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by Carly Neubert, BA, NC April 17, 2021
We usually think about histamine related to seasonal allergies. But histamine has many more functions in your body. It is a natural part of your immune system and your digestion. It is a neurotransmitter that sends messages from your brain to your body. When histamine is created and released in your body, it causes an inflammatory response. Histamine is a warning flag that alerts your immune system and cells to be on guard for invaders. Histamine is in your stomach acid and helps to digest the foods you eat. It is the main culprit in the rising cases of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and histamine intolerance.
Taking a diamine oxidase enzyme supplement is your best defense against histamine intolerance symptoms. I recommend consistently taking Histamine Manager or Umbrellux DAO while you institute diet and lifestyle changes. Ultimately, getting to the root cause of your mast cell dysfunction will provide you lasting symptom relief.
The stereotypical histamine reactions we are all familiar with are hives, watery eyes, and flushing. Another example of a histamine reaction is when you get bitten by a mosquito. The redness and raised bump are caused by histamine being released by mast cells and entering your bloodstream. But histamine produces a whole cascade of other more subtle symptoms that aren’t always easy to identify. With a typical histamine reaction, we all reach for an antihistamine like Allegra, Claritin or Benadryl. This is the fastest way to stop a histamine reaction.
In the best case scenario, after histamine enters your bloodstream, it alerts your white blood cells to be on guard for invaders. Then you experience some sort of inflammation like watery eyes or a red bump, then the symptoms subside. At that point your body stops making histamine and degrades the histamine that entered your bloodstream and all returns to normal. Your body produces two enzymes that break down histamine: diamine oxidase (DAO) and N-methyltransferase.
The role of DAO enzyme, whether you take it as a supplement, or your body makes enough on its own, is to break apart histamine molecules. While a normal amount of histamine is good and necessary, if your body isn’t breaking down that histamine, you end up with too much. That is where the term “histamine intolerance” is used. In other words, you are constantly walking around with too much histamine and when you trigger your body to make and release more histamine, it will result in symptoms.
Unfortunately, due to many causes, that I have listed below, you may end up with an overproduction of histamine or an inability to break it down once it is released into your bloodstream. When histamine is released, your bloodstream carries it all over your body, which is why you end up with symptoms in varied areas. If you have an overproduction of histamine, you can blame your mast cells. If you don’t break down the histamine you produce, you can blame a DAO (diamine oxidase) enzyme deficiency. In both cases, a DAO enzyme supplement will help break down histamine and decrease symptoms.
Causes of Low DAO enzyme or DAO deficiency and histamine intolerance:
List provided by AmyMyersMD.com
We are all familiar with the stereotypical signs of a histamine reaction, but there are other symptoms of chronically high histamine that seem ambiguous and mysterious.
Here is a list of signs and symptoms of histamine intolerance:
If you suspect you are histamine intolerant or have MCAS, your top interventions are a low-histamine diet and a diamine oxidase enzyme supplement.
Incorporate foods and supplements that are known to stabilize mast cells: vitamin C, selenium, holy basil, peppermint, ginger, thyme, turmeric, quercetin, bromelain, nigella sativa, nettle and butterbur.
Additional steps you can take include:
You should also avoid high histamine foods and foods that release histamine.
A great starting list of high histamine foods:
Another list, this time of Histamine-releasing foods:
Although getting to and resolving the root cause of your histamine overload is ideally a long-term plan, we all really want fast relief from symptoms. The fastest way to get relief from histamine intolerance is by taking supplemental DAO enzyme supplements like Histamine Manager. This helps mitigate the symptoms and allows you to have a higher quality of life while working on the long term game plan for eliminating the cause(s) of high histamine.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question. I also can’t even count the amount of times someone has tried just 2 capsules of a DAO enzyme supplement like Histamine Manager and then told me “it didn’t work for me”. Well, of course, one dose won't solve all of your histamine build-up, SIBO, heavy metal toxicity, or MCAS. That’s just not the way your body works, nor is it the way that a DAO supplement will work for you.
DAO supplements must be taken BEFORE eating so that the enzyme is already present in your digestive system when you eat. I recommend starting with a dose of 2 capsules, no more than 15-20 minutes before you eat. The main and only active ingredient in Histamine Manager is diamine oxidase.
One capsule of Histamine Manager is equivalent to one capsule of Diem Labs Umbrellux. Each capsule contains 10,000 HDU of porcine derived DAO enzymes. Although 2 capsules per meal is the recommended starting dose, you may increase as needed.
While the diamine oxidase enzyme in Histamine Manager will break down the histamine in your digestive tract, it will not address histamine in your bloodstream that is associated with seasonal allergies.
Taking a diamine oxidase enzyme will break down the histamine causing your symptoms, but it will not resolve the underlying causes of high histamine or MCAS.
During menstruation, women have higher blood histamine and are more likely to experience more histamine intolerance symptoms.
Fresh protein and meat products. Fresh salmon has very little histamine whereas canned salmon has a significant amount of histamine. Avoid sausage and aged meats. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits instead of dried or canned. Sauerkraut has many notable health benefits, but if you suspect a histamine problem, then avoid it and other fermented foods.
Raw organic pastured cream and fresh cheeses are low in histamine, especially compared to fermented dairy such as kefir, yogurt, and sour cream. Cooked eggs, dairy-free milk, carob instead of chocolate, coconut butter, oil, flakes, flour, and milk.
The DAO enzyme in Histamine Manager breaks down histamine once it is released into your digestive tract. Quercetin works to stabilize your mast cells so that they are not as overactive in producing histamine. I recommend taking both supplements because they have different modes of action.
If you would like a customized plan for resolving your histamine intolerance, please schedule a consult with me, Carly Neubert BA, NC.
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