Many of us know of the link between allergies and histamine, but the connection between histamine and our gut is a lesser known fact. A lot of the allergy-like symptoms you experience such as sneezing, headaches and rashes, could be stemming from an unhappy tummy.
Below we’ll answer three questions to connect the dots between histamine and SIBO:
Histamine is an organic chemical compound which causes inflammation. When foreign bodies invade the immune system, histamine fires a counter attack by making capillaries more enlarged and permeable, allowing troops of white blood cells and proteins to march onto the battle scene. This is why our eyes may swell if we have an allergic reaction, for example.
But histamine serves as a secret agent to the “second brain” as well. In the gut, histamine acts as a neurotransmitter, sending signals between the body and brain and regulating gastrointestinal processes. It is also a component of stomach acid which helps you break down your food.
Histamine is found in large concentrations in fermented foods, cultured dairy products, cured meats, smoked foods, wheat, beer, wine, coffee, peanuts, chickpeas and some veggies like eggplant, tomatoes and spinach etc. Too much of these foods overtime may cause histamine intolerance for certain people. Symptoms can include headaches, hives, rashes, redness, sneezing, diarrhea, low blood pressure… the list is as long as the foods which cause it! Although, it’s important to know that storage duration, ripeness and processing all play a role in the histamine level of foods and everyone’s system and intolerances are quite unique.
Histamine intolerance occurs when the body’s enzymes are unable to break down the histamine buildup after a foreign attack, or from prolonged consumption of histamine rich foods. These foods don’t act as an immediate trigger, but rather start showing signs of allergic symptoms after cumulative consumption.
A SIBO imbalance in gut flora can nurture the histamine-producing bacteria to multiply and outnumber the histamine-degrading bacteria. SIBO lowers the secretion of DAO, the main enzyme responsible for breaking down histamine. As a result, SIBO sufferers are top of the candidate list for a histamine intolerance. So the next time you take a trip to the doctor, make sure your symptoms are understood correctly and not misdiagnosed as just an allergic reaction!
Now this may sound like an never-ending list of foods to avoid and even more mysterious gut-related symptoms to sniff out, but histamine intolerance can be controlled. Food group eliminations won’t work unless you first treat the underlying imbalance in the gut. Treat your SIBO and your histamine intolerance will clear.
Naturopathic treatment options for SIBO can include dietary modifications, lifestyle adjustments, herbal antimicrobials and specific, personalised pre-biotics and probiotics. In just a few weeks you can see a massive difference in your gut health and a decrease in your allergy symptoms.
Contact me for a complimentary “Discovery” consultation if you’re ready to clear up your SIBO, saying goodbye to histamine intolerance all in one go!