The go-to guide for histamine intolerance: symptoms, diagnostic tests, drug interactions, and food lists to support your low-histamine diet. Could a Low-Histamine Diet Be the Solution to Your Health Problems? Do you suffer from praying circles around your child pdf of the following?
If so, you’re not alone. MANY people have at least one of the problems listed above but might never suspect that the culprit could be right in front of their noses—on their dinner plates! These symptoms can all be caused by a tiny but powerful natural substance called histamine. Anybody can have Histamine Intolerance, but you are at higher risk if you eat a GAPS diet, low-carb diet, enjoy gourmet foods, or have been swept up in the current fermented foods fad, because histamine is found lurking primarily in aged, fermented, cured, cultured, and smoked foods. Foods like aged beef, ripe cheeses, salami, sauerkraut, red wine, and natto can all be quite high in histamine. Histamine Intolerance symptoms tend to appear very soon after eating a high-histamine food, typically within less than two hours.
Symptoms typically disappear in a matter of hours and rarely last longer than 24 hours. Histamine Intolerance: Understanding the Science. Histamine is an important molecule used to regulate body functions, so it’s found naturally in our bodies in tiny amounts for good reason. The problem is that it is also found in aged foods. If you have healthy gut defenses, you can handle reasonable quantities of histamine in foods.
However, more and more of us have compromised gastrointestinal systems and so have difficulty with even small quantities of natural food toxins like histamine. If too much histamine makes its way from foods into your bloodstream, it can cause a wide variety of unpleasant symptoms. If you eat too much histamine or are sensitive to histamine, you can experience all kinds of annoying symptoms that most people wouldn’t think of as related to diet, including asthma, panic attacks, pre-menstrual cramps, and sleep disturbances. Histamine Intolerance is much more common than most people realize. Most people who have it don’t realize it—I was one of them! Years ago when I first turned my diet upside-down and started eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat, mostly-meat diet, my health improved tremendously in every way. Yet there were still some frustrating symptoms that would crop up every once in a while: IBS, fatigue, insomnia, ankle swelling, itchy skin, dry cough, and environmental allergies.
I couldn’t tell which foods were the culprits. Sometimes fish or beef or pork would bother me and other times it wouldn’t. Some processed meats agreed with me while others didn’t. In 2013 I started a blog series about a new ketogenic diet I was experimenting with, describing how I felt along the way. I might have Histamine Intolerance. And by gum, she was right! This eureka moment was what inspired me to write these articles for you.
Who is at Risk for Histamine Intolerance? Histamine Intolerance go undiagnosed, so the actual prevalence is surely much higher. Histamine Intolerance sufferers are middle-aged, and the vast majority are female. How Much Histamine Can You Tolerate?
Histamine Intolerance, because the human body has a limited capacity to handle histamine in foods. People with Histamine Intolerance tend to react to even lower levels because they are especially sensitive. Nearly all foods contain at least a small amount of histamine, so it’s impossible to completely avoid it. However, some foods are MUCH higher in histamine than others. Unfortunately, histamine levels in foods vary WIDELY.
For example, like other animal foods, fresh tuna is very low in histamine, whereas levels in canned tuna can range anywhere from zero to as high as 40. So as you’ll notice, most histamine levels in the tables below are listed as ranges rather than absolute values. Unless you have your own personal chemistry lab, it is simply impossible to know how much histamine is in any given food. However, there are general guidelines that can help you guess whether a food is likely to be lower or higher in histamine. The less fresh it is, the more histamine it will contain.
Note: the lists below are not meant to be complete, just representative of what I found in the literature. The same is true for fresh, unripened cheeses with short shelf-lives, such as fresh mozzarella and ricotta. Most fresh meats are very low in histamine. Dry sausages such as salami, pepperoni, and chorizo, are the meat products highest in histamine content.