Histamine is an immune signalling protein, which is released by mast cells – a type of immune cell. Histamine is also a neurotransmitter, and too much of it can cause anxiety and insomnia, and block serotonin (your happy chemical) production. Thus, histamine can have a big impact on your mood.
Histamine also stimulates oestrogen production. Oestrogen also stimulates histamine production! So when it comes to conditions of excess oestrogen, such as PMS, PMDD, endometriosis and adenomyosis, histamine can be a big piece of the puzzle. Histamine creates oestrogen, which creates more oestrogen, which creates more histamine, and a vicious cycle occurs.
Symptoms of elevated histamine include:
- Brain fog
- Headaches or migraines
- Insomnia or sleeping difficulties
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Joint pain
- Sweaty feet
- Fluid retention
- Breast tenderness
- Premenstrual anxiety (PMS-A)
- Low blood pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Asthma or breathing difficulties
- Urticaria (hives)
- Itchy skin or itchy eyes
- Dermatographia – raised, red marks after light scratching of the skin
- Car sickness or sea sickness
- Alcohol intolerance, especially red wine
- Shellfish intolerance
- Chocolate intolerance
- Intolerance to fermented foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, cheese
- Feeling irritable, hot or itchy after eating
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is probably time to have a look at how your body is handling its histamine. If you have a hormonal condition, then it is definitely time to have a look at how your body is handling its histamine!
There are many natural solutions to lowering histamine. Some favourites include quercetin, bromelain, vitamin C, and certain types of probiotics. Dietary intervention also plays a critical role. As always, it’s best to be guided by your healthcare practitioner before self prescribing any natural medicines as the correct form and dose is the key to achieving results.