Here’s a short explanation of what histamine intolerance means:
- I react to all histamine present in the environment. Normally the histamine needs to enter my body. As I’m exposed to more and more histamine the reaction can build until my immune system is effectively in a storm if left uncontrolled. Breathing in pollen, eating food, and taking a medicine can all cause histamine to increase in my body.
- I’m on a strict diet that eliminates most foods that are high in histamine. Some examples of foods high in histamine include berries, pumpkin, cinnamon, shellfish, fermented foods, certain preservatives, and artificial food dyes or flavors. I cannot fit all the foods here.
- Because fermented foods are high in histamine that also means I can have allergic reactions to drugs and supplements too, if they were prepared by fermentation. (or medicines with artificial colors)
- A histamine intolerance reaction is not like a “traditional” food allergy reaction but it can be as deadly.
- example of mild reaction: stomach ache from eating leftovers – treated with OTC antihistamines
- example of a moderate reaction: asthma attack from eating something with cinnamon – treated with OTC antihistamines, breathing treatments (albuterol)
- example of a severe reaction: shortness of breath, cough, bronchospasm and BP changes from exposure to a drug that causes a system wide increase in histamine – treated with OTC antihistamines, breathing treatments (albuterol), possibly epi and prednisone – in ER
- Elephant Memory – During more severe allergic reactions I have had multiple instances of my body remembering sites of old reactions and having inflammation/itchiness in these old sites, even years past the incident.