Please see your physician for medical advice. This is my story of dealing with chronic health issues. I have had tremendous success following the all-natural (research-backed) methods I describe below and I want to help others by sharing what I learned so you can feel better too!
I am not a licensed medical professional. The information I provide is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical guidance and treatment. Reliance on any information provided by me is solely at your own risk.
Post content includes:
You’re tired. You’ve had some bad headaches, maybe even migraines.
You're congested or your nose is running – a lot!
Maybe your ears feel full of water and they click when you move your jaw.
Sometimes you’re so light-headed, you feel like you could pass out.
You notice sometimes after you eat, you feel nauseous and/or bloated.
Your memory is sporadic, and you feel “fuzzy-headed” sometimes.
You can have all or some of these symptoms.
You can have other symptoms such as itchy skin, low blood pressure, racing heart…
What do all these symptoms have in common?
Histamine. You may have something medical doctors refer to as histamine intolerance.
WHAT IS HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE?
Histamine intolerance is a condition characterized by an inability of the body to properly break down and eliminate histamine, a naturally occurring compound involved in various physiological processes.
Histamine is found in certain foods and is also produced by the body's immune cells in response to an allergic or inflammatory reaction.
In a healthy individual, histamine is metabolized by an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO) and is further broken down by other enzymes in the body. However, in people with histamine intolerance, there is a deficiency or dysfunction of DAO, leading to an accumulation of histamine in the body. This excess histamine can cause a range of symptoms.
The symptoms of histamine intolerance can vary widely from person to person, but some common signs include:
The exact cause of histamine intolerance is not fully understood. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to reduced DAO activity, while others may develop the condition as a result of other factors, such as certain medications, gastrointestinal disorders, or imbalances in gut bacteria.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
For the past 2 plus years, I have been innundated with health issues:
After my youngest left for college and left the nest, I suppose it was the stress which led to some weight gain. To take off the added weight, I tried the keto diet, then fasting.
I was no longer regularly running (I had been a competitive runner and decided to stop due to recurring injuries). My typical workout routine consisted of walking 30 minutes about 5 times a week with sporadic weight training in between. I was trying to manage the creeping weight gain with my eating habits, but the diets weren’t helping – they were hurting!
Several months after trying keto, then fasting, I developed gastrointestinal issues. Chronic bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue were wearing me down. I went to my primary care physician, had testing done, and…nothing.
They found nothing.
Frustrated, I talked with a naturopathic doctor (ND) friend. “You have SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. Have you been doing fasting? We see a lot of SIBO in people who fast. They eat more than their stomachs can hold at a sitting, and this eventually can lead to excess (bad) bacteria.”
I just love NDs. They’re so intelligent and think so out-of-the-box.
I treated myself naturally, and although it was months before I felt “normal,” I did manage to get better.
Another ND friend told me that her patients had SIBO for life – that it may just come back so be aware. I don’t plan on it coming back! Ever!
In the meantime, I was also trying to stave off chronic urinary tract infections. After two back-to-back UTIs, I decided to supplement with a high-quality cranberry supplement. I haven’t had a UTI since!
During this time, the world was also dealing with COVID. I chose to not get vaccinated. I came down with my first bout of COVID during Thanksgiving in 2021 (I managed to cook dinner still, even though I was very sick and had lost all smell and taste).
I came down with COVID again in August of 2022, where I lost my smell and taste again, and again, was “hit hard” by the virus. This time, it took longer to get my smell and taste back and I still do not have my sense of smell back all the way.
After this second bout of COVID, I began to have more severe headaches and facial (sinus) pain. I felt congested; my ears had fluid in them, and I was incredibly tired.
You know when you get water in your ears and you do this ungainly dance to get the water out? That’s me, everyday! Then, getting dizzy.
Certain days were better than others, but I found myself in my primary care doctor’s office in November when I couldn’t take feeling sick anymore.
“You’ve got a sinus infection and both your ears are infected as well,” she said.
I felt relieved that at least I knew what it was. I was prescribed medicine for my symptoms, including antibiotics. As soon as the full course of the medicine was done, I felt 100% better!
That is, until a couple weeks later when I started getting back the same symptoms as before. I tried a neti pot and over-the-counter medicines, but after a month or two of trying to handle it on my own, back I went to the doctor’s office.
By the way, the neti pot helped with my symptoms the most. It’s not the most comfortable thing to do, but it definitely helps!
“You’ve got a sinus infection and two ear infections. What’s going on?”
“Wish I knew, doctor!”
She prescribed another round of antibiotics, more medicine (a nasal steroid) for my sinuses, and off I went.
Within a month or two of being off the antibiotics, I started developing symptoms of sinus and ear infections. Again!
And again, I tried managing them at home.
A couple months later, I had my annual check-up. She took one look at me and told me she couldn’t give me a physical that day or draw blood for routine testing. I was sick. Again. She couldn’t prescribe me anymore antibiotics. Go see an ear nose and throat doctor (ENT), then come back.
Oh for goodness sakes! So off I went to the ENT and allergist. They couldn’t find anything (the allergy people tested me for environmental allergens – not food – so I left their office perplexed at the methodologies they use to determine who gets what kind of testing because they found I am not allergic to what they tested me for. Shouldn’t they also have tested for food?).
So, what the heck was going on? The headaches were chronic now and intensifying. Brain fog, fatigue, dizziness...all were ramping up. How would I be able to stay off antibiotics if I had no clue what was going on?
Through all of this, there were more tests and procedures. I still had my symptoms, but I did manage to bring myself back from the brink of infections again through natural methods. My doctor said no more antibiotics – and I was okay with that. I was determined to resolve whatever the heck was going on with me.
About a month ago, as I write this, I ended up with increased sinus pain again along with “clicking” in my ears. Oh gosh – not again! A few days later I came down with an excruciating headache. That evening, as I was moving a small picture frame, I felt a small “pop” in my finger. My finger started blowing up and within minutes, it started turning black and blue. I was curious about this little experience, but I could sense my husband was beyond curious and more like concerned.
“If it’s still this bad in the morning, I’ll go to the doctor’s,” I said to him.
And the next morning, looking at my big ol’ black and blue finger, I told him I’d go to Urgent Care.
“It’s a bruise,” said the Urgent Care doctor.
“Well, no kidding,” I thought to myself. I didn’t find that very helpful at all. You don’t get a nasty bruise picking up a light object like that.
Simultaneously, while I was at the Urgent Care appointment, my husband was talking with a ND friend and telling him I had a really freaky, weird incident with my finger.
And as luck would have it, he had seen the day prior, a patient with a bruised thumb. The person had had the same reaction as I did! And, he had eaten tuna from the same store I purchased it from. I am still amazed at the timing of this!
He said the patient had histamine intoxication – food poisoning – from the tuna.
“Take this homeopathic remedy,” he said, and he shared the product he recommends to his patients and family.
Out to the store I went (the same store who sold me the tuna salad ironically) and within minutes of taking the homeopathic medicine, I felt better. Not 100% better yet, but so much better than I had in months.
Not only physically did I feel better, but emotionally. Finally, I had an idea of what was going on and potentially I now had a pathway out of my chronic health issues!
If anyone knows me, they know that once I’m interested in something, I will research it inside-and-out! Ad nauseum!
So, I learned all about histamine intoxication and that little research led me to histamine intolerance. Whoa! It wasn’t just the tuna/food poisoning I had from histamine overload, I learned I was likely suffering from histamine intolerance – and that could be resolved by a few different, all natural methods.
From there, I learned how to lessen the symptoms and get on the path to wellness. That one synchronicity of tuna histamine food poisoning set me on this path: the one with answers, solutions, and better health. I am thrilled to be able to be feeling better! I’ve been struggling for a few years with a multitude of symptoms!
I’m writing this now because if I can feel better, I know there are other people out there who are going through the same thing and want answers and to feel better, too.
If you’ve struggled with unexplained symptoms, if your doctors are perplexed...If you recognize anything similar that’s been going on for you, read on…
STEP-BY-STEP ADVICE ON HOW TO GET BETTER
To help your gut more efficiently process histamine through diet and supplementation.
To manage histamine intolerance, it is typically recommended to follow a low-histamine diet, which involves avoiding or minimizing the intake of foods that are high in histamine or trigger its release.
Vegetables to avoid include spinach, avocadoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and mushrooms.
The homeopathic remedy I use is from Boiron: Histaminum hydrochloricum.
DAO supplements are also helpful. According to research, porcine kidney protein extract works. I take a vegan supplement – and if you’d like to make your own DAO supplement, try growing pea sprouts! Really! “the germination of legume seeds for a period of 6–8 days in darkness provides the optimal environment to maximize the DAO activity of this plant-origin matrix” (comas-baste) Taking vitamin C and vitamin B6 can increase the activity of DAO (Zhao et al article).
4. Antihistamine Medications
Antihistamine medications may also be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms. I choose not to take these, as my symptoms have responded very well to all-natural methods – particularly the low histamine diet.
CLEAR YOUR SINUSES: Use a neti-pot to help clean and clear your sinuses.
FOR PAIN RELIEF: Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for headaches if you have to use medication.
JUICE FRESH VEGETABLES: I make fresh celery juice in the morning to start my day. I use the Jack Lalanne juicer, but it's old-school - you can't buy this model anymore. Amazon recommends the following best selling juicers:
- Breville Juice Fountain Elite - expensive
- Canoly "Masticating Juicer" - moderately priced
- Hamilton Beach Juicer - inexpensive (for a juicer)
CLEAN THE AIR: Lastly, Try an air filtration system in your home. Having clean air helps reduce allergens in the air around you.According to the research, the histamine diet should be followed for at least 2-4 weeks. I saw results the first day I started.
Aside from my own personal experience, I read the following for this article:
- Comas-Basté O, Sánchez-Pérez S, Veciana-Nogués MT, Latorre-Moratalla M, Vidal-Carou MDC. Histamine Intolerance: The Current State of the Art. Biomolecules. 2020 Aug 14;10(8):1181. doi: 10.3390/biom10081181. PMID: 32824107; PMCID: PMC7463562. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7463562/
- Zhao Y, Zhang X, Jin H, Chen L, Ji J, Zhang Z. Histamine Intolerance-A Kind of Pseudoallergic Reaction. Biomolecules. 2022 Mar 15;12(3):454. doi: 10.3390/biom12030454. PMID: 35327646; PMCID: PMC8945898. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8945898/
Boiron Histaminum Hydrochloricum 30C Homeopathic Medicine For Indoor Or Outdoor Allergy Relief, Hay Fever, And Hives - (Pack of 3, Total 240 pellets): https://amzn.to/3pI3flM
Neti Pot: https://amzn.to/3pORda8
I haven't found a DAO product I am thrilled with so I won't recommend one here. I am going to start sprouting my own green pea seeds, which, in one of the research studies, showed excellent promise for creating a vegan form of DAO.
I found the following video helpful:
Also, I have just started taking this supplement:
Tesseract Medical Research QuerciSorb QR Immune Support Supplement, Quick Release Quercetin, Supports Immune Function and Overall Health * This is supposed to be highly effective at treating Histamine Intolerance. Since I've just started 2 days ago, I will provide a more detailed update in the future.
I also recently ordered the following: NOW Supplements, Cal-Mag Stress Formula with B-Complex and Vitamin C based on Dr. Paul Anderson's recommendations (see YouTube video listed above). Magnesium and B-5 are great to start off with, but he also mentions B-1, B-3, and B-6 too so I found this product that has them all. I love the NOW brand - great quality at a great price.
I'll keep you posted as my Histamine Intolerance journey unfolds! If this helps even one person with their histamine hell, this will have been worth it.
If you're struggling with symptoms like these, how do you manage it?
Do you know someone who has this? Share this article with them!
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I always recommend products I know/love/use.