Histamine intolerance


Martina Feichter

Martina Feichter studied biology in Innsbruck with an optional subject in pharmacy and also immersed herself in the world of medicinal plants. From there it was not far to other medical topics that still captivate her today. She trained as a journalist at the Axel Springer Academy in Hamburg and has been working for lifelikeinc.com since 2007 - first as an editor and since 2012 as a freelance author.

More about the lifelikeinc.com experts at one histamine intolerance The body responds to an increased amount of histamine with intolerance reactions. This substance occurs naturally in the body, but is also found in many foods. Possible symptoms of histamine intolerance include wheals on the skin, itching, headache and gastrointestinal discomfort. Mostly women are affected in middle age. Read all about histamine intolerance.

Article overview histamine intolerance

  • symptoms
  • Description and causes
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Food
  • Course and prognosis

Quick Overview

  • What is histamine intolerance? Incompatibility with larger amounts of histamine. Histamine is a tissue hormone and messenger that occurs naturally in the body. He is also in many foods. Histamine intolerance (HI, histaminosis), however, is a controversial issue among experts.
  • symptoms: very diverse, e.g. Flushing with flushing sensation, itching, hives (urticaria), palpitations, headache, stuffy or runny nose, asthma, diarrhea, abdominal pain
  • Causes: Experts suspect that an affected or (more rarely) congenital disorder of histamine degradation in the body.
  • investigations: Doctor-patient interview to collect the medical history (anamnesis), investigations to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms, three-stage diet change, possibly a provocation test
  • Treatment: adapted diet, possibly enzyme preparations
To the table of contents

Histamine intolerance: symptoms

Histamine intolerance symptoms are very diverse. Some patients only show individual complaints (such as redness with itching). Others, on the other hand, have histaminosis with symptoms in several parts of the body. This is because the most diverse cells and organs have docking sites (receptors) for histamine. These include, for example, smooth muscle cells (in the stomach and intestinal wall, in the bronchi and uterus, in the blood vessel walls, etc.), glandular cells, nerve cells and cells of the immune system (such as mast cells).

Histamine mediates its action by binding to these receptors. With a high amount of histamine, the receptors are activated nonstop. Depending on where in the body they are, this results in sensitive people a variety of histamine intolerance symptoms.

Histamine intolerance symptoms: skin

Histamine can activate so-called mast cells in the skin. These then release allergenic ingredients that can cause various skin symptoms:

  • urticaria (Hives): It is characterized by small, fleeting swellings of the skin (wheals), which usually stand together beetartig. The skin usually appears red or white with a red border at the affected areas. The wheals may appear distributed throughout the body. They usually disappear after 24 hours. As long as the trigger of hives but continues to exist, can always form new wheals.
  • Itching: The substances released from the mast cells trigger not only urticaria but also a massive itching. Especially the skin over the wheals is very irritated. Unlike other itchy skin diseases, however, wheals are not scratched, just rubbed and pressed.

Histamine intolerance symptoms of the skin also show in an increased blood circulation: histamine leads to a release of nitric oxide, which broadens the blood vessels. This allows more blood to flow through. This causes the affected Skin areas reddened and warmed, If this phenomenon occurs in the face, it is also called flush designated.

Histamine intolerance symptoms: brain

Also in the brain, histamine via the release of nitric oxide can cause the blood vessels to dilate. If this happens in the arteries of the meninges, headaches can occur. This mechanism is also discussed in migraine.

Other potential symptoms of histamine intolerance that may be from the head include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Some patients also report decreased attention and fatigue.