The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #26 – Histamine Intolerance

by lydia on February 2, 2016

The Vibrant Health Podcast: Episode #26 - Histamine Intolerance //

In today’s episode, Jessica and I talk about histamine intolerance, which is an issue that is starting to become more common. We explain what histamine intolerance is, as well as share some of the most common symptoms of histamine intolerance.

We also cover who is more likely to suffer from histamine issues, as well as how to treat this condition so that you don’t have to suffer from the symptoms you may have been experiencing.

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Links From This Week’s Episode:

Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 26

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Ask the Vibrant Health Podcast Hosts a Question - Jessica Espinoza and Lydia Shatney //

Download The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 26

Introducing The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 1 //

Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Show Notes :: Episode 26

Histamine Intolerance Show Notes

Make sure you check out the Links from the Episode for lots more information on today’s topic.

What is histamine intolerance?

Histamine is an amine that is produced as part of an immune response – it also performs several key functions in the body.

First off, we need just enough histamine in the body to help us with blood flow, help us digest our food, move our bowels (performing several functions in the bowel actually) and even to help us with attention because it acts as a neurotransmitter or chemical messenger that carries signals to nerves. When we have the right amount, we can do these things optimally, but when we have too much, we become intolerant to it and have reactions.

Maybe you have heard the histamine bucket analogy: “If we have too much in our histamine bucket, it overflows and spills out.”

Basically, numerous factors can cause our histamine bucket to fill up so it’s important to reduce the inflammatory offenses that affect this.

For Lydia, she has more reactions to high histamine foods when she have a ton of stress in her life along with environmental allergy exposures (for example, like dust or mildew). She also knows that she has to support her adrenals and keep her magnesium levels in a good place or she reacts much more strongly.

What are some of the symptoms of HI?

Common symptoms of histamine intolerance include:

  • Headaches/migraines (especially around menstruation)
  • Difficulty falling asleep, easy arousal
  • Hypertension
  • Vertigo or dizziness
  • Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Flushing
  • Nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulty breathing
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Hives/urticarial
  • Eczema
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Tissue swelling

What Causes High Histamine Levels?

  • Calcium and/or magnesium deficiency
  • Copper deficiency (needed to synthesize DAO enzyme)
  • Poor methylation status and genetic susceptibility
  • Nutrient deficiency, especially key nutrients for proper methylation such as: B12, folate, B6, B2, B1, Zn, Copper, Whole Food C
  • Allergies (IgE reactions)
  • Bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Leaky gut
  • GI bleeding
  • Fermented alcohol like wine, champagne, and beer
  • Diamine Oxidase (DAO) deficiency
  • Histamine-rich foods (aged foods, leftovers, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes – fermented foods, long-cooked bone broth and many more)
  • Hormonal Excess – Estrogen namely

What can we do about treating HI?

There are a lot of things we can do to support ourselves for this.

  1. Clean Diet
  2. Reduce Stress
  3. Support the adrenals
  4. Reduce overall inflammation in the body
  5. Minerals – Magnesium, calcium, copper, all play into histamine issues
  6. Nettles tea – Nettles are high in magnesium, calcium, potassium, boron (about 3 mg a quart!), chromium, manganese. Nettles are a natural antihistamine; they help balance blood sugar and blood pressure, and they are amazing for adrenals, liver and kidneys.
  7. When symptomatic reduce higher histamine foods
  8. Enzymes
  9. Genetic Testing

Further Testing

We love HTMA for getting deeper into issues with histamine. One reason is because low magnesium, low copper and weak adrenals contribute to issues with histamine. Folks in a fast oxidizer pattern tend to have a bit more noticeable struggles with histamine and often removing the worst offenders, food-wise, can make a dramatic difference in their health complaints.

Some people may get even more information from their genetic data; there are several SNPs DAO – refer to our podcast with Jessica Bischoff.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen February 13, 2016 at 12:35 pm

I am pretty sure I had a histamine reaction after eating soup that I made with bone broth I had made in the Instant Pot. (I also cooked the soup in the IP.) I asked my Functional Medicine doctor about this and she suggested I cook the bone broth for just one hour in the Instant Pot, instead of two. Would you agree, or do you you have any other suggestions? My reaction wasn’t severe — just some itching and my right eye was swollen — but still uncomfortable.


lydia February 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Yes – I would definitely try a shorter cook time to see if it helps – I only do my chicken broth for an hour in the Instant Pot and it’s still amazing.


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