What is Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine intolerance, or HIT, is the body’s inability to sufficiently break down histamine. HIT occurs “…because of the reduced activity or presence of an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO), which is mainly responsible for breaking down histamine and other biogenic amines ingested through food…”. There are certain foods known to cause HIT, such as red wine, cured meats (salami, etc.), aged cheese and tomatoes.
The reactions and symptoms of HIT are quite varied and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Chronic constipation
- Gas and a general feeling of fullness
- Stomach cramps
- Stomach ache
Head & Face
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Extreme fatigue
- Flushing of face, chest areas
- Rashes, itchiness
- Fast beating or irregular heart beat
- Severe menstrual pains
- HIT symptoms vanish during pregnancy and reappear after child-birth
- Chills, shivers
- Low blood pressure
- Sudden psychological changes
- Sleep disorders
Histamine has a vital part in several important body functions; because the body needs a particular amount to live and function correctly, if we get too much than the body can handle, the above listed symptoms can adversely affect the skin, brain, lungs, heart and circulatory system, and the digestive tract, as well.
There are also some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when managing your diet if you have HIT. Listed below are a few general things to think of when planning your meals
- Avoid or reduce eating canned food, and ready-to-eat meals.
- Avoid or reduce eating ripened and fermented foods (aged cheeses, alcoholic drinks, products with yeast, and certain types of fish).
- Since the levels of histamine in foods can vary, depending on age, type of food, etc., you need to be super aware of each food you eat and the amount of histamine it has.
- Buy only the freshest fruits, veggies and lean meats possible.
- Make sure you don’t leave meats in the refrigerator too long.
- Ensure your kitchen is clean and sanitized.
- If needed, seek out a dietician so they can map out an effective meal plan for you.
- Learn to cook (if you don’t already!), since most canned and ready-to-eat packaged meals are loaded with histamines, as well as other unhealthy ingredients.
**This article is for general information purpose only and we can not guarantee about the accuracy.Please consult your doctor for advice and treatment.