Histamine Intolerance: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment!
Histamine intolerance is the intolerance of histamine taken with food. Such intolerance can be manifested by a whole series of symptoms, including skin redness and gastrointestinal discomfort. We tell you how to treat a histamine intolerance properly and which drugs can help with acute ailments. We also provide you with a list of foods that you should avoid if you suspect a histamine intolerance.
Especially women are affected
Histamine is a messenger that is released in the body during allergic reactions. However, it is produced not only in the body but also in many foods. Histamine-containing foods, however, are only poorly tolerated by some people. They are followed by unpleasant symptoms such as skin redness, gastrointestinal discomfort or a blocked nose.
According to estimates, at least one percent of the population suffers from a histamine intolerance. The majority of those affected – about 80 percent – are female. Women of middle age are particularly affected. Doctors suspect that intolerance is not congenital in most people, but has been acquired in the course of life.
Causes of histamine intolerance
With a histamine intolerance, allergy-like symptoms occur after the consumption of foods containing a large amount of histamine. In contrast to an allergy, however, there is no reaction of the immune system – that is why one speaks of a pseudo-allergy. Because not the messenger substance itself, but only the disturbed degradation and the associated increased histamine concentration ensure that there is a complaint.
Normally, histamine in the small intestine is degraded by the enzyme DAO (diamine oxidase). However, with a histamine intolerance, this degradation does not work more smoothly and histamine accumulates in the body. Possible causes are a lack of enzymes in the body as well as a reduced enzyme activity. A DAO deficiency can be caused, among other things, by chronic diseases.
A reduced activity indicates that the enzymes are claimed by other substances – for example, alcohol or certain drugs are suitable. Some medications also cause histamine stored in the body to be released. The active ingredients which may be associated with a histamine intolerance include, inter alia,
- clavulanic acid
Histamine intolerance: typical symptoms
The symptoms characteristic of histamine intolerance occur whenever there is too much histamine in the blood. Most of the time, they are noticeable about an hour after the consumption of particularly histamine-containing foods. What symptoms occur is different from person to person.
Histamine intolerance often leads to symptoms such as a headache, gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhoea, flatulence, heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain) and sudden flushing. Usually, the skin reddening is associated with a more or less severe itching. Due to the gastrointestinal discomfort is sometimes mistaken by doctors an irritable bowel diagnosed.
In addition to these symptoms, histamine intolerance can also be observed by a series of other symptoms. There may be cardiovascular symptoms, sleep disorders, arthralgia, asthma, bladder infections and exhaustion. Also, a blocked or suddenly running nose belongs to the typical symptoms.
Treat histamine intolerance
In order to successfully treat a histamine intolerance, foodstuffs containing particularly high amounts of histamine should be dispensed for at least two weeks. Instead, use food such as potatoes or rice, which contains only a small amount of histamine. This measure reduces the histamine level in the blood. During this phase, ensure that your body is supplied with all important nutrients despite the restricted food selection.
After this first phase of avoiding sufferers should try out slowly and carefully about the food they also still tolerated. In the next four to eight weeks, supplement your diet for new foods. Be careful not to overwhelm your body to start the same: Do not try too many foods at once and take the selected food in small quantities to himself.
Then observe exactly how you react to each food. If you want, you can capture in a food diary, what foods you have eaten, how big the crowd was, and whether after complaints have occurred or not. You can also note the accompanying circumstances, such as stress, in the diary.
Vitamin B6 and vitamin C for histamine intolerance
In some situations – for example, when travelling – it is not possible to eat only the food you can tolerate well. In addition, some patients continue to experience symptoms even after food changes. In such cases, symptoms may be treated with medication.
Studies have shown that many sufferers have too low vitamin B6 levels in the blood. Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme for diamine oxidase and thus promotes the breakdown of histamine. In some cases, therefore, the administration of highly dosed vitamin B6 is useful. However, the vitamin should only be administered if the level of the blood in the blood is too low.
Similar to vitamin B6, many people who suffer from a histamine intolerance also have too little vitamin C in the blood. Here, too, it is assumed that the administration of vitamin C can dissolve histamine faster in the body.
Drugs for histamine intolerance
In addition to the intake of vitamin B6 and vitamin C there is also the possibility for the affected patients of a drug treatment. For this, either antihistamines or an enzyme therapy are suitable.
Antihistamines ensure that the histamine in the body can no longer have its full effect. They are particularly suitable if symptoms such as skin rashes, allergic headaches, headaches or dizziness occur. Alternatively, it is possible to deliver the required enzymes to the body via capsules. This is especially recommended before the consumption of foods rich in histamine, which one would not want to do without intolerance.
In contrast to many other food intolerances, histamine intolerance can lead to life-threatening conditions. In such cases, the doctor will prescribe a fast-acting antihistamine.