Histamine intolerance or also known as histamine sensitivity, results from the inability to break down histamine in the digestive tract. Histamine in some may build-up to high levels causing symptoms mimicking a true IgE allergy. Other symptoms include headache, skin rashes, hives, itching, increase in stomach acid (relux), tissue swelling- sometimes in the face, and throat. Chest pain, anxiety, and sometimes panic attacks can also result from increased levels of histamine in the blood stream resulting in fatigue, confusion and irritably.
Symptoms of histamine sensitivity:
-Difficulty falling asleep, easily arousal
-Hypertension or quick drop in blood pressure
-Vertigo or dizziness
-Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate
-Difficulty regulating body temperature
-Nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulty breathing
-Abnormal menstrual cycle
Not a lot is known about histamine sensitivity or how it develops. Some believe it is a factor of small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) or leaky gut. SIBO is also a symptom of leaky gut or permeable gut, where the tight junctions between intestinal villi are open longer, allowing molecules, proteins and substances into the blood stream that are not normally absorbed or fully digested.
Normally when histamine levels from any food rise above a certain level, enzymes come into play to bring levels back down. However, like in any enzyme shortage, levels may not be brought down fast enough, allowing levels to increase to higher than normal.
"How much Histamine is excessive? Basal histamine levels of 0.3 ro 1 ng/ml are considered normal. Histamine in excess of these quantities will produce symptoms in sensitivity people depending on their level of tolerance. increasing levels of histamine give rise to symptoms of increasing severity, up to and including cardiac arrest at levels of 100 ng/ml or more." 1
Everyone has a certain level of histamine of intolerance that may go without symptoms. If histamine rises above these levels to the point of showing symptoms, a limit of tolerance or tolerance threshold may result in symptoms.
Various health conditions can also reduce tolerance threshold of any individual. These conditions include:
-Infectious disease, especially viral diseases
-Various abnormal physiological conditions
- Hormone changes, especially in women in the luteal phase and sometimes menopause