Migraines and Histamine Intolerance

Migraines and Histamine Intolerance

Did you know that there is a migraine warrior in one of every four households? Migraines affect about 12% of the US population. I was one of them. I had migraines for years before I discovered that histamine intolerance was causing them (1).

In this article, I will explain what migraines are. You will understand what histamine intolerance is and how it plays a role in your migraines. I will also share some of my best natural tips for migraines and histamine intolerance.

What Are Migraines

Migraines are actually a syndrome that consists of different symptoms, like a debilitating headache characterized by throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation. While they often occur on one side of the head only, it can also affect both sides. Migraines often also cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound as well. They may come with an aura, which includes visual or other disturbances, such as light flashes, blind spots, tingling, or speech difficulties.

Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to days. While some people only suffer from occasional migraines, many experience regular or chronic migraines. 

Migraine medications tend to come with a long list of side effects and tend to not offer much help at all. Natural approaches, including lifestyle changes, supplements, and nutrition are much safer and often more beneficial (1, 2, 3).

Migraine Characteristics

Histamine and Histamine Intolerance

Histamine is responsible for various bodily functions, including fighting off allergens as part of your immune response, communicating with your brain, and promoting stomach acid release to aid digestion. While histamine plays an important role in your health, too much histamine can become a serious problem. Histamine intolerance means that you have too much histamine which can result in various symptoms and health issues. Migraines are one of them.

As a natural part of your natural immune response, your body releases certain enzymes to break down any histamine build-up. The problem is that if your body has too much histamine from food or other sources, it simply won’t be able to break down the excess histamine effectively and completely. Histamine intolerance is a full-body issue that can affect all parts of your body, including your gut, brain, lungs, cardiovascular system, and hormonal health. Histamine intolerance can show up in your body in various ways, including migraines, headaches, skin problems, hormonal issues, digestive issues, sleep disturbances, bladder problems, anxiety, seasonal allergies, and more (4).

what is histamine

Migraines and Histamine Intolerance

The link between migraines and histamine is not new. Many health practitioners suggest eliminating chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, and other high-histamine foods as potential triggers. Keeping a migraine diary, migraine warriors often find that certain high-histamine foods may be the trigger. Thanks to research, however, we finally have more understanding of how migraines and histamine are connected.

Research has found that people with chronic migraines have higher levels of histamine in their plasma and increased histamine-releasing brain mast cells. Scientists have found that up to 90% of migraine patients have a deficiency in Diamine Oxidase (DAO), an enzyme responsible for histamine breakdown. Studies indicate that DAO deficiency may also increase the risk of migraines, while DAO supplementation may decrease the length of migraine attacks (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

While researchers have found that eating high-histamine foods can trigger migraines in both chronic migraine patients and in those who normally don’t have migraines and a low histamine diet can help migraineurs. One study has found that 73.3% of migraine patients experienced relief when following a low-histamine diet (7, 12).

histamine and migraine cycle

Menstrual Migraines and Histamine Intolerance

“But, Dr. Becky, I only get migraines around my period. Can it still be from histamine?” Great question! You are not alone, millions of women experience migraines before or during their period. While most women believe that they can’t do anything about these menstrual migraines, it is far from the truth. Histamine intolerance may play a role in your menstrual migraines.

If you read my article on the connection between estrogen and histamine intolerance, and histamine intolerance and PCOS, you will understand that histamine intolerance can seriously impact your hormonal health and lead to premenstrual and menstrual symptoms, including migraines.

Hormonal imbalances are one of the main causes of histamine intolerance. Estrogen dominance occurs in your body when your estrogen and progesterone levels get out of balance and you end up with too much estrogen. Estrogen dominance plays a key role in hormonal issues and symptoms of a variety of issues that affect women, including migraines, headaches, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramping, decreased libido, weight gain, hot flashes, and more. If you are experiencing migraines or headaches before or during your period, there is a high chance that it’s from histamine intolerance (13).

menstrual cycle & histamine

Headaches and Histamine Intolerance

Migraines are not the only form of headache that millions of people are dealing with worldwide. Even if you are not a migraines warrior, there is a good chance that you experience other types of headaches on a regular basis. You may wonder whether or not a low-histamine diet can help you.

The answer is yes, histamine intolerance may be behind non-migraine headaches. Histamine intolerance can lead to inflammation, muscle tension, and gut flora imbalance which may contribute to headaches. Research has shown that eating a low-histamine diet a large number of non-migraine chronic headache patients have experienced decreased headaches. I often hear from my patients that they’ve noticed less or no headaches since adopting a low-histamine diet (12).

Natural Solutions

If you are a migraine warrior like I was, I bet you want to hear some natural solutions that can help you to experience freedom from migraines. Here is what I recommend:

Elimination Diet

To improve histamine intolerance and eliminate migraines, the first thing you need to do is to improve your diet. Follow an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, and low-histamine diet. Eliminate all histamine foods from your diet for one to three months, then slowly re-introduce them one by one following The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan. This plan is a simple yet refined system, so it is important that you follow each step properly. To understand each step and guide your recovery, I recommend that you read my book, The 4-Phase Histamine Reset Plan: Getting to the Root of Migraines, Eczema, Vertigo, Allergies and More where I explain everything about histamine intolerance and each phase of the plan in detail and share delicious low-histamine recipes to nourish your body and support your health. 

Support Your Liver and Hormone Levels

Your liver is an important detoxifying organ that’s absolutely essential for your histamine intolerance recovery. Research has also connected poor liver health with migraines making even more important to give some love to your liver. This is why I recommend Optimal Reset Liver Love. This supplement is a powerful blend of botanical and mushroom extracts and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), a derivative of the amino acid cysteine for optimal liver function. It also allows optimal estrogen detoxification and supports your hormonal health, which may benefit menstrual migraines (14).

Reduce Histamine Intolerance

To improve histamine intolerance and eliminate migraines successfully, I also recommend HistoRelief, a synergistic blend of nutrients that provides natural support to balance your immune response. This supplement includes Tinofend®, quercetin, nettle leaf, vitamin C, and bicarbonate salts, which all offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and histamine release support (15)

Final Thoughts 

Millions of people are experiencing migraines regularly. If you are a migraine warrior, you can choose to become a health warrior instead. Follow my tips to free yourself from migraines and to reclaim your health naturally.

If you are dealing with migraines or other symptoms of histamine intolerance, I invite you to schedule a consultation with us. I can help to identify the root cause of your condition and recommend a personalized treatment plan to repair your body and regain your health and well-being. Schedule your consultation here.


1. Migraine Research Foundation. Link Here
2. Migraine. Medline Plus. Link Here
3. Migraine. Mayo Clinic. Link Here
4.  Maintz L, Novak N, Histamine and histamine intolerance, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 85, Issue 5, May 2007, Pages 1185–1196. Link Here
5. Gazerani P. A correlation between migraine, histamine and immunoglobulin E. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. Volume57, Issue3. March 2003. Pages 286-290. Link Here
6. Theoharides TC, Donelan J, Kandere-Grzybowska K, Konstantinidou A. The role of mast cells in migraine pathophysiology. Brain Res Brain Res Rev. 2005 Jul;49(1):65-76. PMID: 15960987 
7. Kaliner M. Effects of infused histamine: correlation of plasma histamine levels and symptoms. Link Here
8. Izquierdo-Casas J, Comas-Basté O, Latorre-Moratalla ML, Lorente-Gascón M, Duelo A, Vidal-Carou MC, Soler-Singla L. Low serum diamine oxidase (DAO) activity levels in patients with migraine. J Physiol Biochem. 2018 Feb;74(1):93-99. PMID: 28624934 
9. Keller MD. Migraine attacks shortened by diamine oxidase supplements. Medscape. Link Here
10. Migraine and headaches caused by DAO deficiency. D rHealthcare. Link Here
11. Migraines appear more likely to be caused by histamine rather than ethanol. DrHealthcare. Link Here
12. Wantke F, Gotz M, Jarisch M. Histamine‐free diet: treatment of choice for histamine‐induced food intolerance and supporting treatment for chronical headaches. Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Volume23, Issue12. December 1993. Pages 982-985. Link Here
13. Arduc A, Aycicek Dogan B, Bilmez S Imga Nasirouglu N, Tuna MM, Isik S, Berker D, Guler S. High prevalence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome: does the imbalance between estradiol and progesterone play a role? Endocrine Research. 2015;40(4):204-210. PMID: 25822940
14. Rodriguez RR. Headache and liver disease: is their relationship more apparent than real? Dig Dis Sci. 2004 Jun;49(6):1016-8. PMID: 15309894 
15. Histamine intolerance. Vickerstaff Health Services. Link Here




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.

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