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Abuzz Over Histamine Intolerance

From eNewsletter 6/26/2019

DID YOU KNOW that a new study from JAMA Internal Medicine found in older women, taking as few as 4,400 steps per day was significantly associated with lower risk of death compared to taking 2,700 steps per day?

Risk of death continued to decrease with more steps taken, but leveled off at around 7,500 steps per day, less than the 10,000 steps default goal in many wearables. However, the more steps you take helps your fitness and energy burning capability.


Steve: A friend claims she has a histamine intolerance. A cousin says he's on a histamine diet. If you haven't heard histamine intolerance bandied about lately, you will at some point.

The purpose of addressing histamine is to reduce symptoms related to the overproduction of, or inability to break down, histamine. Bloating, IBS, increased allergic and intolerance symptoms, and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome are some of the maladies related to histamine imbalance.

There are several ways to detect if a histamine imbalance exists. Before we break it down, you first should understand histamine.

Histamine's Functions

Histamine is part of the immune response for neutralizing foreign pathogens, particles, and more. Produced by basophils and mast cells, histamine is most famous for inducing the insufferable allergic response to airborne or food allergens. This response is necessary for our survival. However, when histamine is overproduced or is not broken down properly, chronic issues follow.

Why are we hearing more about histamine issues now?

-As plants produce more pollen due to the warming planet, we must produce more histamine to neutralize the ever-growing pollen count.

-Many high histamine foods are ubiquitous in our diets.

Besides acting as an immune agent, histamine performs other critical functions such as wakefulness (which is why some antihistamines make you drowsy), body temperature regulation, appetite regulation, and proper endocrine function.

While antihistamine medication can provide immeasurable relief to allergy sufferers, these medications block antihistamine production. Over time, this can be detrimental to your health. Aside from affecting the sleep-wake cycle, promoting weight gain, and drying out mucus membranes, antihistamines impede the natural destruction of pathogens, making us more susceptible to infection.

Do I Have a Histamine Imbalance?

You can address histamine overproduction or impaired histamine breakdown without having to rely on antihistamine medication. Here are six ways to discern if you have a histamine imbalance:

1. Do you have diagnosed allergies or intolerances? An allergist can detect true environmental and food allergies. We can test you for food intolerances. Adult-onset allergies are a growing public health concern, so if you suspect this is you, get tested.

2. Do you have a genetic mutation that suppresses the enzyme that breaks down histamine? Knowing the status of your diamine oxidase (DAO) gene is critical. Our Pure Genomics screens for this gene.

3. To confirm low DAO enzyme production, test serum DAO levels. If you are low, there are numerous supplemental options that increase DAO enzyme production.

4. Test serum Tryptase, a marker for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which causes chronically high histamine levels.

5. If the aforementioned tests are not feasible, and you're sure the symptoms are histamine-related, try taking an OTC antihistamine (we prefer Claritin Reditab 24 hour) every day for two weeks. If after two weeks, gastrointestinal, skin, sinus, and other allergic-related symptoms go away, chances are you have a histamine issue. Then you can address it under the auspices of a licensed health professional.

6. Because histamine plays a major role in arousal and staying awake, if you consistently have trouble falling asleep, and OTC antihistamines help you get to sleep easier, a histamine issue may be indicated. You can address it under the auspices of a licensed health professional.

How to Keep Histamine Levels in Check Without Antihistamine Medication?

Access to these steps, as well as a list of high histamine foods, are available below to paid NCI Well Connect members.


Bonnie: When we hear the word "insulin", most people think of diabetes.  But problems with insulin go far beyond diabetes...this article is reserved for NCI Well Connect Members. You can get this article by signing up here. You can get our free eNewsletter by signing up at the top of our website.


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