After the diagnosis of histamine intolerance, the right treatment for intolerance is important. In addition to a change in diet, the additional intake of vitamin B6 and vitamin C or a drug treatment may prove helpful.
Diagnose histamine intolerance
To be able to reliably diagnose histamine intolerance, other diseases that produce similar symptoms must first be excluded. These include food allergies and food intolerances as well as inflammatory bowel disease.
A blood test can be used to determine the body's histamine-removal capacity and to measure the histamine concentration in the blood. In affected individuals, the activity of responsible enzymes is reduced to about half of normal activity. In extreme cases, it can even drop to ten percent.
In addition to a blood test, a change in diet can provide clues as to whether histamine intolerance exists. For this purpose, histamine-containing foods must be strictly avoided for a certain time. If symptoms improve and other food intolerances have already been ruled out, it is considered likely that histamine intolerance actually exists.
Treat histamine intolerance: diet change in 3 steps
Step 1: To successfully treat histamine intolerance, foods containing high levels of histamine should be avoided for at least two weeks. Instead, resort to foods such as potatoes or rice that are low in histamine. This measure lowers histamine levels in the blood. During this phase, make sure your body is supplied with all the essential nutrients, despite limited food choices.
Step 2: After this first phase of avoidance, sufferers should slowly and carefully test which foods they still tolerate. In addition to supplement your diet in the next four to eight weeks with new food. Be careful not to overwhelm your body at the beginning: do not try too many foods at one time and only consume the selected foods in small amounts.
Step 3: Then watch closely how you react to each food. If you wish, you can record in a food diary which foods you have eaten, how much the amount has been and whether or not complaints have occurred. You can also note accompanying circumstances such as stress in the diary.
Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C with histamine intolerance
Research has shown that many sufferers have low levels of vitamin B6 in their blood. Vitamin B6 acts as a coenzyme for diamine oxidase and thus promotes the breakdown of histamine. In some cases, therefore, the delivery of high-dose vitamin B6 makes sense. However, the vitamin should only be given if the level in the blood is actually too low.
Like vitamin B6, many people who suffer from histamine intolerance also have low levels of vitamin C in their blood. Here, it is also assumed that the administration of vitamin C histamine in the body can be broken down faster.
Drugs with histamine intolerance
In some situations - traveling, for example - it is not possible to eat only those foods that are well tolerated. In addition, some patients continue to experience discomfort even after diet change. In such cases, symptoms can be treated with medication. For either antihistamines or an enzyme replacement therapy in question.
Antihistamines ensure that the histamine in the body can no longer be fully effective. They are particularly suitable when it comes to symptoms such as skin rashes, allergic cheeks, headaches or dizziness. Alternatively, it is possible to supply the body with the required enzymes via capsules. This is especially recommended before eating highly histamine-containing foods that you would not want to miss despite intolerance.
Unlike many other food intolerances, histamine intolerance can lead to life-threatening conditions. In such cases, the doctor will prescribe a fast-acting antihistamine.