FREE Histamine Guide

Help! I’m Having a Histamine Reaction

managing histamine reaction

Do you occasionally experience a stuffy nose or watery eyes after you finish a meal? Or do some foods cause you to break out in hives or give you uncomfortable digestive symptoms? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be experiencing a histamine reaction. 

The good news is that when you experience a histamine reaction, there are things you can do right away to help ease your symptoms and improve your response. 

Here are my top seven strategies for dealing with a histamine reaction.

Distinguishing Between an Allergy and Histamine Intolerance

Allergies and histamine intolerance can be hard to distinguish because they simply have so much in common. Allergies and histamine intolerance can both cause similar symptoms, such as skin rashes, itching, runny nose, and digestive issues. However, the underlying mechanisms and triggers are different. 

An allergy is an immune system response to a substance, such as pollen, food, or animal dancer. When a person with allergies is exposed to an allergen, their immune system overreacts and produces an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals. This can lead to common allergy symptoms such as hives, swelling, itching, and breathing difficulties.

On the other hand, histamine intolerance occurs when a person’s body has difficulty breaking down histamine, a naturally occurring compound found in some foods and produced by the body. This can lead to an excess of histamine in the body, which can cause symptoms similar to those of an allergy.

To distinguish between an allergy and histamine intolerance, you must identify the trigger and underlying mechanism causing the symptoms. Allergy testing can be done to identify specific allergens that cause a reaction. In contrast, histamine intolerance is diagnosed by tracking symptoms after consuming foods high in histamine or other triggers, such as alcohol, certain medications, or stress.  

Read more about how you can keep your allergies under control by tackling the root cause. 

What is a histamine reaction?

A histamine reaction is the body’s response to the release of histamine, a chemical mediator released in response to allergens, infections, or other triggers. Histamine is released by specific immune cells, such as mast cells and basophils, and it can cause various symptoms depending on the trigger, location, and amount of histamine released.

In addition to histamine release during an allergic reaction, histamine can also be released in response to certain infections or as part of the body’s immune response. For example, histamine is released during an inflammatory response, which can cause redness, warmth, and swelling at the site of infection or injury. 

Histamine can also cause symptoms in people with histamine intolerance. This occurs when the body has difficulty breaking down histamine, leading to excess histamine in the body. This can cause headaches, flushing, digestive issues, and skin rashes.

Symptoms of a histamine reaction?

Symptoms of a histamine reaction can vary depending on the underlying cause and the amount of histamine released. Here are some common symptoms associated with histamine reactions:

Allergic Reactions: Histamine is released in response to an allergen, causing symptoms such as:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Skin rashes, hives, or itching
  • Swelling, particularly of the face, lips, and tongue
  • Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or coughing

Histamine Intolerance: Histamine intolerance occurs when the body has difficulty breaking down histamine, leading to excess histamine in the body, causing symptoms such as:

  • Headaches, migraines
  • Digestive issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, or abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes, itching, or flushing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety or panic attacks

Inflammatory Response: Histamine is released as part of the body’s immune response, leading to symptoms such as:

  • Redness, warmth, and swelling at the site of injury or infection
  • Pain or tenderness at the site of injury or infection
  • Fever or chills

Root Causes of a Histamine Reaction

The root causes of a histamine reaction can vary depending on the type of reaction and your specific triggers. Here are some common causes of a histamine reaction:

Allergies and inflammation:

Histamine reactions are often associated with allergic reactions and inflammatory responses, which occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as a threat and produces histamine in response.

Histamine intolerance:

This occurs when your body has difficulty breaking down histamine, leading to excess histamine in the body. This can be caused by a deficiency of the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO), which breaks down histamine in the digestive tract, or by an imbalance of histamine and other neurotransmitters in the body.

Dietary sources:

Some foods are naturally high in histamine or can trigger the release of histamine in the body. These include fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, aged cheeses, wine, and certain fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes. Because histamine can be surprisingly high in healthy and all-natural foods, I created my low-histamine cookbook to help inspire your low-histamine cooking.

Methylation deficiency:

Methylation is involved in the breakdown of histamine, and a deficiency in methylation (from MTHFR gene mutations or nutrient deficiencies such as folate, B12, or B6) may lead to decreased clearance of histamine and production of neurotransmitters, leading to a buildup of histamine in the body.

Gut flora imbalance:

Gut flora, the community of microorganisms in the digestive tract, breaks down histamine in the body. When the balance of gut flora is disrupted, the ability to break down histamine may be compromised, leading to increased histamine levels in the body. 

Estrogen dominance:

Evidence suggests that estrogen dominance can increase histamine production in specific cells, leading to increased histamine levels in the body.

Environmental triggers:

Exposure to certain substances in the environment, such as environmental toxins or mold, can cause the immune system to release histamine, leading to a range of symptoms such as itching, hives, nasal congestion, and more.  


Some medications, such as NSAIDs and antibiotics, can cause the release of histamine in the body or interfere with the breakdown of histamine.


Emotional or physical stress can trigger histamine release in the body.

Identifying the specific triggers of a histamine reaction can be challenging and may require working with a healthcare professional specializing in histamine. But once you identify the underlying cause, appropriate treatment and management strategies are available to help you minimize or prevent histamine reactions.

root cause histamine reaction


Top 7 Strategies for Managing a Histamine Reaction

Now that you have a little more insight into what may be causing your histamine reaction, it’s time to learn how to stop a histamine creation and clear histamine from the body fast. 

Here are my top tips for managing the symptoms of a histamine reaction.

1. Use Mast Cell Stabilizers

Mast cell stabilizers are medications used to prevent or reduce the release of histamine and other inflammatory mediators from mast cells. They work by stabilizing the membranes of mast cells, which prevents the release of histamine and other inflammatory molecules in response to allergens or other triggers, helping to calm your reaction. 

When selecting a mast cell stabilizer, it’s important to choose a supplement specially formulated to address histamine intolerance, such as HistoRelief, which contains a synergistic blend of nutrients that helps balance your immune response during a histamine reaction.

2. Increase DAO Enzymes

Diamine oxidase (DAO) is an enzyme that helps break down histamine in the body. Because DAO is primarily produced in the small intestines, it is crucial to maintain a healthy gut for optimal DAO function. In addition, some nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper, and zinc, are essential for the production and function of DAO, and deficiencies in these nutrients can contribute to low DAO levels.

In a pinch, DAO supplements can help increase DAO levels in the body and help break down histamine from food. But while DAO supplements can be helpful for some people, they may not be effective for everyone. Trying other natural methods to increase DAO enzymes may be a better option for controlling histamine reactions during their occurrence.

3. Apply a Cool Compress

For skin reactions, applying cool compresses or taking cool baths can help to reduce inflammation and itching, while moisture can help to soothe dry or irritated skin. It’s important to avoid using hot or warm compresses, as they can exacerbate the symptoms of a histamine reaction. Try applying a cool compress to an affected area for 10-15 minutes, repeating several times a day as needed. 

4. Practice Stress Management Techniques

Emotional or physical stress activates the immune system and increases inflammation, triggering a histamine reaction in some individuals. Managing stress through techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, exercise, or yoga can help reduce the frequency and severity of histamine reactions.

5. Sleep It Off

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health and can help reduce histamine reactions. While sleeping, the body repairs and regenerates tissues, reduces inflammation, and reduces stress, all of which can help reduce the severity of a histamine reaction.

6. Ginger

A low-histamine diet is one of the best long-term strategies for preventing histamine reactions. However, if you’re experiencing a histamine reaction consuming antihistamine foods can help calm the reaction while it’s happening. And one of the most potent known antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods is ginger. 

If you’re experiencing a histamine reaction, try chewing on fresh ginger, drinking ginger tea, or cooking with ginger to help quickly reduce inflammation and support digestion. 

7. Use Other Natural Remedies

Several natural treatments may help manage a histamine reaction. Here are some of my favorite options:

Quercetin. Quercetin is a plant-based compound in foods such as onions, apples, and berries. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help stabilize mast cells. Quercetin supplements are available in most health food stores.

Nettle Leaf. Nettle Leaf is a natural antihistamine that can help to reduce allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion. It can be taken in team form or as a supplement.

Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to reduce inflammation and stabilize mast cells. It is found in many fruits and vegetables, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, and broccoli as well as in supplement form.

It’s important to note that, in some cases, histamine reactions can be severe and require emergency medical attention. If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or a rapid heartbeat, you should seek immediate medical attention.

managing histamine reaction


Preventing Future Histamine Reactions

I believe having a toolkit of strategies for dealing with a histamine reaction is essential. And while my top seven tips for managing a histamine reaction are an excellent place to start, they will not provide you with the deep and lasting healing you deserve.

Long-lasting healing is only possible when you identify and treat the root cause of your histamine reactions. When you work with us, we partner to identify the underlying patterns contributing to your symptoms and devise a plan to provide lasting outcomes. Our revolutionary care model allows you to give your body the care and love it needs to feel like yourself again.

Are you experiencing histamine issues?

Let’s talk!

Schedule a new patient consultation today to get started. 

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Resources I

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  2. “Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art – PMC – NCBI.” 14 Aug. 2020, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  3. “Histamine and histamine intolerance –” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  4. “Allergies: Overview – – NCBI Bookshelf.” 23 Apr. 2020, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  5. “Histamine Intolerance—The More We Know the Less We … – NCBI.” 29 Jun. 2021, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  6. “What is an inflammation? – – NCBI Bookshelf.” 23 Nov. 2010, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  7. “Role of Histamine in Modulating the Immune Response and … – NCBI.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  8. “Histamine Intolerance in Clinical Practice – Peirson Center for Children.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  9. “Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art – PMC – NCBI.” 14 Aug. 2020, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  10. “Estrogen effects in allergy and asthma – PMC – NCBI.” Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Resources II

  1. “The Effects of Environmental Toxins on Allergic Inflammation – PMC.” 15 Oct. 2014, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.
  2. “Impact of mold on mast cell-cytokine immune response – PubMed.” Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.
  3. “[Drug hypersensitivity in patients with presumed histamine … – PubMed.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  4. “Acute stress modulates the histamine content of mast cells in … – NCBI.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  5. “Mast Cell Stabilizer – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  6. “Histamine Intolerance Originates in the Gut – PMC – NCBI.” 12 Apr. 2021, Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.
  7. “Diamine oxidase supplementation improves symptoms in patients ….” 24 May. 2019, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  8. “Ginger extract versus Loratadine in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  9. “Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response – PMC – NCBI.” 12 May. 2016, Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  10. “Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes ….” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.
  11. “Impact of oral vitamin C on histamine levels and seasickness.” Accessed 12 Apr. 2023.



Hi, I am Dr. Becky Campbell. I work with men and women who’ve had a health set back and are willing to do whatever it takes to reach optimal health so they can perform their best in their careers and be fully present with their family again.