Histamine Intolerance and its relationship to minerals

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histamine

When people hear the word “histamine” they most likely think of seasonal allergies, and antihistamine medication. But histamine intolerance is so much more than that and it is becoming extremely prevalent among those trying to heal their bodies.

What is Histamine??

Histamine’s main job in the body is to create an inflammatory response to tell your immune system that there is something to attack.  But if you are lacking in the nutrients needed to degrade histamine, then histamine can actually build up in the body and creates a chronic issue, usually with symptoms like chronic headaches, congestion, itchiness or fatigue.

Histamine is a common component in foods, most often found in fermented foods, dried fruits, most citrus fruits, and cured meats. Ideally, the histamine in these foods shouldn’t cause an issue for most people.  They would be able to process and degrade the histamine with no issue.  However, for someone with leaky gut and nutritional deficiencies, they may be unable to degrade histamine properly. DAO (Diamine oxidase) is the primary enzyme that we need to properly degrade histamine. Extremely high histamine levels have been linked to cardiac arrest– so it is important to address the root cause of histamine intolerance.

Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance:

  • Anxiety, racing mind
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Flushing
  • Nasal congestion, sneezing, or difficulty breathing
  • Vertigo
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Hives
  • Fatigue

What causes Histamine Intolerance

There are many causes of histamine intolerance, and there are a few ways that we can help to reverse this issue.

Causes of Histamine Intolerance:

  • DAO (Diamine oxidase) deficiency
  • Excess consumption of histamine rich foods
  • SIBO
  • Leaky Gut
  • Mineral and vitamin Deficiencies, mainly B6, copper, magnesium, and whole food vitamin C
  • Allergies (linked to a sluggish liver)

Foods with High Histamine:

  • Wine, beer, champagne
  • Most Citrus fruits
  • Dried fruits like apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
  • Aged Cheese
  • Cured meats like bacon, salami, pepperoni, deli meats
  • All fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha
  • Vinegar and vinegar containing foods like olives and pickles
  • Some kinds of fish like mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines
  • Sour foods like sour cream, buttermilk, sourdough bread
  • Leftovers
  • Chocolate (oh no!)
  • Tomatoes, eggplant
  • Bone broth

Take a real look at this list above. These are all foods that our ancestors survived on! Wine, dried foods, cured meats, bone broth and fermented foods are all things that our ancestors would have had on a daily basis. There is NO WAY that these foods are bad or unhealthy. It all comes down to people having so many different nutritional deficiencies, leaky gut, and toxicities that interfere with proper digestion.

Treating Histamine Intolerance

The most common path that people take to solve this issue involves simply avoiding histamine rich foods.  This may alleviate symptoms but it doesn’t help the root cause.  Plus you will always run the risk of eating a contaminated food and having to suffer with flare ups from histamine exposure.

As I mentioned before, the DAO enzyme is the number one enzyme that breaks down histamine in the gut.  We come by a deficiency of DAO if we have leaky gut, if we use too much alcohol, and if we are lacking in Copper, whole food vitamin C, magnesium and vitamin B6. B6 is a key player in synthesizing DAO, but most of us know that copper, B6 and vitamin C have a HUGE relationship with each other.

If you haven’t read my post on copper dysregulation before, please do!  We have been lied to about copper.  Everyone wants to treat copper toxicity, and detox copper but they fail to see the potential danger in this. Copper is one of the most misunderstood minerals, but it is extremely important to our health. There are about 300 copper containing enzymes in the body. Some of copper’s most important jobs include ATP energy production, estrogen production, and controlling most of our neurotransmitters.

When it comes to copper regulation we have to focus on ceruloplasmin production (which I go over in the copper article linked above). Most mineral programs these days are focused on detoxing copper and they include high doses of zinc, molybdenum, and B6- all copper ANTAGONISTS. Now therein lies the conundrum about DAO- we need B6 to make DAO, but B6 destroys biovailable copper in high doses (plus B6 is one of the few B vitamins that can be toxic on its own!).

The key is to balance copper by raising ceruloplasmin which will solve the issue of excess, unbound copper. Once unbound copper is under control then we can focus on nutrients like B6, manganese, and zinc.

There is an order to healing, and everyone will have a different path. Healing from copper dysregulation is key to healing from so many health issues, and it is almost hard to believe how important copper truly is.

So the plan for fixing histamine intolerance includes:

  1. Balancing Copper
  2. Fixing Magnesium
  3. Whole Food C
  4. B6 rich foods:liver, grains, bananas, eggs, blackstrap molasses, and beef.
  5. Eating a Clean Diet
  6. Getting an HTMA to determine your adrenal health as well as your personal deficiencies
  7. Nettle infusions! Nettles are a natural anti-histamine and can be very helpful for those with histamine problems. If you know you have histamine intolerance, start slow with nettles as they can have the same fatiguing effect as an OTC anti-histamine medication
  8. Reduce Inflammation in the body- an HTMA will give us an idea if you have high inflammation; things like ACV, aloe vera, magnesium, turmeric, and ginger are great anti-inflammatories
  9. Heal the Gut
  10. BioRay Belly Mend is one of the top gut healing supplements I have found and they have seen that it helps those with histamine intolerance.
  11. Heal the liver! The liver plays a big role in histamine regulation, as well as copper balancing. BioRay Liver Life is a great start for those that are dealing with histamine issues.
  12. Castor oil packs have been one of the TOP helpers for healing that liver for those with histamine issues. I have heard from many people at this point that the packs were huge helpers for them, and some had results rather quickly.
  13. Reducing stress– in order for the body to stop creating stress responses we have to either eliminate stress or learn to manage it better
  14. Avoiding high histamine foods temporarily

Do you suffer from histamine intolerance? Have you healed it or are you just trying to find the right path for yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Read more:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/5/1185.full

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html

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16 Replies to “Histamine Intolerance and its relationship to minerals”

  1. Thanks for reminding me about nettles. I have a huge bag. The whole food vitamin C really really helped me with my reactions, along with mag. I need to do better with the B6 too. Great post!!!!

  2. You are so right about copper…I followed under more than 1 year dr.lawrence Wilson program and it was all about copper toxicity while my copper was actually really low on the hair analysis…

    I have a question regarding nettles: I tried nettle infusion and I got some kind of histamine overload symptoms while on it:
    – waking up early in the morning ing
    – loose stool
    – nervosity, inner tension while also fatigued
    – sinusitis
    I thought may be I was having an allergic reaction to the nettle? So I stopped. Did you hear of those problems before? Or maybe I started with too much? I was making infusion (quite strong probably as leaving them a few hours in hot water). I would really love your feedback on that 🙂
    Thank you for this wonderful post!!!
    I

    1. Hi Corinne! I am glad you found this perspective on copper then. 🙂

      As for the nettles, sometimes people get a pretty big detox reaction if they start out with too much. Nettles themselves are anti-histamine so usually they end up helping with that issue instead of making things worse. I would attempt to start very more slowly (even making them half strength could be a good start).

      1. Thank you!
        I also read that dried nettles are harder to tolerate for histamine intolerant people (mold on dried leaves) , and it is the case for most dried spices too. Fresh nettles is said to be less problematic then…
        I will try to make it half strength then! Do you think the steeping time should also be reduced or it does not matter?
        Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!
        Corinne

        1. That is a good point! Very important to buy from good sources then too. If you make them half strength, I don’t think you have to adjust the steeping time. Hope that works out better for you!

    1. Liver Life is much more potent than the Liver Lover. The latter is alcohol free, and alcohol is what tinctures are traditionally based in as they work much better to enhance the chemical compounds of the herbs used.

      1. So might liver lover be better for severally copper toxic people who dump copper at the drop of a hat? (i.e. can’t tolerate any supplements due to easy copper dumping which then causes severe migraines in the person I’m concerned about)?

        1. Very possible as it is a much lower dose. I have been reading more about the BioRay products lately and it does seem like Liver Life is the main therapeutic dose to help really get that liver back up and running quickly. So the Liver Loving and even the Belly Mend would be helpful for smaller doses.

  3. hi, i want to get magnesium oil and I have been suffering with histamine intolerance. the one you recommend has lemon and sunflower oil in it, both ingredients I have been reading as no-no’s. Have you had people use this with histamine intolerance and hives??

    1. Hi, thank you for such an informationally rich, yet readable perspective on copper. It’s very different than what I’ve read in other places.

      I have a question about the liver rebuilding you mentioned: I read the other blog posts you linked in this article and noticed a discrepancy. In this article, you placed healing farther down the list of steps for the histamine treating protocol, yet some of your other posts mention that is important to heal the liver 1st before addressing copper dysregulation. Could you clarify the order of operations you recommend?

      Thanks again!

      1. Hi Bonnie- I’m glad you found this to be helpful! I know it can be a bit different than others’ views on it. I try to take a whole-body approach when it comes to healing though!

        As far as the liver healing goes- that list was not in a specific order. Those were just all of the tips for healing this issue in general. Hope that clears things up!

        1. Great, thanks for clarifying! I think this info is going to help me get over a major hump in my histamine intolerance healing. My functional medicine doctor is stymied by my condition and thinks that the “root cause” of my histamine intolerance may be some genetic inability to methylate or produce histamine degrading enzymes.It’s a relief to see a hypothesis that there may be an actionable real root cause to his “root cause”. Thank you, and I’ll keep you posted!

  4. So Castor oil packs are great for reducing inflammation. Been doing Belly Mend as well as Collagen to focus on leaky gut. Never had finger nails so long and strong. Collagen I am sure. Hoping belly mend is sealing things. Took a break from Nettles for a bit as they seemed to contribute to histamine for some reason?!?! Eventually I will slowly attempt to reintroduce maybe after first bottle of belly mend is done. Adrenals are still an issue, but still having stress like things in life occurring. But over all I think I am getting better. The copper thing has still got me bambozzled, but since I am not there yet, not too worried. When it is time for my second HTMA, we can talk more about copper I think.

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