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Low-histamine diet


If you have a histamine intolerance, a low-histamine diet can help. But first things first: What exactly is a histamine intolerance, and how would you know you have one? Good questions! Because...it’s not so simple. Histamine is the chemical that triggers an inflammatory response when your immune system is under attack. Usually, an enzyme in the body called diamine oxidase (DAO) will break down histamine, but if that reaction doesn’t happen as it should, histamine can build up, triggering symptoms, and you can develop—yep—a histamine intolerance. You can also be sensitive to histamine if you have mast cell activation syndrome. Here’s the problem with histamine: It travels through your bloodstream and can cause headaches, high blood pressure, hives, anxiety, stomach cramps, and flushing, to name just a few reactions. If these symptoms plague you, this diet might provide some relief. The reason: If you have a histamine intolerance, what you eat can add to the problem because there are foods that naturally contain histamine, others that cause the release of histamine, and still others that block DAO from doing its histamine-breakdown job in your digestive tract. Finally, you can also be deficient in DAO. See…definitely not a simple problem! But fortunately, diet can be part of the solution, as it aims to reduce high histamine foods to reduce circulating histamines.

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