How do you know if you're experiencing histamine intolerance symptoms?Histamine intolerance is becoming increasingly identified as an underlying cause of numerous strange, allergy-like symptoms, that often appear without any history of such issues.
And, as histamine intolerance symptoms can be body-wide, it can become pretty difficult to pinpoint this rare, multi-faceted disorder.
Histamine is best known as a compound which is released in response to allergic reactions (think seasonal allergies: many people take anti-histamines).
The release of histamine occurs as part of a normal biological mechanism. So, when your body is functioning properly, histamine is produced and degraded in tolerable amounts, thus preventing you from experiencing histamine intolerance symptoms.
In this case, you can enjoy everything from chocolate to tomatoes to wine, without the ill health and confusion that follows.
(Although, just a tip for all you wine-o's out there - I did my research on low histamine wine and posted a list of them for you to enjoy).
If you have a histamine intolerance
If, however, you are histamine intolerant, this means that the amount of histamine that your body is producing or consuming (through food and environment) is not balanced with the rate at which that histamine being degraded.
This resulting in higher-than-normal biological levels of histamine - and, presto: histamine intolerance symptoms appear.
In histamine intolerant individuals, high levels of histamine are capable of producing such histamine intolerance symptoms that may seem similar to an allergic reaction. Think hives, rashes, itching and congestion.
It's notable that, what many people don’t realize, is that histamine intolerance can produce a variety of seemingly unrelated symptoms. These symptoms include digestive distress (particularly diarrhea), mood issues and fatigue.
Due to the fact that histamine intolerance symptoms are variable, widespread and can impact nearly every single system in the body, histamine intolerance is one of the most difficult intolerances to identify and diagnose.
Additionally, the causes of histamine intolerance can be varied as well - making each case a complex combination of various factors.
Below, I’ve detailed a list of common histamine intolerance symptoms impacting various areas of the body.
Histamine intolerance symptoms:
Gut & Digestive Symptoms
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (especially IBS-D)
- Excessive flatulence
- Constipation (less common than diarrhea)
- Stomach aches or cramps (including severe menstrual cramps)
- Acid reflux / Heartburn / Indigestion
- General digestive symptoms
- Urticaria / Hives
- Acne or pimples
- Rosacea or redness
- Pruritis / Itchiness (also ocular pruritus or itchy eyes)
- Inflammation of the skin
- Runny nose
- Chronic cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast beating
- Circulatory collapse
- Constant shivers or chills
- Mood swings or imbalances
- Lack of concentration
- Headaches / migraines
- Watery eyes
- Sleep issues
- Oedema (swelling often around eyes, mouth and throat)
As you can see from this extensive list of histamine intolerance symptoms, there can be a lot of variability in the disorder, with an increasing number of symptoms continuing to be researched.
One of the best ways to identify if your symptoms are due to histamine intolerance, is to follow a simple low histamine diet, which is used to reduce internal histamine levels and alleviate symptoms.
If symptoms are due to histamine intolerance, studies have shown symptoms to relieve within the first 1-2 weeks.
To receive my free low histamine diet, along with a guide to histamine intolerance and info on finding the root cause of your intolerance, click the button below!
Life's too short to let symptoms control you.
Anita Tee, Nutritional Scientist