Histamine Intolerance

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.

4 Replies to “Histamine Intolerance”

  1. I’ve always had problems with berries, cinnamon, and shellfish. I’m currently in the process of seeing my allergist about histamine intolerance. Your post explains it so much more simply than all the other things I’ve seen about it so far!

    1. I’ve since learned I need to break it down for doctors. Let me get you some of my favorite resources. (Send em on twitter).

  2. Hello! Nice to ‘meet’ you. What a group of immune disorders you have. I can relate! I have inflammatory arthritis and MCAD (Mast Cell Activation Disorder). I also have Raynaud’s, and I think it is possible I have Ehler-Danlos syndrome; it certainly have hypermobile joints. I’m in my early 40’s, and I got sick three years ago. I’ve always had allergies, including some odd ones- such as a peanut butter allergy that came and went several times over the course of my life. Three years ago, I got a terrible pain in my abdomen, and my life has changed dramatically. I have learned a LOT about histamine and narcotics, as well as what pain medications are suitable for people with histamine issues, and am eager to know more. I have so many questions to ask you about what has and hasn’t worked for you, but I need to read more of your entries first so that I’m not asking you things you’ve already written about. If you would like to read my blog, please e-mail me at karen@neill.ca, and I would be happy to give you the password (as I would be to anyone who has an interest in the area). I’m planning on opening it up to the public soon, but I need to remove some identifying information about my children first.
    Karen Neill

    1. Hi,
      Nice to see a comment from a real person, not a spammer. 🙂 I hope you don’t have EDS. If you’re on twitter, that’s a great place to catch me. I’m not doing a lot of online reading, so as much as I am interested in reading your blog/experiences, it’s not gonna happen right now. I’m sure you understand. I’m betting you can’t use NSAIDs either?
      Look forward to talking more 😉

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