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Listen to Your Body: 10 Signs of Histamine Intolerance You Shouldn’t Ignore

histamine intolerance

Are you tired of feeling like you’re constantly battling unexplained symptoms like headaches, fatigue, allergies, or digestive issues? Do you ever wonder what may be causing these symptoms? It might be time to consider histamine intolerance as the culprit! Now, I know what you’re thinking – “histamine what?” – but trust me, it’s real and could be the answer to your mystery symptoms. As someone who has personally struggled with histamine intolerance, I know how frustrating it can be to live with this condition. That’s why I wanted to share my experience and help you identify signs of histamine intolerance. 

Let me assure you, it’s not all doom and gloom. The path to feeling better is in listening to your body and identifying the signs of histamine intolerance. 

What is histamine intolerance?

Histamine intolerance is a condition where the body cannot properly break down and metabolize histamine, a chemical compound naturally present in certain foods and produced by the body. 

When histamine is not broken down properly, it can build up in the body and cause a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, rashes, hives, hitching, fatigue, digestive issues, and more. And even though the symptoms can be similar to those of an allergic reaction, histamine intolerance is not the same as a true allergy.

How common is histamine intolerance?

The prevalence of histamine intolerance is not well understood, and estimates vary widely. Some studies suggest that it may affect up to 1% of the population, while others suggest it may be more common.

It’s important to note that histamine intolerance is often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, as its symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions. Additionally, there is no specific diagnostic test for histamine intolerance, so diagnosis typically relies on symptoms and dietary changes.

Even though more research is needed to fully understand the prevalence and causes of histamine intolerance, it is increasingly recognized as a possible underlying factor in a range of unexplained symptoms. 

signs of histamine intolerance

10 Signs of Histamine Intolerance You Shouldn’t Ignore

Histamine intolerance symptoms can be uncomfortable and disruptive, and if left unmanaged, they can worsen over time and lead to chronic health issues. If you’re experiencing signs of histamine intolerance, listening to your body and taking them seriously is important. Because with the proper diagnosis and management, you can reduce and possibly eliminate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

1. Allergies

Allergies can indicate histamine intolerance because histamine is a key player in the immune response that causes allergic reactions. When the immune system identifies an allergen, such as pollen or animal dander, it triggers the release of histamine, which causes symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and swelling.

In people with histamine intolerance, the body may have difficulty breaking down and metabolizing histamine, leading to excess histamine in the body. This can cause allergy-like symptoms even when there is no specific allergen present.

If you’re experiencing allergy-like symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, or skin rashes without an allergen, histamine intolerance may be the underlying cause. 

2. Headaches and Migraines

Histamine is a neurotransmitter that can affect blood vessel dilation in the brain, and elevated histamine levels can cause blood vessels to expand and press against nerve endings. This leads to the pain and discomfort associated with headaches and migraines

Research has found that people with histamine intolerance are more likely to experience headaches and migraines, particularly in response to certain trigger foods or environmental factors, such as alcohol, aged cheeses, cured meats, and other high histamine foods. 

3. Digestive Issues

Histamine is involved in the digestive process. Elevated histamine levels can cause inflammation and irritation in the lining of the gut, damaging the intestinal barrier and leading to leaky gut syndrome. This can allow undigested food particles, bacteria, and other toxins to leak into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and leading to further inflammation and digestive symptoms. 

Histamine intolerance can also lead to more severe digestive issues such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). High histamine levels can also disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, leading to dysbiosis and further exacerbating digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

4. Skin Concerns

Histamine plays a critical role in the immune response that causes inflammation and irritation in the skin. Elevated histamine levels can lead to various skin symptoms, including:

  • Hives: raised, itchy, and red welts on the skin that appear anywhere on the body.
  • Eczema: A chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry, itchy, and inflamed skin.
  • Rosacea: A chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, flushing, and visible blood vessels on the face.
  • Pruritus: Intense skin itching, often accompanied by a rash. 

If you’re experiencing skin issues, histamine intolerance may be a contributing factor, and identifying trigger foods, making dietary changes, or taking supplements may help improve your symptoms.

5. Food Intolerances

Histamine is present in many foods. High-histamine foods contain high histamine levels or trigger the release of histamine in the body. For people with histamine intolerance, consuming these foods can cause various symptoms, including headaches, migraines, digestive issues, and skin reactions. 

Some high-histamine foods include:

  • Aged and fermented cheeses, such as cheddar, blue cheese, and gouda
  • Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha
  • Cured meats, such as salami, pepperoni, and harm
  • Smoked fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • Vinegar and foods containing vinegar, such as pickles, mustard, and ketchup
  • Alcoholic beverages, especially wine, beer, and champagne
  • Dried fruits, such as raisins, dates, and figs
  • Nuts, such as walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
  • Chocolate and cocoa products

Not everyone with histamine intolerance will react to all of these foods, and some people may have different trigger foods. Some people with histamine intolerance may also be sensitive to certain foods that trigger the release of histamine, including shellfish, citrus fruits, strawberries, and tomatoes.

6. Cardiovascular Symptoms

Histamine can cause blood vessels to dilate and become more permeable, which can lead to a range of cardiovascular symptoms, including:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Flushing or redness of the skin
  • Swelling or edema, especially in the legs or ankles

Histamine intolerance can also cause chest pain or palpitations in some cases, though these symptoms are usually not life-threatening.

7. Environmental Sensitivities

Histamine intolerance can cause a range of environmental sensitivities due to how histamine interfaces with the body. When histamine is released in response to environmental triggers such as pollen, dust mites, or mold, it can cause inflammation in the body, leading to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy, water eyes
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Asthma or difficulty breathing

Not all environmental sensitivities are caused by histamine intolerance, and proper diagnosis is key to manage your symptoms effectively.  

8. Flushing

Histamine intolerance can cause flushing due to how histamine interacts with the body’s blood vessels. Histamine can cause the blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow and redness of the skin. This can result in flushing or a warm sensation in the face, neck, and upper body.

In people with histamine intolerance, flushing can occur due to consuming high-histamine foods or other triggers that cause a histamine release in the body. Other symptoms accompanying flushing include headaches, dizziness, and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or diarrhea.

9. Nerve Issues

Histamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the body’s response to stress and injury. In people with histamine intolerance, an excess of histamine can cause nerve-related symptoms such as tingling, numbness, and burning sensations in the extremities. These symptoms may be more pronounced after consuming high-histamine foods or other triggers that cause a release of histamine in the body.

Histamine can also cause inflammation in the body, further exacerbating nerve-related symptoms. This is because inflammation can damage nerve cells and disrupt the normal functioning of the nervous system. Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to more severe nerve-related symptoms, such as muscle weakness, tremors, and even loss of sensation in the affected area.

10. Hormone Issues or Imbalances

Histamine can affect the body’s production and regulation of several hormones. For example, it can inhibit the release of luteinizing hormone (LH), which is involved in the production of estrogen and progesterone in women. This can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, estrogen dominance, and other menstrual-related symptoms.

Histamine can also affect the production and activity of thyroid hormone, which is important for regulating metabolism and energy levels. In people with histamine intolerance, the increased production of histamine can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, and changes in mood and energy levels.

Histamine can also affect the production and regulation of cortisol, a hormone involved in the body’s stress response. In people with histamine intolerance, the increased production of histamine can lead to increased cortisol production, which can cause anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. 

Hormone issues or imbalances can have many causes, and histamine intolerance is just one potential contributing factor. However, if you are experiencing hormone-related symptoms or any other signs of histamine intolerance, I encourage you to talk to your care provider to rule out other potential causes and develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

More…

There are so many more things that could be possible signs of histamine intolerance, and we only hit on the biggest ten! I can’t help myself. I need to drop in a few more signs you shouldn’t ignore.

Some additional signs of histamine intolerance may include:

  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath
  • Nasal congestion
  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Dizziness and lightheadedness

Heal the Root Cause and Find Relief from Histamine Intolerance

It’s possible to find relief from histamine intolerance!

I did!

And when I pieced together the puzzle of my histamine intolerance, it was life changing. Today, I’m able to eat most foods without any problems, and most of my symptoms are gone! 

You, too, can experience similar relief from the puzzling and debilitating symptoms of histamine intolerance!

Discover what is driving your histamine intolerance symptoms and how to support your body with my four-phase wellness program by scheduling a consultation today. 

Not sure if you’re reading for a consultation? Try our Histamine Reset Online Program to begin healing your body on your time. 

 

Resources

  1. “Histamine Intolerance—The More We Know the Less We … – NCBI.” 29 Jun. 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8308327/. Accessed 5 May. 2023.
  2. “Finding suitable population thresholds for geographic aggregations.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/am/pii/S1877584520300174. Accessed 5 May. 2023.
  3. “Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art – PMC – NCBI.” 14 Aug. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463562/. Accessed 5 May. 2023.
  4. “Histamine and Migraine – PubMed.” 1 Sep. 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28862769/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  5. “Histamine Intolerance Originates in the Gut – PMC – NCBI.” 12 Apr. 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069563/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  6. “Histamine drives severity of innate inflammation via … – NCBI.” 24 Jan. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5976516/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  7. “Intestinal Dysbiosis in Patients with Histamine Intolerance – PMC.” 23 Apr. 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9102523/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  8. “[Histamine intolerance–possible dermatologic sequences] – PubMed.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23814966/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  9. “Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art – PMC – NCBI.” 14 Aug. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463562/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  10. “Histamine Blood Concentration in Ischemic Heart Disease Patients.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114553/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  11. “Blood histamine is associated with coronary artery disease, cardiac ….” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12611642/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  12. “Clinical Evidence of the Role of Histamine in Heart Failure.” 28 Mar. 2016, https://www.jacc.org/doi/10.1016/j.jacc.2016.01.046. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  13. “Flushing Disorders Associated with Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Part ….” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6108509/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  14. “Histamine, histamine receptors, and neuropathic pain relief – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7012972/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.
  15. “The role of histamine in neurogenic inflammation – PMC – NCBI.” 15 Aug. 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764847/. Accessed 8 May. 2023.

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