Is it allergies or could it be histamine intolerance?

by | Mar 28, 2024 | Uncategorized

Is it allergies or something else? Histamine intolerance happens when your body struggles to keep histamine—a natural compound critical for your immune system, digestion, and brain function—in check. When histamine levels soar, it can unleash a barrage of uncomfortable symptoms that can be very similar to the symptoms of normal allergies. 


Symptoms of histamine intolerance run the gamut from pesky headaches and relentless nasal congestion to extreme fatigue, itchy hives, and stubborn digestive woes. In more severe cases, it can even cause difficulty breathing. These symptoms are commonly mistaken for allergies, making histamine intolerance a frequently overlooked and misdiagnosed condition. 

Understanding the root causes of histamine intolerance reveals a complex interplay within our bodies, centered around a key player: the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO). Tasked with dismantling histamine, DAO’s efficiency can be thwarted by a cocktail of factors—genetic makeup, specific medications, gut health hiccups, and a penchant for histamine-rich foods.  These can inhibit DAO function, leading to histamine accumulation. 

Foods & Histamine 

Addressing histamine intolerance requires a multi-faceted approach. One strategy is dietary modification, which involves reducing the intake of foods high in histamine. 

High-Histamine Foods:

  • aged cheeses, 
  • fermented products 
  • alcohol 
  • processed meats 

Low-Histamine Alternatives:

Consider trying some of the following foods that are low in histamine instead.  

  • Fresh meat 
  • Fresh fruit, but with limited citrus and plantains 
  • Fresh vegetables, but with limited tomato, eggplant, and spinach 
  • Rice and coconut milk 
  • Herbal tea, but avoid black and green tea 
  • Whole-grain products including pasta and bread 

However, diet alone may not always be sufficient to manage the condition effectively. 


Sometimes, you try something that you just want to tell everyone about. Enter D-Hist, a game-changer in the battle against histamine intolerance. This natural powerhouse supplement is engineered to boost your body’s histamine-busting capabilities. Packed with a potent mix of quercetin, stinging nettles leaf, bromelain, and N-acetyl-cysteine, D-Hist works its magic by turbocharging DAO activity and bolstering a healthy immune response. 

  • Quercetin shines with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory prowess, calming mast cells to keep histamine release in check.  
  • Meanwhile, bromelain, straight from the heart of pineapples, steps up for protein digestion and keeps your nasal passages and sinuses clear.  

Together, these ingredients form a dynamic defense, offering a robust support system against histamine’s challenges. 

Many believe D-Hist is a breakthrough in managing the troublesome symptoms of histamine intolerance, reporting significant relief in respiratory and gastrointestinal discomfort, among other benefits.  However, it’s important to approach the use of supplements with caution and consult a healthcare provider to ensure D-Hist is appropriate for your specific health situation. 


In addition to dietary modifications and supplements, managing stress levels and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome are also crucial components of managing histamine intolerance. Stress can trigger the release of histamine from mast cells, exacerbating symptoms. Furthermore, a healthy gut microbiome can help regulate immune response and potentially improve DAO activity, further aiding in histamine breakdown. 


Diagnosing histamine intolerance can be challenging due to its wide range of symptoms, which can overlap with those of other conditions, such as allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, and more. However, recognizing histamine intolerance involves a combination of symptom assessment, dietary evaluation, and sometimes, medical testing. Here’s a step-by-step approach we employ to determin if you might have histamine intolerance: 

1. Symptom Checklist 

First, we take note of your symptoms. Histamine intolerance can cause a variety of symptoms that may appear after consuming histamine-rich foods. Common symptoms include: 

  • Headaches or migraines 
  • Digestive issues (e.g., diarrhea, nausea, bloating) 
  • Nasal congestion or sinus issues 
  • Skin irritations such as hives, eczema, or itchiness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Irregular menstrual cycle 
  • Flushing of the face and chest 
  • Difficulty sleeping 

2. Dietary Review 

Next, we may want to assess your diet. Histamine intolerance symptoms often increase after consuming foods high in histamine. These include: 

  • Fermented alcoholic beverages like wine, champagne, and beer 
  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, and kombucha 
  • Vinegar-containing foods like pickles 
  • Cured meats: salami, ham, sausages 
  • Dried fruits 
  • Aged cheeses 
  • Certain vegetables (e.g., avocados, eggplant, spinach) 
  • Smoked fish and certain species of fish (e.g., mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines) 

Sometimes we recommend patients keep a detailed food diary to track what you eat and any symptoms that follow. This can help identify patterns and trigger foods. 

3. Elimination Diet 

If we identify some trouble potentially related to histamine intolerance, we might recommend an elimination diet. This involves removing high-histamine foods from your diet for a few weeks and then gradually reintroducing them to observe if symptoms reappear. This process can help confirm whether histamine is likely causing your symptoms. 

4. Medical Testing 

While there is no definitive test for histamine intolerance, some tests may help in its diagnosis: 

  • Blood Test: Measures the level of DAO (diamine oxidase) enzyme in your blood. Low levels of DAO could indicate that your body struggles to break down histamine. 
  • Skin Prick Test: To rule out other allergies. 
  • Histamine Plasma Test: Measures the level of histamine in your blood, though it’s not always conclusive for histamine intolerance. 

Is it Worth Talking About to a Healthcare Professional? 

If you think you might have histamine intolerance, and you’d like to start addressing that possibility, it might be worth it to speak to your doctor. It can be important to work with a healthcare provider to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms and to discuss your findings. They can provide guidance on the appropriate tests and help you navigate the diagnosis process, including the management of your symptoms through diet, lifestyle changes, or medication. 

Despite the challenges posed by histamine intolerance, the condition also highlights the incredible complexity and adaptability of the human body. It underscores the importance of listening to our bodies and responding with a holistic approach to health that includes diet, supplements, and lifestyle modifications. 

If you would like to discuss these or other potential health issues, give us a call today or fill out our New Patient Fast Track form below.

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