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Histamine – it controls more then allergies


Histamine is something we have all heard of as a mediator of allergy, but it does so much more.  There are histamine receptors in a variety of cells of the body.

Major Tissue Locations Major Biologic Effects
H1 smooth muscle, endothelial cells acute allergic responses
H2 gastric parietal cells secretion of gastric acid
H3 central nervous system modulating neurotransmission
H4 mast cells, eosinophils, T cells, dentritic cells regulating immune response

Ever heard of histamine intolerance?  Chances are you are not alone.

Histamine intolerance is the result of overload of histamine in the body or the reduced ability to break it down.  Individuals differ in the amount of diamine oxidase, the main enzyme for breaking down histamine.  Reductions in this enzyme can in build up of histamine in the system.

Typical symptoms of histamine intolerance include gastrointestinal disorders, sneezing, rhinorrhea and congestion of the nose, headache, dysmenorrhea, decreased muscle tone, arrhythmias, urticaria AKA REDNESS, pruritus AKA ITCHING, flushing, and asthma.

Some of the foods we eat may be high in histamine namely – fermented foods, wine, alcohol, meats (specifically cured or precooked meats), dairy products as well as some other foods and medications, which increase histamine release from the cells.


Certainly in acute cases an antihistamine will help to improve symptoms, this however is not a long term solution.

With allergy season around the corner you want to do all you can to reduce your total body burden of histamine, to make this your best allergy season yet.

Naturopathic Doctors can discuss the appropriate dietary changes, and supplementation protocol to help support histamine elimination from the body, and how to reduce your total body burden of histamine.

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