Three Easy Steps to Beating Histamine Intolerance

Last week we looked at how the body breaks down histamine when t has served its purpose - namely, the release of the enzymes diamine oxidase (DAO) and histamine N-methyltransferase (HMT). The question we're aiming to answer today is:

What can I do to help my body breakdown histamine?

Catch Some Z’s

The first thing your body needs to repair itself is plenty of rest. We often tend to think of sleep and rest as wasted time that could be used more productively doing something - well, productive. The truth is a very different matter, however. When we rest, our bodies do the repair work needed to keep them running optimally. This includes balancing gut flora and mending leaky guts.

Obviously one night of good quality sleep won't automagically fix everything that needs fixing. Bt it's a good stat. And you can be sure that if you aren’t getting your eight hours a night, yo health is going to start taking some pretty serious strain.

Balance Your Gut Flora

Healing your gut should be your number one priority if you are battling with histamine intolerance. As we saw last week What causes histamine intolerance?, most people with histamine intolerance have a DAO deficiency, which is almost always caused by a damaged gut. Their bodies can’t produce the enzymes responsible for metabolising histamine.

To make matters worse, as the digestive tract's ability to digest food diseases though damage or disease, the amount of food digested in the tract decreases, too. Instead of food being processed naturally, and eliminated once all the nutrition has been absorbed into the body, undigested food rots and ferments in the intestines. This leads to an overgrowth of certain types of bacteria in the gt - those very bacteria that make histamine from undigested food. The natural result is a build-up of histamine in the gut. In time, this excess histamine begins to overwhelm the body’s ability to break it down

Because there is now too much histamine in the gut, the body becomes increasingly sensitive to foods containing or releasing histamine (see list Histamine intolerance - foods to eat, and foods to avoid). This increased sensitivity leads to an increase in symptoms. So you can see that the histamine intolerance cycle begins in the gut. Which is why balancing bacteria and healing gut dysbiosis are so important in testing histamine intolerance and food allergies.

Fresh is Best

Whenever possible, eat fresh food. As food ages, histamine levels increase, so avoid leftovers if you possibly can. Create meals using the freshest ingredients you can find - and take care not to overcook them.


Last week [What causes histamine intolerance?] we looked at the medications that can cause diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency. You'll be relieved to know that there are medications and supplements that can actually help to get the balance right, and heal the gut in the process. Natural antihistamines and organic nutrients support the body in its efforts to heal itself. These include:

  • Probiotics - it should come as no surprise that the top of the list in combatting gut dysbiosis is a course of powerful pre- and probiotics. Soil-based probiotics tend to be well tolerated by people with histamine intolerance. Make sure you find histamine-reducing or histamine-neutral strains of probiotics, including
    • Bifidobacterium infantis, and
    • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Quercetin – a powerful antihistamine and anti-inflammatory natural compound
  • Bromelain – an antihistamine and potent enzyme which works well with quercetin
  • Pine bark extract – an antihistamine, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory
  • Vitamin C – increases histamine degradation and removal
  • Vitamin B6 – increases DAO activity
  • Herb Holy Basil – has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory
  • Magnesium – useful in treating histamine excess which has been caused by a magnesium deficiency
  • Pancreatic enzymes – help break down histamine in the gut
  • Vitamin E – stabilises mast cells thus decreasing histamine production
  • Fish oils – highly anti-inflammatory and immune system supporting

Healing from Histamine Intolerance

Once the cause of the histamine intolerance has been addressed and repaired, most people find that they can reintroduce many of the histamine-rich or histamine-releasing foods without any side effects.

It's important, though, not to self-diagnose. Histamine intolerance shares a number of similarities with many other conditions, some of which are potentially more harmful. This is particularly relevant when you are considering medications and treatments for your condition. Always contact a health professional to discuss your specific needs.

Dr Sanua is a medical practitioner who focuses on healing the cause of his patients’ conditions - not simply masking the symptoms. Call him on on 011 463 1614 or email him on to make an appontment, and start getting better for good.


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