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How to Do an Elimination Diet When You Suspect Histamine Intolerance- 3 Rules For Success.

How to Do an Elimination Diet when you suspect Histamine intolerance and Histamine Overload. This strategy should be Implemented whenever you experience and unexpected flare up or if you suspect histamine intolerance is contributing to your health problems. In todays article, I want to give you a few starter tips and reminder tips that will help you quickly lower your histamine levels. In oder to do this, you will need to implement a histamine elimination diet.

Histamine causes a sudden and rapid inflammatory response, setting off an alarm within the immune system that invaders are present. It is the quick build up of histamine that can cause symptoms such as headache, itchiness, flushed face, rapid heart rate, anxiety, for those suffering with histamine/MCAS. The symptoms depend on the histamine receptor activated, the individual histamine threshold and whats filling up the histamine bucket. Eating or drinking certain beverages, additivesfruits, vegetables, spices or nuts high in histamine are all capable of of creating these symptoms. If you recently took my histamine/MCAS quiz and you didn’t score as well as you liked, its time to start with a histamine elimination diet.

How to Do an Elimination Diet When You Suspect Histamine Intolerance- 3 Rules For Success.

Rule #1 Minimize the Variables- NO Cheating

One of the keys to successfully lowering your histamine load is to minimize the foods that are high in histamine. While, it’s not possible to eliminate all Histamine from the diet, it is possible to eliminate the biggest histamine offenders.

  • Histamine-rich foods
  • Histamine liberators
  • Other biogenic amines (substrates that compete for DAO; some act similar to histamine)
  • Degradation inhibitors (DAO inhibitors, HNMT inhibitors)

For this reason while you are following a low histamine diet, you should never cheat. It doesn’t matter if you are celebrating a birthday, a communion, a wedding, funeral or your best friend just had a baby. The goal is to reduce the load of histamine on your body.

Histamine Withdrawal Symptoms

In some cases some patients will experience temporary histamine withdrawal symptoms. This may include irritability, anger, headaches, migraines, skin conditions, and changes in sleep pattern. These histamine withdrawal symptoms don’t happen to every patient and if they they do they are temporary. What I find is that the symptoms usually occur in those patients who start and stop a histamine elimination diet or those that that are dealing with other variables (outside of food) in the histamine/MCAS bucket. Heres the good news about histamine elimination diet.

Rule #2 High Histamine Diets Are Not Long term.

Eliminating high histamine foods is NOT a long term solution to correcting histamine intolerance or MCAS however it can be very useful tool in identifying offending foods and lowering the total body burden of histamine- and for this reason, histamine elimination diets are affective at lowering histamine levels quickly.

I have recently uploaded a few videos on the different causes of histamine intolerance and MCAS. If you haven’t watched these video, I encourage you to watch them because you will begin to understand the complex nature of histamine intolerance and MCAS and what is required if you are serious feeling good again. Getting to the root cause is the difference between feeling GOOD 6 days out of the week or feeling  BAD 6 days out of the week.  Eliminating high histamine foods is only the tip of the iceberg- its only one piece of the puzzle- But an important piece when you need to lower your histamine levels quickly.

The histamine elimination diet requires you to remove the most common food sensitivities from your diet for a period of three to four weeks. The reason the low histamine elimination diet is only three weeks is that for many people, if done longer, it can create serious nutritional deficiencies.

So let’s go through the flow and three steps that the low histamine diet follows.

Step #1Identify High Histamine foods you are going to eliminate. If you are looking to identify and heal from histamine intolerance, you will need to avoid all foods that are high in histamine. If you don’t know what foods to avoid and which foods are highest in histamine, I will leave a link to a page on my website that goes through all the foods, vegetables, meats, beverages, spices, preservatives etc that are high in histamine.

In the histamine starter guide I put together, I said anytime you eliminate a high histamine food, you need to be sure you find a substitute or replacement for that food.

So step one Identify high histamine foods that you are eating. So what you may want to do here is circle every food that you see on my list of high histamine foods. Now look at that list. How many of those foods are you eating on a daily basis?  So that’s step 1- Sounds easy enough right?  Step #2 again….. very straight forward.

Avoid eating any food you see on my high histamine food list. So I’m going to sound like a broken record here but, this histamine elimination diet will NOT work if you are not strict.!

So here what I want you to do is be sure to Check food labels carefully, be sure your meat is fresh, don’t reheat foods, avoid eating out because resteraunts make food tasty not necessarily healthy, avoid all fermented foods and beverages and also be sure you are increasing low histamine foods and foods that support DAO and HNMT enzymes. These are the enzymes that help break down histamine and prevent histamine overload.  Again, this is detailed in my low histamine starter guide.

Rule #3 Reintroduce Challenged foods.

Reintroduce the challenged foods or the foods you eliminated 3-4 weeks ago. when adding these food back into your diet, we recommend only adding foods back one at a time.  I recommend using a food journal that helps you keep track of the food eliminated, how long it was eliminate for, how you felt on reintroducing the food and any reactions you may have experienced. If you experience a reaction, the intensity of the symptoms often has a direct relationship with how much you consumed. Another-words your symptoms depends on the dose. Foods that are “badly tolerated” may still be tolerable in small amounts- this is the learning process and you will need to be in tune with your body. A few things to keep in mind, is that when it come to reintroduction, this should only be done if you are symptom free or at least 80-90% better and off of any antihistamines.

If after eliminating high histamine foods, your symptoms have improved after 30 days, congratulations high histamine foods were causing you bucket to overflow. But if your symptoms start back up its time to eliminate and challenge again. This process of eliminating and provocation, may need to be done several times.  This is a learning process that may take several months but the goals should always be to eliminate and challenge both with food in question and quantity.  It is best to do the challenge tests a couple of times per type of food to exclude misinterpretations.

If you are still experiencing symptoms, or a histamine elimination diet didn’t seem to help very much, it’s now time to look at some of the other root causes of your histamine/MCAS bucket.

Additional Articles About Histamine

  1. Histamine Intolerance/MCAS Quiz- Assess Your Risk and Track Your Progress
  2. How To Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet – Part I
  3. How to Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet-Part II
  4. Supplements to help Support Histamine Intolerances 
  5. Histamine Intolerance and Gut Health SIBO and Leaky Gut
  6. Best Tips To address Histamine Intolerance When you have SIBO
  7. DAO deficiency- The enzyme that breaks down Histamine- How to Activate this enzyme when you have Histamine Intolerance/MCAS
  8. Dr Hagmeyer’s Youtube Channel and Playlist for Histamine Intolerance/MCAS
  9. Histamine and MCAS Quiz- Assess your Risk for Histamine intolerance and MCAS 
  10. How To Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet – Part I
  11. How to Get Started on a Low Histamine Diet-Part II
  12. Best Supplements to Help Support Histamine Intolerance
  13. Histamine Intolerance and Gut Health
  14. Estrogen Dominance and Histamine Intolerance- Hormonal imbalances that trigger Histamine/MCAS symptoms
  15. Why Adrenal Cortisol Testing is so Important for GI Problems

If you have recently taken my Histamine intolerance/MCAS Quiz, your results may have indicated that your symptoms are highly suspicious for histamine intolerance. You might be wondering what do I do next?

Best Tips to Address Histamine Intolerance When You Have SIBO

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