The main constituent of nigella sativa seeds has been shown to be more effective than a commonly prescribed corticosteroid nasal spray at alleviating lung inflammation . The annoying thing about all these studies is that, unlike pharmaceuticals, the medical studies for natural constituents, is usually on animals. Now, ok, if it’s good enough for mr
I reported a while back that yoga lowers inflammation in the body (see below), specifically C-reactive protein. Now here’s another reason to channel your inner yogi: pranayama lowers histamine levels. I found a number of studies showing that yoga breathing (pranayama) considerably decreases histamine induced asthma symptoms (compared to placebo groups). The yogic breathing groups
The question I’m asked most often is simply: “what’s your secret?” I’d be in deep doodoo without my high nutrient low histamine diet for sure, but a positive attitude is by far what gets me through the day. Take my trip to Kenya. I’m now without a kitchen. This was (stupidly) my first trip without
Suffering from breast lumps? Histamine plays an important role in Fibrocystic Breast Disease. One of my many health scares, before my histaminosis/histamine intolerance diagnosis, was breast cancer, finally ruled out by lumpectomy. I had another cancer scare a few years later – doctors insisted on another lumpectomy, which I refused. It took me another seven
Ever wonder why your allergies, histamine intolerance or mast cell condition are worse around the beginning of your cycle? Most of us put down the uptick in our symptoms to plain old PMS (or at least are told that’s what it is). I definitely noticed it. And I was right – it seems we have another important mast cell degranulation/histamine release trigger to add to the list…
According to this study: “Mast cells commonly degranulate around the onset of menstruation, releasing tryptase, chymase and several other molecules.”
For those of you not yet familiar with why I keep talking about mast cell degranulation – there’s already plenty of histamine in our bodies naturally. Histamine is released through mast cell degranulation (and sometimes basophils). So without even adding the histamine that we eat or drink, there’s plenty to go around. That’s because histamine is needed to run most of our bodily functions.
So why the incessant focus on potential histamine triggers?
I’ve been exploring the catch-22 of probiotic supplementation for some time now. The dilemma? Probiotics are necessary for proper intestinal function – the histamine lowering enzymes diamine oxidase and monoamine oxidase live there, so fixing up our poop tube seems like a good idea right?
Not so simple.
Probiotic supplements are fermented (a no go for histamine intolerance/histamine related disorders) and some strains actually raise histamine and tyramine in the body. The good news is that strains commonly found in babies can actually lower histamine, helping us fight allergies and lower our overall histamine burden.
Lactobacillus casei (TISTR 389) andLactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (TISTR 895) were found to produce BA (biogenic amines). The highest levels of histamine (1820.9 ± 3.5 mg L−1) and tyramine (5486.99 ± 47.6 mg L−1) formation were observed for the TISTR 389 strain, while TISTR 895 produced only histamine (459.1 ± 0.63 mg L−1) in the decarboxylase broth. Biogenic amine potential was not observed for the Lactobacillus acidophilus,Lactobacillus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, and Lactobacillus plantarum strains studied. This study confirmed that BA formation is strain dependent and not related to the species. Read the full study here.
Lactobacillus casei was shown to produce histamine and tyramine, while Lactobacillus Bulgaricus increased histamine alone.
A study published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology reports that dichlorophenol, a chemical used tap water chlorination, is associated with an increased risk of food allergies. But fear not, scientists claim that we’re much more likely to have been absorbing it from pesticides on our fruit and vegetables, or in the cosmetics we’ve
As you may know, histamine disorders (roll call: histamine intolerance, histaminosis, chronic allergies, mast cell activation and mastocytosis) have more than one trigger. And by that I’m not counting individual foods, just a whole mess of stuff that can cause histamine to be released into the blood stream. I’m successfully managing a number of them – so it’s time to share! I’ll be using The Mastocytosis Society Canada’s non-immunologial trigger list as reference (check out the full list at the end of the post). There’s a bunch of surprises on it!
I’m not doing too great on this one. I travel, a lot. And for some reason I do it almost exclusively to incredibly hot climates. This last year alone I spent almost three months in Africa/North Africa. I don’t mean indoors in the AC – I’m talking old school villages with no internet connection, camping with Masai warriors and draping myself (passing out) across my man on the most beautiful islands known to man. Oh, I forgot the two hour camel rides under the scorching sun across treacherous terrain high on a mountainside in search of the ultimate beach. It was pretty funny, I spent my first hour there comparing symptoms with the bedouin woman who offered us dinner and grass (her words not mine!), in our first five minute there. Seems her entire family may suffer from a histamine disorder.
My hottest tips for dealing with the heat is to have AC or a cool body of water to immerse yourself into at the end of the day. I literally feel all my swelling and inflammation go down after 10 minutes. The key is to keep calm and also make sure you have access to a car with AC – wish I could follow my own advice on that one. I spent a month trapped in microwaves (taxis) in Morocco in July this year. Ouch. I have a histamine/inflammation detection unit in my mouth – well I had a tooth extracted when a dentist convinced me it was causing my symptoms – duh. I’ve been too freaked out to get an implant (antibiotics, injections, anesthetic, oh MY) so nowadays when my gum swells to the point that I no longer feel the gap, I know I’m in big trouble. That happened, a lot in the taxis.
I’m taking a number of steps to help my body recover from any inadvertent histamine hiccups (ahem, cupcake incidents) I may subject it to. One of them is the food-coaching course I’m taking with my nutritional hero Dr. Fuhrman, and an intensive immersion into herbalism, which I’m sure to expand upon in coming years. I’m currently devouring the modern herbalism bible I’ve seen the Whole Foods naturopathic gurus toting when in deep consult with customers. I naturally started in the immune system chapter where I came across yet another ayurvedic miracle herb.
Update: nowadays I wish I hadn’t tried so hard to play histamine detective. In the end I believe it became counter productive, causing my amygdala to become hypersensitised and give me a fear of food. Read all about that here.
My decade (plus) as a journalist for CNN and the BBC definitely prepared me to deal with a pesky nuisance like my histamine disorder (be it histamine intolerance or whatever). When faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem – I just take a step back and figure out how the hell to make it work. There is no “can’t” in my vocabulary. Be it chartering private helicopters to airlift equipment, bribing ship captains to let us stow away, or finagleling team visas to Libya on two hours notice (in the Gaddafi years!) – I’ve done it all. So there’s no way I’m letting something like food (or illness) rule my life. I’ve outlined my approach to histamine/inflammation detoxing in my ebook the Anti-Detox – usually employing it before a big client presentation (this histamine chef thing is a side project for me) or when having to fly out to hot climates like Kenya, Morocco, and Egypt, all this last year.
Heat, as you may know, causes mast cells to degranulate, releasing their precious histamine cargo right into your bloodstream. There’s nothing like quite like turning beet red and blowing up into the Michelin man the minute you step off a plane to make you appreciate a good low histamine detox before traveling.
Now I’m going to cover what I believe to be one of the key secrets of successful low histamine living. It sounds so very basic that you may initially laugh: you need to know what food or cosmetic is causing which reaction. Simple right? But I can’t tell you how many emails I receive asking for diet analysis. I don’t mind doing it, but it must be so frustrating living a life where every little thing could be causing distress and there’s no way to figure out what’s what. I’m greatly indebted to Dr Fuhrman’s teachings on this one, as I figured out what was wrong with me initially after going on a three-day water fast. For crystal clear clarity there’s nothing quite like starting with as clean a slate as possible. Nowadays, I don’t do water fasts as any kind of stress can cause mast cells to release histamine – and I‘ve learned the hard way that kicking your body into survival mode definitely isn’t relaxing. The next best thing is the overnight semi fast (sleep!)…
I’m not just going for a catchy headline here – turns out that valerian root is not only a powerful anxiolytic (natural chill out pill) overall, it’s also an antihistamine which helps with menstrual cramps. I mean seriously, the study is actually called: Relaxing effects of Valeriana officinalis extracts on isolated human non-pregnant uterine muscle.
Today I’m off to see the UK’s only/best mastocytosis specialist. The reason is simple – I want to know exactly what I’m dealing with. Thing is, I don’t suffer like I used to. In fact, it’s almost a distant memory, so right or wrong, I decided show him some of what I used to go through before changing my diet. In short, I went off the grid these last few days.
My 3 day “cheat”
4 slices home made organic wheat bread (with yeast)
8 tbsp agave
1 raw chocolate bar (home made)
1/4 raw chocolate cake (avocado/agave)
8 tbsp sugar free all natural marmalade
3 shots of alcohol
1 pack plantain chips (organic)
1/2 box organic cornflakes (2 ingredients – corn and salt)
whole wheat pasta