What Is Histamine Intolerance?

In the event you’ve already tried a number of the typical diets or had meals sensitivity testing and also you haven’t improved, it’s possible you’ll need to discover histamine intolerance. It may be the basis reason for difficult well being issues like migraines, pores and skin irritation, and digestive upset.

Histamine intolerance signs can mimic different circumstances, so it’s essential to rule out different well being points earlier than attempting a low histamine eating regimen. A low histamine eating regimen 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. Constituted of the precursor amino acid, histidine, it has many roles within the physique:

  • Contracts easy muscle tissue (like for respiratory)
  • Dilates blood vessels
  • Influences blood strain
  • Stimulates gastric juices
  • Concerned in immunomodulation

Histamine additionally helps the physique heal from accidents and allergic reactions by rising blood move to elements of the physique. It’s additionally a neurotransmitter within the mind, relaying messages and regulating the wake-sleep cycle.

There are 4 sorts of histamine receptors in our our bodies:

  • H1 are in all places 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 circumstances, and we’re nonetheless studying precisely how.

Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

The signs of histamine intolerance sometimes happen anyplace between half-hour to 72 hours after ingesting sure meals. Individuals are inclined to expertise totally different signs and will expertise them from just one class, a number of classes, or all of them. An official analysis requires:

  • an enchancment or remission of signs with a low histamine eating regimen
  • at the least one optimistic lab or genetic marker
  • two or extra signs as soon as your physician guidelines out different circumstances (see signs under)

The 4 sorts of histamine receptors all around the physique could clarify the variability of signs. Listed below 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 strain)
  • Dizziness



  • Painful durations
  • PMS symptoms like cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting, and many others.

Histamine could also be a part of the cascade that creates uterus contractions throughout your interval and it’s potential 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 just a few totally different causes of HIT to discover.

First, it’s important to rule out prescription drugs. Sure medicine could cause histamine intolerance by inflicting diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, so test together with your pharmacist about that potential interplay.

Histamine has two major enzyme pathways within the physique: histamine-N-methyltransferase (HNMT) and DAO. Genetic mutations referred to as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of amino acids could cause each of those to perform abnormally. The subsequent sections are a little bit dense however it’s important to grasp for those who’re battling this.


HMNT breaks down histamine all through the physique. In case you have the MTHFR mutation, it’s possible you’ll wrestle to interrupt down histamine except 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 physician on it and get common bloodwork.

You’ll be able to dig extra into this analysis I’ve already achieved on MTHFR:


The DAO enzyme primarily breaks down histamine within the intestines, kidneys, and colon, preserving it from leaking into the bloodstream. Regular DAO ranges hold histamine ranges from rising above regular within the bloodstream. Some think about DAO exercise like a bouncer within the mucosal lining of your digestive tract, preserving 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 exams for copper, zinc, and a copper/zinc ratio. You’ll be able to unintentionally overdose on zinc and deplete your copper, which prevents the right breakdown of histamine. For some, merely including a copper complement can cut back their HIT signs.

Researchers have recognized over 50 SNPs in DAO genes that alter its exercise and will result in histamine intolerance. In case your exams come again regular, or for those who 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 Seeking Health.

Apparently, the placenta produces excessive quantities of DAO, which can result in some girls discovering reduction throughout being pregnant. This doesn’t occur for everybody with HIT although.

Why It’s Laborious to Diagnose HIT

With a purpose to get a HIT analysis, your physician should rule out the next:

As soon as all of these have been dominated out, some docs will attempt to measure:

  • DAO – within the blood plasma
  • Histamine – within the blood plasma (however you must 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 stunned if they are saying no…. Simply know that the degrees of histamine will 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 Kit

Ideally, you’ll need to get these exams achieved earlier than limiting histamine in your eating regimen so that you just get an correct image of your well being.

How one can Do a Low Histamine Weight loss plan

The first remedy for HIT is to cut back your histamine consumption as a lot as potential so your physique can settle down. Some practitioners will advocate a short-term low histamine eating regimen to see if signs cut back, particularly if the affected person lacks the assets to get exams or can’t entry them. (It’s inconceivable to do a completely histamine-free eating regimen.)

It’s often a good suggestion to observe a low histamine elimination eating regimen for 4-8 weeks to see if it lowers your signs. Some will proceed to remain on the primary part for six months if additionally they wrestle with mast cell activation syndrome.

Upon getting accomplished your elimination eating regimen, you can begin a check part. Reintroduce meals into your eating regimen and see the way you react for 3-4 days earlier than introducing the following one. As all the time, I counsel specializing in wholesome meals similar to greens and produce which are in season.

From there, discover the best long-term stability for you. It’s greatest to not keep low histamine for too lengthy as a result of histamine is required for sure organic features similar to daytime waking, regular therapeutic cycles, and abdomen acid manufacturing.

Excessive Histamine Meals

This record incorporates some common tendencies. There isn’t a consensus amongst sources on which meals are literally excessive in histamine because the manner meals are grown, saved, and transported can extremely have an effect on the quantity of histamine.

The well-known histamine-rich meals are:

  • Fermented foods – sauerkraut, alcohol, kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, and vanilla extract
  • Aged meats and dairy – beef (it’s sometimes aged for two weeks except you particularly ask the butcher to not), fish (it sometimes sits on a ship within the fridge for days or perhaps 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 lately thawed
  • Gradual-cooked meals bone broth, chili, and different crockpot meals
  • Nuts – peanuts, walnuts, and cashews
  • Avocado 
  • Strawberry
  • Spinach 
  • Chocolate 
  • Tomato 
  • Eggplant 
  • Banana
  • Mushroom
  • Artificial dyes and colors
  • Artificial sweeteners

In the event you eat one thing and also you suppose you react, make an observation of it. It’s your decision to do a little analysis to see if some sources counsel it could have extra histamine than you realized.

Methods to Cut back Histamine Ranges in Meals

With a purpose to be low histamine, it’s essential to deal with meals a sure manner. Listed below are the principle ones:

  • Frozen meat – Purchase meat that they instantly freeze, like ButcherBox and Vital Choice.
  • Flash thaw – Soak meats in heat water to defrost them rapidly. 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.
  • Instant Pot – Use the strain cooker perform to infuse flavors in meals that you just often sluggish cook dinner to cut back histamine.
  • Contemporary produce – Purchase domestically out of your farmer’s market or well being meals retailer once they’re in season.
  • Frozen produce – For meals you can’t guarantee how they’ve been dealt with, purchase them frozen to cut back histamine.

Different suggestions:

  • Tomatoes  – Purchase small tomatoes like cherry or grape as these have much less histamine than the bigger ones (just for later phases or whenever you need to indulge).
  • Carrots – Search for carrots with contemporary inexperienced tops, so they’re contemporary.
  • Bone broth – Use the Instant Pot version in this recipe to maintain histamine low. You might cut 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 you must know which are each meals and lifestyle-related.

Histamine Liberators

Some meals have amines which will improve 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 – You might need to keep away from sugar and any sugar substitutes that increase blood sugar (like coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, and many others.) and keep on with stevia and pure monk fruit


Some docs hypothesize that oxalate poisoning can set off an elevated histamine response, so for those who’ve tried a low histamine eating regimen, it’s possible you’ll need to speak to your physician about slowly decreasing your oxalate consumption.


Along with bacterial infections, some probiotic strains could improve 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 tips to help reduce stress naturally.

Consuming too Ceaselessly

Each time you eat, your physique expresses histamine. In the event you can, intermittent fast to cut back your consuming window to 12 hours or much less. It will assist cut back your physique’s histamine burden.

Pure Cures for Histamine Intolerance Signs

As soon as an individual has decided that histamines is perhaps the difficulty, they will use these instruments to assist handle their signs along with a low histamine eating regimen.

DAO Enzymes

In the event you’re questioning whether or not or not you have got sufficient diamine oxidase, it’s possible you’ll need to speak to your physician about taking In search of 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 part to assist them break down any extra histamine of their methods.

For added assist, additionally they have Histamine Block Plus. It not solely has DAO but additionally extra vitamins, together with a stability of copper and zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B.


Tributyrate could assist your intestinal lining break down histamine. Take heed to this podcast with Steve Wright on the way it may modulate mast cells and cut back their histamine launch within the intestine lining.


These probiotic strains could assist break down histamine:

  • Lactiplantibacillus plantarum
  • Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus
  • Bacillus household

Whereas I usually recommend 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 allergic reactions.

Don’t take any type of antihistamines in case you are pregnant or nursing because it reduces milk provide and may intrude with hormones.

Natural Antihistamines

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

The perfect 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 the perfect of typical medication. Even holistic practitioners will counsel OTC antihistamines to assist alleviate extreme signs in the course of the elimination part and as a bandaid in the course of the reintroduction part. They work on the H1 receptors. Nevertheless, attempt to restrict them to short-term use as many warn in opposition to long-term unwanted side effects. If myself or a liked one ever acquired so far, I’d strive a 2nd era antihistamine like Zyrtec, Allegra, or Claritin.

Extra Assets

This text was scientifically reviewed by Beth O’Hara, FN. She is a useful 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 eating regimen? Did it assist alleviate any of your histamine intolerance signs?


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  3. Thangam, E. B., et al. (2018). The Role of Histamine and Histamine Receptors in Mast Cell-Mediated Allergy and Inflammation: The Hunt for New Therapeutic Targets. Frontiers in immunology, 9, 1873.
  4. Hrubisko, M., et al. (2021). Histamine Intolerance-The More We Know the Less We Know. A Evaluation. Vitamins, 13(7), 2228.
  5. Farzam, Ok., Sabir, S., & O’Rourke , M. C. (2021). Antihistamines. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing.

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