As promised, to celebrate the launch of my new Histamine factsheet on the shop and Amazon Kindle, here is the first of a series of posts on histamine intolerance for you.. Today, we’ll look at the most common symptoms.
People tend to think of histamine intolerance ‘just’ in terms of headaches, hayfever and hives, but did you know:
- It can really affect your mood and be a factor in panic attacks or anxiety.
- That it can be the reason why symptoms of whatever you suffer with get worse near a period or as you go into menopause.
- It could underlie your thyroid problems because it is affects the release of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.
- It is also involved in appetite control, leptin levels and therefore weight management too.
- Many people develop an excess in middle-age – possibly because their nutrient levels drop and methylation ability becomes more overwhelmed.
So, in fact, it might be worth considering in any of those scenarios, especially if normal approaches aren’t working for you.
Commonly called histamine ‘intolerance,’ this is actually a condition of histamine excess. It is not an ‘intolerance’ in the way we usually think of them, such as lactose or gluten intolerance, so it is a bit mis-named if you ask me and that confuses people. Essentially, for various reasons, especially as we age, we can start to get more histamine in the system because we’re not breaking it down maybe as effectively as we were. My view is that is because many of us simply no longer have enough of the co-factors for the enzymatic pathways that break it down and maybe genetic factors start to be triggered. Those genetic factors I think are clearly even more of a problem in children with histamine excess.
There are some estimates that up to 10% of the population suffer from some degree of histamine sensitivity and possibly 2% who have severe histamine excess. Basically, we need histamine. It’s just that some people can have too much in their system and they overload, triggering histamine symptoms.
Do you recognise these…?
Histamine Intolerance/Imbalance Symptoms
- Headaches and migraines
- Itching and irritation – especially eyes, ears, nose, skin; hives, urticaria, prickly heat
- Eczema, psoriasis
- Fatigue – HIT and adrenal fatigue are often found together
- Facial/neck flushing
- Nausea/vomiting, motion sickness
- Fast heart rate and blood pressure changes, sometimes nose bleeds
- Large bites when bitten
- Anxiety, panic attacks, sudden mood changes, blackouts
- Swelling (inflammation) esp in face, mouth and throat – histamine is linked to rheumatoid arthritis too
- Insomnia, sleep difficulties, waking etc
- Sneezing and sinus congestion, dry mouth, runny nose
- Irregular periods and worse symptoms before periods and in perimenopause because oestrogen releases histamine and histamine triggers oestrogen
- IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, feeling of fullness
- Heartburn, indigestion
- Asthma and exercise-induced asthma, chest tightness, constricted breathing
- Chest pains
- Thyroid problems – histamine helps control the release of TSH
- Weight problems – low or high, because histamine is involved in appetite control and leptin levels
- Light sensitivity, even not being able to go out because of reactions
If any of those are an issue for you and normal approaches aren’t helping that much, maybe it’s time to consider histamine?
Check the factsheet for more info – it’s a mere fiver on the shop and on Amazon. It could maybe be a lightbulb moment for some of you. I sort of hope not, but I suppose once you have an inkling histamine’s involved you can take steps to lower the so-called ‘histamine bucket’ where your levels of histamine have just started to overflow a bit.
I hope that helps, part 2 shortly…