3 Ways to Minimize Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

Posted On Sunday, 24 March 2019
3 Ways to Minimize Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

According to a new study in JAMA Network Open, only 10 percent of Americans have food allergies, but almost double the number believe they do.

Many of the other half may be suffering from histamine intolerance, caused by a DAO enzyme deficiency. The symptoms seen in allergic reactions, such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itching, headaches, hives and digestion issues, are also seen in histamine intolerance.

Histamine is released by the immune system when fighting foreign invaders in the body such as bacteria, viruses and allergens. It is also required in digestion and in brain functions. Histamine intolerance happens when someone can’t break down histamine quickly or efficiently enough, so they end up with more histamine in the body than needed.

Think of histamine intolerance like a bucket filling up with water. Everything is fine while the water is below the bucket’s edge; however as soon as the bucket overflows, serious problems can occur. Every person has a different sized bucket; the point at which the bucket overflows and symptoms appear is called a person’s limit of tolerance, and this limit varies between individuals.

There are several ways you can handle a histamine intolerance, and it’s important to find out what works for you. Here are a few methods I suggest to effectively manage the unpleasant symptoms:

Follow a Histamine Restricted Diet

Food and beverages are the most important suppliers of histamine from outside the body. Our diet contains many ingredients that have high levels of histamine, which may occur naturally, or are produced as a result of manufacturing and processing methods. In addition, food additives have the ability to release histamine inside the body and add to the body’s histamine level. Histamine occurs naturally in many foods that are good for you, such as, tomatoes, avocados, eggplant; fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi; and foods in which micro-organisms are used in the manufacturing process such as cheese, yogurt and sausages (e.g.: pepperoni and salami). Wines, beers and certain liquors also contain histamine and may trigger a reaction as well. Whatever the source of excess histamine, reducing the amount entering the body will help to reduce the total, which can help manage symptoms.

Take a DAO Supplement

DAO, or diamine oxidase, is the major enzyme that breaks down excess histamine. When the body is not producing enough of it, histamine may rise to a level where symptoms occur. It is similar to the more familiar lactase deficiency that causes lactose intolerance. Just as taking the lactase enzyme to aid in the digestion of lactose (the sugar found in milk) DAO enzyme can be taken to neutralize histamine. A simple way to find out if your symptoms are histamine related, and boost your body’s natural enzyme production, is to take 1 or 2 Umbrellux DAO as directed, prior to eating histamine-containing foods. If it reduces the reaction to the meal, you may be DAO deficient. Umbrellux DAO may be taken daily to increase DAO in your digestive tract. Self-evaluation sample kits can be purchased for only $2 online at www.umbrelluxdao.com.

Diagnose and Treat Any Conditions That May Be Responsible for Histamine Excess

There are other conditions that result in excess histamine, including allergies, acute and chronic inflammation, hormonal changes, and mast cell activation disorders, among others. The latter are more correctly termed histamine sensitivity and require different diagnostic and management procedures for the best outcome. However, the symptoms of histamine intolerance and histamine sensitivity due to other causes will be more or less the same because the main problem is just too much histamine in the body. It’s important to seek medical diagnoses to manage these conditions in order to keep histamine levels from becoming too high.

Excess histamine in the body can bring unfavorable symptoms, however limiting histamine-rich foods, taking a DAO supplement and identifying any other health conditions that may contribute to symptoms can bring much needed relief!

Janice Joneja, PhD

Janice Joneja, PhD, is a researcher, educator, author and clinical counselor with more than 30 years of experience in the area of biochemical and immunological reactions involved in food allergies and sensitivities. She holds a PhD in medical microbiology and immunology, was a registered dietician in British Columbia for 27 years and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States. For 13 years she was head of the Allergy Nutrition Clinic at the Vancouver Hospital and Health Science Centre.

Joneja has authored 10 books and dietetic practice manuals on immunology and food allergies, and her work has been published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals as well as in popular magazines. She is a respected lecturer at universities, colleges and hospitals internationally and is called upon regularly as an expert in her field from the media. Joneja is president of Vickerstaff Health Services Inc., a practice that provides resources for people suffering from all aspects of adverse reactions to food, and for the professionals and caregivers who support them.

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