Is it an allergy, or could you be Histamine Intolerant?
I'm sure you have NEVER heard the term " your DAO gene is dirty" and let's be honest, if someone did, no-one would have any clue what that meant. DAO is the gene responsible for processing Histamine in your gut and It's a BIG deal, especially if you find yourself suffering from:
- Car or sea sickness
- Migraines or headaches
- Red or sweaty palms
- Lots of food allergies
- Sulfur smelling breath or stools
- Exercise induced asthma
- Alcohol intolerance
- Stomach feels worse from probiotics or fermented foods
- allergies from Red wine or Chocolate
- Itchy eyes, throat
- Low Libido
Do I have an allergy or too much histamine?
We now know histamine for it's allergy producing symptoms, histamine intolerance looks like an allergy, but actually isn't. It has all the symptoms of an allergic reaction, but just without an allergen to set it off. So this "allergic response" simply means your body is overwhelmed with too much histamine or simply can't clear it.
You can blame your dirty DAO gene though, as it's responsible for processing your histamine. So with histamine intolerance, we simply need to "clean" the gene while decreasing the high histamine foods, repairing the gut and reducing your stress.
So what is Histamine and why is it in my Gut?
We all know what an antihistamine is; it's used commonly to rid histamine,known to cause those unwanted allergy symptoms some people get. In healthy people, the production of histamine is balanced out by one of our genes called the DAO gene, located in our small intestine, the DAO gene is known to BREAK down histamine in our guts.
Here's why you shouldn't just take an antihistamine ...those common over the counter medications such as Zyrtec and Telfast actually DEPLETE your DAO levels making things more difficult and definitely dirty.
Here are a few hints on what you should and shouldn't eat as not only is histamine produced as an immune response but histamines can also be absorbed from histamine-containing foods, and PRODUCED by bacteria in the gut.
Here's a list of Histamine-Releasing Foods
Many artificial preservatives and dyes
and.....Here's a list of low-histamine foods:
freshly cooked meat, poultry (frozen or fresh)
freshly caught fish
gluten-free grains: rice, quinoa
pure peanut butter
fresh fruits: mango, pear, watermelon, apple, kiwi, grapes
fresh vegetables (except tomatoes, spinach, avocado, and eggplant)
dairy substitutes: coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk
cooking oils: olive oil, coconut oil
Your DAO gene lives in your small intestine and is regulated by the gut and it's mucous membranes. If the gut lining is irritated from poor food choices and inflammatory foods like dairy or grains, the DAO and it's function decreases and therefore Histamine and it's allergy producing symptoms, get worse. Hence why as time goes on, your symptoms can become much worse and your tolerance much less.
Many people these days are consuming what we all know as healthy probiotic producing foods in great effort to heal the gut such as Kumbucha.
Even though Kumbucha has great intentions, it isn't great for everyone as they are all high in histamine and can make the problem worse for many people.
The importance of Gut health
As mentioned earlier, our own gut and it's flora produce histamine . High importance is placed on our Gut microbiome and the environment we create as our Gut flora is responsible for creating and destroying histamine. One drastic change in your gut environment from a high stress response, antibiotic use or dietary changes and the environment is now ripe for bacterial overgrowth, (commonly known as SIBO) and this bacteria just might be histamine producing bacteria.
So, Where to start.
Firstly, look at your diet, what can you remove to reduce the irritation. Be sure to choose low Histamine producing foods and pinpoint any food intolerance's as this will create a dirty DAO gene.
Secondly, Heal the gut with some of the following in your daily routine;
3. Bone Broth
4. Aloe Vera Juice
These are important as once the Gut has had time to heal and you can maintain a healthy gut environment, your DAO gene will be working more effectively, so foods can be reintroduced without the severity of symptoms but all with in moderation of course.
If you are someone who would prefer pathology testing to understand your Histamine levels, you will need to see your Naturopathic practitioner to organise pathology requests.
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