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Could High Histamine Be a Factor with Endometriosis?

It is summer time here in New Zealand and because there was some delay in the “real summer” coming out, here in the South Island, the flowers all started to bloom at once. What landed up happening was a massive bout of hay fever for everyone living down here. I have been working at the local health shop for a couple days a week and we had so many people come in for hay fever relief that we had to make special orders to get more stock in!

It kinda got me thinking about allergies and histamine. So, typically when we have allergies, the body releases histamine. This is what then triggers all those reactions many of us experience with hay fever: runny nose, itchy eyes and blocked nose. To stop this, most people recommend an anti-histamine. Those are the nasty drugs, which make me all drowsy and like I just want to fall asleep!

As you can imagine, this is not a reaction many people like and so they tend to look for natural alternatives. Now, the typical alternatives we sell in the store have been a combination of garlic and immune supporters for the body. Trouble is, they were only marginally effective for most people.

I decided to look at the cause of the allergies or the culprit making those reactions instead. I had a look at histamine itself.

1. What if we have histamine intolerance?

It could be that our bodies are simply not able to break down histamine and it therefore remains in our bodies, elevating the levels of histamine in the body. This is sometimes called excess histamine or histamine intolerance.

It is estimated that about 1% of people are histamine intolerant. 80% of those are middle-aged. (Study: Maintz, L., & Novak, N. (2007). Histamine and histamine intolerance. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 85(5), 1185-1196. – See more at: http://bodyecology.com/articles/histamine-hack-how-to-safely-eat-fermented-foods#.VM7AeFWUeQQ)

2. What can we do to the excess Histamine?

There is a two thronged approach to reducing Histamine in the body.

Step 1: Reduce foods which trigger histamine release

The big culprits: tomatoes and strawberries.

Other foods: smoked meat products, eggplant, spinach and most citric fruits.

Sadly, foods which trigger a histamine release also include fermented foods, which I personally feel are vital for supporting our immune function. These include Sauerkraut and other fermented foods.

This also includes wine and sparkling wine.

Step 2: Get an enzyme to break down the histamine in the gut

There is a natural enzyme which can help the small intestine actually flush out the excess histamine. It is called DAOSiN and is a biogenous enzyme (DiAmineOxidase) that helps degrade histamine. It is also called DIASIN in other countries.

Step 3: Increase vitamin C in the diet

Vitamin C is an anti-histamine and will dampen histamine release. It works as an antioxidant that can stop cell damage and free radical damage. Natural sources of vitamin C are parsley and dark berries like blueberries.

 

3. Should we be avoiding fermented foods then?

It is easy to think that the culprit is in the histamine itself but we have to ask ourselves why our bodies are not able to flush out the excess histamine?

The problem lies in the body’s inability to break down the histamine, rather than the histamine itself. We need to heal the gut, rather than just avoid the reaction. One of the ways that this can happen is if we have wounded our gut lining. A common cause of such damage includes eating gluten for many years. Read more about leaky gut here. 

It might be necessary to avoid fermented foods until the gut lining is sufficiently healed, if you suspect you may have a too much histamine in your body.

 

Signs of histamine intolerance:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Asthma
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Hives or red, itchy skin

 

My recommended steps to dealing with excess histamine levels

Step 1: Avoid high histamine foods initially.

Step 2: Repair your gut lining and ensure your digestion is working well.

Step 2: Eat a diet high in fresh vegetables and natural fiber.

Step 4: Take a probiotic with strains of Bifidobacterium infantis and B.longum. This one has it in it.

Step 5: Take DAOSiN to support the removal of excess histamine.

Step 6: Support the liver with liver cleansing herbs and a liver happy diet.

Step 7: Introduce fermented foods slowly and measure their effects on your body.

 

Histamine is a natural response by the body to alert our immune system to do something. It is our alert system that there is a problem in an area. I definitely don’t feel that we should focus our attention on just the histamine itself but rather on the reasons our bodies are not able to break it down and flush it out of the body as it should.

Typically leaky gut exacerbates the symptoms of histamine intolerance. Many people with histamine intolerance are nutrient-deficient and often have gut-related conditions such as gluten intolerance and inflammatory bowel diseases.

My solution is always to look at the root cause of the body’s imbalances, and in the case of histamine, the excess remaining in the body that needs help getting broken down and flushed out.

Fermented foods play a vital role in providing a healthy gut environment and will support the body to break down foods that we eat. Though histamines are released by these foods, it may be the very same foods that aid in proper elimination of digested matter, enabling a more balanced digestive system.

I will keep researching fermented foods and histamines and how these all relate to Endometriosis. I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have heard anything about histamines in relation to Endometriosis.

Hugs, Melissa x
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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Bernadette Judd

    Hi Bably, so with the histamine that was helped a lot with what the custom nutrition the Dr prescribed, as well as a natural supplement I took. However that didn’t actually do anything for the awful periods, where are you based, I can come back with specific links or just hit me up on Facebook.

  2. Bably

    Hi Bernadette, how are you now, can you please give details of your treatment

  3. Bernadette Judd

    Hi Inom, interesting you ask… I am symptom free 🙂
    In short, I took care of the histamine – in my case it was undermethylation causing the problem there – and I got onto a brand of supplements that helped the liver, gut, and most of all, the wacky hormones. Connect with me on facebook if you like https://www.facebook.com/bernadettejjudd, I cant see if EndoEmpowered is on social media??

  4. Inom

    Hi Bernadette,
    I would like to know, how you are feeling now, it’s been while you posted this, I have been going through pretty much same horrible stuff, I am able to manage most of the symptoms with some supplements including quercitin, but my heart racing and thumping of blood is out of control. If you have some success, please share.
    Thanks

  5. Inom

    Hi Bernadette,
    I would like to know, how you are feeling now, it’s been while you posted this, I have been going through pretty much same horrible stuff, I am able to manage most of the symptoms with some supplements including quercitin, but my heart racing and thumping of blood is out of control. If you have some success, please share.
    Thanks

  6. Annette Shaw

    Hi
    I have suspected endometriosis. I have prickles at the tops of my legs. Feels like I getting kicked aswell the pain is all month long. I thought I will try a antihistamine. It seems to of worked on the prickles but only a little.

  7. Michelle Dellene

    Hi Melissa, I just found this post and wanted to let you know that I suffered from horrible endometriosis up until I began treatment for what I thought were food allergies but turned out to be Mast Cell Disease. I can’t believe that changing my diet and adding antihistamines has caused such a drastic change but it has. My endometriosis is gone – I have no painful periods now or any of the symptoms (bloating, etc) during my periods, after 30 years of MISERY. It’s like a miracle, but there is definitely a connection. Just thought you’d like to know! 🙂

    xo Michelle Dellene

  8. Melissa

    Hi Hun,

    It certainly could be and that link might be a clue to expand things further. I love figuring this out and recently discovered a more inherant connection with the liver and it’s detoxification processes and how it relates to histamine release and break-down.
    I would look at incorporating Curcumin for a time and see if that helps but to expand on your knowledge and the histamine connection, maybe get some books on liver health and how the detoxification processes work.
    I have one here but it is very technical and big! It is called The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine by Michael. T Murray and Joseph Pizzarno.
    Otherwise, just research more on the liver and of course I will be sharing more on my blog too 🙂

  9. Bernadette

    Hi Melissa.
    Really want to chat with you!
    For 6 years (am 24 now) I have been searching for answers to my gut and period problems.
    My gut is nothing on what it used to be (had to quit my job over it and everything used to exit only 15 mins after I’d eaten it) however it is still a prob. I’ve attempted the usual: gluten/dairy free, raw, paleo, probiotics, anti candida supp’s, progesterone creams and supp’s, vitamins, blah blah.
    I’ve had cameras up the back, up the front, down the mouth; stool tests, IG this tests, IG that tests.
    I’m not celiac, chrones,etc, but high chance of endometriosis though chose not to get laparoscopy(?) so inconclusive, but: inverted uterus, vomiting, fainting with onset of monthly, ‘sooty’ blood, and on the day it comes I spend around 5 hours on the loo, my stools going from normal to liquid and theres no hopping off the loo (whole abdomen feels like I’m having contractions), cramping so bad I cant walk for 2 days after!
    My gut and food have a bad relationship, even if I eat ‘healthy’, so I give up and just eat whatever is in my path, just not too much dairy or gluten as they seem to cause the most pain. I crave carbs, there is constantly mucous and ‘fat’ in my stools, undigested particles, blood when I wipe, pinching round my navel button, chronic bloat, varying stool types, and often I get ‘goosebumps’ on my right thigh after eating, and/or racing heart and whole body thumps as though the blood is struggling to get through.
    I also get brain fog and the like, depression, body clock up the pole, chronic body odour, psoriasis, hair loss, no energy…I feel these are results, not causes?
    I am trying to research if I have a histamine intolerance, and am praying I do – at least then I can finally work with something! Heres why I think so:
    1) Histamine ‘feeds’ oestrogen and vice versa (this is my ‘baby language’ interpretation from online sources linking the 2) and food problems and periods are my primary concerns
    2) Quercetin is a natural anti-histamine and the seasons I’m using lots of this for hayfever my gut health is better and brain fog improves
    3) This may be why my periods also majorly improved last summer as I was on SO MUCH quercetin.
    4) Sometimes I hardly react to a food and sometimes its incredibly touchy! – This would tie up to how histamine builds up when the enzyme to break it down isn’t available.
    5) I’ve been so highly allergic to bees from day one (2 weeks of major swelling); had hives when I was 4 from chicken pox meds that were so bad the doctors thought I had scarlet fever, and vommiting from meds in my childhood.
    6) Around 15 I started to get chronic hayfever for the 1st time, my school was in a rural area and prescription anti-histamines wouldnt be effective for long, so would spend days in the sick bay with eyes so swollen from itching I couldn’t see.
    Sorry, such a long script! But I would LOVE to know if this is the thing that connects all the dots and gives me my life back, so any info you have, I welcome!
    Thanks 🙂

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