Understanding Histamine Intolerance: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Jan. 29, 2021

Over time we’ve seen an increasing number of clients come to us with symptoms of histamine intolerance, including seasonal allergies, headaches, skin issues and digestive problems. And although doctors would likely treat these as separate conditions, we believe common root causes are certainly at play. We’ve learned that histamine problems often originate in the gut, but environmental and lifestyle factors can definitely make them worse.

On this podcast, NBT Scientific Director and coach Megan Hall and I discuss histamine intolerance, including causes, symptoms, and potential treatments. We talk about why this condition is difficult to diagnose, and some of the signs that suggest your “histamine bucket” is overflowing. Megan describes the best options for fixing the problem at the source, including diet, supplements, and environmental changes.

Be sure to see the show notes to get the outline Megan wrote to prepare for this podcast. It’s an excellent resource for anyone who has seasonal allergies or suspects they may have histamine intolerance.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Megan Hall:

[00:01:10] Chris's history with histamine.

[00:03:32] Methylation.

[00:03:59] What is histamine?

[00:05:55] Symptoms of histamine intolerance.

[00:07:21] Causes of histamine intolerance.

[00:08:19] Enzymes that break down histamine.

[00:09:41] Outline for this podcast.

[00:11:04] Lucy Mailing, PhD.; Podcasts: How to Optimise Your Gut Microbiome and Microbiome Myths and Misconceptions.

[00:11:16] Lucy Mailing’s blog post: The oxygen-gut dysbiosis connection; Study: Schink, M., et al. "Microbial patterns in patients with histamine intolerance." J Physiol Pharmacol 69.4 (2018): 579-93.

[00:12:11] Effects of stress.

[00:13:49] The Coping Resilience and Mental Toughness Workshop with Simon Marshall, PhD and triathlete Lesley Paterson.

[00:14:05] Estrogen excess.

[00:15:59] Book: The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease, by Daniel Lieberman.

[00:16:41] Impact of genetic polymorphisms.

[00:17:37] The histamine "bucket" and individual tolerance.

[00:18:20] Testing for histamine intolerance.

[00:21:00] What to do if you're sensitive to histamine (or have allergies).

[00:21:28] Supplements: mast cell stabilizers, antihistamines, DAO enzyme; Study: Schnedl, Wolfgang J., et al. "Diamine oxidase supplementation improves symptoms in patients with histamine intolerance." Food science and biotechnology 28.6 (2019): 1779-1784.

[00:22:24] Thorne Quercetin Phytosome; Study: Riva, Antonella, et al. "Improved oral absorption of quercetin from quercetin phytosome®, a new delivery system based on food grade lecithin." European journal of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics 44.2 (2019): 169-177.

[00:23:05] Over the counter antihistamines.

[00:24:01] Dietary restriction (short term).

[00:24:33] No perfect food elimination list; Paper: Martin, I. San Mauro, S. Brachero, and E. Garicano Vilar. "Histamine intolerance and dietary management: A complete review." Allergologia et immunopathologia 44.5 (2016): 475-483.

[00:27:40] Stress; Study: Eutamene, Helene, et al. "Acute stress modulates the histamine content of mast cells in the gastrointestinal tract through interleukin‐1 and corticotropin‐releasing factor release in rats." The Journal of physiology 553.3 (2003): 959-966.

[00:29:08] High priority: fixing the gut.

[00:29:22] Paleo Diet; Book: The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat, by Loren Cordain.

[00:29:25] Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

[00:29:44] Gut testing.

[00:30:10] Enteromend, GI-Revive, SBI Protect, herbal antimicrobials.

[00:31:41] What didn't work for Chris.

[00:34:22] Seasonal allergies.

[00:36:58] Review papers on histamine: Maintz, Laura, and Natalija Novak. "Histamine and histamine intolerance." The American journal of clinical nutrition 85.5 (2007): 1185-1196 and Comas-Basté, Oriol, et al. "Histamine intolerance: The current state of the art." Biomolecules 10.8 (2020): 1181.

[00:37:08] Book a free 15-minute starter session.

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