Histamine Intolerance Frequently Asked Questions
Histamine and low histamine diet
Q: Why is histamine intolerance difficult to diagnose?
A: Histamine is present in every body system and is part of our naturally functioning immune system. This means that when there is an intolerance, it can impact any and all systems in the body, which is what makes it so difficult to recognise and diagnose.
Q: Can a person be histamine intolerant even if their blood histamine levels are normal during a flare?
A: Yes. This could very simply mean that they are unable to break down and/or handle normal levels.
Q: Is there a test you can do at home for testing histamine?
A: Yes! This test is cost effective and we recommend being monitored by your health care practitioner.
Find out more here: At home histamine intolerance test
Q: Is SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) a precursor for histamine intolerance? And, does Candida and gut dysbiosis go hand in hand with histamine symptoms? Recommendations?
A: Bacterial imbalances can absolutely throw off the gentle balance of histamine in the body, creating increasingly high levels of histamine. To regulate bacteria and restore balance, it's important to use a low histamine probiotic. Additionally, adding Saccharomyces boulardii capsules into the mix on top of your probiotic is helpful for histamine issues and is highly effective at fighting off candida and other yeasts, while also regulating bowel movements, especially in those who experience diarrhea.
Find out more here:
Q: After following the anti-histamine diet for a week I’m feeling bloated, is this normal?
A: This can be completely normal. To begin with, you may want to avoid foods which are causing digestive distress or consume them in small amounts. It is normal to experience digestive discomfort when incorporating supplements and dietary changes for a few weeks. However, if the discomfort is too much or if it persists beyond 2-3 weeks, it's best to talk to your health care professional about the new additions to your lifestyle, as well as book an appointment with Anita for a personalised consultation: Book a consultation with Anita
Q: I’m not sure if I’m histamine intolerant. How long do you recommend trying the low histamine diet out for to see results?
A: I recommend two weeks on the low histamine diet. If you find it assists with symptoms or, if you feel you're sensitive to many of the restricted foods on this list, histamine is likely a culprit. Additionally, as histamine intolerance can be difficult to diagnose, all of our clients are welcome to try out our histamine intolerance program for 60 days and if it doesn't improve symptoms or it turns out histamine was not the issue, it can be returned for a full refund.
Find out more here: How I solved my histamine intolerance webinar
You can also email Anita with any questions regarding your suspected histamine intolerance: Email Anita
Foods, tolerance and dietary recommendations
Q: I’m confused about ‘safe’ foods, is there a list?
A: It is best to start by looking over the histamine intolerance food list and follow the low histamine diet for 2 weeks and see if there's any improvement. Additionally, you can use any recipes in the low histamine cookbook which contains 110 low histamine recipes that are all safe for your diet!
Find out more here:
Q: Are garlic and onions high in histamine?
A: Garlic and onions are okay as long as you are not salicylate intolerant and they do not aggravate digestion - for histamine issues garlic is actually recommended.
Q: Is the low histamine diet okay for vegans; considering legumes and nuts are meant to be removed?
A: Soy, beans and legumes are okay, if tolerated. Many people have issues digesting these which is why they have been restricted. If you are certain they do not give you digestive distress, then you may proceed with them. However, it is best to keep nuts removed.
Q: Any recommendations for proteins bars that are ‘safe’ for histamine?
A: We do not currently sell a histamine-specific protein bar or powder, nor do we work with or have a list of approved brands that do. It is always best to keep in mind that whole food sources, which are low in histamine, such as fresh meat, fresh fish and cooked eggs, are your best chance at increasing protein in your diet.
Q: Are camel’s milk or goats milk ‘safe’ alternatives to dairy?
A: Goat’s milk is a good alternative if tolerated. The same would be recommended for camel’s milk. If tolerable by your system, both are welcome.
Q: What if I don’t see or feel improvements on the low histamine diet?
A: If you do not see improvement on the low histamine diet, your issues may not be histamine related. Health begins in the gut and, in order to improve your health status I recommend, in this case, doing an overhaul of your total gut health. I suggest taking my Total Gut Health course, which is focused on more in depth content for many issues surrounding gut health, and also includes therapies that histamine intolerant individuals cannot do due to their sensitivities.
Q: Since olives are on the restricted side of the list, does this mean that
olive oil is also to be avoided?
A: Olive oil is absolutely accepted, and even helpful! Olive oil, in fact, can increase the activity of diamine oxidase (DAO), a histamine degrading enzyme, by up to 500%! However, olives themselves are fermented and high in histamine.
Q: When can I start adding foods back in?
A: Everyone is on a different timeline due to their symptoms and healing, however, there is further guidance that can be found on food reintroduction in this post: Histamine intolerance test
Q: Is intermittent fasting recommended?
A: Intermittent fasting has shown excellent benefits for health and overall wellness – 16 hours fasting and 8 hours for eating is highly recommended!
Q: Why is bone broth considered high in histamine?
A: As bone broth is required to be slow-cooked, during the slow cooking process bone broth increases in histamine levels through conversions of histidine to histamine. However, depending on your tolerance, you may be able to consume very fresh bone broth that hasn't been cooked for more than 8 hours, as bone broth is extremely beneficial for gut health and healing.
Q: How long is the timing for “cooked” and “bought fresh” foods?
A: The duration that people can tolerate after cooking depends on individual sensitivity. Some people can tolerate it 24 hours after cooking or more, whereas for some people, they will have a reaction to the same food that has been refrigerated. In general, I do not recommend consuming leftovers - especially high protein leftovers such as meat, fish or eggs. The best option is to eat fresh.
Q: I have trouble getting fresh meat and fish - can I freeze it?
A: Absolutely! Meat and fish which is frozen from fresh is absolutely fine. My recommendation is to ask your local grocer which day the meat gets delivered and purchase your meats on that day. Then, portion and freeze the meats directly and thaw them the day of cooking. This will ensure maximum freshness is preserved while making the process more convenient!
Histamine Intolerance Supplements
Q: Do you have any recommendations for a DOA supplement?
A: I do not carry DAO anymore. We switched to using Natural D-Hist, exclusively, as it was much more helpful to our histamine sufferers and carried greater and faster effects. It has been described by my clients as a 'miracle in a bottle' and a 'wonder-drug' even though it's all natural - and, they report being able to eat more foods with less symptoms in as little as 2 weeks!
Q: Is the D-Hist supplement safe for those with citrus sensitivities and allergies?
A: Yes. The ascorbic acid is derived from the fermentation of glucose from corn (not citrus) and is considered non-GMO under the European Union guidelines.
Q: Who is D-Hist beneficial for?
A: The D-Hist supplement is beneficial for those experiencing dietary reactions due to histamine, and for those who are intolerant to histamines in general. It is not limited to environmental allergens.
Q: When should I take my D-Hist supplement?
A: We recommend 15-30 minutes before eating.
Q: How long can I take D-Hist for? Is it harmful?
A: You can take Natural D-hist on an ongoing basis. You can gradually try to reduce the dosage down to one per day or even one per day on the days you're eating high histamine foods.
Q: I’m having issues with mast cell activation syndrome. Any recommendations?
A: The best recommendation is Natural D-Hist. It specifically stabilizes mast cells and most report being able to eat more foods with fewer symptoms and have referred to this as their “miracle in a bottle”.
Q: What is a good Omega supplement?
A: We recommend this one for our histamine intolerant clients: EPA/DHA
Q: When should I take my low histamine probiotic and how many per day?
A: 1 capsule, twice daily. 30 minutes before breakfast and dinner usually work best.
Q: Is turmeric helpful for histamine intolerance? If so, any recommended supplement brands?
A: Curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric, has been shown to be extremely helpful for reducing inflammation, and can absolutely be beneficial for histamine intolerance. However, curcumin has a very low bioavailability - meaning that it's not readily available for your body to use unless it's combined with specific ingredients. This is why you should be wary of buying cheap turmeric supplements, which can be a waste of money and even harmful if the capsules aren't clean. I recommend using this curcumin supplement, as it contains all of the ingredients to enhance bioavailability in the body and has an extremely clean capsule.
Q: What should I take if I have H. pylori or other parasites/bad bacteria?
A: My recommendation, especially for those with H. pylori - which is a very common underlying cause of histamine intolerance - is a natural supplement called Pyloricil. I've done the research on these ingredients and realized that Pyloricil's ingredients work effectively against H. pylori, including antibiotic-resistant H. pylori - without all of the harmful side-effects. Pyloricil is effective against numerous bad bacteria and the ingredients benefit your body.
Q: How long should I take Pyloricil for?
A: Pyloricil can be taken for a maximum of 4-8 weeks (which will be 1-2 bottles). If you need it in the future, you can cycle it back in again.
Q: Best time to take milk thistle?
A: With your first meal of the day would be best.
Q: Are collagen and gelatin recommended to improve gut health?
A: Yes, but some people cannot tolerate it. It is important to find what works for your body and symptoms.
Q: Is collagen acceptable when fasting?
A: It depends what kind of fast you're going for. If it's to rest the digestive system entirely, you should stay away from collagen or other foods, drinks or supplements that will cause digestive stimulation. However, if you're doing a gut-healing fast such as a bone broth fast, collagen can be incorporated as you're already stimulating your digestive system.
Q: Recommendations for relieving constipation?
A: My best recommendation is to use Integrative Therapeutics 1:1 liquid calcium magnesium. 1 tablespoon at night before bed will do the trick for relieving constipation the next morning and you can adjust the dosage up or down depending on stool consistency. If the supplement gives you loose/watery stools, lower the dose - but, you'll find what works best for you. Make sure you aim to use the bathroom at the same time every day - I suggest right when you wake up - to give your body a routine. After 2 weeks on this supplement you can very slowly begin weaning off it by reducing the dosage by a small amount every 2-3 days. Your body will adjust to the new schedule and you will no longer need the supplement regularly.