If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you may want to test whether histamine intolerance may be contributing to your symptoms or the severity of them.
One Contributor to Fibromyalgia?
There are many theories concerning potential causes of fibromyalgia and many of these we address in the website here. We know that there are multiple reasons why a person develops fibromyalgia, including inheritance, propensity to, and various co-conditions. One of the suggested possibilities to increased symptoms in those with fibromyalgia is Histamine Intolerance.
Large amounts of histamine accumulating inside the body can lead to a variety of symptoms, many of which are also endured by many fibromyalgia sufferers. Some signs of intolerance include:
- Sleep problems
- Low blood pressure
- Acid reflux
- Runny nose
In more extreme cases, too much histamine in the system may cause asthma or irregular heartbeats. Some people also report severe itching on their skin or vertigo. Not everyone who experiences this intolerance will also suffer from fibromyalgia, and not all fibromyalgia patients will have it. In order to understand the potential connection, it’s important to understand how histamine works.
Crash Course on Histamine Intolerance
An amino acid known as histidine produces the histamine molecule to carry out a variety of useful bodily functions, including:
- Fight off allergies, viruses, and other intruders
- Help regulate digestion
- Help regulate sexual functioning
- Help regulate sleep patterns
- Contribute to stabilization of blood pressure
Obviously, it’s beneficial to have some histamine in the body, but this molecule does contribute to inflammation. When large amounts of these molecules are released to fight off an allergic reaction or another potential danger, it comes with common signs of allergies, including a runny nose. This is why antihistamines are taken by allergy sufferers.
Histamines also enter your body through food sources, and the small intestine is supposed to release an enzyme known as diamine oxidase of DAO to break those histamines down. This prevents the body from being overrun with histamine molecules. When DAO is insufficient and the small intestines aren’t doing their job, those molecules build up in the system and cause some or all of the symptoms listed above. This condition is referred to as histamine intolerance.
In fact, if you are to be tested by the doctor, they will test histamine and DAO. You can also choose to take a DAO enzyme supplement during meals.
The symptoms only occur when the body is overrun by a large dose of histamine. This causes the symptoms to come and go throughout the lifetime of a sufferer, with spikes occurring during pregnancy. Misdiagnoses are common because the symptoms overlap with many other conditions, including fibromyalgia, irritable bowel disorder, and other digestive issues.
Foods That are High on Histamine
If you know that you have a histamine overload in your body, you likely have begun to associate reactions to certain foods. The following are suspect in those with histamine Intolerance:
- fermented foods
- aged cheese
- smoked meats/lunch meats
Foods That Can Trigger a Histamine Reaction:
- egg whites
It is also worth noting that other foods like leftovers can contribute to a histamine response if not handled properly or after just 1-2 days.
We find that green tea might also be suspect. Green tea just happens to be one of those “healthy” beverages that is highly promoted but again, some people will have a slight reaction. Our experience has found that a better choice would be using Matcha Green Tea powder for the benefits of green tea.
The Connection to Fibromyalgia
There is no clear connection between fibromyalgia and an intolerance to histamine at this time, but many experts are conducting research to determine whether they are related. Many fibromyalgia sufferers do experience some relief of their symptoms when they decrease or eliminate consumption of foods that contain histamine.
Those with it may also notice an increase in fibromyalgia symptoms while their seasonal allergies are active or they experience other types of allergic reactions and infections. It’s possible that this explains some fibromyalgia flares that are typically believed to have no cause.
It’s important to discuss the possible correlation of your fibromyalgia symptoms and an intolerance to histamine with your doctor before trying to treat the histamine abundance on your own. Your doctor can help you determine whether there is a potential of intolerance in your case, and they can suggest treatments that won’t interfere with your overall fibromyalgia treatment plan.
In our RECIPES article page, it just so happens that many of our suggestions are suitable for a low histamine diet. However, there are recipes listed there that are grain free, gluten free, and some will have a variety of ingredients. If you suspect a certain substance, try to eliminate it for 1-2 weeks and see how you feel.
Be aware that if you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, this can exacerbate symptoms of histamine intolerance as well. Also, we find that allergy season will also cause a person with histamine issues to exhibit more symptoms.