Is NCGS Really Histamine Intolerance?

Or is is wheat-sensitivity? Or maybe FODMAPs? Here we go again. This time experts are trying to see if NCGS is really histamine intolerance. My previous post showed them trying to see if it was wheat or FODMAPs.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: people without celiac disease avoiding gluten-is it due to histamine intolerance?

I love the way they describe NCGSs as ‘the so-called people without celiac disease avoiding gluten‘. I sort of get what they’re saying, but it does sound very dismissive, doesn’t it?! I did chunter at that a bit! I do get the impression that people just don’t really want it to be gluten, don’t you? There is a definite flavour of people trying to find little boxes to put us in! I can see why – NCGS is a new condition and it may well be masquerading as something else. Certainly NCGS and histamine intolerance do tend to show up together, but my experience so far is that it is never ‘just gluten’ or ‘just histamine’. Or just FODMAPS actually.

I think NCGS is a gluten related disorder which involves hypersensitivity of various kinds, so you see people with early stage issues which might just be gluten or even just wheat, but as the thing progresses, you start to see oxalate sensitivity, histamine sensitivity, nightshade sensitivity and on it goes. Giving up histamine – or oxalates or salicylates or whatever – is bound to help some people and it might only be a histamine intolerance problem in some, of course. Not that that is easy itself to deal with.

The key message, though, instead of trying to work out which sensitivity it is, is why are we sensitive in the first place? Histamine sensitivity doesn’t just come out of nowhere, does it – unless you happen to be one of the people who has a simple case of low DAO – and wouldn’t that make life easy?!

As with all sensitivities, the cause is usually multifactorial and triggered by something. It could be a leaky gut or an immune dysregulation triggered by the most common denominator of those things – gluten. It might not be, but I would always be looking at gluten as a likely trigger given what we know about it now. The other thing I’d be looking at is stress as a major trigger. Often the two triggers go hand in hand. If we did have a case of histamine intolerance, I would look at the DAO level as an easy symptom release, but I would want to know what caused it in the first place and I’d be looking further.

I’m not sure this trying to stick people in little sensitivity boxes is really helping, although I do understand why people try – anything for an easier life and less food avoidance. Or the cynical me wonders if the food manufacturers are getting really worried about the gluten free trend and are funding research!

In short: yes some NCGSs will be histamine-intolerants, others will be oxalate-intolerants, still others FODMAP-sensitives, but why? What triggered it? Look to gluten and stress as the two most obvious ones. And treat for hypersensitivity, leaky gut, immune dysregulation, whatever little box you are in. This is precisely why I spent all that time writing the Gluten Plan and the Healing Plan – to address the underlying causes rather than have us avoid more and more food types.

OK, chunter over 😉


6 Replies to “Is NCGS Really Histamine Intolerance?”

  1. Chunter all you like. Someone needs to tell them. Try being like me and having a severe corn/maize intolerance as well as a wheat intolerance and they look at you as if you’re making it up. And then try having your heart speed up madly if you ingest either of those. No, can’t be possible, one doctor told me. And yet my heart goes mad if I inadvertently eat wheat/corn – 90 % correlation to those foods. It also went mad when I had pneumonia. I don’t fit the boxes at all – oooh, naughty me! I must be wrong about what I’ve noticed!

  2. Lol Anna. Indeed, I hear that type of story almost daily! I’d laugh actually but it isn’t funny. I have the corn one too and they look at me like I am mad, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s quite a lonely business having unusual hypersensitivities!

  3. My health condition was caused by having retained too much iron. As a result I contracted autoimmune disease and this lead to seriously bad diabetes type 2 and a strong allergic reaction to strong gluten. Strong gluten was created by a hybridisation process that first affected wheat about 42/43 years ago. I know as I was present when it was launched. The Maris fundin hybridisation was also applied to barley and rye. They are researching the consequences in the USA where the hybrid with short straw, much stronger gluten and ear size 2/3 times the size and crop yield was started. The yield is now said to be much higher, possibly up to 5x now. I can however still eat organic spelt with weaker gluten without a problem. The iron came from supplements, such as vitamin/ mineral tablets and also found in breakfast cereals. I cannot drink beer as it contains glutinous barley which affects the throat. Happily there have been some great advances with gluten free beer of late.

    I do not believe this information has been made public. It could cause a panic to avoid foods with strong gluten and hence a food shortage until the research provides a solution. So it’s best not to make an issue of it. It is probable that about 1 person in 3 will be affected by strong gluten which causes bloating, pain and serious weight gain. I view the American, Dr David Pearlmutter of Philadelphia as an expert. I am not sure what has been established about the consequences of the hybridisation process but clearly the autoimmune problem and diabetes leaves me highly carbohydrates sensitive. I am constantly fighting to reduce my blood glucose and sugar intake. Even maize/ corn flour has a strong affect as a sugar producer.

    I assume other people’s conditions may be different to mine but I do not see this information published. I have had a great problem over many years to convince doctors of the problems created by strong gluten. Now our local doctors agree with my findings and also the benefits of eating plenty of good saturated fat which makes up 25% of the brain and so it is essential food. The adversity to cholesterol has yet to be resolved. But it’s carbohydrates and not fat the causes health problems and makes us fat. Clearly good fats are good but some such as trans fats must be avoided. Progress is slow but is speeding up in the past year or so.

    1. Interesting, thanks James. To be present at the change of the hybdridisation process gives you a unique insight and combats all the naysayers that the change happened at all. Thanks for confirming it!

  4. I hope it helps you see more clearly what has caused gluten intolerance. Keeping up to date with activities in the USA is now the biggest problem. As it has left me very ill I am inclined now to work with what I know. The local doctors also now understand what has caused the rise in modern illnesses since the advent of strong Maris funding gluten hybrid 42/43 years ago. I believe it may have been further fortified along the way.

  5. James, thank you so much for that information. I’ve been saying for years that it’s the modern wheat that upsets me most, but sadly, I can’t eat spelt either – or maize/corn. I’ve had better health generally, however, since my husband learned to make live kimchi (a Korean mixture of fermented vegetables). I can’t buy normal kimchi as it has fish sauce in it and I’ve been highly intolerant of fish/seafood all my life. But it isn’t too hard to make kimchi, just fiddly to chop up the cabbage and other veggies. it tastes yummy and I feel better in general throughout my digestive tract if I eat it alternate days. It hit me hard at first so it was every three days, boy did my guts make loud protesting noises! Maybe something like ‘live’ kimchi would help your microbiome?

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