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Whilst said to be affecting about 1%of the population, I seem to be seeing most of this 1% in my practice!

Histamine Intolerance (HIT) may occur when there is either an increased availability of histamine AND/OR impaired histamine breakdown in the body.

Two enzymes in the gut - DAO and HNMT - break down histamine, preventing it from being absorbed in the gut and entering the bloodstream. These enzyme levels and function are affected by: medications  such as antibiotics, antidepressants, aspirin, voltaren, reflux, various foods, and alcohol, nutrient deficiencies (ie B6, Vitamin C, copper, zinc), extreme or chronic stress, injury or trauma.

Symptoms of HIT include:

  1. asthma

  2. hypotension

  3. hay fever like symptoms

  4. diarrhoea or chronic constipation

  5. headaches

  6. food sensitivities

  7. flushing, esp of the head and chest

  8. urticaria (hives)

  9. unexplained anxiety

  10. nausea and vomiting, gas, bloating

  11. eczema

  12. severe menstrual pain

  13. stomach cramps or pain

  14. shortness of breath

  15. IBS

Most foods and drinks contain histamine, some block the action of the 2 gut enzymes - DAO and HNMT. As excluding histamine foods entirely is unrealistic, a LOW HISTAMINE DIET is the way to go. 

Certain vitamin and mineral supplements may be helpful to replenish nutrients missing from a low histamine diet, to enhance the activity of DAO (the gut enzyme that helps breakdown histamine) and to support digestive health and the stress response. If you suspect you may suffer with HIT, please reach out to your Naturopath or Nutritionist who will be able to help manage your symptoms as well as identify and remove triggers, and help to modulate the immune response to prevent further sensitisation. Have a bright and beautiful November, Christine x


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