Histamine … Misunderstood Neurotransmitter

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Blog |
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Histamine is usually associated with the unwanted symptoms of allergic responses.  Runny nose and watering eyes and swelling are a few of the most common associations most of us have to too much histamine.

Common knowledge also tells us that drugs such as benadryl act as anti-histamines, block the production of histamines and puts us to sleep. End of story?

There is a lot more to this story…..Histamine is a stimulatory neurotransmitter and for at least some people may be responsible for the manic stages of bi-polar disorder.  It also plays a part in mood disorders in general.

It is also part of the issue of addiction.  Foods that we are addicted to often give us a “high” that is at least in part, caused by the surge in histamine. As the histamine wears off we loose the stimulation and go looking for another “hit”. You know that you are in the cycle when you are “prowling the kitchen” looking for something to eat. Not just any food will do.  The apple doesn’t look good, the strawberries won’t do,  it has to be a milk product if that is what you are allergic to and are looking for your “high”.

This process is also a contributor to the adrenal exhaustion the underlies all of the attention deficit (ADD) and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD).

When the body is overstimulated with too much histamine it will, over time, burn out the calming neurotransmitters, serotonin and GABA. This often contributes to depression and anxiety.

We not only produce histamine we also ingest a lot of histamine in foods that are common in our diet.

For some people too much histamine results in headaches and fatigue. You know the “triggers” for migraines?  Foods that seem to cause migraines in some people?  Chocolate and wine for example?  Sometimes they will trigger a headache, other times they do not.  Are they allergic?  Maybe. Often times the offending food will provide too much histamine and be the straw that broke the camel’s back, kicking in a migraine.

Ripe fruit such as cantaloupe and bananas, salmon, red wine, and especially champagne are all high in histamine.

Many chronically unwell persons with a wide variety of symptoms are deficient in the enzyme, diamine oxidase, that breaks down histamine and allows it to accumulate in the system.

There is a supplemental source of diamine oxidase available.  For people with mild to severe allergies it can be a life-changing addition to their diet.  Taken with each meal it begins to lower the histamine accumulation in the body and lower the reactivity of the body.  The good news is that it does not cause drowsiness.

It can treat a wide range of problems from migraine headaches to asthma to ADD and more.

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