What is Histamine?
–Histamine is an important immune mediator, involved in the local and systemic inflammatory responses. It regulates physiological function in the gut and acts as a neurotransmitter.
All of us have had an experience with histamine. Have you ever been stung by an ant or had a mosquito bite? The redness and swelling that is seen around the site, is histamine mediated.
If someone has some kind of allergic response that they don’t necessarily associate with any particular trigger, that could be an issue with histamine. Histamine excess may cause numerous symptoms mimicking an allergic reaction.
Histamine is not the problem, it’s when people have problems breaking it down or they are overproducing it. This is notable in the gut as gut dysbiosis, certain types of bacteria produce histamine and also certain bacteria degrade it. The first could be, an overgrowth of bacteria that produces histamine, then, theoretically one can have excess histamine. Secondly, lack of histamine-degrading bacteria. This is why histamine intolerance can lead to gut problems and disturbance in the microbiota. Also, the genetic issue with diamine oxidase production is one of the causes of histamine intolerance.
Below are the common symptoms:
- itching of the skin eyes, ears, and nose
- Digestive issues – upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal pain, leaky gut, abdominal cramp
- hypotension, that is a drop in blood pressure (dizziness when you stand up quickly)
- a feeling of throat constriction or tightness
- increased pulse rate
- symptoms that resemble anxiety or panic attack
- chest pain
- seasonal allergies- reddened eyes
- fatigue, confusion, irritability
Run some tests! To figure out where the problem lies.
Get your diamine oxidase levels, serum histamine, and serum tryptase tested. They are all serum-based tests that can help find the root cause of the problem.
There are some ways that can symptomatically help an individual, that is opting for a low-histamine diet. For long-term treatment, one has to address the underlying cause and get rid of dysbiosis or methylation problems.