAY BETTER than when I was eating meat and paleo!

I was shocked. It now stays in a range of 75 to 95…when I was eating paleo it was about 85 – 120 and far less stable. These are the best glucose levels I’ve ever had! These are essentially ideal glucose levels.

The histamine seems to increase insulin resistance. There are studies that suggest such as well.

If you’re wondering how I know what is up with my blood sugar. Chris Kresser has a great info page on how to use a glucose meter:

I’m still in experimental mode and have lots of healing to do. That means I have no idea how this will unfold. I hope to be able eat enough animal products one day if I need to meet important nutritional requirements. But who knows, maybe my body won’t need that. We’ll see. I’m open to being surprised.

I’m still learning what I can eat and I’m adding stuff that seems safe all the time as well. Also once I heal it’s likely I will be able to eat, at least on occasion, some higher histamine foods once again.

So I eat lots of fresh veggies and herbs…parsley, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, oregano, bok choy, romaine lettuce, fennel, onions of all kinds, dandelion greens, mustard greens, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, sunchokes, broccoli, cauliflower…

Fruit all I’m eating right now are apples, pomegranates, blueberries and cantaloupe…that’s it at this time.

And then I eat a variety of legumes: lentils of all sorts, black beans, garbanzo beans (chick peas)…is all I’ve added so far…I’m really still in a strict elimination phase.

Oh and nuts and seeds. Hemp, pumpkin, almonds, and cashews so far. Nuts are somewhat higher in histamine so I have to be careful with that. Seeds perhaps seem safer, but I’m still learning what my body likes best.

The most prevalent symptoms that are being effected by the change in diet are extreme autonomic disregulation sorts of symptoms — heart palps, tachycardia, pressure and pain, issues with blood pressure, light-headedness, dizziness, chronic and acute generalized pain, etc and I’ve got a myriad of very extreme symptoms from the drug iatrogenesis. Everything, pretty much has lightened up since I cut down on the histamine. This in turn has allowed me to exercise more often. Daily walks and daily yoga have always been the goal but I would end up back in bed 2 and 3 weeks at a time with some frequency. Now I rarely miss a day. This doesn’t mean I don’t end up in bed for a few hours here and there quite often, but the fact that I’m walking and doing yoga pretty much daily means my rehabilitation has picked up considerably. I feel much stronger and healthier even while still being very limited. I still can’t go out at will into the world and I still often can’t talk on the phone or spend time with people etc, but things are changing at a much faster pace now.

I’ve cut out almost all supplements because I too am sensitive right now.

I’m reacting to ghee now too, so no more for the time being (that was the last animal product to go) I can only use small amounts of coconut oil and sesame oil right and flax-seed oil..and I eat cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds so I’m getting fats that way too. Sadly from what I understand, olive oil is hit and miss for people with histamine intolerance, so I’ve put off trying it. I do okay with MCT oil for cooking too.

I’m trying to figure out a way to add some additional Omega 3 oils. I’ve tried a vegan product made by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, but it’s got tocopherols derived from soy and since I’m allergic to soy it seems problematic at this time. These are the sorts of issues I’m facing since I really need to be sure to meet nutritional requirements that animal products were meeting. Fish and fish oil is the best way to get Omega 3s if you can eat them.

I’m still reactive much of the time but reaction time is getting shorter and less intense…still it’s a damn pain in the ass and I’m still largely disabled by pretty much any standard. Recovery continues to move forward albeit slowly.

So for more info on histamine intolerance:

My previous article is here:

Shortly after I wrote the above article Chris Kresser also published on histamine intolerance:

I have found Yasmina Ykelenstam’s The Low Histamine Chef very helpful too. It has lots of wonderful information on natural foods that help lower histamine and those which are naturally low in histamine too. (2018) Over the years Yasmina has created one of the best food and health oriented sites on the internet. It’s the only one I still frequently visit as it remains most significantly resonant to my experience.

Eating wholesome whole read food is important for body/mind/spirit health and well-being. I’ve written a lot more about my adventure with diet and healing here: Nutrition and gut health, Mental health and diet

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings.

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People keep asking me for updates on how the low histamine diet is going. I wrote about histamine intolerance and my discovery on how it was affecting my health and wellbeing at the beginning of January. As I predicted it resonated with many folks in the withdrawal community and many of them want to hear…