Histamine Intolerance & Your Hormones
Heard of Histamine Intolerance?
It is a temporary immune response where too much histamine causes allergies and symptoms like swelling. Histamine itself is not bad. In fact it regulates stomach acid, brain function and helps with your hormones. Food sensitivities can cause histamine intolerance. A1 casein in conventional dairy is very stimulating to histamine production. It can be pro-inflammatory for many people. Fermented foods actually contain histamine despite having many benefits. Our body can clear too much histamine easily with a enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO). But in some people this enzyme doesn’t function well and in others there is just too much histamine coming in.
Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance
Headaches, brain fog, anxiety, insomnia, nasal congestion and skin issues are all common symptoms of histamine intolerance. Period pain, heavy cycles and mood issues during PMS are intensified or even caused by too much histamine. Simply removing A1 casein may help and there are several other steps that can be taken that I will get to after I explain a few more details about how hormones work.
Hormones Help Regulate Histamine
Histamine plays a key role in many hormonal functions like libido, ovulation and reproduction. Too much histamine or histamine intolerance can happen more readily at certain points in a woman’s cycle. This is because estrogen increases histamine. At ovulation and before day 1 of your cycle estrogen is highest. If your symptoms are worse at these times it may be worth checking your estrogen balance.
Progesterone actually inhibits estrogen and histamine. This is yet another reason why the balance with estrogen is so crucial to see. During perimenopause both these hormones are fluctuating so much you may notice erupting histamine symptoms. Remember perimenopause can start in mid-late thirties and last for years. Women report much more happiness afterwards.
What helps with Histamine Intolerance?
Beyond avoiding A1 casein which stimulates histamine you will want to also reduce fermented foods that contain histamine. Vitamin B6 is excellent because it upregulates the DAO enzyme. Magnesium is also really helpful for menstrual symptoms along with B6.
Getting to know your hormone balance can be key. But women only have access to hormone testing when they are trying to get pregnant. I have to say this is completely messed up. A woman can have debilitating symptoms where she is unable to work. You know what she is offered? The pill and an anti-depressant. If she doesn’t comply she’s labeled a difficult patient and offered nothing further. If she does comply she is also offered nothing further except perhaps a specialist appointment.
The problem is that histamine intolerance is not recognized in our conventional medical system. Mast cell activation syndrome is another term that may be taken more seriously but it doesn’t mean that hormone testing will be offered. The other problem is our system only values women of reproductive age if they are reproducing. The message is clear and we need this to change.