Imagine the following scenario. You are determined to make the new year a healthy one. So you are working out regularly and your diet is filled to the brim with health-boosting foods: fish, fermented vegetables, yoghurt, avocados…. Yet, instead of feeling on top of the world, you are constantly tired, have troubled sleep, regular headaches, indigestion and skin issues.
You might never suspect it, but your healthy diet might be contributing to these seemingly unrelated symptoms. Certain foods, including the ones listed above, may contain or promote release of histamine. You might be familiar with histamine, as a substance released during allergic reactions by our immune cells. It is histamine, that is responsible for itching, flushing, runny nose, throat constriction and other highly unpleasant signs of allergy.
Nowadays an increasing number of people are experiencing symptoms of so called histamine intolerance: a condition, when your body has trouble handling histamine. It may result from:
- too much histamine coming with consumed food and beverages;
- impaired ability to break histamine down;
- Imbalances in the gut bacteria;
- certain medication.
Histamine intolerance is not easy to diagnose, as manifestations can differ a great deal between affected individuals. Yet another proof that everyone is biochemically unique and one man’s meat can literally be another man’s poison.
However, targeted questionnaires, tests and elimination diets can help to establish whether histamine intolerance is a likely cause of your ailments. Once established, histamine intolerance can be addressed by avoiding foods that contribute to the histamine load and helping the body to break histamine more efficiently. For that purpose, tailored diet plans and supplementation with DAO enzyme, histamine-degrading or mast cell-stabilizing probiotics can be suggested by a nutritionist.