There are many different food intolerances/sensitivities that I work with from individual foods to whole chemical food groups.  These groups can include FODMAPs, salicylates, oxalates, sulphur sensitives and more recently I am seeing many with histamine intolerance (“HIT”).

I work with many people that have gut issues and HIT can present as gut symptoms such as motion or morning sickness, bloating, acid reflux, cramping/abdominal pain, diarrhoea and/or vomiting/nausea.

Some systemic signs of HIT include:

  • Reacting to fermented foods
  • Probiotics can make symptoms worse
  • Leaky gut – which can lead to “allergic” reactions
  • Can’t tolerate alcohol
  • Red welts on skin after scratching – hives and rashes, general itchiness
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Experience other allergy symptoms eg hay fever, eczema or asthma (especially exercise induced asthma)
  • Experience tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Face flushes easily
  • Strong reactions to insect bites
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Bed wetting and frequent urination


Foods that can release or trigger histamine production

Examples of the main foods that can trigger histamine release or that are high in histamines include:

  • Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, tofu/miso
  • Fermented drinks eg kombucha and alcohol
  • Aged foods – cheese, left-overs, bone broths
  • Pickled or canned foods – tinned fish is one of the highest histamine containing foods
  • Shellfish
  • Citrus fruits eg orange, pineapple and lime
  • Cured, smoked and processed meats eg bacon, ham and sausages


Causes of HIT

The potential causes of HIT can include:

  • Genes/enzymes not working correctly to help breakdown histamines eg DAO
  • Nutrient deficiencies such as zinc that are needed in the pathway of histamine breakdown
  • Gut microbiome issues – pathogenic gut bacteria can produce histamines and some bacteria can lead to leaky gut which allows more release of histamines
  • Any organism that stimulates an immune response can result in more histamine being produced and released such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi/mould and candida. I often see histamine intolerance along with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).
  • Low Interleukin 10 levels – this is one of the cytokines that modulates our immune system


Some ways to address HIT include:

  • Low histamine diet – short term
  • Improve gut microbiome while reducing gut inflammation and addressing leaking gut, plus tackling any infections eg SIBO, Candida etc
  • Improve histamine enzyme function eg DAO
  • Address nutrient deficiencies
  • Reduce or ELIMINATE alcohol

You don’t need to experience all the signs and symptoms HIT to be histamine intolerant.

Contact me to book in an appointment to find out more about whether you may have histamine intolerance or would like to do any food intolerance/food allergy testing – or 0417 679 287.

References available upon request