What causes histamine allergy

The link between histamine and migraine is an established theory in Europe and the USA but here in the UK, it’s relatively unknown. Whilst researching and interviewing for this article I approached the UK’s biggest migraine charity, the Migraine Believe, my own GP and several UK-based migraine specialists who couldn’t assist. I also spoke to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) who own no plans to investigate the link at this point in time.

«The scientific evidence for histamine and the use of DAO is not there and this is why it is not currently used in the UK or suggested in the NICE, BASH or SIGN guidelines for the treatment of migraine,» explains Dr Katy Munro, Headache Specialist at the National Migraine Centre.

However, while little in scale, a few studies own suggested links between histamine and migraine.

These could provide new treatment options that might reduce the reliance on traditional medication and its potential side effects.

«Studies own not fairly caught up with anecdotal evidence and in the UK we own a strong history of evidence-based medicine, for excellent reason,» says nutritionist Emma Wight-Boycott. «This means that we may sometimes need to prescribe before a huge body of evidence is available here.»

I personally stumbled across the histamine migraine link when, after being put on the drug amitriptyline to treat my migraines, I found my attacks became more frequent and severe.

This was disappointing, given that amitriptyline is an effective and well-tolerated migraine treatment for lots of people.

After a particularly bad spell, I decided to do some research and found one theory that suggests amitriptyline actually blocks the production of DAO in the gut, causing excessive levels of histamine. However, the evidence is conflicting, with some studies suggesting the opposite (that antidepressants reduce histamine levels by increasing its breakdown). I decided to attempt coming off the medication and my migraines instantly improved and I had more energy.

This led me to ponder seriously about histamine and migraine and I started to glance further at the research.

A recent study found that almost 90% of migraine patients own an enzyme deficiency and are potentially at risk of having a migraine as a result. But the research also found that almost half of people who do not experience migraines had this deficiency too, indicating it is not the full story.

«It is suspected that one of the triggers of a migraine is the patient accumulating an excessive quantity of histamine,» says neurologist Dr Joan Izquierdo Casas from Hospital General de Catalunya in Spain.

«A certain quantity of this molecule is necessary and vital for the body. However, if this quantity is exceeded, it may set off a series of mechanisms which trigger a migraine crisis. The enzyme which prevents this excess is called DAO. A DAO deficiency may increase histamine levels in the blood and subsequently cause a migraine.»

In Spain, some migraine patients are prescribed DAO supplements as a complementary measure for their migraine management, alongside a low-histamine diet. Medications that may own an effect on DAO activity are also taken into consideration.

«This is an innovative technique and as such it is still in the initial stages of regulation,» says Casas.

«A study we published has shown for the first time that DAO supplements improve the duration of attacks in patients with episodic migraines vs placebo,» he says.

This trial found that migraine patients supplemented with a DAO enzyme for one month had reduced migraine duration — by an average of 1.4 hours compared to patients taking placebo. They also took 20% fewer triptans (migraine relief medication) than the placebo group. However, there was no difference between the DAO and placebo groups in the intensity of pain or the number of migraine attacks they suffered.

More in-depth research is needed to confirm the initial findings from this little study, which had a number of limitations.

It involved only a few patients from one little geographical region (genetics may affect people’s response to DAO) and the two groups were not evenly matched — the placebo group had significantly longer migraine attacks before the study than the DAO treated group.

«A new study combining this measure (DAO supplementation) with a low-histamine diet is currently underway. This new study will be capable to confirm and back up the results of the previous study,» says Casas.


Avoiding High-Histamine Foods

Maintaining a strict histamine-free diet is the key to relief from histamine intolerance symptoms. Your doctor will discuss which foods you should avoid, but in general, fermented and aged foods, along with certain high-histamine vegetables, are most likely to cause problems.

Most foods that are high in histamine are highly processed or fermented.

These include wine (especially red wine), aged cheese such as parmesan cheese, yeast-containing foods, and sauerkraut. Spinach and tomatoes also are high in histamine.

In addition, while citrus fruits are not themselves considered high in histamine, they can trigger your body to release stored histamine. Therefore, people on a strict histamine-free diet are generally advised to avoid oranges, grapefruit, and another citrus.

All alcoholic beverages can be problematic for people with histamine intolerance because alcohol can make DAO, one of the enzymes your body uses to process histamine, less effective. Therefore, to follow a true histamine-free diet, you need to give up alcohol.

You should also let your doctor know about any medications, prescription or non-prescription, you're taking.

Some medications can affect the action of your histamine-processing enzymes. If you are on such a medication, your doctor may desire to adjust your dosage, switch you to a similar medication that doesn't affect histamine, or, if possible, take you off the medicine entirely.

A Expression From Verywell

While a histamine-free diet is the only long-term treatment for histamine intolerance, there are a couple of other treatments that may be useful. Benadryl (an over-the-counter antihistamine) may be useful if you accidentally eat a histamine-containing food or own to take a drug that can block histamine-processing enzyme activity.

There are also supplements that some doctors recommend for people with histamine intolerance.

They include high doses of vitamin C and vitamin B6 (which can stimulate the activity of those histamine-processing enzymes in your body), and capsules of the DAO enzyme to supplement the body's natural supply. Diem Labs, LLC, is the only manufacturer that sells DAO enzyme in the U.S.; looking for the brand name Umbrellux DAO.

However, while these treatments can assist, they're unfortunately not a substitute for a histamine-free diet.

Talk to your doctor if you're interested in trying these supplements to see whether they could improve your symptoms.

Traditional allergy tests — skin prick tests and ELISA IgE antibody blood tests — can't diagnose histamine intolerance. The only way you can discover out if you own the condition is by trying a histamine-free diet followed by a double-blind food challenge.

"Red wine migraines" are often histamine intolerance headaches, and red wine is indeed high in histamine.

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Read our editorial policy to study more about how we fact-check and hold our content precise, dependable, and trustworthy.

  • Anxiety.
  • Headaches/migraine.
  • Kovacova-Hanuskova E, Buday T, Gavliakova S, Plevkova J.

    What causes histamine allergy

    Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2015;43(5):498-506. doi:10.1016/j.aller.2015.05.001

  • Flushing.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Tiredness.
  • Frequently feeling too boiling or too cold.
  • Blocked or runny nose, sneezing.
  • Smolinska S, Jutel M, Crameri R, O'mahony L.

  • Cold hands and feet.

You may be familiar with histamine if you take antihistamines for hay fever or allergies.

It’s a chemical that is released when the immune system feels under attack. It causes an immediate inflammatory response, expanding the blood vessels so that white blood cells can flood the bloodstream and discover the source of the attack.

Histamine is a natural and significant part of our immune response system that affects almost every part of our body. But problems can happen when high histamine levels linger for too endless without being broken below. This is called a histamine intolerance.

Common symptoms include:

  1. Frequently feeling too boiling or too cold.
  2. Tiredness.
  3. Headaches/migraine.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Flushing.
  6. Anxiety.
  7. Blocked or runny nose, sneezing.
  8. Cold hands and feet.

High histamine levels are generally caused by allergic reactions, histamine-rich foods, a condition called diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, possibly medications such as antidepressants, or bacterial problems in the stomach.

You may be familiar with histamine if you take antihistamines for hay fever or allergies.

It’s a chemical that is released when the immune system feels under attack. It causes an immediate inflammatory response, expanding the blood vessels so that white blood cells can flood the bloodstream and discover the source of the attack.

Histamine is a natural and significant part of our immune response system that affects almost every part of our body. But problems can happen when high histamine levels linger for too endless without being broken below. This is called a histamine intolerance.

Common symptoms include:

  1. Frequently feeling too boiling or too cold.
  2. Tiredness.
  3. Headaches/migraine.
  4. High blood pressure.
  5. Flushing.
  6. Anxiety.
  7. Blocked or runny nose, sneezing.
  8. Cold hands and feet.

High histamine levels are generally caused by allergic reactions, histamine-rich foods, a condition called diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency, possibly medications such as antidepressants, or bacterial problems in the stomach.


A low-histamine diet

I started by reducing high-histamine foods for a month and recording any changes in a migraine diary.

High-histamine foods include:

  1. Fruit: pineapples, tomatoes, banana and citrus fruits.
  2. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, soy sauce.
  3. Vegetables: avocados, aubergine and spinach.
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Smoked fish and certain types of fish such as salmon and tuna.
  6. Vinegar-based foods: pickles, olives and salad dressings.
  7. Aged cheese and cured meats.
  8. Alcohol.

Don’t be put off by the endless list — you should be capable to introduce some of these foods back to your diet eventually, but take it slowly and introduce them one at a time.

What causes histamine allergy

Just make certain you eat a wide variety of foods so you are getting enough nutrients.

«Trying a low-histamine diet can be useful as a starting point, as numerous of the foods are easily removed without affecting our diet too much,» says Wight-Boycott. ‘»Embarking on a low-histamine diet can make us more aware of how we are feeling in relation to how we eat.»

The National Migraine Centre recommends migraine sufferers also glance at other lifestyle factors such as regular eating, good-quality sleep and exercise.

Flu vaccination.
Protect yourself this autumn.

Find out if you are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination.

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Transcript

Histamine: Friend or Foe?

…or Frenemy?

From NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

Histamine: is it the most annoying chemical in the body?

[Histamine molecule] “Bleh”

It’s the stuff that allergies are made of. Hay fever? Food allergy? Skin allergies? Histamine plays a large role in every of them.

And those conditions frolic a large role in us. In 2015, CDC data showed that more than 8% of US adults had hay fever. More than 5% of US children had food allergies. And at least 12% of every US kids had skin allergies!

So what’s the deal? Why do we own such a pesky chemical in our body?

Well, histamine is generally our friend.

Histamine is a signaling molecule, sending messages between cells.

It tells stomach cells to make stomach acid. And it helps our brain stay awake. You may own seen these effects illustrated by medicines that block histamine. Some antihistamines can make us sleepy and other antihistamines are used to treat acid reflux.

Histamine also works with our immune system.

It helps protect us from foreign invaders. When the immune system discovers an invader, immune cells called B-cells make IgE antibodies. The IgE’s are love “WANTED” signs that spread throughout the body, telling other immune cells about specific invaders to glance for.

Eventually mast cells and basophils pick up the IgE’s and become sensitized.

When they come in contact with a target invader…They spew histamine and other inflammatory chemicals.

Blood vessels become leakier, so that white blood cells and other protective substances can sneak through and fight the invader.

Histamine’s actions are grand for protecting the body against parasites.

But with allergies, the immune system overreacts to harmless substances, not parasites. This is when histamine becomes our foe. Common allergens include peanuts, pollen, and animal dander.

Leaky vessels cause tearing in eyes, congestion in the nose, and swelling…basically anywhere.

Histamine works with nerves to produce itching. In food allergies it can cause vomiting and diarrhea. And it constricts muscles in the lungs, making it harder to breathe.

Most worrisome is when histamine causes anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that is potentially fatal. Swollen airways can prevent breathing, and a rapid drop in blood pressure could starve organs of vital blood.

So what can be done about histamine?

Antihistamines block cells from seeing histamine and can treat common allergies. Medicines love steroids can calm the inflammatory effects of allergies.

And anaphylaxis needs to be treated with a shot of epinephrine, which opens up airways, and increases blood pressure.

So our relationship with histamine is…complicated. We can do better.

NIH and specifically the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) support research of histamine and its related conditions. Grand progress is being made in understanding allergy triggers and managing allergic symptoms, and figuring out why histamine, our frenemy, acts the way it does.

Find out specific up-to-date research and stories from medlineplus.gov and NIH MedlinePlus the magazine, medlineplus.gov/magazine/, and study more about NIAID research at niaid.nih.gov.

A low-histamine diet

I started by reducing high-histamine foods for a month and recording any changes in a migraine diary.

High-histamine foods include:

  1. Fruit: pineapples, tomatoes, banana and citrus fruits.
  2. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, soy sauce.
  3. Vegetables: avocados, aubergine and spinach.
  4. Dried fruit
  5. Smoked fish and certain types of fish such as salmon and tuna.
  6. Vinegar-based foods: pickles, olives and salad dressings.
  7. Aged cheese and cured meats.
  8. Alcohol.

Don’t be put off by the endless list — you should be capable to introduce some of these foods back to your diet eventually, but take it slowly and introduce them one at a time.

Just make certain you eat a wide variety of foods so you are getting enough nutrients.

«Trying a low-histamine diet can be useful as a starting point, as numerous of the foods are easily removed without affecting our diet too much,» says Wight-Boycott. ‘»Embarking on a low-histamine diet can make us more aware of how we are feeling in relation to how we eat.»

The National Migraine Centre recommends migraine sufferers also glance at other lifestyle factors such as regular eating, good-quality sleep and exercise.

Flu vaccination.
Protect yourself this autumn.

Find out if you are eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination.

Check eligibility

Transcript

Histamine: Friend or Foe?

…or Frenemy?

From NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine

Histamine: is it the most annoying chemical in the body?

[Histamine molecule] “Bleh”

It’s the stuff that allergies are made of. Hay fever? Food allergy? Skin allergies? Histamine plays a large role in every of them.

And those conditions frolic a large role in us. In 2015, CDC data showed that more than 8% of US adults had hay fever. More than 5% of US children had food allergies. And at least 12% of every US kids had skin allergies!

So what’s the deal?

Why do we own such a pesky chemical in our body?

Well, histamine is generally our friend.

Histamine is a signaling molecule, sending messages between cells. It tells stomach cells to make stomach acid. And it helps our brain stay awake. You may own seen these effects illustrated by medicines that block histamine. Some antihistamines can make us sleepy and other antihistamines are used to treat acid reflux.

Histamine also works with our immune system.

It helps protect us from foreign invaders. When the immune system discovers an invader, immune cells called B-cells make IgE antibodies.

The IgE’s are love “WANTED” signs that spread throughout the body, telling other immune cells about specific invaders to glance for.

Eventually mast cells and basophils pick up the IgE’s and become sensitized. When they come in contact with a target invader…They spew histamine and other inflammatory chemicals.

Blood vessels become leakier, so that white blood cells and other protective substances can sneak through and fight the invader.

Histamine’s actions are grand for protecting the body against parasites.

But with allergies, the immune system overreacts to harmless substances, not parasites.

This is when histamine becomes our foe. Common allergens include peanuts, pollen, and animal dander.

Leaky vessels cause tearing in eyes, congestion in the nose, and swelling…basically anywhere. Histamine works with nerves to produce itching. In food allergies it can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

What causes histamine allergy

And it constricts muscles in the lungs, making it harder to breathe.

Most worrisome is when histamine causes anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that is potentially fatal. Swollen airways can prevent breathing, and a rapid drop in blood pressure could starve organs of vital blood.

So what can be done about histamine?

Antihistamines block cells from seeing histamine and can treat common allergies. Medicines love steroids can calm the inflammatory effects of allergies. And anaphylaxis needs to be treated with a shot of epinephrine, which opens up airways, and increases blood pressure.

So our relationship with histamine is…complicated.

We can do better.

NIH and specifically the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) support research of histamine and its related conditions. Grand progress is being made in understanding allergy triggers and managing allergic symptoms, and figuring out why histamine, our frenemy, acts the way it does.

Find out specific up-to-date research and stories from medlineplus.gov and NIH MedlinePlus the magazine, medlineplus.gov/magazine/, and study more about NIAID research at niaid.nih.gov.

Histamine Intolerance: Could it be causing your symptoms?

For a quick health quiz, consider whether you suffer from any of the following common symptoms:

• Rashes, Hives or Eczema
• Headaches or migraines
• Diarrhea
• Low blood pressure
• Itchy eyes/runny nose/congestion
• Premenstrual cramping or headaches

These are extremely general symptoms and own numerous potential causes, but one possibility that isn’t discussed often is a condition called histamine intolerance.

Food to eat on a low histamine diet

• As much as possible eat unused food
• Unused meat and fish (avoid canned meat and fish)
• Unused fruit, except strawberry, citrus
• Unused vegetables, except tomatoes, spinach, and cabbage
• Grains: rice, corn, millet, oats, sorghum
• Oils: Most cooking oils

See under for lists of high histamine foods and medications to use with caution if you ponder histamine intolerance may be an issue for you.

It’s not the same as a food allergy

With histamine intolerance, symptoms can be triggered by certain foods, but the mechanism is diverse than a food allergy.

Some of the symptoms mimic a true allergic reaction, but HIT is not mediated by IgE, so skin testing and blood allergy tests will be negative. HIT is thought to be due to a cumulative build-up of histamine rather than an over-release of histamine. Because of this, the symptoms may not be immediate. Symptoms may be triggered any time your “threshold” is reached and it may be hard to pinpoint a specific food as the culprit.

For example, you may own consumed histamine wealthy foods in the morning and in the afternoon consumed a low histamine meal.

But, the afternoon food was enough to put you over your level of tolerance, so symptoms would happen in the afternoon. You would ponder your symptoms were due to the afternoon food but in reality, your morning foods were a more significant factor.

What is histamine intolerance?

The actual mechanism of histamine intolerance (HIT) is under investigation but is thought to be related to a build-up of histamine.

In a healthy individual, histamine is broken below on a regular basis by two enzymes: DAO and HNMT. The mechanism of HIT is proposed to be a genetic or acquired impairment in one of these two enzymes. DAO is produced in the intestine, so if the intestinal function is compromised there may not be enough DAO to degrade histamine normally.

When build-up occurs, so do symptoms.

What causes histamine allergy

Decreased DAO  (enzyme) production may be why HIT seems more common in persons with gastrointestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, celiac, and SIBO. DAO activity can also be inhibited by certain medications.

Some physicians question the existence of histamine intolerance as a disease. HIT is more widely accepted in Europe as a true condition and was recognized in 2012 by the German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology as a true disease for which the pathophysiology has yet to be determined.

Treatment for histamine intolerance

It isn’t just diet!

Treat any underlying disorder first, as this may improve histamine tolerance.

I generally love to focus on dietary treatments because I prefer to do as much as possible with diet in lieu of medication. But, histamine intolerance truly requires an integrative approach, as it often occurs in conjunction with other disorders that need to be addressed beyond dietary modifications.

Diet: A low histamine diet is the treatment of choice (food lists are below).This can be challenging if someone is already on a restricted diet such as a gluten-free or low FODMAP diet and should be done under the care of a health care practitioner so that proper nutritional intake is maintained.

The tolerance to histamine varies from person to person and the quantity of histamine tolerated must be deduced by trial and error. Some people can only tolerate extremely little amounts and others can be more liberal.

What is significant to note is that tolerance to histamine seems to improve once underlying issues are addressed. For example; if IBS or SIBO are treated, reactions to histamine often decrease. It is imperative to treat the underlying disorder in conjunction with dietary changes. Once the elimination diet is completed one must individually assess tolerance to specific foods and liberalize the diet as tolerated so that optimum nutrition and lifestyle are attained.

Sleep: 7-8 hours a night helps everything!

Support: Health issues and dietary restrictions are stressful and challenging.

Seek out support from family, community, faith organizations, online support groups, local support groups. Avoid those who provide negative interaction.

What causes histamine allergy

Negative interactions delay healing.

Exercise: Any exercise is helpful. Purpose for 30-60 minutes daily. Don’t feel bad if you only fit in 15 – it still helps!

Relaxation: The benefits of relaxation techniques cannot be emphasized enough. Breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation are simple, portable and free. Yoga and meditation are grand as well. Relaxation for you may also be reading, enjoying time with friends or playing music.

Medications: Antihistamines, topical steroids/creams, oral steroids, topical homeopathic or plant-based creams and lotions for rashes.

Supplements: There is little to no data on these, but the following are sometimes used.

Vit C, B6, Zn, Cu, Magnesium, Mangosteen, Quercetin, DAO promoters and supplements, topical creams. Please use any supplement under the guidance of a practitioner. Supplements can own toxic side effects.

Histamine content app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-intolerances/id419098758

Symptom tracker app: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mysymptoms-food-diary/id405231632?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Books: Attempt a low histamine cookbook.

What causes histamine allergy

It will make preparing meals easier, especially during the elimination phase.

How histamine intolerance is diagnosed

At this time there are no proven tests to diagnose histamine intolerance short of an elimination diet. While it is possible to measure blood DAO activity (one of the enzymes listed above), as well as histamine levels in the blood and urine, these results do not seem to correlate significantly with symptoms. Typical blood allergy tests or skin testing will not be positive, as HIT is not IgE mediated (like true allergies).

It is significant to remember that while considering HIT as a cause of symptoms you must assess for related disorders such as true allergies, mast cell disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, fructose malabsorption, little intestinal bacterial overgrowth, colitis etc.

After the evaluation of related disorders, a diet eliminating high histamine foods may be pursued.

If symptoms improve when histamine is lowered or eliminated from the diet you may be histamine intolerant.

What to do if you ponder histamine may be a problem for you

If you ponder you may own histamine intolerance, speak to your physician to assess other possible “look-alike” conditions such as true allergies, mast cell disorders or underlying digestive disorders. Once these possibilities own been evaluated and addressed, an elimination diet may be initiated to see if symptoms improve.

A food diary is essential. Underlying issues must be corrected first to optimize improvement. Because the diet is restrictive, especially if added onto an already restricted eating plan, please consult a professional to ensure proper nutritional intake.

What are some of the symptoms of histamine intolerance?

• Diarrhea
• Headache
• Flushing
• Rash/Urticaria (hives)/eczema
• Arrhythmia ( irregular heartbeat)
• Low blood pressure due to vasodilation caused by the histamine
• Wheezing
• Runny nose
• Watery eyes
• Angioedema-swelling of face/hands/lips
• Heartburn-due to increased acid production
• Itching- typically of the skin
• PMS- Headaches around the menstrual cycle or painful cramps due to histamine-induced contractions in relation to hormone levels

It may be correlated with other health issues

Histamine intolerance appears to be more prevalent when there is underlying gastrointestinal dysfunction such as in inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, IBS, etc.

Given the minimal data on the actual incidence of histamine intolerance, data on its correlation with other health issues is scant. In alternative medicine circles, it is thought to happen more commonly with dysbiosis or little intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).


What is histamine?

Histamine is a compound found in every cells of the body and is a natural component of numerous foods. It is an significant component of the immune and neurologic systems and is involved in the process of inflammation. Histamine causes a variety of symptoms depending on where it is released and what receptors it binds to.

Foods high in histamines

This is controversial as the histamine content of food varies depending on the duration of storage, ripeness or maturity, cooking, and processing.

Certain foods may also not be high in histamine yet are high in compounds known as histamine liberators which can trigger similar symptoms by increasing histamine levels. The list under contains commonly accepted high histamine foods/histamine liberators, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Available lists vary and consistent data is hard to discover on histamine content of foods. What does seem to be agreed upon is that fermented and aged foods do tend to be some of the biggest culprits.

• Alcohol: Champagne, red wine, beer, white wine,
• Fermented or smoked Meats/Fish: Sardine, mackerel, herring, tuna, salami
• Pickled or canned foods: Sauerkraut, pickles, relishes, soy sauce
• Fermented milk products: Yogurt, kefir, buttermilk
• Aged cheeses: Parmesan, Gouda, Swiss, cheddar.
• Fruit: Dried fruit, strawberries, citrus
• Vegetables: Tomatoes and tomato products, spinach
• Legumes: Chickpeas, soybeans, peanuts
• Other: Cinnamon, chocolate
• Grains: Wheat
• Histamine releasers: Citrus, papaya, pineapple, nuts, strawberries, egg white, additives
• DAO blockers: alcohol, black and green tea

Medications to use with caution if HIT is an issue

These medications inhibit the DAO enzyme:

• Acetylcysteine
• Aspirin
• Ambroxol
• Aminophylline
• Amiloride
• Amitryptiline
• Cefuroxime
• Cefotiam
• Cimetidine (Tagamet)
• Ciprofloxacin
• Cyclophosphamide
• Contrast Media

• Docein

• Diazepam (Valium)
• Haldol
• Metamizol
• Metoclopramide (Reglan)
• Naproxen (Aleve)
• Narcotics-Thiopental (IV med.

for surgery)
• Noscapene
• Pancuronium
• Prilocaine
• Verapamil

THIS ARTICLE IS COPYRIGHTED BY AMY BURKHART, MD, RD.

Category:ArticlesBy Amy Burkhart


Diagnosing and treating a histamine intolerance

As histamine testing is not readily available in the UK, you may desire to attempt a low-histamine diet to see if you experience an improvement in your migraine attacks. But speak with your doctor before trying a new diet or if you’re considering a DAO supplement.

«There has been some interest and suggestions that histamine is linked with migraine,» says Munro.

«There are few studies on the use of DAO supplements but none on the use of a low-histamine diet. And the studies there are were extremely little and so more research needs to be done.»

Clearly the histamine/migraine link needs further exploration but, personally, I own experienced a huge difference in my migraine attacks since adopting a low-histamine diet, going from around ten migraines a month to two. The migraines are also milder than before.


Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common symptoms of histamine intolerance are migraine headaches, digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, flushing, hives, eczema, and allergic rhinitis (the medical term for hay fever, although in this case it obviously doesn't involve any hay).

If you own symptoms regularly after eating high-histamine foods, that may lead you or your doctor to suspect a histamine intolerance.

You may discover that keeping a food log helps you and your doctor to figure out the problem.

In histamine intolerance, the histamine can build up over time, which can make diagnosing this condition challenging — eating a high-histamine food (or more than one at the same time) may be enough to "push you over the edge" into symptoms one day, but may not be enough to do so on a diverse day. If you stay away from high histamine foods, you may be capable to reduce your build-up of histamine, which can reduce or eliminate your symptoms.


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