Hidden food intolerance: Histamine


When the body does not break down histamine from foods, and it leaks through the intestinal lining, it enters the bloodstream and can cause an immune response.

A person’s allergic response symptoms are likely to be more severe the more histamine they have accumulated in their bloodstream.

People with histamine intolerance tend to have a variety of symptoms that can make it difficult to determine the source.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of histamine intolerance vary but tend to mimic those of other allergic reactions.

Common symptoms include:

  • diarrhea
  • chronic headache
  • flushing, especially of the head and chest
  • irritable bowel syndrome or IBS
  • congested, runny, or itchy nose
  • red, itchy, or watery eyes
  • sneezing
  • shortness of breath
  • hives or red, raised, itchy, burning bumps
  • very itchy skin
  • unexplained anxiety
  • stomach cramps or pain
  • chronic constipation
  • nausea and vomiting
  • gas or bloating
  • unexplained exhaustion
  • dizziness
  • very dry, patchy, or scaly skin (eczema)
  • irregular or increased heart rate
  • severe menstrual pain

Less common symptoms include:

  • low blood pressure
  • sleep problems
  • swelling around the lips, eyes, and occasionally the throat
  • tremors
  • loss of consciousness

How does diet play a role?

Citrus fruits are high in histamines.

Most people associate histamine with immune responses in the body.

But almost all foods and drinks contain some level of histamine, and these usually increase as the food ages, spoils, or ferments.

Some foods and drinks also contain compounds that help release histamine in the body or block the production or effectiveness of the enzymes DAO and HMNT.

Researchers are still working out how much histamine is in most foods and drinks, as well as precisely how some nutrients impair DAO and HMNT activities.

According to the current research, everyday foods and drinks rich in histamine include:

  • alcohol
  • aged cheeses
  • canned, pickled, and fermented foods
  • smoked products, such as sausage, ham, bacon, or salami
  • legumes, such as chickpeas, soybeans, and lentils
  • vinegar
  • many prepared meals
  • yogurt
  • salty snack foods
  • sweets with preservatives
  • chocolate and cocoa
  • green tea
  • most citrus fruits
  • pineapple
  • canned fish, such as mackerel and tuna
  • peanuts
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • bananas
  • eggplant
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • cloves

Foods that may trigger the release of histamine include:

  • most citrus fruits
  • cocoa and chocolate
  • tomatoes
  • wheat germ
  • additives, preservatives, and dyes
  • beans and pulses
  • nuts

Foods that may interfere with DAO and HMNT levels or actions include:

  • alcohol
  • energy drinks
  • green tea
  • black tea
  • mate tea
  • raw egg whites
  • some yogurt, depending on bacteria type

Many kinds of bacteria, especially common food contaminants, can also produce a type of histamine in the gut. If these bacteria colonize the gut and multiply, they can generate enough histamine to cause symptoms.

People who may have histamine intolerance or are looking to reduce or reverse the condition will often need to go on a low-histamine diet. Usually, this means limiting the intake of histamine-rich foods rather than excluding them entirely.

People with histamine intolerance should also focus on increasing their intake of foods and drinks low in histamine.

Foods and drinks with low levels of histamine include:

  • skinned fresh chicken
  • cooked egg yolk
  • fresh or flash-frozen meat and fish
  • most fresh vegetables except tomatoes and eggplants
  • most fresh fruits and berries besides citrus fruits, strawberries, and cherries
  • fresh, pasteurized milk and milk products
  • whole-grain noodles, breads, crackers, and pastas
  • coconut and rice milk
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • most non-citrus based juices and smoothies
  • most herbal teas except black, green, and mate tea
  • most leafy greens except spinach
  • most cooking oils

Several vitamins and minerals are necessary for the proper activity of DAO. So, people with histamine intolerance may benefit from including more foods and drinks rich in these nutrients in their diet.

People can take supplements if it is too difficult to get some nutrients because of low-histamine diet restrictions or availability.

Vitamins and minerals that may be good for people with histamine intolerance include:

  • vitamin B-6, which helps DAO break down histamine
  • vitamin C to help lower histamine blood levels and help DAO break down histamine
  • copper, which helps raise DAO blood levels slightly and helps DAO break down histamine
  • magnesium that can raise the allergic response threshold
  • manganese that can enhance DAO activity
  • zinc to help DAO break down histamine (it may also have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties)
  • calcium to help reduce hives and skin flushing
  • vitamin B-1
  • vitamin B-12
  • folic acid

How is it tested?

There is no single, conclusive way that doctors can diagnose histamine intolerance. Ruling out all other potential medical causes is how they diagnose most people.

An allergist or immunologist will often begin by testing someone for food allergies and intolerances if they suspect they may have histamine intolerance.

A specialist called a gastroenterologist might test people with chronic intestinal symptoms for intestinal conditions, such as:

People with suspected histamine intolerance are also often asked to keep a food diary for at least 2 to 4 weeks so a doctor can identify symptom and diet patterns. Doctors can also request a blood test to check people’s DAO levels and enzyme activity levels.

Lastly, researchers have proposed a skin-prick test for diagnosing histamine intolerance, but it is not widely used and has not been proven repeatedly reliable.

In most cases, making dietary changes, as well as taking anti-histamines or enzyme supplements, may help manage histamine intolerance within a few weeks.

But to keep symptoms at bay, most people need to limit or avoid histamine-rich foods for a few months. People recovering from histamine intolerance will also generally need to avoid or limit the use of medications known to trigger histamine release for a similar time.

Focusing on fresh, non-packaged or prepared foods is also crucial if someone is recovering from histamine intolerance by limiting histamine levels found in everyday foods.
















Beautycounter News : 2018 Holiday Gift Sets

There is no greater gift than one that feels good but is also good for you!

The 2018 Holiday Collection is HERE! Make a list, shop it twice because it’s Beautycounter’s biggest, BEST Holiday Collection EVER!


9 brand new products

21 brand new sets

49 brand new shades

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There is no greater gift than one that feels good but is also good for you!





Gifts $50 & Under

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Transforming Duo – $30


Charcoal Essentials – $49

Glow & Go Mini Oils – $30


Travel Body Essentials – $35

Holiday Hand Cream Trio – $30



Multiple Gifts in One

Gifting as sets are great of course. But if you are looking for just a little something extra for a stocking stuffer or to give with a gift card, for example, split a set apart and spread the gift of safer beauty with multiple people. Here are some examples:Mini Color Intense Lipstick Vault – 8 mini lipsticks for $79 ($9.90 each)

Mini Lip Gloss Vault – 10 mini glosses for $89 ($8.90 each)

Stardust Cream Eyeshadow Set – 5 shadows for $39 ($7.80)

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The Holiday Collection is also a great time to take advantage of some awesome savings! You can see the values above, but here are examples of some amazing deals:

Color Intense Lipstick Duo – 2 regular size lipsticks for $49 ($24.50 each – reg $34 each)

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Big picture

Contact me today to reserve your private one-on-one appointment, or to schedule a holiday social.


After illness

Since being bedridden my recovery is all I’ve focused on but now that I am almost 100 percent and back in the work world I am realizing I don’t have the same likes, dislikes or style I use to have.

My old life was not mine. I lived a life that was curated by people in my life, the way I was raised and the way I positioned myself in a world of unknown, confusion and daily outside influences.

I am now at a point that I don’t feel comfortable in the clothes I use to wear. The style is really not mine! It doesn’t suit me and I feel extremely uncomfortable in everything. Nothing seems to fit because my body is a different shape now that I have regained muscle, tissue and basically filled out to a healthy body size.

So, here I am looking for clothes, shopping at all my old stores and walking out with nothing and wondering what the hell is going on? I think to myself “This is what I use to wear, this is the style I was use to wearing.” As I’ve been going through these motions I felt  confused and I wasn’t understanding why this was happening.

I’m still at the point of not knowing what my style is yet but I’m working on it. It feels like it’s the process I have to go through to get to the next phase which is a typical theme in my recovery stages. It feels like it’s taking so much time to get to the next step as I climb out of this life changing transformation.

As I struggle through this I am figuring out what my true self likes and dislikes. I am finding myself in all the rubble that was left behind in the illness. Mind, body and soul transformation is a big deal so I am taking it slow and really embracing myself. My feelings. Me. I’m learning to be selfish which is really hard! My selfish side is telling me it has to be this way.


Other reading:

The Mission


The Health Session

One Year Remission

July 2017 – 2018

This month marks one year since my Crohns flare has been in remission and I started my trek of recovery. Remission as in no more ulcers, fisculas, pain, diarrhea, bleeding and inflammation was not present from this flare. No more symptoms. Clinical Remission was reached just prior to my colonoscopy on July 24, 2017.

Even though Crohns and Colitis were in remission my body still had a lot of rebuilding to do. Remember back in the earlier posts in 2016 when I talked of organ failure e.g: skin shutting down, muscles had wasted and loss of an incredible amount of tissue throughout my body, hair loss and failure of the lungs, gut, bowel, etc.  This repairing had to take place since my gut was absorbing finally and my body was able to start recovering.

My blog is my journey from extreme illness to the the diagnosis of Crohns to reaching remission naturally. No western medicine. No surgery.  How I recovered and how I worked through the process of healing. I’ve learned so much about health and even more about myself.

Right after the colonoscopy UC was triggered either from the procedure itself or the laxatives taken for the procedure.  So, again I regressed. And again it took time to rid my body of the inflammation and then time to heal. (UC is also in remission) With natural healing of autoimmune diseases, time and patience are huge parts of the success in the journey.

You have to understand how the body heals itself, and in this process from extreme illness of disease to recovery, I have observed it first hand. In the homeopathic textbooks Hahnemann discusses how once in diseased state, the healing process of the body reverses to its natural centered state. Before I read this I had already witnessed this occurring and had documented it. My observation of the reversed order of occurring symptoms was completely part of my soul searching journey.

In illness is the old traumas that have been stored over a period of time. In order to heal the body it finds ways to resolve these traumas so that the body can be cured. It is the souls way of healing. If we were wise enough to listen to our bodies better we would have less illness, pain and suffering.

I have had set backs but I did accomplish my goal of healing naturally through what I ate, getting restorative sleep, movement, and holistic modalities.

Many milestones have been reached over the last three years which I’ve worked extremely hard to accomplish. I’m so glad to finally be on the other side of illness with all the resources I need for my future.

love light peace ~Andrea