Posted on March 24, 2021 (updated March 24, 2021)
What is Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine is a chemical found naturally in certain foods and is best known for its actions during an allergic or inflammatory reaction. However, histamine intolerance occurs where there is an accumulation of histamine and the body is unable to break it down quickly enough.
What are the symptoms?
Some of the symptoms are similar to those of a seasonal allergy – you may experience headaches, migraines, itchy or flushed skin, asthma attacks, and gastrointestinal disorders such as leaky gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Other symptoms can be more severe and can affect blood pressure or lead to heart palpitations and anxiety or panic attacks.
What foods are high in histamine?
Histamine levels increase as foods mature and ferment so aged cheeses, yogurts, processed meats, canned and pickled foods, smoked meats, and alcoholic drinks (especially wine, champagne, and beer) can cause a boost in histamine in your system. Other foods high in histamine are avocados, citrus fruits, chocolate, certain nuts such as walnuts and cashews, and tomatoes. Although many of these foods have a high nutritional value, if you are unable to break down histamine efficiently, it is easier to eradicate them from your diet. There is a growing awareness regarding histamine intolerance, and more information can be found here
How is histamine intolerance treated?
Aside from dietary and nutritional changes, the standard treatment is usually one of the many over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamine medications. In some cases, such as with Long COVID, a patient becomes highly sensitive to fillers used in these traditional medications. To help, we can offer compounded loratadine or famotidine capsules to benefit patients, with ketotifen and sodium cromoglycate soon to follow.