The last 3 months have been really busy, firstly when I’m working I get so exhausted that I don’t have time to blog as much as I would like(more about my constant tiredness later). It’s amazing how my journey is unraveling, I have discovered the human body is a wonderful thing. I have learnt that when things do not seem to be going as they should then I need to listen to my body and try to figure out what it is trying to tell me. I seem to find something out, get results then something else comes to light and I learn something new. One thing I have realised is never give up, it would be quite easy to think this way of eating is not for me and just go back to my old ways. I’d be back on insulin, probably going blind and develop ulcers and a whole load of other things associated with diabetes.
I am constantly reading and learning new things and I’m also in quite a few Facebook groups. I don’t visit as much as I’d like as when I’ve been at work I’m too tired. Well one night I was looking in a group and someone posted about Histamine Intolerance, thank you Emma Slater 😊. So I clicked on the link and read. It was as though someone had switched a light bulb on in my brain. All the symptoms they were describing I had most of them. When I thought back years I could put incidents matching the symptoms, my first thought was how stupid was I not to realise this earlier. The problem I believe was, LIFE, we get so stuck into the routine of working and raising kids. That we don’t take note of our own health and how we are feeling. Often as a working mum we have a list of priorities, work, the kids, housework, the husband/partner, pets,. This list goes on and is different for each person. The one thing that can be said of most people and is usually the same for most people, ME, this is usually placed at the bottom. We need to try and endeavour to put ME nearer to the top, if we don’t look after ourselves first then the rest of the list can fall apart.
So back to Histamine Intolerance, which in my opinion should be called DAO deficiency, as we naturally have histamine in our system. When we have the right balance of histamine we are fine, so we are not Intolerant to histamine. I have told many people about my journey, I know some disagree with my zero carb choice but I was on the right track. People have even commented that I need leafy green vegetables as they will never affect my blood glucose. One of the foods with the highest histamine levels is spinach, I knew deep down these foods were affecting me but I couldn’t put my finger on why. Thankfully down the the research I’ve been doing I have been able to compile lists of foods that are good to eat, and foods to avoid. This will also include spices and herbs. I intend to only put up in my home ‘foods allowed’, I work so much better with this. If it isn’t on the list it isn’t allowed.
If you believe this could be you then it is best to get it diagnosed. Unfortunately in the UK we cannot walk into a GP’s office and ask for a specific blood test. It is most likely they won’t believe in it. You can find a lab that will do the test but it will cost over £200. I am still searching for more options and labs.
Some of you will be saying ‘just take an antihistamine’! Yes if your symptoms are that bad you can take one, but it is just masking the problem, medication doesn’t cure it, it just lessens how much histamine you produce temporarily, and the relieves symptoms you are experiencing. The best way to solve Histamine Intolerance is by diet and lifestyle. Everybody is an individual and what works for one may not work for another, I am only giving you my findings and how it relates to me. If you do this for yourself then you need to find which foods affect you. The only time I would take an antihistamine is when I travel as this seems to affect me really bad.
Often when you have Histamine Intolerance it is because you DAO levels are low. DAO(Diamine Oxidase) is an enzyme that breaks down and metabolises histamine in your body. Lots of food we eat contain histamine, under normal circumstances we have enough DAO in our system to cope with this. When this system fails for whatever reason we cannot metabolise the histamine and we get an excess in our body causing symptoms. You can buy a supplement that contains DAO, but it has to be taken at the right time before eating. There is some argument as to how effective it is too.
The symptoms of Histamine Intolerance.
• Migraine and headaches.
• IBS, constipation, flatulence and leaky gut.
• Skin problems such as dry patches of skin, psoriasis, urticaria and prickly heat.
• Fibromyalgia type symptoms. Muscle soreness and joint pain.
• Excess mucous in the nasal passage, throat and upper lungs. Causing sneezes, itchy eyes and hay fever like symptoms.
• Chronic Fatigue.
• High stress levels.
This list can go on as everybody has different symptoms. If you keep a journal of your own symptoms and if they clear up when eliminating foods, this will help you.
Foods to avoid
This is a hard list to write as all of the research I have read this list can be very different from source to source. On one site it will say avoid tea, on another it will say drink tea. I am going to put the most common high histamine foods down, but it is up to each individual to find out which food causes a reaction. Again how you react is an individual thing too, I may find for me I react to certain foods. But you may be okay with the same foods. It is a journey of selfdiscovery.
HIGH HISTAMINE FOODS
• Canned food
• Beans and pulses
• Mature cheese
• Cured and smoked meats
• Canned foods
• Pickled foods
• Fermented foods
• Processed foods
• Ready meals
• Salted snacks.
• Sugary products
• Foods containing preservatives.
• Shell fish
• Leftover foods.
• Yeast as during the process in modern times this is a faster process which causes raised histamine levels in the food at the end of the process.
• Aged meats such as steak
A histamine liberator is a food that when eaten causes the body to release histamine.
• Citric fruits
• Egg whites when eaten raw
• Beans and pulses
• Wheat germ
• Chocolate and cocoa
• Food additives such as nitrates and glutamates.
These are food that block the release of DAO so histamine can not be broken down.
• Green and black tea
• Energy drinks
LOW HISTAMINE FOODS
These foods if eaten fresh and if cooked is frozen or refrigerated as soon as cooled.
• Fresh meat
• Freshly caught fish, especially if caught and frozen immediately
• Fresh fruit not on the above lists
• Fresh vegetables
• Milk substitutes as in coconut milk etc
• Egg yolk and freshly cooked eggs
• Mild and cream cheese(but dairy may cause issues in some people)
• Butter that is kept in the fridge and not left to go rancid
• Good healthy fats such as olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil.
• Spices(you need to do an elimination diet and test if you react to each individually. Turmeric and ginger are known natural healers for the body.
• Herbal teas(again you need to test with these)
If you imagine a large mixing bowl, full of water. This represents the histamine in the body. When we are deficient in DAO we cannot breakdown any excess histamine. So when we eat food with high or even medium histamine the bowl that is already full overflows. If we cannot produce DAO then we cannot breakdown the extra histamine that is now circulating within our body. This leads to any number of the above mentioned symptoms which make us feel ill. Sometimes though when this is a chronic situation we know we feel ill but we switch off to it and can’t put our finger on what we are really feeling. We just get used to feeling this way. This is me!
Recently no matter how I eat my blood glucose levels are still elevated despite eating very low carb. I have Chronic Fatigue, headaches. My IBS has gone crazy. Any improvements have happened when I fast. I am in the process of making my own body care products using all natural ingredients and aromatherapy oils. It is amazing how many chemicals we bombard our bodies with just by washing our hair and body.
So my plan now is to stick to a low histamine autoimmune protocol diet. This is an elimination diet with food testing after a period of time.
Do intermittent fasting eating only at lunch time.
Keep a food journal with notes of how my body is feeling.
I have also discovered I have Autoimmune Disease I will cover this in a later blog post. The good thing about finding out what is wrong with you is that you then can get control back and work at healing you body.
When needing to heal our body you have to be in a state where you can listen to the messages from your body so as soon as you eat something that can cause the s I’ll health we get a signal straight away. One example is I have cut back on all dairy for the last 6 weeks. A few days ago I tried some cheese. Within 10 minutes I had a sneezing fit. This is not the first time this has happened so I now know I have a definite response to cheese and I need to keep it out of my dispel for longer. This doesn’t mean I will never be able to eat cheese again, but for the time being I will avoid it.
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