Histamine enters the bloodstream naturally as a chemical released by white blood cells. It plays a role in numerous bodily processes including blood circulation, immune system responses, gastric acid production, and muscle regulation. While histamine is necessary for your body to function properly, too much can be harmful.
Feeling itchy? You might be histamine intolerant
Histamine intolerance (HIT) is an irritating condition caused by a gradual build-up of extracellular histamine that results in great discomfort. Histamine is normally broken down by the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO), but if levels rise too high or DAO is unable to break them down quickly enough, normal bodily functions can be severely disrupted. You may realise that your body is producing an excessive amount of histamine when you experience an allergic reaction to an irritant in your environment or something you’ve eaten.
Causes and symptoms
A number of things can lead to a lack of DAO or an excessive amount of histamine being produced. One of these is consuming foods high in histamine, while others include taking certain medications, drinking alcohol, and gastrointestinal issues like bacterial overgrowth and inflammatory bowel disease.
The most typical symptoms of histamine intolerance include severe itching, rashes, and swollen red skin. Other symptoms include runny or swollen nasal passages, watery eyes, and coughing or sneezing. High levels of histamine have also been connected to common inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, hives, psoriasis, and rosacea.
Controlling histamine levels
The first step in diagnosing a condition is to undergo a quick blood test and consult with a physician or dietician. The results of the test will first rule out other similar conditions, such as infections and disorders, that could be causing your symptoms.
You may then be advised to adjust your diet so you consume fewer foods that are naturally high in histamine. These include foods such as meats that have been cured or smoked, shellfish, aubergines, spinach, strawberries, fermented foods, dried fruits, dairy products such as yogurt, and alcoholic beverages. If you want to see if your symptoms improve, try cutting out foods that are high in histamine for a period of at least one month and see if that helps.
Antihistamines and diamine oxidase supplements can benefit those with histamine intolerances by breaking down histamine-rich foods and replenishing the body’s supply of the DAO enzyme. Even better, you can reduce your histamine levels naturally by following a few simple steps. As is so often the case, the most effective way to prevent HIT is to watch what you eat. By sticking to a low-histamine diet consisting of fresh meat, fish, vegetables, eggs, olive oil, dairy substitutes such as coconut or almond milk, and gluten-free grains such as quinoa and rice, the condition can be significantly alleviated. For good measure, consume an abundance of vitamin C-rich foods, such as non-citrus tropical fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, and berries.
In addition, you may benefit from a good-quality air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filter to reduce your exposure to irritating allergens and toxins in your environment, which can trigger a histamine response.
Moringa and histamine intolerance
The presence of anti-inflammatory compounds in Moringa is one of the most compelling reasons to consume this superfood. Why is this important when discussing intolerance to histamine? If you have histamine sensitivity, following a diet that helps reduce inflammation should help lower the amount of histamine that your body produces.
Moringa’s antioxidant properties may have additional health advantages for people with histamine intolerance. The harmful effects of free radicals, which your body is subjected to every day, are lessened by antioxidants. Free radical damage is accelerated by aging, exposure to toxins, air pollution, and other factors.
An anti-inflammatory diet also reduces oxidative stress and the generation of free radicals. Chlorogenic acid, quercetin, phenols, and flavonoids are a few anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances found in Moringa powder. Except in cases of severe oxalate allergy, the insoluble form of oxalates found in Moringa is unlikely to worsen the symptoms of histamine intolerance.
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