What is histamine? Well, it’s a chemical that our body naturally makes in response to an attack and its job is to create inflammation and triggers the immune system to come clean things up, this is actually a good thing! It helps with our stomach acid, which is extremely important for digestion, and it’s a neurotransmitter, so it helps our body talk to our brain and it’s very involved in the brain actually. So that’s why you see a lot of symptoms of histamine intolerance tied to the brain, like insomnia and anxiety.
So the problem is actually not histamine. The problem with histamine is that when histamine is done doing its job, it should be broken down. And there are different enzymes that do that. The main enzyme is called DAO, which is predominantly made in the gut. The enzyme will come in and it helps to break down the histamine to get rid of it. But unfortunately, because there’s such poor gut health these days and hormone imbalances, these two factors are big contributors to preventing histamine to calm down naturally.
So let’s just imagine that you have a bucket and there’s all these things filling up this bucket that are causing your histamine in your body to go higher and higher or not be broken down. Such as gut issues, environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies, stress is a big driver.
Also a lot of people are estrogen dominant these days, and that’s because many of the products that we use nowadays have xenoestrogens that are raising our natural estrogen levels. And estrogen drives histamine in the body!
All these different contributors are causing us to release more histamine which prevents the body from properly breaking down histamine the way that it should.
And let’s not forget about stress which is a huge contributor to releasing histamines. When you activate the sympathetic nervous system, your body then produces more mast cells causing you to release more histamine, which makes you more stressed. It’s just a very frustrating, vicious cycle I see with so many of my patients.
In my Practice, I like to look for all the possible contributors that are filing up your unhealthy bucket. And that’s why testing is so important. We can look at your hormones, your cortisol, and your gut health to see which bugs, because there are inevitably some, which are contributing to your histamine bucket. And we can’t forget the foods that you’re eating unknowingly that are high in histamine, like left overs and avocadoes!
After taking all these things into account, we can then begin to empty your unhealthy bucket and instead help to keep it full of nutrients to keeping you healthy and thriving instead of simply surviving.