How High Levels of Histamines are Affecting Overall Health


How High Levels of Histamines are Affecting Overall Health

As we continue our discussion this month on the topic of allergies, we can’t overlook the critical element everyone needs to understand: histamines. The level of histamine activity within your body changes depending on your exposure to allergens.

What is Histamine?

Histamine is an essential part of the immune system, acting as a mediator to manage the inflammatory response. For example, histamine can affect vascular permeability, the widening of blood vessels, and even anaphylactic reactions when an allergic reaction happens. Additionally, histamines play a role in regulating the gut, spinal cord, brain, and more.

When you are exposed to a foreign microorganism, a response can produce specific immune cells (mast cells). This action affects how the white blood cells can engage with the foreign invaders. It’s essential to consider these reactions because histamine intolerance can be a cause of allergy symptoms for some people.

Food Allergies or Histamine Intolerance?

In a healthy person, the body can manage histamine responses by breaking down the histamine through diamine oxidase (DAO) – an enzyme that is present for this purpose. Usually, histamine is a good thing because it supports immune cells in traveling to an infection or injury site.

A portion of the population has histamine intolerance, which could be causing food sensitivities and other symptoms. If someone is histamine intolerant, then it means that they can’t metabolize this compound. The DAO enzymes are low, causing histamine to build up faster than the body can break it down.

If you are only looking at the allergy symptoms, then it might appear that you have an allergy or intolerance to certain ingredients. Actually, this sensitivity is occurring because of a histamine reaction. An allergy happens to a specific food or group (such as gluten or shellfish), while a wide range of foods can trigger a histamine intolerance.


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Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

Often, symptoms of histamine intolerance are similar to seasonal allergies:

  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Flushed skin
  • Facial swelling
  • Red eyes
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Asthma attacks

In severe situations, histamine intolerance can also cause heart palpitations, decreased blood pressure, panic attacks, or anxiety. Some people also have gastrointestinal issues, such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation.

Functional Medicine to Address Histamine Intolerance

The problem with traditional treatments for histamine intolerance is that the symptoms can bounce around. Often, medical providers attribute these symptoms to other diseases and use the wrong treatments in an attempt to manage the symptoms.

Not only are you dealing with uncomfortable symptoms related to histamine intolerance, but it’s likely having a domino effect on many aspects of your life. People with high levels of histamines often have issues with:

  • Energy
  • Sleep
  • Brain-Mood Health
  • Metabolism
  • Stress Response
  • Blood Sugar Stability
  • Hormone balance

The key to improving these aspects of your health and recovering overall wellness is to address the root cause: histamine intolerance. First, we need to identify whether you are dealing with histamine issues. Then implement lifestyle changes that help to decrease the histamine load and manage your immune responses.

Back On Track Integrative Wellness, Inc. provides full-service solutions to help you feel your best. Check back next week to read our final blog post in this allergy series for information about how to minimize allergies and histamine response through functional medicine. Also, feel free to call us any time if you want to schedule a consultation with our team: (916) 782-3141.



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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.


Dr. Todd W. Bunning, DC, PC

Dr. Todd W. Bunning’s chiropractic and functional medicine services reach far beyond the local Roseville area, with webcam consultations available for patients in any location. With over 20+ years of Private Practice experience, Dr. Todd continues to focus on the individual: science-based methods to address whole-body health factors.

Dr. Todd’s education didn’t stop when he graduated from Life West Chiropractic College in 2003. Today, he’s continuing to receive training and is chipping away on numerous post-graduate degree programs. This unique blend of clinical health investigation and Lifestyle Medicine application helps people of all ages find the underlying factors that result in chronic disease.

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