Most people are familiar with the idea of food intolerance. Common struggles to digest a variety of different foods can lead to discomfort and even pain.
Some intolerances, like the inability to break down lactose, are well known, while others are less common. One intolerance that falls in the latter category is histamine.
what is histamine intolerance?
Histamine intolerance is a unique condition that affects as little as 1-3% of the global population. Unlike other intolerances, a histamine intolerance does not indicate that an individual is sensitive to histamine. It simply means they have too much of it in their body at a time.
The chemical compound histamine is a biogenic anime that is naturally produced by the body itself. It is stored in mast cells, and the body releases it for select functions, such as:
- Communicating messages to your brain.
- An allergic reaction or immune response.
- Aiding in digestion.
While the presence of histamine is normal, too much of the chemical can be a problem. When the body struggles with things like allergies, inflammatory reactions, or gastrointestinal tract disorders, it can lead to a histamine overdose. Eating histamine-rich foods, like fish, spinach, or aged cheese, can also lead to too much histamine. This can come with a variety of symptoms, including headaches, sleeplessness, palpitations, diarrhea, stuffy nose, and itchy skin.
To avoid this, the body creates the enzyme Diamine Oxidase or DAO. If the body doesn’t have enough of the DAO enzyme to manage its histamine levels, it can lead to an intolerance. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to manage histamine intolerance.
managing histamine intolerance
One of the best ways to manage histamine intolerance is by eliminating foods with high levels of histamine from your diet. For instance, rather than eating aged, ripe, or fermented fruits and veggies, aim for fresher options.
A low histamine diet is a good starting point. However, if the problems persist, you can also utilize supplements with the DAO enzyme for extra support. The DAO enzyme helps to digest histamine in your digestive tract.
using the right tools to manage histamine intolerance
Histamine intolerance isn’t common — but when it is a factor, it can be quite unpleasant. Luckily there are a some ways to make your quality of life better again.