It all started one afternoon in April 2019 when I experienced a panic attack right after dinner. I must say it was not at all something common in my life. Hence the surprise was big and not pleasant. I was home alone, and I had eaten a super tasty vegan meal, no ingredient new to me. Warning: this is a long text, as I will try to put in words my journey of 1.5 years trying to navigate my experience with histamine intolerance. The good news is that you are in for a happy end.
I’ve been asked so many times about my experience with histamine intolerance. But I wasn’t ready to write about it for a long time. Even the thought of it was triggering me. Plus, histamine intolerance is a very confusing topic because no two people agree on one of those things. I didn’t want to add to all the confusion, and I wanted my experience to empower you rather than scare you.
So read on if you want to hear a personal experience about how I handled it. But keep in mind that no two people will experience histamine intolerance the same. I hope that talking about my experience will help you manage the fear and confusion around the sudden weird symptoms.
A little bit of context
The panic attack episode and sudden food reactions episode happened while I lived a healthy lifestyle. I was being lectin-light, gluten-free, sugar-free. You know, all the good stuff. In fact, in the days before this episode, I felt on top of the world. I had a lot of energy, and I felt inspired, creative and productive. But, with hindsight, I now know there was a lot of cortisol involved, and it was more like being overstimulated. I did experience some weird symptoms like tingling in my body and pins and needles sensations on my skin. But I was putting all on stress and overworking.
A scary episode
But, with all that I know now, I think something else was linked to this episode. A few months before that, I experienced something very scary while driving from San Antonio to Dallas, during a rainstorm, on the highway. The weather was so bad that I couldn’t see anything in front or around me for a few seconds. I experienced an episode of impending doom at that moment, and my body went into fight or flight. I was shaking and couldn’t control my hands and feet. Somehow, by the grace of God, I managed, with the help of my husband, who was next to me, to pull over. It took me a few minutes to recover. My husband took over, and I was ok when we arrived home in Dallas.
But I remember thinking: this must have messed up something in my brain. This is another topic that deserves exploration, but I believe some fear pathways in my brain were reactivated.
While I think food has little to do with the root cause of histamine intolerance, especially in my case of having a very clean diet, I need to mention that my diet was very rich in high histamine foods: avocados, spinach, fermented foods, leftover animal protein, canned fish, seafood. While the foods on this list are part of a healthy diet, sometimes there is too much of it, and we don’t balance it out with foods that have anti-histamine properties. I smartly reintroduced most of these foods into my diet, but I don’t eat leftover animal protein anymore.
The thread: confusion and fear
I don’t think the panic attack directly resulted from what I ate, but rather my reaction to feeling some really strange things for the first time in my life, like my throat closing and ears blocking when eating. That episode was followed by sleepless nights, with a racing heart out of nowhere. You can imagine how I felt. All this was happening while on my best behavior.
I was scared and in the dark because I had no idea what was happening. My first thought was to blame it on seasonal allergies, even though it was not something I had much trouble with in the past. When I started searching about seasonal allergies, I read about histamines.
All the information online added to the stress
All the articles online were scary. They said I couldn’t get out of the house for a few months a year, that I had to take steroids, injections, and anti-histamines. I have to wash my hair and clothes immediately after entering my home. Things I couldn’t conceive can be part of everyday life.
All this information added even more to my stress and made me even more fearful of getting outside. Can you see the thread? More than anything, I was scared. Can you imagine how this was messing with my nervous system and amplifying things?
After another panic attack episode (I remember it happened after I ate a mix of roasted nuts I made at home, which never bothered me in the past), we went to an emergency room nearby. I was hyperventilating. At this point, I still thought it was the pollen or something in the air. Again, I was terrified.
The doctor did some basic tests, which were normal. She told me it was stress and anxiety and gave me anti-anxiety medication (things I had never taken in my life before). I fulfilled my prescription but never took one pill. Under pressure from my family, I took some anti-histamines one day, and they didn’t do anything. All this time, I was looking for answers.
What are histamines, anyway?
Histamine is a chemical substance released in inflammatory and allergic responses, as well as regulating physiological functions in the gut and acting as a neurotransmitter for the brain, spinal cord, and uterus. White blood cells, called basophils, and mast cells, produce histamine as part of an immune response to foreign pathogens. (WIKIPEDIA)
“While histamine is naturally found in certain foods, it is also a compound that is found in the cells of the body. Histamine is a very important part of the immune system and also plays a role in inflammation in the body. We also need histamine in order to digest food, move our bowels, boost exercise performance, increase attention, and get blood as well as nutrients and oxygen delivered to different parts of the body. With the right amount of histamine, the body is able to perform these functions as it should.
However, the problem occurs when there is too much histamine. When your histamine levels increase, your tolerance decreases. At this point, histamine can cause a wide variety of symptoms, and these symptoms can vary depending on where it is released in the body.”Dr. Becky Campbell
My first aid kit
I like to keep this in mind: histamines are good for us in so many ways, but not if there are too much of them. I don’t remember exactly how and what I discovered first about histamines. Still, after being given the anti-anxiety medication and reading that anxiety can be a symptom of histamine intolerance, I ordered Ali Miller RD’s anti-anxiety bundle (I was already following her on Instagram and knew about her book, The Anti Anxiety Diet).
Even to this day, given the circumstances, I think that was the best decision I made. Somehow, intuitively, I was guided to what I needed. The Relax and Regulate powder, with magnesium bis-glycinate and inositol, helped me sleep and relax in the evenings, which made things so much better (I found out later that histamine issues get aggravated in the evenings, and one of the symptoms is insomnia).
Again, insomnia was so new to me, as in general, I had a good sleep. The Calm and Clear, the other supplement in the bundle, is a complex of B vitamins and adaptogens (which later proved to be what I needed as my doctor gave me some more). I didn’t take much of Gaba Calm (the third supplement in the bundle) because it is made with a fermentation process. And at that point, I started to eliminate everything fermented, including probiotics. (The above links are not affiliated in any way.)
Traveling and lowering stress
I became so fearful of having reactions to food that I was barely eating anything. Thinking that would help my body figure things out and lower inflammation in the process, I decided to do one meal a day fast.
When it was time for us to go on a vacation to San Diego, which was booked in advance, I was so scared of the airport and flight experience. This comes from a person traveling all her adult life and living on four continents. I loved traveling but what I read online about travel and histamine intolerance scared me too much.
I was also stressed about how I will manage to continue eating my clean diet and stay low histamine while living in a hotel. But, my excitement about seeing San Diego and being at the ocean was bigger than the fear. I have fond memories of this trip, and the only negative thing I remember experiencing is the sleepless nights.
Being at the ocean, in a place I loved, had the exact same effect I was hoping for. It grounded me and lowered my stress levels, a massive step in my healing journey.
A funny side note
When I started to experience the histamine intolerance symptoms, I watched Grace and Frankie, which I loved and was based in San Diego. I remember how I managed to put myself to sleep and ease my anxiety at night (those first days I was alone at home) by watching Grace and Frankie on my phone. I know it’s counterintuitive, and I never do that usually (I didn’t even have any technology in my bedroom), but that TV show was soothing to me. It made me laugh and helped me fall asleep. San Diego had a similar impact.
Unexpected (and positive) side effects
A small parathesis: When I started the Plant Paradox lifestyle and a lectin-free diet (August 2017), most of my PMS symptoms resolved. For the first time in my life, I had periods with minimal discomfort. Let’s say I went from a debilitating pain level 10 before the plant paradox to a level 2 after I started. I was feeling a little off when my period came, but it did not interfere with my daily life or require any medication.
To my surprise, after I started the low histamine diet, the first period I got, I had a pain level of zero. I didn’t feel anything at all. That was happening for the first time in my life. Similarly, I had a breakout on my arms that only resolved partially after starting the plant paradox program. But it completely resolved after starting the low histamine diet (resolved to this day, I have smooth upper arms again, after years).
I believe all these positive changes in my health are due to eliminating dairy. It also made sense when my doctor said I might be sensitive to dairy after a genetic test.
Not everything you read online will help you (including this post)
Back to what I was reading online about histamines, was also the fact that people with “histamine intolerance” do not do well with air travel, crowds, noises, heat, cold, pollen, exercise, etc. At this point, I started to fear traveling (which basically is my life).
The reason I want to mention all of this is that these articles online are so scary, and they only feed the fear and stress we are already experiencing. At least they did for me.
Even though I became quite fearful of things that a few weeks prior I considered normal, I was aware of how my nervous system works. I made an extra effort to stay connected to who I was and not define myself by being ‘histamine intolerant’. It was something I experienced, and it was not something I was.
I switched to being grateful and curious about these signals my body gave me.
I was never ‘histamine intolerant’
If you search low histamine foods online, you will find many lists, but no two are the same. That is for a few reasons. One, because no two people experience histamine intolerance the same way. Two, because there is no serious research into this topic, and histamine levels in plants are very hard to measure. And three, because many bloggers make their own lists without stressing how histamine intolerance is experienced differently by each individual.
I disagree with the idea that histamine intolerance is an illness; hence I decided not to label myself that way. I never called myself ‘histamine intolerant’. And interestingly enough, my functional medicine doctor never diagnosed me either. We talked about histamine intolerance and its root causes and worked on fixing the root causes and removing the symptoms. But he never told me: you are ‘histamine intolerant’. That really helped me not to identify with my symptoms, which I think impacted my recovery.
The tests ordered by my doctor revealed some imbalances, toxicities, and some signs of gut dysbiosis. We started to work on that.
If you have to leave this page with only one lesson, this is it
Work with a functional medicine practitioner. All these symptoms are signs that your body is dealing with something and has a hard time. It needs help.
Only by doing extensive blood tests and working with a doctor who understands all that you will find what’s the root cause. A functional medicine practitioner will also look at the emotional and psychological side of it. If she doesn’t, you will have to look into it. It is a huge part of your healing process.
My tests revealed I need some help detoxifying, especially from heavy metals, so we gradually worked on that. After we provided some basic support for my body, we did a one-month liver detox using Quicksilver Scientific BlackBox II.
I had to work on my stress levels, and for that, I used the infrared sauna, exercise, meditation, and self-reflection. Remember I had become fearful of getting outside because I thought the outside air triggered my symptoms? I focused on returning to my natural state: I love nature, and being outside was good for me. Nature is my healer. I overcame that fear, which I am very proud of.
Finding reliable sources of information
Luckily, there are a few out there. Other than all the information I got from my doctor, these are the main sources that helped me: Healing Histamine, Dr. Ben Lynch (his book Dirty Genes and his social media channels), Dr. Becky Campbell, and Dr. Lara Briden.
Firstly, Healing Histamine was a great resource and one of the first I discovered. I loved the journalistic approach to the topic. I also loved that the author was clear that this is not something you will have to live all your life with and that if you do a histamine reset, you will be able to reintroduce histamine-rich foods into your diet again.
She combines anti-histamine foods with foods that are higher in histamine. Hence her approach is not to eliminate everything but rather to combine ingredients smartly (she is the only person I have discovered so far who is taking this approach). I found that empowering.
Inspired to make my own low-histamine recipes
I purchased her Histamine Reset book/plan. While I didn’t use much of her recipes because they were not lectin-light, she inspired me to make my own combinations and create delicious, healthy meals that were both plant paradox compliant and low histamine.
If, by any chance, you think you will be miserable eating a low-histamine diet, I would like to encourage you. From my experience, having this ‘problem’ to fix helped me diversify my diet, discover new foods, and have healthier ways of preparing food, and it was all delicious.
How to clear histamine from your body: A few histamine intolerance supplements to support you
Later I discovered Dr. Ben Lynch and his book Dirty Genes. He is one of the few good doctors out there talking about dealing with histamines. His own company, Seeking Health, is formulating specific supplements for people needing to deal with a histamine overload in their bodies.
Side note: this is important because, in the beginning, many of the supplements we need to support the healing process will trigger symptoms.
I love the Liposomal Vitamin C, specifically formulated for maximum absorption and tolerance, and the Histamine Block, which is an enzyme called diamine oxidase (DAO enzyme) that helps break down histamine coming from food and drinks. While a lifesaver, especially in situations when you can’t control the level of histamines in foods, this is not a long-term treatment, just a relief for one single meal.
Histamine Block is a lifesaver, especially in situations when you can’t control the level of histamines in foods. This is not a long-term treatment, just a relief for one single meal. A good supplement for a low histamine diet. You can buy Histamine Block from Seeking Health here.
As I mentioned above, probiotics are a problem when your gut can’t break down histamine. Dr. Lynch formulated one probiotic with only strains of bacteria that can help break down histamines, Probiota Histamax. I couldn’t take it initially, but I started tolerating it after a while. I took it for about one year, and I stopped it again. At the moment I’m writing this, I don’t take any probiotics, but I am planning to reintroduce more fermented foods into my life. (This section contains Seeking Health affiliated links; I became an affiliate after having a good experience with their supplements).
Quercetin is a supplement recommended for breaking down histamines, but for me, the only form that worked was the HistaAid from Quicksilver Scientific. All the other forms I tried were triggering me.
HistaAid from Quicksilver Scientific. This fast-acting blend of flavonoids, vitamin C, and DIM is designed to offer support for seasonal sufferers. You can buy HistaAid from Quicksilver Scientific here.
Gut Healing Support
My doctor also gave me a few supplements to support my gut healing. The one that I felt was essential for me during all this time was Biocidin. This formulation was perfect for my gut problems, while the Biocidin LSF helped me with my ear infections. They are natural antibiotics that can help clear up bacterial infections and viruses.
I linked a few of the supplements I took because it’s hard to find good-quality ones in the correct formulation. But it also depends on your own test results and of course what your doctor recommends to you.
Also, you should be careful with supplements in general, as some of them can trigger symptoms. Even when my doctor recommended certain supplements, I could not take them all. We tried different options until we found what worked best in my situation. Find a good doctor and what works for you. (The above paragraphs contain some Amazon affiliated links).
A very important step in clearing histamine from your body is a thorough gut investigation. Find out if you have parasites, fungi, and other harmful bacteria. They can be the root cause of your excess histamine release.
The link between histamines and hormones
Later on, I came across Dr. Becky Campbell and Dr. Lara Briden, who explore the link between hormones and histamine intolerance, specifically in women. It made a lot of sense to me when I realized histamine problems could be related to hormonal changes. I was in my 40s and was slightly estrogen dominant (relative to my progesterone which was low), although not as much as I was before starting the plant paradox.
It’s quite fascinating how Dr. Lara Briden links dairy intolerance with reoccurring childhood tonsillitis with high estrogen, low progesterone, and histamine intolerance episodes in women in their 40s (I felt like she was talking about me). You can check this article to start with: The Curious Link Between Estrogen, Mast Cells, and Histamines and start exploring some of her podcasts. They are fascinating. She is an expert in women’s health, so these resources are primarily for women.
Dr. Becky Campbell, also an expert in women’s health, has a book called The 4 Phase Histamine Reset Plan. I don’t have it myself because she launched it recently, but it could be a good start if you think you need to clear up excess histamines and don’t know what to do first.
It is believed that most of those experiencing a histamine intolerance episode are women in their 40s, so the link between hormones, women’s health, and histamines is an interesting one, and one that can help you figure out the mystery of histamine intolerance and mast cell activation. They also say that histamine intolerance is felt more strongly around menstruation and ovulation, which applies to my experience.
What Dr. Gundry says about histamines
In July 2019, about five months into this journey, I traveled to California to meet Dr. Steven Gundry. I was still quite scared of traveling and on a strict diet, mainly eating once a day. We recorded a podcast and I had the chance to tell Dr. G about my experience and ask some questions, so this podcast has some good information.
I started taking rosmarinic acid – which Dr. G says is a powerful anti-histaminic and incorporated much more rosemary into my diet, and I feel that really helped. Perilla oil is also a good source of rosemarinic acid, but it is very hard to find. The only supplement I found with the content of rosemarinic acid recommended by Dr. G was this one from Solaray.
The foods high in histamine that I gave up
Back to food. At first, I had to give up a lot of things, many of them being my favorite foods: fermented stuff (like sauerkraut, yogurt, coconut aminos, olives), dairy, chocolate, cacao, coffee, teas, nuts, and nut flours, berries, avocado, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, seafood and fish, plantains and green bananas, anything packaged, any leftovers animal protein, dry spices, citrus fruit.
At the time, beans were not part of my diet, but they were also on some high histamine lists; except for the Healing Histamine program, she used lentils and chickpeas quite a lot, but in smart combinations.
While alcohol was not a big part of my lifestyle, I stopped even the occasional glass of red. I had to re-learn how to cook plant paradox compliant when most of the foods I loved to eat were in the high histamine category. I started to explore the neutral foods or those with anti-histamine properties more. Being “creative in my kitchen” helped. Soon I began to enjoy all my new foods and how I was combining them.
While I was going through all this, I was also writing my book – The Living Well Without Lectins Cookbook – and my experience helped me in fact diversify my diet and the recipes in the book. That’s why you will find a few low histamine recipes in my book.
While all the foods I mentioned above were on high histamine lists, not all of them are necessarily triggers for everyone. The thing is, when you don’t know anything, you have to start from somewhere. As my doctor said, I needed to lower my histamine bucket, which meant starting with an elimination diet approach.
I think my elimination of all foods suspected of triggering a histamine reaction lasted for about three to four months, after which I started to experiment with adding a few specific foods back. And even though gradually I experienced different levels of recovery, I was still having symptoms. Sometimes they were even happening with foods considered low in histamine.
I think I started with eggs (first egg yolks and then whites, making sure the whites were fully cooked), green plantains, nuts, and a little chocolate. I remember the first time I had a piece of chocolate, I was in seventh heaven and I didn’t have any particular reaction, which gave me the courage to reintroduce even more. It was all gradual.
For example, only a couple of weeks ago (when I write this), I reintroduced walnuts, which are considered some of the highest histamine nuts.
Dairy is not a part of my diet
At this point, 1.5 years after the first experience with histamine intolerance, the only food I have not reintroduced is dairy, except for a little occasional organic french butter and Italian mascarpone. I don’t plan to make dairy part of my diet again because I feel better without it.
Later Edit: In the meantime, I did try to reintroduce goat and buffalo dairy, but I took a food intolerance test and all dairy is on my NO list, at least for a while. After a complex parasite cleanse and general detox, I only tested positive for intolerance to cow’s milk cow’s dairy.
In the meantime, I created a 5-Day Fasting Mimicking Diet Meal Plan (Do It Yourself), which can be helpful if you are thinking of doing a reset. The meals are on the low histamine spectrum; even if some legumes can be considered high histamine, I think they are ok if consumed in moderation and smart combinations.
Eating habits and meal prep changes
My eating habits changed a lot after my experience with histamine intolerance. Now I am a little smarter when combining ingredients and preparing food. For example, I don’t eat any leftover animal protein. If something contains meat I freeze it immediately and only reheat it before eating.
How to prepare animal protein
When I prepare animal protein, I make sure it is super fresh, preferably flash frozen. Thaw it in cold water, rinse it and pat dry it, cook it, preferably with a fast method (no slow cooking) and eat immediately or freeze. I don’t eat ground meat unless I grind it myself with a meat grinder. I don’t eat any processed/aged meats and no seafood or fish unless fresh from the boat (something hard to find unless you live on the coast).
There is the flash-frozen option for fish, and some companies sell that, but you will have to try for yourself. For me, it was pretty clear I didn’t feel well when eating fish.
When it comes to mushrooms, I tried a couple of times and I was ok, but only eating small quantities and never in the evenings when histamine sensitivities are higher.
Freezing stops the histamine triggering bacteria from forming. My favorite ways of freezing food are with Souper Cubes. You can buy the Souper Cubes here.
‘Take out a frozen cube, warm it up in the microwave, on the stove, or bake in the oven. Warm your food up the way that works best for you!‘
If I eat sauerkraut, I make sure it is a small quantity and not very often, like I used to. I fully reintroduced olives and eat chocolate without problems. However, I always make sure I don’t overindulge in anything considered high histamine.
I only had avocado a few times, but I don’t miss it. I’m okay making it just an occasional treat. Also, I used to eat one full avocado a day, and I don’t think this will ever happen again. To me now, one quarter is a size I feel comfortable eating. If you live where avocados are native, like California, Mexico, or Australia, and they are super fresh, you might do better. I have friends with histamine sensitivities eating avocados and they are fine.
Remember, fresh foods are the best when you want to clear excess histamine from your body.
Not two people are the same
I want to stress again that no two people are the same as anything health-related, and you might have specific food intolerances. So my experience is an invitation to explore and listen to your own body. Suppose you would like to see a daily recount of my whole low histamine food journey and the difference between before and after. In that case, you could check my Instagram account – @creativeinmykitchen – where I post almost everything I’m cooking and eating daily.
A powerful natural anti-histamine is the Nigella Sativa seeds (black cumin seeds). I started to use them as seeds and add them to my plates, but also in the form of cold-pressed oil. I take one teaspoon in the mornings and evenings most days. It’s also a great source of plant omegas. From the list of food with anti-histamine properties, these are the ones I use the most: asparagus, arugula, fennel, cooked onions and garlic, cruciferous vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil.
Speaking of personal food intolerances, I discovered down the road (long after I wrote this article) that I have food intolerances to cabbage and nigella sativa oil… I wanted to share this because it is a constant reminder that you have to do your investigations and find out what works for you.
When it comes to lists of high and low histamine foods, this one by Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance is my favorite. And it comes with the following mention regarding histamine metabolism and bio-individuality:
“Not all foods are equally intolerable for all concerned, depending on the individual physical causes of histaminosis. Some respond to liberators stronger than for histamine, and vice versa. We recommend to strictly follow our compatibility list in the first 4-6 weeks. Then start to carefully try out in what quantities you tolerate these “forbidden” foods regarding your individual sensitivity. This prevents you from unnecessary restrictions of your nutritional habits in the long term.”
Water and salt are powerful anti-histamines
And, before I end the food and drinks chapter, I think it is very important to mention something: if you hydrate well, with good water and electrolytes, you are halfway there. Start your day by drinking a lot of water. Add some ancient sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, or good electrolytes. Make sure your water is clean, like a good mineral water brand or even better, filtered. We use at home a Berkey water filter. Remember that water and salt are great anti-histamines and are always available.
A long time after my first experience with histamine intolerance, I still had this weird feeling my ears were blocking and my throat was closing, unable to swallow. This happened even when I ate low histamine foods, hinting that it’s not really black and white when it comes to low and high histamine food lists.
Sometimes I had the sensation that I couldn’t get enough air in my lungs and a racing heart, along with anxiety. I had to always clear my throat and felt like most of the foods were mucus-producing. Not as bad as before starting the plant paradox lifestyle, but acid reflux was a symptom of histamine overload.
I was experiencing what felt like irregular heartbeats and now and then sleepless nights, especially during ovulation and before my period. I developed some ear problems, including a nasty ear infection. Sometimes I had stuffed sinuses and a runny nose or a weird itch on the side of my right foot.
But different people experience different symptoms. Besides all the above, migraines and hives seem to be common histamine intolerance symptoms; however, I didn’t experience them. Allergy symptoms are probably the most common. As a health history, it is believed that signs of histamine intolerance are low tolerance of strong smells like perfumes, detergents, gas; motion sickness, reoccurring tonsillitis, and sinus infections (that’s all me before the plant paradox, and I am still very sensitive to smells).
And want to hear something ‘crazy’? I realized scrolling up and down on my social media was triggering me. There are some recent reports that EMFs are histamine triggers. So I cut down on that and filled my time with more meaningful things.
Don’t obsess over food
While diet is essential in overcoming a histamine intolerance episode as I had, that’s only the tip of the iceberg and one thing we can act on quickly and have certain control over.
However, building immune resilience, improving your vagal tone, and building what someone (I don’t remember who) beautifully called anti-fragility is even more important for your recovery.
My purpose is to teach my body to be more resilient and to identify what is truly dangerous and what is not, not to get into the rabbit hole of more and more restrictions every time my nervous system wrongly identifies something as a threat. I will be forever grateful to my training at Integrative Institute for Nutrition (IIN) for teaching me that what we eat is secondary to all the other things that feed us: relationships, career, spirituality, and physical activity. Diet is just a secondary source of energy. The overarching rule is: to eat foods that support your health.
I can’t say precisely when and how I progressed towards recovery because everything happened in stages. And sometimes, the lines between these stages were confusing and blurred. But I’m happy to say most of the symptoms above were resolved.
If I push it too much, I feel it, but I know what to expect and deal with it. Sometimes even pausing and taking a deep breath helps. After I became familiar with the dietary aspects of this issue, I started to work on the resilience of my nervous system on my anti-fragility. There are many tools for this, and one of them which helped me a lot is taking daily cold showers. For this, I recommend looking into the Wim Hof Method.
Other things that contributed to my healing process
Keeping a gratitude journal, doing yoga, cultivating meaningful relationships, reducing social media and phone/screen time, spending more time in nature, dancing, cleaning up your space, spending more time doing what you love with the people you love, watching less TV, being kinder to yourself, helping others… these are some other things to be considered that contributed to my healing process, on so many levels.
And one of the books that helped me tremendously to switch from the victim mindset to that of the creator of my own life/health, was Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Stay positive, help your body recover
Again, different things will work for different people. Stay positive, don’t let fear take over, help your body recover and be grateful for the symptoms you experienced because they were your body signaling something is out of balance and needed to be fixed. It is just a question of time and a little work, but it’s all worth it. You will discover many beautiful things about yourself in the process.
I remember clearly when I searched for information about my symptoms and high histamine levels, and I was desperately looking for a recovery story. I wanted to read how people who write about their experience with histamine intolerance have recovered and wanted to learn from their experience.
But, with the exceptions I mentioned above in Resources, I haven’t found them. That’s why I waited for 1.5 years to write about my experience with histamine intolerance. I wanted to give you my story of recovery. There will always be problems to fix, health is not linear, but I think it is all a journey of discovery on all levels. And no two journeys are the same.
Mine was a complex journey; in fact, it still is, so I imagine some things I wrote about can be confusing to you or you might not relate to. It would be too long if I went into more detail (it’s years of my life, after all).
Recap: How to clear histamine from the body
Since I wrote this article, there has been a lot of new information about histamine intolerance coming to light. The overarching idea is that histamine intolerance is related to toxins overload in the body, including heavy metals, negative inflammation, and gut dysbiosis (parasites, fungi, viruses, H-pylori, excess of histamine-producing bacteria, Klebsiella etc). Even IBS has been related to histamine intolerance.
So, the right approach when working on histamine intolerance is to assist your body in removing all these toxins and reestablishing the balance in your gut. As I edit this article (August 2022), I’ve been working on this for the past five months, and I am reaping the benefits. It’s incredible how the body slowly gets back into balance once the forces that created the unbalance are removed.
You have to be patient, though. When I started, I thought in one month, maximum, I’ll be done. While I did notice amazing improvements straight away, like my deep sleep almost doubling, every time my doctor would do the scanning, he would still find some parasites and inflammation left in my gut. It’s a long-term process, but it’s the deep cleaning we all need.
Here it is a recap of a few important takeaways from my experience:
- MINDSET – Stay positive; histamine intolerance is not a life sentence. It’s just a symptom of an imbalance in the body (most probably in the gut), relatively easy to find and remediate if you work with a functional medicine practitioner. Don;t identify yourself with your diagnosis. You are not ‘histamine intolerant’; your body is in a state of imbalance that creates excess histamine. Once that imbalance is restored, your histamine intolerance symptoms will resolve.
- MANAGE STRESS – Find ways to lower the daily stress in your life; stress is a big trigger of histamine intolerance symptoms.
- LOW-HISTAMINE & CLEAN EATING – Eliminate high histamine foods and drinks for a few weeks, but don’t obsess over all the high histamine food lists. They are not that accurate. Clean, healthy eating is important.
- FOOD INTOLERANCES – A food intolerance and allergens test can help you eliminate some foods that trigger inflammation in your body. Even if they are not high in histamine, these foods can keep your body in an inflamed state and make recovery more difficult. If you can, do a food intolerance test and eliminate the foods you are intolerant to for a few weeks. But, please remember food intolerance are due to gut dysbiosis, so once you eliminate that, you will be able to tolerate those foods again. When I started my treatments, I had over 40 foods I was intolerant to (including all berries, all nuts, cabbage, broccoli, all dairy, etc). After a few months of therapy, only 2 were left (cow’s dairy and hazelnuts).
- TRAUMA – If you know you deal with some post-traumatic stress, find a specialist or a method to help you.
- SLEEP – Find ways to improve your sleep. The Tapping Solution is a great tool to have.
- SUPPLEMENTS – There are a few supplements that can help you when you go through a histamine intolerance crisis. I’ve discussed them in the post above; please see below my latest discoveries.
- GUT CLEANSE – Work with a doctor to treat gut dysbiosis and do a parasite cleanse. The root cause of your histamine intolerance is probably in the gut, in the form of harmful bacteria (like H-pylori), viruses, and parasites.
- LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH – Do something you love every day, spend time with loved ones, in nature, take walks, pray, and meditate.
ROOT Clean Slate – the supplement I’ve been waiting for
Luckily, science and our knowledge of different diseases and symptoms develop daily. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how zeolite can assist the body in removing excess histamine from the gut. You will find one of the most recent studies here.
Clean Slate is a special formulated liquid form of zeolite (silica extracted from clinoptilolite), which will assist your body in removing toxins out of the body and reducing negative inflammation. I’ve been using Clean Slate for a few of months, and it immediately made a difference. The tightness/pressure around my throat and neck when eating disappeared and the amount of deep sleep increased.
You will find more details on the ROOT website. Check out the ROOT Trinity Package, which includes Clean Slate, and the other two amazing formulas I’m taking – Restore and Zero-In that I think have been helping me tremendously in my healing journey.
Questions or comments
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I’ll try to answer to the best of my abilities.
But remember, I only know what I’ve been through, and although I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, which helped me a lot in my journey, I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice.
If you happen to be in Dallas and need help, I wholeheartedly recommend my doctor, David Morcom from Integrative Wellness Rx.
Low histamine diet, cooking, and food preparation
For a more in-depth approach to a low histamine diet, cooking and food preparation, please read my article: The Complete Guide to Cooking Low Histamine Recipes.
*This post contains some affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.