Allergies? It's probably definitely to do with Histamine.
I don’t know how many times we all hear “balance is everything”. And as much as I’m a 0 or 100 gal, my nutritionist side is like “chick, balance IS everything”. And this is no truer than with histamine build up.
Having a build up of histamine can manifest as – allergies, headaches, hives, asthma, flushing, dizziness, increased heart rate, anxiety, cramps, sinusitis, fatigue and swelling.
So lets rewind real quick.
Histamine is an amine that occurs from the break down of proteins and the amino acid histidine.
Amines have vaso- and psycho-active features, and in general, are broken down from amino acids and produce neurotransmitters, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine.
We release and produce histamine in 2 key ways –
Endogenously, from our bodies own break down of amino acids and from our white blood cells (basophils and mast cells) and
Exogenously – from our gut bacteria.
Histamine is contained within our mast cells and basophils – 2 key white blood cells, involved in our immune response. So when we’re exposed to allergens (as such), mast cells and basophils are called into action and release histamine, inflammatory markers and both contain compounds that prevent blood clotting. This reaction sees the flushing, sinusitis, itching, headaches, dizziness, and the other symptoms associated with allergies and a humoral immune response.
Our gut bacteria are able to synthesise enzymes (e.g histidine decarboxylase) that break down specific amino acids, such as histadine, into histamine. The fact that our gut bacteria have the ability to create enzymes that break down our amino acids, reallllyyyy conveys the importance of taking care of our gut and its role in a sustainable, long term solution to solving the problem of histamine intolerances and allergic response.
- We also know that leaky gut and GI permeability / inflammation is directly a cause of allergies, hayfever and histamine build up. So healing out gut is a high priority.
- SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is also a contributor to histamine overload.
- DAO deficiency – DAO is an enzyme that breaks down histamine. DAO is blocked by tannins in coffee & tea (black and green!)
- Further, anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine medications ALSO contribute to the build up of histamine, in their negative feedback loop (essentially our body is super smart and knows when there’s an external compound in us, and so thinks “oh, anti-histamines are here, I’ll down grade my own”.
What to do:
1. Decrease high histamine foods
- All animal products (meat, processed meats, eggs, seafood, condiments e.g fish sauce,
- Fermented foods!!! (too much of a good thing can be unbeneficial – kombuchas, yoghurts, tempeh, soy sauce, tamari, krauts, cheese, ACV, sauces/dressings, pea protein)
- Vinegars inc. ACV (apple cider vinegar & dressings)
- Citrus fruits (inc. pineapples, papayas, strawberries and kiwi)
- Dried fruits
- Walnuts, peanuts, cashews
2. Decrease DAO blocking beverages - coffee, green tea, black tea
3. Heal the gut – check out our blog on that one and what to get and how to go about (essentially, cut out inflammatory, processed, refined foods and oils, eat whole foods, bye bye dairy and gluten, add in a gut healing powder, probiotic supplement, manage stress & sleep).
4. Take natural anti-histamines – Chaga mushroom, Quercetin, Bromelain, Vitamin C and Stinging Nettle tea.
Teelixir produce Chaga & Nettle, get your 10% off at checkout with the code; themillennialnutritionist
5. You can also opt. to take a DAO supplement
Acting on these 5 key action points, will see your balance of histamine build up and degradation restoring to normalcy, relieving you of the severity of allergies and histamine symptoms.
One love, xxx
Martin, S.M, Brachero, S & E.G Vilar 2016, ‘Histamine intolerance & dietary management: a complete review’, Allergol Immunopath (Madrid), vol. 44, no. 5, pp. 475-483, doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.04.015.
Maintz, L & Novak N 2007, ‘Hiatamine and histamine intolerance’, Am J Clin Nutr, vol. 85, no. 5, pp. 1185-1196, retreieved 3rd Septmeber 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17490952
Myer, A (M.D.) 2013, ‘Everything You Need To Know About Histamine Intolerance’, MindBodyGreen, retrieved 3rd Septmeber 2018, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html