Histamines are an unknown problem for many people. Even people who are aware they have a histamine issue, may not be aware of all the factors they should be.
DAO (Diamine Oxidase) is a chemical produced internally to deal with Histamine.
Lower levels of DAO are common in people with;
– Metabolic syndrome
– Mitochondrial dysfunction
– MTHFR gene mutation, resulting in low methylation
– Those with chronic health symptoms. Chronic health contributes to intolerance of histamine, making a histamine reaction a common and frustrating impact to one’s health.
– *Menstruating women; when oestrogen is high, during ovulation and a few days before menstruation, DAO will be lower.
Why are DAO levels lower in some people?
- Some medications can block DAO or prevent the creation of DAO.
- An overload of histamine rich foods, preventing DAO from functioning properly.
- A gut dysbiosis or gastrointestinal disorder such as leaky gut syndrome, SIBO, inflammatory bowel disease.
- Increased inflammation levels in the body, coupled with poor health. For example. metabolic disease i.e insulin resistance, pre diabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, injury and trauma, liver conditions, crowns disease, GERD, chronic or extreme stress, over training, and obesity etc.
For people in the above criteria, it is best to limit foods high in Histamines, especially when other factors of stress (and/or hormonal impact) are contributing. The benefit is you can find out if you have a level of tolerance, of which you can be aware of.
Histamine is about the overload. Many of the foods below are fine to be eaten at all times in moderation, or at least are fine for you under the circumstances you last ate them. So a reaction that has occurred previously can alert you to your personal tolerance (for the time being).
As said above, the nuances are many;
– Time of the month
– Stress load at the time (exercise/sleep/etc.)
– Food combinations, and
– Overall health status at the time
Albeit this list means nothing until placed into your personal circumstances and experience with the below foods.
Symptoms of Mild Histamine Intolerance/ Sensitivity
- Headaches or migraines
- Nasal congestion or sinus issues
- Digestive issues
- Irregular menstrual cycle
Symptoms of More Extreme Histamine Intolerance/ Sensitivity
- Abdominal cramping
- Tissue swelling
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
- Difficulty regulating body temperature Dizziness
Do you feel lousy after eating the below foods?
(These may be foods you ‘have always eaten’, although perhaps never considered a potential factor of inflammation)
*Keep in mind that histamines in food is difficult to label as levels can be significantly different depending on storage time, and additives added.
*Note: Fresher food will always have lower histamine levels with ‘fermented’ food having higher histamine levels.
- Aged foods (aged/cured meats, hard & semi hard cheeses, mouldy cheese etc.)
- Fermented foods (yoghurt, sauerkraut etc.)
- Fermented dairy (sour cream, yoghurt, kefir, buttermilk, cheese (especially aged)).
- Pickles or pickled veggies
- Tomato ketchup
- Fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso, soy sauce and natty
- Cold meats from supermarket
- Food left in any fridge (pre/post cooking) for more than a day.
- Canned Fish
- Soy sauce
- Dried Fruits
- Beans/pulses (and those flours)
- Cocoa (chocolate products)
Drinks below that may block DAO from being produced (and helping lower histamine responses), which adds to the list of reasons for not drinking these drinks with food (as they also inhibit vitamin/mineral absorption).
- Black Tea
- Energy Drinks
- Matè Tea
Treatment for Histamine Intolerance
There is no test specifically for histamine intolerance. Undertaking an elimination diet for a period of 2-4 weeks, with a reintroduction protocol is the most feasible option. Practising a low histamine food protocol may help;
- Prepare all your foods at home
- Eat foods as fresh as possible in their original form, (consuming fresh foods that have only been refrigerated)
- Keep a food and mood journal
- Be self aware and dialed in to your biofeedback
- Avoid all processed foods
- Stick to 2-4 weeks then reintroduce foods, noting biofeedback
- Supplement with DAO enzyme supplements if needed, in addition to electrolytes, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Copper and Zinc.
Ultimately you will need to determine your own histamine intolerances, with the support of a medical practitioner and or health, nutrition coaches like Jaimielle and myself.
Talk to a LYF Health and Performance Coach today, specifically Pete or Jaimielle Jacobs to get the help you need on your journey. Book in a FREE 15minute call using THIS LINK