Histamine IntoleranceHistamine intolerance is becoming more and more prevalent.

I have it.

I also have MTHFR and susceptible to methylation deficiency.

Given the prevalence of the MTHFR polymorphism, it only makes sense that the general population is also very susceptible to histamine intolerance.


I wish I knew I had histamine intolerance 30 yrs ago.  Now that I’ve addressed it, so many of my symptoms are gone – or managable.

The issue is histamine intolerance can rear its ugly head anytime, anywhere.  You have to be ready for it and know how to deal with it.

Identifying if you have histamine intolerance is not easy – and it is COMMONLY missed.

The only true way to know if you have histamine intolerance or not is to go on a low histamine diet for a period of time.

Feel better?

You are then histamine intolerant.


You’ve joined the elite club of folks who actually understand what is ailing them.


Now – my job is to help you beat it.

Beat your histamine intolerance by reading Dirty Genes!

Dirty Genes book by Dr. Ben Lynch












How will Dirty Genes help you beat histamine intolerance?

  • an entire chapter is dedicated to it – via the DAO chapter
  • recipes in the book are designed to help you recover
  • I inform you of supplements which may help you (as I do in this article as well)
  • you’ll understand methylation (which is heavily related to histamine)
  • an entire chapter discusses estrogen – via the COMT chapter (high estrogen increases histamine release)
  • MTHFR is discussed heavily and this contributes to histamine intolerance

What histamine intolerance actually is

Imagine a 5 gallon bucket.

You have a lot of things to put into that 5 gallon bucket: soap, toys, screwdriver, watermelon, your favorite cat who doesn’t sit still, a pound of sand and 2 gallons of water.

Obviously, you’re going to have issues.

You need to make some decisions.

What stays? What goes?

The cat must stay. You’d love the water to stay but your favorite cat told you otherwise. Sand is chosen as is the soap because you know your favorite cat is going to do something to the sand.

The rest stays behind and off you go with your favorite cat, sand and soap in the bucket.

You’re happy and all is good.

Ignore the people on the beach. They’ll get over it.

This is the same thing as histamine intolerance.

You have a bucket of histamine and your body requires histamine in order to function.

You need histamine to do a variety of things – such as:

  • get blood, ie nutrients and oxygen, delivered to various areas
  • pay attention
  • digest your food
  • move your bowels
  • enhance exercise

The ideal amount of histamine allows these things to occur – and occur perfectly.

As histamine levels increase, your tolerance for it goes down.

You start to get too much blood flow, have too much attention, moving bowels too often and your exercise is now affected negatively.

This translates into histamine Intolerance.

Your histamine bucket is overflowing.

You need to get rid of some of it.

How do you do that?

Not easy as there are many factors which increase histamine – and they should all be addressed.

The causative factors for histamine intolerance are many:

  • Genetic susceptibility (MTHFR, DAO, MAO, HNMT, PEMT…)
  • Pathogens (a number of which produce histamine or block methylation)
  • Nutrient deficiencies (B12, folate, B6, B2, B1, Zn, Cu, C, methionine)
  • Nutrient excesses (histidine, protein excess in general)
  • Medications (antibiotics, antacids and even antihistamines (long term))
  • Nutrient demands (stress, anxiety, lack of sleep)
  • Hormonal insufficiency (adrenal fatigue)
  • Hormonal excess (estrogen)
  • Lifestyle (excessive exercise, alcohol)
  • Diet (fermented foods, high protein intake, aged foods, leftovers, citrus, fish)
  • Environment (high pollen counts, mold, mildew, dust mites, natural gas leaks)
  • Associated conditions (leaky gut, IBD, IBS)
  • others which I cannot think of off the top of my head – if you think of one – post a comment below and share

There are three main genes which are central to processing histamine:

  • HNMT – which requires SAMe as a cofactor (and this requires an effective MTHFR enzyme to help produce SAMe)
  • DAO – which requires vitamin B6 and copper
  • MAO – which requires vitamin B2 and iron
  • NAT2 – which requires CoA which stems from vitamin B5

If any one of these genes are slowed or burdened, then the removal of histamine is slowed – and symptoms of histamine intolerance occur.

How can you see if these histamine-related genes are slowed down due to genetic polymorphisms?

Order a 23andMe genetic test and then run your raw data through StrateGene. I developed StrateGene with a team of researchers. We specifically have one section of the report dedicated to histamine metabolism. Here we show the genes associated with histamine breakdown along with the epigenetic controls and cofactors. Very cool seeing it graphically.

What are symptoms of histamine intolerance?


I want to share with you one of my favorite research papers of all time – as it is so beautifully done.

Here it is:
Histamine and Histamine Intolerance

But don’t make me jealous – come back and finish this article as that paper – while great – is not nearly as comprehensive as mine – especially in terms of how to deal with histamine intolerance 🙂 .

Signs and symptoms of histamine intolerance are difficult to identify because many have delayed reactions – we’re talking a few hours after eating possibly.

Common signs and symptoms of histamine intolerance:

  • flushing
  • rapid heart beat
  • profuse sweating
  • headache
  • migraine
  • food allergies
  • seasonal allergies
  • urticaria
  • prickly heat
  • large swollen mosquito bites
  • runny nose
  • bloody nose
  • car sick
  • seasickness
  • motion sickness in general
  • itchy
  • irritable
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • higher sex drive (not really a problem typically but good to know)
  • asthma
  • exercise-induced asthma
  • stomach ache
  • menstrual cramps
  • chest tightness
  • loose stools
  • skin issues (eczema, psoriasis)
  • insomnia
  • and others which I am forgetting

This is a slurry of symptoms and issues, isn’t it?

This goes to show you that it is best to think WHY, HOW and MECHANISM of various conditions rather than focusing on the ‘condition’ itself.

Can you imagine a patient walking in with the list above?

They do.

Every day.

They’d have to go to a variety of different doctors:

  • dermatologist
  • pulmonologist
  • psychiatrist
  • gastroenterologist
  • gynecologist
  • endocrinologist
  • cardiologist
  • general practitioner

Then, each doctor is going to prescribe a variety of medications:

  • cortisone
  • antihistamines
  • SSRI
  • calcium-channel blockers
  • hormones
  • fiber

All of the above medications are palliative only.

They simply mask the symptoms and not one of them addresses the underlying cause.

In fact, some of them exacerabate the actual main complaints!!

This happens to thousands of patients – daily.

This has to stop.

Let’s look at it from the way doctors should be looking at this.

Instead of asking, “What is your chief complaint?”, it should be:

“Please list ALL of your symptoms from most aggravating to least aggravating.”

This way, the physician can see all of them and see if they are correlated.

Guess what?

They are.

The body is connected.

The brain bone is connected to the heart bone which is connected to the lung bone which is connected to the intestine bone.

Remember that song when you were a kid?!

I think the lyrics were a little different but the idea is the same.


Stop DISCONNECTING patients and spreading their organs from one doctor to another.

Instead, understand how their body works as a whole and why these various symptoms and conditions are related!!

If this patient walked into my clinic with all of these symptoms, I’d be evaluating:

  • lifestyle (sleep, hobbies, work, family, friends, enemies)
  • environment (zipcode, farming community, urban, location to wires, cell towers)
  • mindset (optimist vs pessimist, ‘not my fault’ vs ‘all my fault’, talker vs listener, how vs what, etc)
  • diet (usual foods – unedited – a journal is key here – including fluids)
  • supplements
  • meds (inc OTC)
  • calendar of events (in utero to current – use a timeline of main issues in life – sickness, stressors, exposures, surgeries)

In terms of labs, I’d be evaluating (if a first office call and patient could afford them – otherwise would skip labs and wait to do it until I was stuck and patient not improving):

  • CDSA (comprehensive digestive and stool analysis with O & P x 3)
  • RBC fatty acids
  • Urinary organic acids
  • Plasma amino acids
  • Serum ferritin
  • Thyroid panel (free T3, free T4, TSH, rT3, anti-TPO, anti-TG)
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylation profile (SAM:SAH ratio)
  • Lipid peroxides
  • Vitamin D
  • Histamine (but not very good marker – varies a LOT – need to evaluate history)
  • Total IgE, IgG, IgM, IgA
  • CBC with chem panel
  • Genetic testing
  • and some others if needed

From Michael McEvoy via my Facebook page – I thought this to be an interesting comment and worthy of sharing here:
“Consistently I’ve observed a basophil % of 1 or greater to correspond approximately to a whole blood histamine of 60 or greater. A % basophils of 2 typically features a whole blood histamine greater than 150.”

It needs to be clear – CRYSTAL – that histamine intolerance is COMMON.

Now let me be clear on another point.

Histamine intolerance is ONE issue out of potentially many that are going on. This is why I outlined all the causative factors above. I am NOT saying that all you have to do is address histamine intolerance and that laundry list of symptoms will go away.

What I am saying is that histamine intolerance is a major contributor to a laundry list of symptoms and must be evaluated – in addition to other things.

I wish I didn’t have to always state the above disclaimer/disclosure but I must. People sometimes think that there is a magic bullet and constantly seek it. There isn’t. It’s complex and a team of health professionals is needed.

Back to addressing histamine intolerance.

A simple trial of what I am going to recommend is highly recommended for those suffering from a chronic long term variety of ailments which may come and go or just stay or get worse.

In order to reduce histamine loads, I typically recommend these things right out of the gate:

  • Diet: no fermented foods, no leftovers, no citrus, only FRESH fish or no fish, no alcohol, no aged foods. This includes cheeses, wines and processed meats. Limit protein intake to about 0.8 grams protein/2.2 lbs of body weight as protein provides histidine. Histidine transforms to histamine. Eat more fatty foods (healthy – like ghee) and whole grains (quinoa, wild rice). A more ketogenic diet would be great – but some cannot tolerate this (due to adrenal fatigue and electrolyte imbalance).
  • Lifestyle: sleep, reduce stress (huge), breathe (seriously), optimize exercise – don’t overdo it, laugh!, do things you love – don’t wait anymore.
  • Environment: new pillow, dust mite covers, clean the house, clean ducts, air purifiers, no air fresheners (dang things SUCK and are very nasty and contribute to histamine intolerance due to aldehydes), rip out carpet, install hardwood or tile, fresh air, drive with air recycle on whilst in traffic otherwise fresh air.
  • Mindset: positive, get it done attitude, empower, remove the ‘fix me’ mentality as it is the patient who must fix themselves and seek the right healthcare (which is NOT easy to do). Those of you who are struggling with this – I am trying my best to transform medicine and doctors are getting it. It’s a beautiful thing to watch evolve. We’re just beginning…. It is not just me doing it either – entire organizations are trying – such as IFM, AAEM, AANP and others.
  • Learn: read Dirty Genes and enroll in the Dirty Genes Course. These two tools will greatly enhance your understanding of biochemistry, genetics and how to overcome histamine intolerance.
  • Resources: The Low Histamine Chef – fantastic resource. I cannot vouch for all content though. Some is great and some is likely not. Kinda like here at MTHFR.Net – some of my articles are great – and others – ‘eh’.

Genetics predisposing you to histamine intolerance  (few key ones):

  • MAO: a gene which requires B2 as cofactor, is polymorphic, slower in men and reduces tyramines, histamine and catecholamines (stress neurotransmitters). Hmmmm. Riboflavin is great for migraine sufferers….
  • DAO: a gene which requires copper as cofactor, is polymorphic a LOT and reduces extracellular histamine (bacteria and food). You can thankfully take the DAO enzyme supplement directly to help greatly reduce histamine intolerance.
  • HNMT: a gene which requires SAMe as a cofactor, is polymorphic and reduces intracellular histamine.
  • MTHFR: helps regulate methylation which is needed to reduce intracellular histamine. Uses B2 as cofactor.
  • PEMT: produces phosphatidylcholine which is needed to for cell membranes – which keeps them stable and healthy.
  • COMT: helps breakdown estrogen and stress neurotransmitters. If both of these are high, your histamine is likely high.

I address these genes in Dirty Genes!

If you want to address each of these genes in full so you have the greatest chance to balance your histamine, you must read Dirty Genes.

There are common supplement recommendations which I use if the dietary, lifestyle and environmental changes are implemented.

It is NO use to take supplementation if you are going to just keep on living a life which is not conducive to health. A supplement is designed to ENHANCE – not to REPLACE basic lifestyle, dietary and environmental choices.

As one transforms their lifestyle, diet and environment – and mindset – many things resolve on their own – however, not always of course.

Supplementation requires all systems to be supported.

If any one system is unsupported, then symptoms of histamine intolerance may not resolve.

For example, a friend of mine has had allergies for longer than I’ve known him – which is over 20 yrs.

His allergies were improving significantly but the missing piece?

Supporting his adrenals.

After adding this in, despite a high pollen count, allergies were gone.

The more one adjusts and cleans up their diet, lifestyle, environment and mindset, the less supplementation is needed.

Also, at first, more supplementation may be needed to restore missing nutrients, eliminate pathogens, restore beneficial bacteria, stabilize cell membranes, restore gut health and adapt to stress.

Phew – that was me some time ago – and it also may be you.

I still suffer from histamine intolerance – and – always will – but with my changes all around, I have improved SO much.

My genetics predispose me to histamine intolerance – big time.

  • MTHFR compound heterozygous (1298 x 677) – check
  • MAO – slowed and male – check and check
  • DAO – multiple homozygous polymorphisms – check, check, check
  • HNMT – don’t know status but my MTHFR is messing with my methylation by itself – so already setting up my HNMT to struggle.

To give you an idea of my histamine intolerance situation:

  • Life long – but had no idea until about a year ago
  • Total IgE: elevated
  • CDSA: normal
  • CBC with chem panel: normal
  • Food allergy panel: high histamine foods came back high – lime, avocado
  • Consume histamine-containing foods: reaction – irritable, sweaty, insomnia, eczema, sweaty feet, rapid heart rate, nose bleeds (since I was a kid), tight chest.
  • Intolerant to alcohol – especially red wine
  • Serious dust mite intolerance
  • Huge mosquito bite welts
  • Tingling skin
  • Intolerant to heat

Having since cleaned up my lifestyle, diet, environment, gut, mindset and added supplementation, my histamine intolerance is now significantly improved.

It comes back fast, however.

On a flight to London, I wanted to sleep so I decided to drink some red wine.

Within 10 minutes, I had a nose bleed, faster heart rate and sweating.

I wanted to hit myself – but I already looked like someone hit me in the face so I didn’t make it any worse.

That goes to show you how fast it can come back – especially with slowed histamine metabolizing genes. I was also under stress – flying, work stuff and tired. I didn’t take my adrenal support….

Supplements which support methylation, MTHFR, histamine metabolism and histamine regulation: 

  • Histamine Block: useful when taking before eating foods/drinks with histamine. I should have taken this before the red wine – but it was buried in my bag located in the overhead compartment. This supplement contains the natural DAO enzyme which breaks food-derived histamine down. This may also be taken if your digestive system is full of histamine-producing bacteria. Talk with your doc. Get tested with the CDSA. Interesting fact: Pigs don’t get seasick as they have a TON of DAO enzyme and metabolize histamine very well. Hmmm – they can eat a ton of rotten food/leftovers and are fine with it….
  • HistaminX: useful to help reduce seasonal allergies or blunt histamine symptoms. Best to take in AM, afternoon and evening or as directed by your healthcare professional – during times of histamine intolerance. When not having symptoms, then only taking once a day or not at all is recommended. If I have a runny nose from dust mite allergies, I take one of these. It stops. It’s a new product so still experimenting with ideal dosing and recommendations.
  • ProBiota HistaminX: a probiotic which supports a healthy flora but without increasing histamine-producing bacteria and may actually reduce histamine-producing bacteria! Best to take after dinner and away from anti-microbials.
  • Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C Plus: vitamin C is known to help stabilize mast cells and thus reduce histamine intolerance. The added phosphatidylcholine is supportive as well to cell membranes. Take anytime during the day with or without food. Some need food to reduce the acidity of the vitamin C.
  • Optimal PC (softgel or liquid): if methylation is hindered, then so is cell membrane formation. Did you know that 70% of your methylation is dedicated to making cell membranes?! If cell membranes are not made from the appropriate material – phosphatidylcholine, then inflammation and cell damage will occur. This leads to histamine release. Support cell membrane integrity by providing phosphatidylcholine with Optimal PC. Also eating eggs is a great way to get choline.
  • Optimal Creatine: if methylation is hindered, and it typically is in those with histamine intolerance, then creatine formation is likely hindered as well. Given that most of your methylation is used up to produce both phosphatidylcholine and creatine, wouldn’t it make sense to supplement with both of these in order to conserve methylation so it can then focus on reducing histamine?! Yes! It works! Using creatine that is bound to magnesium is way more effective than other creatines which may contribute to gas and bloating.
  • Optimal Fish Oil: useful to stabilize cell membranes which are inflamed and leaking histamine from mast cells.
  • Optimal GI Powder: healing the intestines is key as the DAO enzyme lives in the intestinal wall. If one has leaky gut or GI inflammation, the DAO enzyme is not going to be present in nearly enough amounts. Healing the gut brings back the DAO enzyme – if it is not messed up like mine due to a genetic polymorphism. Regardless of a DAO polymorphism, one still needs to heal the gut. If your gut is healthy, then you can skip this step. If you get irritable from taking L-Glutamine Powder, back off the amount you are taking and support with Magnesium and B6. You likely have higher levels of glutamate and not getting it out fast enough. Magnesium Plus is useful to help metabolize glutamate.
  • Optimal Electrolyte: think of it this way, if you’re dehydrated, your histamine concentration goes up. The more hydrated you are, the more dilute your histamine levels are. So drink water – but you can’t just drink water. Hydration is the act of putting water inside your cells. Optimal Electrolyte helps you do this. Drinking just water doesn’t help. Be sure to use filtered water as well!
  • Multivitamin which works for you: having comprehensive support – minerals, vitamins and others – is needed to optimize all pathways of histamine metabolism.


As mentioned previously, stress increases the demand of the MTHFR and MAO enzymes – and also methylation in general.

If you stress your methylation, you are on the road to histamine intolerance.

The bucket of histamine may overfill as your body has to deal with other things.

Thus, reducing and balancing stress is an incredibly important thing to do.

Get stress out of your bucket.

The way to balance stress is multifactoral – as most anything.

  • Breathing: are you breathing properly? Seriously. Not a stupid question. Belly breathe, find good books and teachers – yoga is great to teach how to breathe. Are you holding your breath at times? Tune in to that. I found that I hold my breath sometimes when I am reading or writing….and I read and write a lot. I’m fixing this issue and trying to find out why I do it. Note – I think it comes down to histamine as I take a HistaminX and I seem to belly breathe more effectively – not as constricted. Still evaluating.
  • Oxygenation:  Work, be outside and sleep with your window open at least a crack. Get rid of the stale air and bring in fresh oxygen into your area and being. Increasing oxygenation reduces anxiety and stress.
  • Sleeping: are you sleeping well? Able to go to bed consistently, fall asleep, stay asleep and wake rested? If not, this is going to add to your stress – physical and emotional. Consider Optimal Sleep to support the nutrients needed for healthier and more effective sleep.
  • Eating: eat a balanced whole foods diet as much as possible. Limit large breaks between meals or at least eat when you feel hungry – don’t hold out. If hungry, eat. If not hungry, well then maybe you don’t have to but if your stress increases, go get some protein, healthy fats and quality whole grain carbs like quinoa or wild rice or veggies. Limit sugar as this will just cause a long term issue and spike your stress. Also don’t eat loads of protein as this just provides the building block to histamine – via the amino acid found in protein – histidine.
  • Adrenals: if your adrenals are burned out, so are you. Restore adrenals with the above recommendations. Supporting with nutrition and herbal interventions are also helpful for some. If you find you jump or are intolerant to stress, ie. yelling too much, quick to anger, scare easily, then you could use some adaptogens. I formulated Optimal Adrenal to help adapt to stressful situations and take the edge off – without being sleepy or losing focus. If tired upon waking and hard to get out of bed in the morning – and a night owl – then you may need something like Adrenal Cortex to really nourish your adrenals. Only take Adrenal Cortex in the morning with breakfast or as directed by your healthcare professional. You’ll find you need these nutrients some days and other days not. I only take them both periodically.
  • Exercise: if you have the energy, get out and burn some of it off by doing what you love. Sports, walking with a friend – and it can be a four-legged friend (there are some three-legged ones out there which is awesome to see them doing well Did you know I actually was studying to become an equine veterinarian? I changed course obviously). If you exercise, don’t push yourself past what you are comfortable in doing. If you do, you are going to stress your body, deplete your methylation and increase your histamine levels. Exercise-induced asthma?? Yes – you wore out your methylation and now your histamine levels built up and now you cannot run anymore. I’ll be addressing this here solely in an upcoming article and video. It’s surprisingly easy to fix. A key to supporting yourself during exercise is nourishing your electrolytes and mitochondria. If you do this, you can exercise more productively and optimally. Consider Optimal Electrolyte prior to exercise. It’s what I do and my three boys. People wonder how my boy won cross country for our district last season. Well – this is part of it. I have other tricks also 🙂 which I’ll be sharing when I do the exercise-induced asthma video (Free).

Can you cure histamine intolerance?


Can you maintain and support your body’s ability to balance histamine levels?


This is why this article is so long.

I had to teach you how to balance your histamine levels – by addressing a variety of pathways and mechanisms.

Go out and try some of these lifestyle, dietary and environmental tricks.

You’ll be surprised! 🙂

Symptoms which affected you your entire life will start disappearing and your friends will start asking questions.

With a smile, you’ll tell them you’re one skilled MTHF’R who knows the biochemistry of histamine.

Comment below how you support your histamine intolerance – and also how long you suffered with it prior to realizing you had it. How did you get your histamine intolerance diagnosed?

If you haven’t thought of histamine intolerance or didn’t know about it until now – what do you think? Going to try some of the above recommendations? If so – keep us all posted by posting a comment or two!

If you’re a health professional, are you seeing more and more histamine intolerance in your clinic? What are your tricks in resolving it in your patients? Did you find this article useful?

I’m loving this – one puzzle piece at a time. Knocking them out 🙂

Go knock out your histamine intolerance!

If there are two things to try in order to reduce histamine intolerance:

  1. ProBiota HistaminX and HistaminX
  2. Reducing stress (sleep, mindset, meditation, exercise, hobbies, adaptogens)

Ok – that’s technically three but those are the three big ones.

Long Term Solution for your Histamine Intolerance

Now that you realize that histamine intolerance is multifaceted, and it is in a big way, I’d really like to see you get on a full program vs just supplementing.

Reading my book, Dirty Genes, will help you immensely.

You’ll learn about histamine intolerance and how to use overcome it in depth, yes, but you’ll learn WAY more than that.

Empower yourself and take action the right way.

Dirty Genes is the guide you’ve been looking for.

It continues to be a bestseller month after month for good reason.

Dirty Genes book by Dr. Ben Lynch

You’ll see why once you pick it up and start reading 😉

Don’t like reading books? Want to get more in depth and see how it all ties together?
Get access to the Dirty Genes Course where I discuss how food, lifestyle, environment, mindset and genetics are influencing how you’re feeling – and how to deal with it all.

The Dirty Genes Course is where I bring in a lot of published research, translate it and make it actionable for you. It’s an extension of the book, Dirty Genes. There is a lot of science, biochemistry and actual examples of how to use this stuff in your daily life.

Is it going to be over your head in terms of difficulty?

Absolutely not.

You’ll learn a ton and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to implement what you learn.


  • Katie says:

    Thanks for this info. Just trying to figure out if I have histamine intolerance. I am heterozygous MTFHR, have Hashimoto’s, stage 2 adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalances, leaky gut, malabsorption, dysbiosis, elevated fructosamine levles, food intolerances, and many of the symptoms you list. Just wondering if you are on Pinterest, I’m trying to save your information that way. Thanks for sharing all of you knowledge!

    • Jenn says:

      http://www.mastocytosis.ca/MSC%20HT%20Restricted%20Diet%20Nov2012.pdf–foods to eat and not to eat with histamine intolerance by Dr. Janice Joneja

      Dealing with Food Allergies by Dr. Janice Joneja, buy on Amazon
      Like Dr. Ben Lynch is with MTHFR, Dr. Janice Joneja is the foremost expert ALL allergies, mastocytosis and histamine intolerance.

      Also, The Low Histamine Chef link listed above is a great resource for recipes. She has an interview with Dr. Janice Janeja you can listen to if you subscribe.

  • Tania says:

    Hi Dr Ben, thanks for the article. I see a lot of sites linking symptoms of undermethylation to histamine intolerance. Do the two necessarily go together?

    I certainly have some of the mutations
    MAO ++
    Multiple PEMT ++
    HEMT not sure

    some heterozygous and homozygous DAO but I’m not sure which relate.

    I’d love a full list of high histamine foods as I eat high protein, canned fish and avocado. I don’t have any specific reactions to food other than bowel reactions but if you are consistently eating a high histamine diet would you have many of the reactions you described.

    By that I mean if you have say three of the symptoms are you a candidate or would you expect people to have most of them. I experience motion sickness regularly even if I’m driving!

    I have done very well on a diet of whey protein shakes, some plain chicken, maybe 20-30 grams protein a day and plain gf bread. However I only are this way because my bowels were highly unsettled. Obviously it’s not sustainable long term!

  • Jodi S says:

    Wow, thank you so much for writing this article!! I have so many of these symptoms and have had several my whole life. My first migraine in 6th grade. Severe motion sickness (purposely didn’t take college scholarships because I’d have to do homework on the bus and I just have to look out the window and not talk to anyone to make it). Low Histamine Chef told me Dramamine is an old-school antihistamine. Who knew?!?

    Been seeing a Naturopath for over a year to try to get to the bottom of my extreme fatigue. He’s excellent at muscle testing and has uncovered so many things. But he doesn’t think MTHFR plays a critical role in my current health issues, so I’m trying to see a methylation doctor but I can’t afford all the tests, so trying to decide what to do.

    Learning the hard way what foods don’t work. Ferments. Grapefruit. Oxalates. Too much fat. Lara Bars? I don’t know why but they make me nauseated now. No alcohol.
    The list goes on. But my symptoms are much improved when I avoid grains and dairy. Can’t even do quinoa.

    Anyway, so thankful for your continued research! I am trying to learn and understand as much as I can. It’s difficult to self-diagnose, and difficult to find the right doctor.

    God Bless.

  • Carol says:

    I’ve had many of those symptoms as well, but only for the last few years. I also developed an anaphylactic reaction to Macrobid at 55 (never had any allergies before), which I’d taken many times for UTIs. My worse symptoms are fatigue and heat intolerance…even the simple act of moving around the kitchen cooking causes me to get overheated and sweat starts dripping off my face and my energy gets sucked (10 years post menopause). I’m hetero for tMTHFR C677T.

    I saw an allergist who is working with ncbi on mast cell activation syndrome research. She tested me for the HNMT mutation, but I don’t have it and my histamine and tryptase was never high on any test. My alkaline phos is always high though and I got my amino acids tested and I had several that were elevated; especially high was my glycine which was 200 points over the top of the range. I’ve read that alkaline phos can be indicative of MCAS. What would I look for on an amino acid test that would be indicative of histamine intolerance?

    Thank you for your pursuit of truth in medicine.

    • Dr Lynch says:

      High glycine. Makes me wonder. Glycine goes to serine using vitamin B6.

      B6 is needed as a cofactor for many enzymes. I’d consider B6 – maybe as Magnesium Plus.

      Histidine? High? Low?

      Maybe you are eating too much protein if many amino acids are elevated? Evaluate this with your doc.
      Basophil percentage?

      • Carol says:

        Thank you!

        I don’t think I’m eating too much protein. My other elevated amino acids were Beta Amino Isobutyric Acid, Prenylalanine and Ornithine. My histidine is 60 in the range of 60-109 so on the low side.

        There is a note on my report that says “elevated glycine is seen in nonketotic hyperglycinemia,” but from what I’ve read about this…it’s something a person is born with and it makes them very ill as an infant. I’m 58 so pretty sure I wasn’t born with it, although I just read there can be late onset?

        • kayla says:

          Carol, also check your calcium level. It should not be over 10. I had high calcium and it affects lots of things. I could not take any heat and my energy level was zero, although I did have a good day now and then. I had surgery a year ago and the difference is unbelievable. I hate for anyone to needlessly suffer when high calcium could be the problem. I tell everyone to check their labs and look at the calcium…more at parathyroid.com.

          • Larry says:

            Katya, how do lower high calcium? I have terrible heat intolerance and haven’t been able to figure it out. I have a1298c hetero, hashis’, high histamine- I’m trying to piece it together. Can’t go out in the heat at all- very healthy otherwise.
            Any thoughts? Thanks

        • maryk says:

          Carol, what did you find out about high glycine level? I just got same result and the NKH scares me!

      • Alyson says:

        I would like you to explain why you sell and recommend supplements with high doses of B6, since excess B6 is known to cause nerve damage, sometimes permanent, and it is uncertain exactly at what dose the damage may occur.

        B6 can also cause digestive problems, photosensitivity, and disfiguring skin lesions. Why no warning?????

        I suffered nerve damage and skin disfigurement while taking your supplements under a doctor’s recommendation who lists Seeking Health Institute on her credentials. A year and a half later, I am still suffering. I was young but this has made me old.

        • SunnySky says:

          Hi Alyson. I know your comment was almost 3 years ago, but I discovered I was B6 toxic as well, November 2015. I did this to myself and cannot blame a doctor or anyone for my high B6–since I was supplementing a crazy amount. I will not touch B6 supplements ever again. By the way, I was using the p5p form of B6. Lastly, you and I both know we only need a small amount of B6 everyday and we can get it from our food. I hope you are doing better now.

          I recently came upon the topic of histamine intolerance due to my daughter’s sudden reaction and we quickly learned the whole issue. She has been using Claritin daily for the last 3 years. I know now that is horrible for DAO. I am awaiting Dr Ben Lynch’s new book, “Dirty Genes.” On behalf of my daughter, I have already read many bogs and listened to many YouTube videos. I have some basic idea of how a low histamin diet helps. Also, my daughter has found that there is definitely a connection between estrogen and histamine intolerance. When her cycle started this month, her allergic reactions substantially decreased. I believe it also helped that she has been eating low histamine as well.

          Coming across Dr Ben Lynch video on histamine intolerance has been a blessing. It definitely is involved with what she needs to know, basically everyone needs to know, to improve. Looking forward to implementing all the areas that affect histamine intolerance. Thank you, Dr Ben!


    • Karen says:

      You are the first person I’ve encountered who is like me in that simply moving around, such as when cooking, will lead to sweat pouring off the face. I tell people I break a sweat sneezing, which isn’t an exaggeration very often. I’m 6 years post menopause, and I have the same MTHFR mutation, too.

      I’ve just learned about histamine intolerance (as in, the past week), and trying to soak up as much info as I can. As I read some of the postings here, it amazes me how messed up a human’s health can get!

      I realize I’m finding your message well after the fact, but still wanted to tell you that it was reassuring to finally find someone else who reacts so quickly with little exertion. I was this way even as a kid, but it got much worse as menopause approached. Because my reaction goes back so far, I now am pretty certain it’s a genetic thing — though I’m the only one in the family who experiences it.

      Hope by now you’ve gotten some answers and are feeling better.

      • Carol says:

        I haven’t learned anything about elevated glycine.I’m not sure why there’s an upper limit when there appears to be no doctors who know what it’s indicative of. I ended up going to Stanford and seeing a dysautonomia doctor because of my physical symptoms. He said I probably have hyper-POTS because my blood pressure goes up when I stand for very long and I start feeling ill, but his specialty is POTS patients whose blood pressure drops so he was half-heartedly interested. Sigh. Because taking an h2 antihistamine makes me feel a lot better (although still not well…but well enough to hold a job, which I thought I was going to have to resign from before), I’ve had to give up my search because my frustration level reached it’s peak after Stanford and my brain needed some time off from walking into brick walls over and over again. I could never figure out how a stomach antihistamine could make me feel so much better, but I’m reading more and more about the connection to the gut and health, and prior to becoming ill I was diagnosed with h-pylori…although I was treated for it with antibiotics and retested as not having an active infection anymore…but it seems to have set something off in my body.

  • Jane McDermott says:

    My granddaughter who is 1yr old, started getting brown spots at one month old which continue to spread over her body this whole year. Doctor says it is Urticaria Pigmentosa.
    She seems like a very happy baby otherwise. Where do you suggest we start, to get to the bottom of stopping the brown spots covering her body?

  • karen says:

    Brilliant article; thank you. I work in the UK NHS and the three GP surgeries I’ve visited this week greet patients with the same sign on the door “One patient, one problem”. Despite criticism from even our conservative Royal College of Physicians this mantra is spreading faster than chicken pox. One surgery’s notice added “Your doctor is a BUSY person”. Yes, partly because the patient with multiple symptoms has to book multiple appointments. The cynic in me wonders whether the thinking is that these ‘complex’ patients might lose the will to live and disappear, but that presupposes thinking …

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Signs that say “one patient, one problem”?? If that is not a sign that the system is broken, I’m not sure what is. Isn’t medicine about treating patients, not just problems? Doctors are sometimes put in impossible situations. My cousin is a GP in England and says he has about 10 minutes with each patient. How can anyone spend 10 minutes with someone and understand what a patient really needs?

    • Sally says:

      Yes, Karen, there’s always the MH solution and labeling patients as such, sending them off to the MH teams…. hundreds at last count in the UK suffering from these problems. It’s a sad sad situation that NHS GPs don’t want to hear about, and broaching the subject gets their backs up; they don’t like patients who understand that polymorphisms, methylation issues and all the rest are the root of their health issues, and they certainly have no patience for patients who return again asking for help.
      As for testing for those in the UK …. I’m not seeing any information anywhere about how and where. Any info, anyone?

  • Claire says:

    Your article and the attached link are keeping me awake tonight. You have described my 19 year old daughter exactly. It is 100% clear to me that you are 100% right in making these connections. I have watched what you describe unfold over the past 19 years.

    My daughter literally has every one of these symptoms and has gathered such a list of specialists and diagnoses that people think I/we are making this all up. Today, her primary doctor cut me off when I tried to explain on the phone to her that I am alarmed that today my daughter’s abdomen is so distended that she looks pregnant despite barely eating, that her breathing is labored, her heart races and her stomach hurts all the time, her menstrual cramps cause agony, she has no energy, constant headaches/migraines and always on the verge of anaphylaxis and needs rescue Benadryl. I am positive that these her symptoms are all connected somehow. But the primary reprimanded me and said she can only address one symptom at a time.

    She has been diagnosed with MCAD and POTs and EDS and MTHFR (homozygous I believe). She is on a low histamine diet and a plethora of mast cell stabilizers, but my hunch has been that the meds overall have made her more ill and certainly are not addressing the root. Your article connects the dots and lays out where we need to go from here. I will share this with her immunologist/mast cell doctor (you might add that specialty to your list, also neurologist) on Monday. Thank you so much for your work and dedication.

    • JoyT says:

      My daughter is heterozygous C677T with all of the above symptoms. I am heterozygous A1298C with almost all of the symptoms and my son is compound heterozygous with C677T and A1298C with some of the symptoms. My daughter was finally diagnosed with PCOS and then Endometriosis. My first husband passed away when the children were 15 and 18 from complications of what was diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis but now, if I understand this genetic stuff, he was probably Homozygous C677T.

  • Anna says:

    I have found quercitin (twinlabs with non corn derived vitamin c) to be a game changer for my family along with mangosteen as recommended by low histamine chef. After taking dailyfor 9 months, this is the first spring did not break out daily in hives from seasonal allergies. Scd diet has also really helped us while avoiding high phenol foods. Grain free has really helped my son heal. My kids can now have some citrus and other foods in moderation they could never have before. Still a long way to go in healing but making progress. Thank you for this article and your work! It has helped us tremendously

  • Doro says:

    Great article, I already read alot about this topic but I still found lots of useful things. And maybe this is something to give to my family who partly thinks I´m crazy or have an eating disorder. I suffered from atopic dermatitis, allergies, severe digestive problems, anxiety, Asperger´s like symptoms, ADD like symptoms and fatigue for all of my life (28 years) and all my doctors could tell me was “live with it” and they prescribed me cortisone for 21 years. Two years ago I quit with it and started to explore diet. I failed very often, was on a vegan diet, but a juice fast did miracles for a few months and then GAPS diet did horrible things to my skin and brain but this way I discovered the truth… It is still not easy but I am definitely healing, my skin is so much better and I have energy and a clear mind for the first time since I was a kid! I cannot believe how good one can feel (meditation was also important to me)! But now I understand how sick I have been for all of my life and it makes me a bit bitter that no one ever helped me. But I think a disease can also be a chance to develop yourself and become a blessing for the word. If you let him, God can use this misery to make the world a better place, so I am looking for a way to help other people, too. I have met sooo many who are so suffering from allergies, skin Problems, fatigue, depression… Maybe it´s such a “simple” solution! I am studying biology at the moment but maybe I will switch my path a bit… I wanted to be a veterinarian myself but couldn´t do this due to allergies. Now I have my cats and guinea pigs and am very happy. Thanks again for all you work and best wishes to you on your healing journey.

  • HD says:

    I discovered my histamine intolerance about six months ago. I was down to maybe half a dozen foods. I’d been Paleo and AIP and while it seemed to help in some ways, my nasal allergy symptoms had skyrocketed and I just had to keep eliminating more and more foods over the course of about five years. I first started to see improvement about three years ago after I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and my doctor told me to try going off gluten, despite my negative tests. For the first time in my life, I started to discover what it felt like to not get sick from eating, to not be tired all the time. I first ended up at the doctor with extreme lethargy and vomiting in response to eating–it seemed mainly sugar and wheat–when I was seven. I have an anxiety disorder, and ADHD, and IBS, and many in my family are plagued with mental health problems and mysterious illness, and always, anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.

    So six months ago, I got a note from my aunt telling me she’d been through this same thing in her mid thirties, with so many foods making her ill, and that she’d gotten down to white bread and water before accidentally discovering that taking antihistamines allowed her to introduce more foods back into her diet. That rang a bell–the problem being that I’d been taking antihistamine daily for over a year and couldn’t get off–so I did some more research and started to change things around.

    First I stopped eating fish, organ meats, cucumber, and most fruit, which was hard to do, because that’s what I’d been living on. I started to see improvements within days. I discovered I likely have salicylate intolerance, and removed coconut and olive oil. Quercetin made me feel blissful for a few days and then turned me into a miserable monster within ten, just like methylfolate had. I can’t take niacin or methylcobalamin or turmeric either, and now that I’ve gotten my 23AndMe I know why. Next, I started to take my meditation even more seriously, and that’s when I started to see huge improvements, both in the way I felt day to day, and in the types and quantity of food I could eat. I had already come miles with my anxiety troubles, but this helped so much more! Then I hit a road block: my symptoms started to come back. It was one day right before starting my period, when all my symptoms tend to be worse, especially if I’ve been eating things I shouldn’t. I ate two peeled pears and a bite of coconut sugar-carob fudge, and before I knew it, I felt famished and thristy, my anxiety went through the roof, the itching started, and I got so tired I had no choice but to fall asleep for the rest of the day. Also, within days, my rosacea started to come back. Someone online pointed out many of these were diabetic symptoms, and I went and got tested again–I’ve been tested for diabetes so many times and like always, this round came up negative–but I cut my carb intake in half to around 120 a day, cut most fruit and started eating it with protein and fat, kicked out the oats and small amounts of cane and beet sugar I had reintroduced, and kept most of my carb intake to half servings of beans 2-3 times a day. Within two weeks, I was able to start reintroducing more nuts, and many different kinds of frozen meat, which I hadn’t been able to eat in a year! And I’ve just kept getting better.

    My Dr. Thinks it’s all crap and that everything can be attributed to my anxiety disorder. My dietitian and my D.O. disagree. So far, I just keep getting better. My D.O. started me on magnesium and vitamin D, and within weeks I saw improvement in my sleep. I’ve started vitamin C, and molybdenum (heterozygous CBS mutation), but experienced some problems with the moly. I was adding it in slowly and worked up to 450 mcg, but because of fatigue and a metallic taste in my mouth, cut it down to 150 every four days. Suddenly even that amount is giving me a migraine and nausea with metallic taste that gets even worse after eating sulphur foods (which I have also cut down on. Was living on them for a while! But now I can tolerate others. Previously only the rutabaga made me noticably sicker, and only sometimes). So I’m thinking maybe I split the pill and go down to around 40mcg.

    My fibro and IBS symptoms are now mostly in remission as long as I stick to my diet, stay relaxed as possible, and get plenty of sleep. I’m looking forward to getting better and better, though I’m thinking that grain, dairy, nightshades, soy, and possibly others may never be on my plate. And I’m very happy that I have a direction to go in, now that my youngest child has started showing the same symptoms I had when I was young, and been diagnosed with ADHD and lactose intolerance.

  • Audrey WAlker says:

    Quercetin, Vit C, stinging nettles, ginger and nigella sativa have all helped me reduce histamine intolerance symptoms.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Audrey, how have you been using the nigella sativa? Orally? Would you mind providing some direction or a good resource on brand and dosage? Thanks!

  • Jessica says:

    I was diagnosed compound hetero 677 and 1289 with hyperhomocystenima. I this the same thjng? I am so confused on all of this. I have known for about 8 years but no doctors ever knew what to do with me. Most say there is nothing wrong am it’s not a big deal. Mind you I had multiple blood close in my lungs which lead to the genetic testing. . I recently have found all this info and don’t know where to start.

  • Gabbrielle says:

    Wow, I just stumbled upon this article after just being discharged from the hospital two hours ago and feeling completely lost and frustrated with what to do with my health. About 5 years ago, I developed anaphylaxic allergies to dozens of foods and chemicals along with lesser unknown reactions resulting in rashes, hives, and intestinal issues. Then, two years ago I began passing out and developing a great deal of symptoms leading to my diagnosis of neurocardiogenic syncope at age 19. Many of my symptoms overlap with the ones listed within your article. In order to keep my blood pressure high enough and regulated, I must consume as much salt and water as I possibly can. I’ve also changed my whole diet and lifestyle to whole, organic, basic foods as well as decreased my toxin and chemical exposure and keep to a new exercise routine. I had thought that I was managing to feel better for a year or so and my Ibs with constipation seemed to be completely fading until about a month ago. On top of my normal symptoms of extreme heat intolerance, heart racing, extremely low blood pressure, then extremely high blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, visual disturbances, headaches, extreme emotional response and anxiety, eczema, asthma, seasonal allergies, food allergies, itchiness, irritability, etc., I began to develop extreme diarrhea and stomach cramping. About 7 days ago, every time I would take a bite of food or a drink of water, I would immediately loose even more than I consumed. It got to the point where I decided that I had to go to the emergency room for dehydration and to find out if anything was seriously wrong and I was worried it would exacerbate my syncope symptoms as well. Long story short, I spent 4 days in the hospital and had a colonoscopy along with several blood tests. They found nothing and sent me home. Needless to say I’m terrified to eat anything and don’t know what my next steps should be. I know I need to find a functional medicine doctor but the closest one is two hours away and I am in no state to travel. I have a gut feeling that allergies/histamines have been the center cause of all of my issues. Until I can consult a knowledgable professional, I have no idea what I should eat. I’m considering either the gaps diet or this low histamine diet. Which would be safer? I cannot afford to lose any more fluid/electrolytes/nutrients and I really do not want to take the narcotic level antidiarrrheal that the ER doctor prescribed. I am more than welcoming any and all possible advice!!!! Please!

    • Jen says:

      There is a very knowledgeable functional medicine physician in Ocala, Fl who does phone consults. His name is Dr Douglas Hall. I am currently seeing him as I have histamine intolerance. I found out mine is due to lack of good bacteria in the gut along with leaky gut & low B1 levels. I would do a modified gaps diet eliminating the fermented foods & broth along with low histamine diet. That’s what I’m currently doing & it’s helping. Also, I take gutpro probiotics, black seed oil to lower histamine. Hope this helps, prayers for healing! -Jen

      • Tera says:

        Jen,thank you for you for your comment! I am so happy to have found this and a name of a DR!!! I am in Orlando and have been searching for someone that gets it!!! Thank you!!

    • Karin says:

      please look up mast cell activation disorder on mastocytosis society of canada web site. Good luck

  • Sandy Toma says:

    Dr. Lynch,

    Have you looked into SIBO as the cause of Histamine Intolerance?

    I have been severely histamine intolerant for the last 15 years and getting worse.
    I haven’t been eating any grains or dairy for years. And follow an extremely restricted diet. I’ve tried many supplements and they don’t help very much.

    I was tested for leaky gut and leaky brain and was negative. I was treated for H-Pylori twice and now it is negative.

    But now I have come down to testing positive for the hydrogen form of SIBO. I have taken the rifaximin and herbals, and the special diet, but so far haven’t been successful.

    From what I have been reading and putting together, I am sure the SIBO is a great contributor to Histamine Intolerance. I’m now looking for a Dr. that is well versed in treating this to help me.

    I would be interested on what you think about treating SIBO in relation to histamine.

    Thank you.

    • Souglas says:

      Fot future readers, the causes of HIT vary and are discussed on this website already. Mostly they are genetic as stated in thr article, from mthfr defects and dao defects which cause issues with removing histamine from the body. The articles also state that gut bacteria issues are relevant and why so this poster did not read any of the articles.

  • Tracey Linneweber says:

    Thought this was really good. Just not enough emphasis on gut dysbiosis being a contributing factor.

  • Missy says:

    Dr Lynch,
    Great article. Thanks so much for all that you do. I have long suspected histamine intolerance.

    Should side effects from methylfolate also be considered as well? https://mthfr.net/preventing-methylfolate-side-effects/2014/11/26/

    My allergies are absolutely terrible right now and I need to get this all under control. I know from other testing from my doc (or at least I think I know) that I am a poor methylator. I’ll re-read both articles. I know I need to get the stress pieces in place and stop eating leftovers to reduce demand and load.

    Thanks again!

  • Gabbrielle says:

    What type of doctors would be best to pursue these tests and diagnosis? Conventional docs refuse to acknowledge any of my health issues so far and I haven’t been able to find a local functional medicine doctor.

  • Fran says:

    you mention ferretin test. What are you looking for there? High or low? Connection?

    • Dr Lynch says:

      low ferritin = anemia and also iron is a cofactor for the enzymes which process histamine. Careful though – as iron is also inflammatory – needs to be balanced.

      • Maria says:

        Dear Dr. Lynch. My FERRETIN is 39 but my total FE binding is 252 . My Dr. says I am OK.
        I am freezing! sitting in the room-75F sheepskin boots on my feet, still not warm enough. Please, please give me some advice. Thank you in advance.

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Hi Fran – Ferritin is the storage form of iron. Too low could be a sign of iron deficiency. Too high could be a sign of iron overload (like hemochromatosis) or inflammation/infection. It’s one piece of the puzzle.

    • SunnySky says:

      It is more than just the ferritin test that one needs. You also need to look at serum iron, TIBC and saturation percentage. There is an optimal level for ferritin (20 or less, per Douglas Kell), SI (100), TIBC (285 F; 340 M), S%= SI÷TIBC (25-30%).


      Best wishes.

  • Tania says:

    Doctor Lynch – How strict should we be on our test days? I’ve seen websites that specify that nuts either contain histamine or release histamine. Should we be avoiding these too?

    One website suggests excluding DAO blocking foods.
    I’d like to try this for a couple of days as I have most of the symptoms but it’s basically my whole diet!

    I can’t even think what to have for breakfast as all my breakfasts are either high protein or contain yogurt…

  • Terra Santos says:

    I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to read this. I’ve only recently connected my primary issues to histamine intolerance (amongst other things). About 1.5 yrs ago, I realized that many of my intolerances seemed to be tyramine connected (I was research migraines/vertigo primarily). I cut those foods and the great majority of my issues vanished. And then about 2 months ago I learned about histamine intolerance and it’s as if everything FINALLY makes sense! I’m currently awaiting my 23andme results to check on my MTHFR details. My 5 kids ALL have similar issues and I’m wondering how many of them may also be related genetically, etc. We already eat a very “real” food diet but as you know, there are many real, otherwise healthy foods that can affect us. Looking very much forward to learning and growing more in this area. Thank you, thank you for all of your work and the details in this post!

  • Katie says:

    Hi Dr. Lynch,
    I enjoyed your post and want to share some comments that I hope will help you and ultimately others. Your comment about not knowing your HNMT status caught my attention. I too did not know my status until a month ago. Now I not only know my HNMT status but I also know my DAO and KIT gene and MCAD mast cell activation disorder SNPs. Humor me as I share my story. Unknowingly, I had histamine issues for much of my life. It wasn’t until last summer that they reared their ugly head. It started with itching from almonds which tested negative on allergy testing. The same thing happened several years ago with bananas and eggs – I just had to not overeat them. A year ago, my functional medicine doctor had given me a paper on histamine issues which at this point, I finally read. I found I could eat histamine foods but had to be careful of amounts and frequency. I also learned that I had to stop kombucha, kefir and sauerkraut which was hard to do given all the publicity on their benefits. Maintaining proper hydration was also crucial.

    All was sort of well until this spring when I started taking some seriously high doses of probitics and resistant starches to improve my bowel flora. I found out the very hard way what it was like to have major reactions to histamines in food as well as B vitamins. Prior to this, I had been able to handle 8 caps daily of Optimal Multivitamin, adeno and hydroxy B12 and extended release niacin. Now, I had to stop everything as they gave me very uncomfortable flushes. I immediately started seriously on a diet that stabilized the mast cells and decreased histamine. The freezer became my best friend. Despite the tight diet, I was still having issues.

    Fortunately, the solution came through Mariska de Wild-Scholten’s chart on Histamine and Mast Cell Activation. In the upper left corner, L. case is listed as one of the histamine/mast cell triggers. Well, I was not only ingesting it in my probiotic cocktail, I was also feeding it with resistant starches. It took a month of ingesting the wrong probiotics for problems to really start. Lots of research later, I discovered that there are probiotic bacteria that grow histamine and other bigenic amines in the gut and there are bacteria that decrease them. My formula changed immediately. I’m much better but am still walking a razors edge and unable to tolerate any B vitamins. Until my gut flora changes back to a better mix, the diet, quercetin, L-histadine, water and an occasional loratidine help.

    Now for the good part. If you have had your 23andme report done by Livewello, you can go to their gene library and run other reports besides the basic report. A comment buried in some forum led me to this and I owe thanks to the author (thank you!). You can also create your own templates for reports by going to the sandbox which many people have done and share. If you want to see your gene SNPs related to histamine, these are the templates I used: HISTAMINE, HNMT, KIT GENE AND MCAD MAST CELL ACTIVATION DISORDER. My results explained why DAO doesn’t do much for me (I have no issues with the APB1 gene). It also explained my lung issues and intolerance to diphenhydramine due to my HNMT genes. My systemic histamine reactions come from poor KIT/Mast Cell SNPs. Since our genes don’t lie, seeing this in print made it very easy to be diligent on diet and life style changes.

    One more thing . . . people with histamine issues would do well to read labels. L. casei and L. lactis are common in yogurt and common probiotics.

    • Doro says:

      Thanks for your story, Katie, for me it was GAPS that really triggered it but I had issues from the day that I was born (eczema, allergies, asperger´s). And I also have problems with oxalates. For me it was also a real sad goodbye to the kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, yoghurt…, that I learned to make. =/ Thank you also because at the moment I was tempted to by a probiotic containing L. casei because it also contains rhamnosus…. But then I will not buy it.

    • Holly says:


      Thank you for your post! Your story sounds similar to mine up until the part where you figure it all out and find what works. I react to histamine foods. Almonds actually started causing bloody nose and stool (it took several colonoscopies and invasive tests to figure out rectal bleeding was a histamine thing caused only by certain nuts). I must stay super hydrated (90+ oz water daily). I react to most probiotics (didn’t know why until now)! I cannot tolerate ANY B vitamins! I’m never sure what to eat anymore. If I make a mistake eating something or taking a B vitamin I end up with heat intolerance, puffy body, five pound or more weight gain instantly (especially in my legs), irritability, and a variety of several of almost 30 possible symptoms. I’ve linked many of the symptoms to specific foods and I used to suspect mineral imbalances prior to learning all that I know now. I did a rotation diet (after an elimination diet) for months but now I seem to do better avoiding red meat as it makes my eyes so dry I can’t open them. I’m doing much better with some homeopathic drops, detox therapies such as lymph treatments and foot detox baths plus periodic omega 3D and occasional vessel forte (has quercetin and some other things in it). This is all from a place I just started visiting this past spring.

      I stopped our family rotation diet after my 9 yr old daughter got E. coli bacteria this summer (June) from a strain that comes from a cow and she ended up with kidney failure and on continuous dialysis in the ICU for three weeks! We lived in the ICU with her and that greatly impacted how we could eat. My 9 yr old daughter is still dealing with protein urea and high creatinine (kidney failure) (she just last week showed that she has high serum ferritin finally! Bc up until now she was anemic and had to have five blood transfusions!). Before all of the E. coli she was extremely healthy with just some memory and attention issues. She is +/+ for 677t. I am +/- for it. She has eight other mutations as well. I have six or seven. We are still hanging in there and I’m bent but not broken and I’m determined to figure this all out for myself and for my family. We are all gluten free and nut free. I am also dairy free. I make most foods from scratch so that little of what we eat is processed. My daughter and I both have severe memory and attention issues and are prone to anxiety. My 4 yr old son has an amazing memory and is witty but his allergies are through the roof (he has 40+)!!!

      Soooo… If you had to give instructions to a close friend or family member (who has had 23 and me tests and does know genotype) regarding how to best help themselves, what steps would you outline? Where do I start? I’ve tried so many (at least 15) of the seeking health supplements and not one has been successful for me. The “expert trained by dr lynch” who I saw locally recommended all of these other supplements and hormones from a different brand and none of those helped me either. Despite this, I’ve had success with our diets (my son is off all asthma MEDS and steroids finally and we all feel significantly better compared to before). And so I feel very positive that I WILL FIGURE THIS ALL OUT. It sure would be nice though if someone could point me in the right direction. 😉 So my question is…once a person finds out their mutations and determines what triggers their histamine reactions, can you outline “steps for dummies” that would possibly lead someone down the right path? I need to know where to go next. I want improved memory, attention, health and wellness and normal histamine reactions for my family!

  • Katie says:


    Important typo in previous post. It should read L. casei, not L. case. Autocorrect changed it. The full name of the bacteria is Lactobacillus casei. It increases both histamine and tyramine.

  • Bronwen Beith says:

    Brilliant article rounding up so much on the histamine issue, thank you!

    I have had a histamine bomb go off in me and its had ongoing ramifications over the last 3 weeks that don’t seem to be abating. I need some insights, help! It started with scombroid fish poisoning from mackerel 3 weeks ago and a massive histamine flush and briefly a racing heart. It was scary but it passed in an hour and I thought that was it. But since I have been loosing energy, pins and needles/buzzy feeling coming in waves over me, especially when in bed, fuzzy feeling on my face (have had this previously and one practitioner wondered about mast cell activation, also had mild histamine intolerance symptoms in the past which I have controlled through low histamine diet), limbs can feel achy/weak, a little digestive trouble (heartburn early on), and anxiety coming in waves and quite bad at times, sleep is dreadful with night waking. Feeling very weird. Wondering if my mast cells have been overactivated and now in a buzzy loop?

    As further background I am homozygous MTHFR c677t, heterozygous COMT and MAO, CBS is fine. I had stopped methylation supplements earlier this year to find out my true methylation state, restarted in early April after 4 months off, never had anxiety with methylfolate before. Stopping it doesn’t make things better. Stopping SAMe makes things worse – headaches. As an experiment to see if I was overmethylating from the folate supplements I took 50mg niacin yesterday and got an identical flush to the one the mackerel gave me. Grateful for any insights as DAO and quercetin supplementation and low histamine diet don’t seem to be cutting the mustard, my system just seems very rattled indeed.

    GP prescribed Montelukast, an asthma drug, advisable if I’m desperate? Would love to be able to do some work this week…

    Am upping the meditation and relaxation…

  • Jaclyn Downs says:

    Thanks for sharing this info, Dr. Lynch – Just wanted to make a correction about the DAO gene (of which we had correspondence about previously). It is the ABP1/AOC gene that produces diamine oxidase, not the DAO gene, which synthesizes d-amino acid oxidase. Very common mistake – even made by the authors of the Histamine Intolerance paper you referenced.

    Thanks for all the amazing work you do!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Jaclyn –

      DAO is another abbreviation that is used for it – AOC1 is the official name – but DAO is an accepted alias. It is confusing as there is another gene using DAO as well. Thank you for pointing this out though!

  • Sandy Toma says:

    Dr. Lynch,

    Have you looked into SIBO as the cause of Histamine Intolerance?

    I have been severely histamine intolerant for the last 15 years and getting worse.
    I haven’t been eating any grains or dairy for years. And follow an extremely restricted diet. I’ve tried many supplements and they don’t help very much.

    I was tested for leaky gut and leaky brain and was negative. I was treated for H-Pylori twice and now it is negative.

    But now I have come down to testing positive for the hydrogen form of SIBO. I have taken the rifaximin and herbals, and the special diet, but so far haven’t been successful.

    From what I have been reading and putting together, I am sure the SIBO is a great contributor to Histamine Intolerance. I’m now looking for a Dr. that is well versed in treating this to help me.

    I would be interested on what you think about treating SIBO in relation to histamine.

    Thank you.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Tricia says:

    I was diagnosed with histamine intolerance about six months ago by my naturopathic doctor. He figured it out by my responses to various diets in the past. It was like a light coming on for me. I couldn’t believe I finally had an answer to so many questions!

    Right now I take a lot of vitamin c with quercitin and bromaline. I also take seeking health DAO if I splurge. For the most part, I watch my diet. I can’t tolerate dairy, soy, coffee, beer or wine. After doing a disboisis protocol I got back some leeway and can splurge on nuts and chocolate occasionally. I have been doing paleo AIP (have hashimotos too) with a low histamine diet. The histamine in a high protein diet makes sense to me but a ketosis/low histamine diet just sounds depressing. I don’t doubt you being right though. I’ll probably give it a shot after I have a few more plantain pancakes. 😉

    My big mystery right now is I can’t tolerate b12 or meythyl folate longer than a day. After that I get really anxious. I’m compound Hetero, and a terrible methylator. I’d love to help that but kinda stumped here. Do you have any articles or lectures on this? Thank you.

    • Dr Lynch says:

      You may be low in niacin and collatoral pathways are possibly jammed.

      Consider Optimal Start on the between days. And – there is also no need to push yourself with B12 and folate each day. We think we need to supplement each day – and I disagree with this.

      Some days you need it and some you don’t.

      I don’t supplement each day – and sometimes I take a lot of things – it all depends on how I feel.

      • Tricia says:

        Thank you for your response! Optimal Start looks bomb! I was looking for something like that the other day but gave up. I’m still familiarizing myself with your supplement site. Lots of great stuff!

        I’ve been taking the majority of those vitamins individually, including 500mg of niacinamide, for the last couple of months. They seem to be helping. I’m not sure if I’m taking the right form of niacin or if that matters. Maybe I’m not taking enough?

        I haven’t taken b-12 or mthf more than once or twice in the last few months. I’m kinda paranoid about it because it makes me anxious for so long afterward (really not a fan of anxiety). I’ve tried taking a niacin lozenge after the fact but it didn’t seem to help. Maybe I should have taken more? The anxiety usually lasts for a couple of days after one b12/mthf lozenges.

        Thanks again for your time! Your work has been an immense help to myself and my children who are all compound hetero, or 677homo. Keep up the great work!

  • Kayla says:

    Last year I got rid of some problems related to bp medication mixed with contrast dye and also got rid of 2 tumors related to high calcium (hyperparathyroidism). I had felt close to death for at least two years.I have had a good year and plenty of energy but was beginning to think maybe I have high calcium again.

    Thank you so much for this article. Lots to think about.

  • Nikki says:

    This is interesting. I was wondering if you might have any suggestions for me. I recently found out that I am compound heterozygous. History… I’m a 41 year old mom, at my recommended weight. For the past two years I began to feel very ill – brain fog, fatigue, headache, general lousy feeling. Until that time I was pretty heavy into working out. I had to give it up due to increasing difficulty getting through a work out. Chest tightness, short of breath, pressure in my head, nausea, very weak muscles. When I would leave the gym I would be so exhausted I wasn’t sure I could make the drive home. It was awful. Since then I’ve been on a wild goose chase trying to figure out what is going on. It started with rotating anti-anxiety medications which I had been on for years. Then I gave up my alcohol habit. Then I was treated for hypothyroid, but still not feeling well. Then I switched doctors and he doubled my thyroid medication and added progesterone. I would feel better for a little while then start feeling bad again. I went to a functional doctor and he treated me for extreme adrenal fatigue, Candida and leaky gut and soon I was feeling awesome. However, I still reacted negatively to different and seemingly random foods. My first sign is dry-feeling, yet watery eyes. Sometimes they are even itchy and burning, straining feeling behind them. Here is where I got tested for MTH RFR and found out I have both mutations. The supplements and methyl folate have definitely helped but I still have lingering symptoms. Just the past two weeks I have tried getting back into the gym and I still feel very weak, easily fatigued and unable to recover. I know part of it is being out of shape. I’m trying to push through it but I am afraid it is more than that. Any thoughts or suggestions

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Hi Nikki – Sounds like you are working with doctors you trust and your health is stable. It also sounds like you already know what your body needs. Trust that feeling and let the doctors do the worrying. Movement and exercise is foundational to health, but it will take consistency and persistence. Find an activity you enjoy. Find friends who like doing it with you. Have a coach keep you accountable. Before you know it, exercise will be habit…just like brushing your teeth in the morning. Keep it up and keep us updated on how you’re doing. The MTFHR.net community is here to support you.

      -Dr. Aron

    • kayla says:

      Have you researched high calcium? The exhaustion you described is the way I felt but what made me so weak was getting a shower…weird. I would sometimes have to crawl to my bed after a shower…the heat, I don’t know. Everything does work together. High calcium (hyperparathyroidism) is something you might want to check out as you search for answers. My doctors didn’t help me but I researched and got copies of my blood work and changed doctors. High calcium and low vitamin d usually indicate a parathyroid tumor, benign almost 100% of the time. Calcium should not be over 10 in adults…per parathyroid.com.

    • Helen Smith says:

      Hi Nikki, I’ve only just found this thread, and obviously have no idea if you’ve found a solution to your issues, but I just wanted to suggest that you look into Riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency.

      I’m just doing so for myself (I too have thyroid issues – there’s a connection there too), along with being able to tick everything on the high Histamine list. I understand that B2 is functional in helping reducing histamine levels, and certainly the symptoms you list seem similar to the ones that I’ve read about re riboflavin deficiency.

      There’s an interesting thread on the forum at PhoenixRising called ‘B2 I love you’ that I’m currently ploughing through, you might find some useful info there?

      Good luck x

  • Nikki says:

    Thanks Kayla. I will look at this. I have low vit D.

  • SusanJ says:

    MTHFR C677T homozygote, with various MAO, DAO, HNMT, and CBS variants. Took Zymogen’s Methyl Protect for several years and worked on gut health (diet and probiotics) with doctors help.

    Have always had seasonal allergies and menstrual problems before menopause, but more recently I can point to about a dozen things on your list.

    MethylProtect helped in the beginning, but in the last year I have noticed some side effects, including irritability, racing brain at times and increased histamine problems.

    I thought the histamine problems were unrelated until I heard you on a recent podcast, and you mentioned too many methyl groups can also lead to too much histamine. Could you expand on that?

  • Maria says:

    Hi Dr. Lynch,

    I have been taking histamine block, but noticed it has lost its effectiveness somewhat, so have been trying other angles with success.

    I DON’T have a MTHFR gene mutation, however have found that pulsed methyl B12/methyl folate has helped my histamine intolerance which comes across as headaches and migraines of which I was getting every 2nd to 3rd day for years. Sometimes a week at a time.

    I think there is still room for improvement and am looking at other parts of the cycle. I seem to not need much of the methyl folate/methyl B12 and I can quickly see when I am over methylated (nausea). I use 125 mg of niacin (vitamin b3) to quench it as I only have access to 500mg tabs which I break into quarters.

    Am considering a 23 and me test.

    I suspect there is some other part of the methylation cycle which is disrupted.

    Am considering supplementing with SAMe to see if it helps.

    I work in clinical research so this is all very interesting, but complicated at the same time.

    I have noticed one interesting observation. When I take methyl b12 and methyl folate it makes my other medications much quicker acting and more effective. For example taking acetaminophen (paracetamol) for a headache is now very effective and fast acting whereas previously I was lucky to get much of a response at all.

    Also amitriptyline I take for headache prevention is now making my mouth dry which previously it did not. This is a known side effect of amitriptyline and I suspect the supplementation and effect on the methylation cycle is making the amitriptyline more effective. I think with the improvement with the supplementation I should be able to wean off this again as I am only on a low dose.

    I also am someone who has exercise induced histamine release (hives and headache). I have not been exercising lately as I am intensively studying a masters course and there are not enough hours in the day. However will be interested to see whether the supplementation helps.

    Still trying to figure it all out as best I can.

    Thanks for your publically available information. I am feeling positive I will have significant improvements.

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Thank you for your comment, Maria. Please keep us updated!

      • maria says:

        Hi. Methyl folate was not my answer. I overmethylated quickly.
        I found the answer though.. Magnesium supplementation.
        It has changed my life.

        Since Mg is needed for diamine oxidase production this is probably one reason I had a histamine intolerance.

        Secondly Mg has been found to be low in the brains of migraine sufferers.
        I suspect I was very very Mg depleted.

        I am back onto a full diet now. MY LIFE HAS CHANGED!!!!

        so if you think you have histamine intolerance, try Magnesium!!!!

        I wish someone had pointed me in this direction sooner.
        Feeling happy though that I am a new person.

  • Maria C says:

    Thank you Dr. Lynch, for all of the great information you provide. I have two copies of MTHFR A1289A and FUT2 RS4654748; one copy of NBPF3 rs4654748 – these I am sure of. I’ve spent a great deal of time researching 1289 and I knew that delayed histamine response was associated with it, but I wasn’t sure what that meant.

    I found out in January that I am “allergic” to casein, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese, whey, Bleu cheese, parmesan, ricotta, yogurt, beef, egg whites, egg yokes, lamb, wheat, bananas, pineapples, green beans, kidney beans, onions, coriander, mustard, vanilla, figs, bamboo shoots, black beans, kale, and navy beans. I expected to be have issues with NOTHING, though for about a year I would notice that after eating crepes, kielbasa, sauerkraut, mustard, or kale that I wasn’t feeling well, but I couldn’t label how I was feeling. After getting the results I determined that since lactose wasn’t listed, it must mean that I was not lactose intolerant that I could continue eating sour cream, cream, and butter (wishful thinking), The report also indicated that I was not allergic to gluten. I removed everything except eggs, as we raise chickens for their eggs. I started researching symptoms for each food item and was especially surprised to learn that casein has an opioid effect. In advertently, on separate occasions, I ate fast food French fries and needed an immediate nap – found out they were dipped in milk; thought I could avoid the kidney beans in a prepared dish and woke up to a swollen body. That’s when I knew this was for real. Within a month I stopped the eggs and my headaches disappeared. BUT, I was now reacting to vinegar (I couldn’t understand why my dry irritated eyes were getting gunky after eating a salad with a vinegar dressing), lemon juice (I thought I was going to die), strawberries and tomatoes. It seems that the every time I take a food item off of my list, another one is attacked by histamine. I avoid restaurants because even the grilled chicken is usually seasoned with something that causes a reaction. I had question about all of this, but as I’m writing, I can’t remember what it was…

    However, some of the above posts mention anxiety and irritability resulting from B12 and folate. I had been taking cyanocobalamin injections and vitamin B5 for several years and at the time of the above results/research I changed to Methylcobalamin and kept the B5 at the same level.. Shortly after, I started on methylfolate 400mcg (you only need to take this, my physician said). I had rages and great irritability, which subsided within 1-2 weeks. After a month of normalcy, I increased the methylfolate to 800 mcg, and since there is a shortage of methyl B12, I switched to sublingual. The 1,000 mcg had no effect, so I kept increasing it until I felt good – which is 5,000 – 10,000/daily. I gradually added Vitamin B6 and plan on adding B2. I also started L-theanine since all of my neurotransmitters are out of whack. I take DAO when I eat small amount of tomatoes or thinly sliced ham on a sandwich and I think that it is working. I’ve learned to avoid leftovers of any kind because of the cost of DAO. My go-to breakfast rotates between oatmeal with fruit and nut butter on GF bread. I can honestly say that I feel good right now, but I’m concerned that I am doing something wrong. You mentioned in this post that one should not supplement every day – only if needed. How do I know when I get up in the morning if I need it? Do I wait until I have anxiety or feel rage? I am also concerned that I may be taking too much and too many supplements.

  • Maria C says:

    I remembered my question… BA% was mentioned and I checked my lab results for the last 2 years. Until 9/13, the results were in the .3 -.4% range. In 9/13, it jumped to 1% and stayed constant until 3/15, when it dropped to 0%. Between January and the lasted results, I eliminated the “allergic” foods from my diet. Did the elimination result in the BA% dropping to 0%?

  • Bronwen Beith says:

    Dr Ben, Any thoughts on the view that those with histamine intolerance and mast cells issues are usually Th2 dominant and need to raise the Th1 part of their immune systems?

    See this link:http://selfhacked.com/2014/08/01/deal-histamine/#Histamine_and_Mast_Cell_Stabilizers

    Any these food, lifestyle and supplement recommendations: http://selfhacked.com/2014/07/18/supplements-people-th2-dominant/

    Would love to hear your take on this.

  • Elph says:

    Dr. Lynch – Are you familiar with the latest literature on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome as a cause for histamine intolerance? If so, I’m curious how you see this syndrome dovetailing with the other causes you mention above (e.g., SIBO, genetic mutations affecting DAO production)? That is, should they be considered mutually exclusive causes to be ruled out when one has histamine intolerance or overlapping explanations for histamine intolerance and its associated health issues?

  • Autumn Casiglia says:


    My son has been through hell this year. He was give cephotaxime for an ingrown toe nail and this resulted in an increase in gut pain and histamine intolerance. In the past he would have an occasional flare up of constipation, but now he is in the bathroom for hours. Also he used to break out in hives when he exercised but then it would go away. He tried allergy sublingual drops and seemed to help for a few years.

    Now he takes Diamine Oxidase when he eats and is gluten/ dairy free. He also eats low fodmap and low histamine diet. But he is 16 years old and not loving this and still not better.

    His blood histamine is low, but his gut histamine is high. One doctor says he is over-methylated and another says he is under. One says to take Niacin and another says to take B12 with Methylfolate (your product). I’m lost. Could you please advise?

    COMT V
    COMT H
    MtRR A
    CBS C

    MTHFR A1298C
    MTHFR C677T

  • kayla says:

    So sorry, Autumn Casiglia.

    No answers other than look for a good internalist and hope Dr. Lynch has some good advice.

  • John Macgregor says:

    High whole blood histamine is the prime marker for undermethylation, according to Dr William Walsh.

    His treatment for undermethylation is SAMe (primarily), then inositol, calcium, magnesium, zinc, B-6, and vitamins A, C, and E.

    I’m unclear as to whether high whole blood histamine & histamine intolerance are the same thing, or just overlap somewhat.

    I.e. whether you would attack histamine intolerance the same way you would high histamine/undermethylation.


  • Gail Stutman says:

    Dr Lynch, I had breast cancer 12 years ago small tumor it was estrogen positive, only required radiation high on the right breast. Have developed a Thyroid issue take Levothyroxin and have developed Pre Barrets and take Omeprazole, I am 71 years old.
    Take Diltiazem also and a number of vitamins.
    I see a Gastro Doctor , a Thyroid doctor , a pulmonary Dr, , Primary care doctor..Question is who do I approach to give me some direction, all are treating symptoms and not giving me a direction to find out what my tiredness, irritabilty is all about Plus Plus….

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Hi Gail – A doctor trained in integrative approaches is probably a good place to start (e.g. naturopathic doctor, functional medicine doctor, holistic chiropractor, acupuncturist). You can find a listing of doctors who have completed Dr. Lynch’s training here. Some of these doctors provide phone consults. Please let us know if you are able to find someone to help or not.

  • CJ says:

    What do you think of taking Singulair to help with mast cell activation? I have been taking Zyrtec for almost 20 years for chronic urticaria, and my Functional Med Dr suggested trying Singulair.

  • Christina says:

    Funnily enough, it was issues with histamine intolerance that brought me to your website a couple of years ago. I was facing 40 and suffering weird symptoms that put me in fear of suffering an autoimmune crisis similar to the CFS/fibromyalgia/hypothyroid crisis that decimated my mother in her 40s (and still impacts her daily life). After suffering rashes and tingling lips in response to food, as well as the occasional bout of hives after a long hot shower, and being told allergy panels were negative, I visited Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Following a lengthy personal and family history, my doctor ordered tests and, soon enough, I was diagnosed with compound hetero MTHFR and autoimmune hypothyroid. At the suggestion of the allergist, I had started a low histamine diet (after a few weeks, a test meal of leftover chili confirmed that, yep, histamine intolerance was real). The histamine symptoms lessened in response to the diet, but I have found that the supplement regimen I adopted (thanks to your website) after receiving the MTHFR polymorphism news has made any special diet unnecessary for me. Back then, there was nobody connecting the MTHFR and histamine issues. I’m glad to see them receiving attention.

  • Robert says:

    I am a fan of quercetin myself. There appears to be a non citrus variation. I haven’t tested, but I read it stabilized mast cells and other things. It seems to be helpful. Once on track I haven’t really gone back to it, probably time to cycle back, minor rash cropping up. I see a few mentions of it above. I’m a fan.

  • DM says:

    I am an overmethylatorI with low histamine and need to raise it. I’m pretty confused with how to go about this with the mutation I have. Any suggestions?

    Homozygous: COMT, MAOA
    Heterozygous: CBS, MTHFR A1298C, ACAT1, BHMT (02-,08), MTR, MTRR A66G, VDR

  • Lyn McLearie says:

    Histamine article is really helpful. I have been doing a number of the things you recommend with some improvement. However I started on 1.5 g of LDN and while I am having improvement I some areas I seem to have become much more allergic- more sweating, flushing,itching, stuffiness. I can’t tolerate my sleep apnea mask and have bad daytime tiredness. Does this make any sense?

  • Andrea says:

    wonderful article; many thanks. With your permission may I share this article on my blog and refer patients to your superb writing. The goal of my blog is to further the education of my clients and so there is no point my trying to write and article when yours is superb (and superior!) and it improves clients ability to further their knowledge to aid their ability to understand their health and return to better health with the assistance of health professionals such as you and me. we are all keys to unlock the doors on their journey back to full health and wellbeing. Thanks so much for your time writing your blog it MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

  • Paul says:

    Not sure if this post belongs on the Methylfolate side effects page or here but it would seem to be all related. Excuse the longish back story but hopefully someone won’t repeat my most recent mistake as a result. My issue is that I am struggling big time with a histamine overload at the moment.
    I originally stumbled across mthfr.net having visited a primary care physician (the only one here in Ireland addressing methylation imbalances in mental health issues) with massive anxiety, intolerance to stress, depression and feeling absolutely toxic under my skin. He tested me primarily for whole blood histamine, zinc, copper and pyrrole compounds in urine.
    He follows the Dr William (Bill) Walsh / Dr Carl Pfeiffer protocol which uses high blood histamine as a marker for under methylation. I had histamine of 13.5 where max normal range was 8. As it happens my copper was also high and I had pyroluria meaning I was also deficient in b6 and zinc by definition.
    At this time I was so desperate for some relief (the above test results were still 4 weeks away) I also went to see an excellent naturopath who follows Dr Ben’s work closely who also began to treat me for a methylation cycle block.
    I began taking a lot of supplements including methyl b12/folate, p5p, glutathione, minerals, amongst others and began using an infra red sauna regularly for detox support (which helped hugely).
    Shortly after I began the treatment, with the benefit of the whole blood histamine test result I put 2+2 together. I had been experiencing itching and insomnia/anxiety after certain foods for over a year and an experiment with an anti histamine one night made me wake up feeling like a totally different person (in a good way!). I now knew I had histamine intolerance and it was contributing to a lot of my symptoms.
    The approach was to be 2 pronged: restore methylation balance, lower histamine and fix the gut. Unfortunately in my case I had been working on the gut for 7 years and never resolved it. I had done anti candida cleanses, low carb diets, taken multiple herbal anti microbials but then 9 months on the GAPS diet pushed me over the edge in terms of my histamine burden. This meant I would need to improve my methylation status before being able to have another crack at fixing my gut as I was unable to detoxify anything now it seemed, never mind die off from probiotics or anti microbials. My body had just totally jammed up.
    Initially my Methylfolate experience was great (for about 5 days!) and then I had a month or so of difficulties until I got my b12 and b6 (and probably other things) up and implemented some of Dr Ben’s other reccomendations (electrolytes and SOD) and then I found I could tolerate it better. Then over the next month or 2 the itching would be a lot more noticeable resulting in some nights of total insomnia and in the past week or two my energy has just plummeted and my mood has gone through the floor. I should say that overall my mood has improved during this time although I did need the additional support of St. John’s wort and sometimes 5-htp.
    It would appear (to be confirmed!) that the mistake I made was not supplementing with methionine on my self made assumption that because I was a meat eater I wouldn’t need it. Dr Ben specifically mentions methionine (or protein) in his Methylfolate side effects article. Possibly my gut issues meant I wasn’t breaking protein down, or else my naturopath felt there could be an issue with my MAT enzyme which I understand is involved in conversion of methionine to SAM-E and uses magnesium as a co factor.
    Either way, the lesson here would appear to be make sure you are getting enough methionine (from protein or supplements) if you already have histamine issues and are taking Methylfolate, as SAM-E (which is made from methionine) is an important co factor in HNMT which breaks down intra cellular histamine….and Methylfolate increases histamine by depleting methionine over time!
    I seem to be dealing with such an overload at the moment that I am now taking SAM-E directly for the first time because I don’t have the luxury of the peace of mind to wait around to see if methionine supplementation will in fact convert to SAM-E quickly enough to get me over this difficult spell.
    Hopefully I can taper down the SAM-E in a few weeks and go back to methionine because my naturopath is of the view that taking SAM-E directly can inhibit other parts of the methylation cycle.
    It truly is a mine field this area and a difficult jigsaw to keep together!
    Hope this helps somebody.

  • May says:

    Dr Lynch,

    I’m a1298c homozygous, I am conflicted on what supplements in suppose to be using. My dr gave me a list and only ten things are on your protocols. As of right now I take b-12, a multi vitamin with minerals. I believe I am having a histamine overload. I can check off almost every symptom on the list. My one outlet is working out, I’ve always worked out hard doing old school boxer workouts, and pushing myself to the limits. I adopted a low histamine diet for the last week and still am feeling pretty bad, but I also had three intense workouts. Please tell me there is a way to control my histamine level while still getting my workouts in. I know my protocol for mtfhr is not right, but I’m at a loss there too. Workouts are my release from stress and now I realize they could be contributing to It. Any information would be so great. Thank you.

  • Stelle says:

    Hi Dr Ben

    I’ve just found out I have homozygous A1298C and have just started investigating what that might mean for me.

    Just wondering if histamine intolerance would make sense of the fact that when I exercise for longer than about 10 mins, even just walking, the skin on my legs starts to itch and if I keep going, my skin will swell, go red and feel like it is on fire.

  • kailyn ryan says:

    Hi Dr. Lynch,
    I am being treated for gut dysbiosis currently and I bought probiota bifido from seeking health. I am following a low histamine diet but it seems the day after I take it I have ahorrible horrible histamine reaction. Could it be die off? I am a fut 2 non secreter so I know I do not have enough of that bacteria. Thanks so much.

  • Doro says:

    Mold is a HUGE trigger for me. I think all my problems started when I tried the GAPS diet while working in a very moldy building. When I returned there after a year my tolerance for histamine (and fructose & oxalates) became suddenly very low again (a had experienced lots of healing until then). What helps me the most are turmeric and IVs of ascorbic acid.

  • Jen says:

    This makes a lot of sense. I have had allergies my whole life (environmental, food, drug, latex). I took allergy shots in my 20’s which helped a lot. Since then, it appears my allergic reactions have morphed and I didn’t recognize what was going on because the symptoms were so different… but the shortness of breath, tachycardia, angioedema (including huge gut), alternating diarrhea/constipation and then 4 months of recurrent vomiting every day.. (so glad that stopped!)… it all started getting a bit better on allergy meds and prednisone, but not completely resolving. I am on a very restrictive diet though.. because I have oral allergy syndrome and oral latex syndrome and so many foods, especially plant based, are causing symptoms and anaphylaxis.. I’m trying to figure out which — but it’s so many I’m reluctant to eat plant based food.. I’m due to go on xolair to completely suppress the ige. That’s a bandaid. I am going to try to implement some of these suggestions (some I already have, like changing to lower stress job, taking better care of myself, etc.). Any suggestions on how I can improve my nutritional support when plant based foods are so problematic? Should I just wait until xolair is on board and see what I can tolerate then or am I shooting myself in the foot?

  • darrin says:

    Hi. First off i do have mthfr. Im not real sure which one. But i am desperate to figure out what is wrong with me. About six years ago i started having ghese weird stroke like feelings. I would get confused, disoriented, blurred vision, horrible rashes, trouble concentrating, trouble finding words in a conversation and the list goes on and on. I have been to Numerous doctors, specialist, hospitals, energency room visits. But no one seems to know exactly what is happening. Ive had extensive test without a diagnosis. Im desperate because this is ruining my life. All the doctors say its anxiety or panic. Although i can agree i have anxiety and panic i dont agree that is it. I have become intollerant to foods, my stomach is so uncomfortable, i get weak beyond imagination. I try my hardest to explain to my loved ones but they dont understand my frustration. I am a 48 year old male and very depressed. My quality of life is gone. I live in columbus ohio and have gotten very discouraged with the lack of understanding and compassion i am getting from the medical community. Please help. Thank you.

    • Joan says:

      Darrin i am so sorry to hear of your issues as i too had simular esp that stroke like feeling. I think i was helped by getting thyroid tested but the best help was from adrenal fatigue supplement even m.d. said it was ok. I also added electrolytes and eliminated almost all food groups.

  • Kelley says:

    I linked from Dr Suzy Cohen article. Your symptoms are exactly what I’ve been going through. I ordered the DNA kit, sent it off this morning. Started myth treatment over a month ago been really having trouble digesting the tablets (Malnutrition). Ordered some of what you suggested online. Have started trying to figure out how and what to eat. Would be helpful to see your tracking meals, times and supplements. Already feel better using the histamine block taking the citrus out. Have been eating for celiac, kept getting sicker with bio identical replacement and nature thyroid (Haji) I was told Sam-e should not be taken with TBI and PTSD… What do you think?

  • Nicola says:

    Hi, I have a patient who is compound heterozygous MTHFR, and histamine intolerant. Her nutrahacker ;profile suggests she take Hydroxy B12, and then on the other hand Methyl B12…is she safer with the hydroxy? and would it help the histamine intolerance?

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Nicola – I do not recommend following the recommendations from Nutrahacker. It is conflicting. No way can a report provide supplement recommendations without a history.

      It is not feasible.

      The recommendations here may be helpful.

      Do note that SAMe is the cofactor for the HNMT enzyme – which helps breakdown histamine – so methylation is required to lower histamine – which is why many with MTHFR suffer from high histamine.

  • Maria says:

    Hi. I was given told to clean my 19 mo old sons diet (and mine since he nurses) and I was given a glycine supplement. Does this seem right?

    • Dr. Aron says:

      Maria – this sounds reasonable. Glycine can help with the production of glutathione, which is often referred to as the “master antioxidant.”

  • Dr. Lorna says:

    Dr. Ben:
    I have taken 4 of your courses! Thanks so much for providing health professionals and the public with much needed information! I have a client who is +/+ for both RS1049793 and RS10156191 DAO SNPs. She also has two +/+ MAT SNPs and is +/- for C677T and A1298C. She has made all the dietary and lifestyle changes asked of her including a low histamine diet. She has suffered from HIT most of her life. She has received only mild symptom relief from the low histamine diet after a year. Would placing her on DAO supplements at each meal reduce her own production of DAO? Her concern with taking it is what would happen if DAO supplements are taken off the market?

  • ROBERT says:

    Love the information here….. and it is from someone experiencing what they are writing about. Love it!! I am in need of identifying the best, most efficient, effective LIQUID multi vitamin. I did not see any listed here. Would that be because liquid multi vitamins don’t do the trick? This is for a young adult. Hope to year from you soon.

    All the best!

  • Kristin says:

    Dr. Lynch could you help with some confusion? I thought that fish oil was something to avoid if having issues with histamine. Used to take it daily for years, but stopped about 18 months ago. Would love to try it again! Can you offer any explanation on safety? Great and informative article!! Thanks.

  • mark says:

    Thank you for putting together such a great site!

    I have so many of the symptoms you describe and when I have gone to allergists (4 of them in the last 20 years) and they look in my nose and ears they say that I have very bad allergies and yet when they do all of the testing they say that I do not produce histamine, therefore I have no allergies. When I remind them of their initial findings I am told that I have “sensitivities” and that there is nothing that can be done except for steroids, both nasal and in pill form.

    So, I have most of the symptoms described on your site yet I apparently have no manufacturing of histamine. I have tries all of the allergy meds, both over the counter and prescription but none are effective.

    Any ideas? I am a mess.


  • AnonymousMe says:

    Uhhh… high sex drive is a problem for some people! My husband told me to put a password on the laptop and app blocker to block the browser, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc because he doesn’t want to look at porn. He said that “burn” is there CONSTANTLY. Like, never, ever goes away. After we have time together, he says it’s back in about 10 minutes. He can never get away from it. He also has all the other histamine intolerance symptoms. But I think that part of it might be from bacterial overgrowth (bacteria producing too much histamine). He also has Celiac Disease, and I guess the damage to the gut can inhibit the production of DAO. We’re also going to be looking into Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).

  • Leah Davis says:

    I’ve had the uber-response to mosquito bites, etc. etc. but when I began supplementing with Vitamin D3 it resoved. Next I added Vitamin K2 to my world. The type I could tolerate had some astaxanthin in it. WOW that was a great relief, so I went and got some Astaxanthin (12mg) Then it all started to crash so a dropped my every-other-day SAMe and shifted to B-50 with the added 5-MTHFolate. almost felt great. Then I shifted from standard B-50 to the LifeExtension Bio-active B-complex with methyl Folate AND B-12. WOW! Now I was really firing on all pistons. had a great trip to Italy. Got back and started to drag after the jet lag was over. Decided I must be over-methylated.

    Today I got some Slo-Niacin and took 250mg. Aaaahhhh!

    Now I just need some blood work. BTW, my serum D3 is 87.

    My question is: Why don’t you mention D3 or K2? They’re BIG players in the metabolic engines we walk around all day. One’s like the accelerator and the other like the carburetor.

    Leah – retired RD

  • Shari says:

    Interesting article.. Question:
    My daughter has MTHFR
    And clinically she also appears to have a histamine intolerance .
    While the two may go together, the treatment for one seems to be
    Counter indicated in the other!
    Example: fermented foods are bad for Histamine but good for MTHFR
    Thank you for your response… My daughter hasn’t felt well in 12 years and she cannot lose weight tho she exercises constantly.

  • Leslie Buckens says:

    Dr. Ben,

    I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and have many of the symptoms you listed. I have developed medication allergies starting from the age of 40, I have a long list now, my reaction is extremely big and itching hives. I carry benadryl with me at all times. I am heat intolerant, and develop hives from my sweat. I had a slightly positive ANA.
    Does this information mean anything to you? I would appreciate any information you can offer.
    thank you,
    Leslie Buckens

  • Karin says:

    A wonderful article, thank you. I do notice you did not include mast cell activation disorder. I have this. When I eat certain foods (no real logic in which ones affect me) I get a huge release of histamine and other vasoactive amines that cause acute symptoms that you listed about one hour after eating. The symptoms are almost completely relived with oral cromolyn glycate, ketotifen and feverfew. I just wanted to add this condition related to histamine excess in case there were people like me who have symptoms you mention, but it is not necessarily from consuming histamine rich foods. It is from internal inappropriate release of histamine.

    To clarify, histamine rich foods do not necessarily bother me. But foods with little histamine can set off my mast cells to spill out lots of histamine. The treatment would be different, in that you just have to observe which foods are triggers and avoid them, and use the above meds. There seemed no logic or apparent pattern to which foods bothered me or not.

  • Jacky says:

    Hi folks, I’m from Germany

    I’ve had histamine intolerance since 2011 now. It started mild, becoming worse and worse.
    What might have triggered it to appear in the first place are a combination of things I am certain of:

    nutritional deficiencies (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acid, protein, carbohydrates)


    lowered thyroid function due to weight loss

    I have spent a couple of years trying to solve the mystery of histamine intolerance by balancing stress, thyroid function (selenium, zinc, copper and iodine), vitamins, minerals, trace elements. And also assuming that I lacked DAO enzyme supplemented DAO for 2 years which cost me a lot of money. It helped me to eat some histamine-containing foods but I knew that some of the histamine that still entered my body were wrecking havoc.

    So next thing I did is addressing methylation the 2nd explanation for why I still had it. But I had been doing it insufficciently namely lacking creatine which I turned to at last)

    First I got all these activated B-vitamins. Folate, methylcobalamine, 5 php and activated B2, took SAM-E. ( I gave up on B2 and SAM-E because it was too expensive and I didn’t noticed any improvement taking them)

    Noticing that I should help my liver too which is responsible for methylation I also used l-cartnitine, choline and inositol.

    No significan’t improvement. I still couldn’t eat a whole egg, or tomatoes, ripe bananas…despite taking DAO.

    I wondered why I became so tired after exercise, meaning sore muscles that took me weeks to heal.

    I thought it was adrenal fatigue. So T took vitamin C and adaptogens to help my kidneys. Became calmer, sleeps improved, skin too. But no progress on histamine.

    I have to say that I didn’t give up on any of these. I was taking these things because it certainly improved my overall state but just not the methylation in order to get rid of histamine intolerance so don’t think it was all for nothing. My situation was much worse.

    THEN last week the breakthrough. When I noticed that these adrenal supplements were not enough to address my muscle soreness and tiredness I took a shot with muscle supplements.
    Last week I started taking ALL AMINO ACIDS (including histidine which did not convert to histamine as I initially feared. I guess my body knew I had plenty of it already!)
    AND also CREATINE suspecting cellular weakness of not having enough energy i.e. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to heal fast enough.

    Surprizingly my histamine intolerance began to fade away ever since. When I stopped creatine 2 days ago I noticed itch coming up with histamine rich foods. So today I went back to creatine and LO histamine is fading away.

    But this time I will load my resources till so my body doesn’t spend all his methy groups trying to make creatine and can finally break down histamine like in the old days.

    Just to confirm my findings I read an article on the connection between creatine and methylation: the body uses up 70% of methyl groups to make creatine. The rest is used to break down histamine. If you have sevrely depleted creatine sources your body will always busy trying to make creatine for cellular energy while cutting back on methylation of histamine.

    Now everything makes sense to me.

    I recommend you get all your vitamins, minerals and trace minerals. As well as carbs, PROTEINS, fats (and amino acids in the form of a supplement because some weak people like me can’t get the necessary amount of amino acids and protein through food only.) And support methylation by taking creatine.

    Also check your iron levels to ensure that blood is ready to nourish your cells with oxygen and the much needed things I listed above.

    As a side note for perfect blood it may not be enough for some people just to get iron. You gotta make sure that you have enough Folate (activated folate), methycobalamine (activated b12), activated B6 (5PHP) and activated B2 (riboflavine 5 phosphate) and copper (very important).

    When you take copper make sure you have some zinc supplement to balance it. My experience tells me around 5-10mg not more though).

    Good Luck getting rid of this crap too

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Thank you for sharing 😉

      I agree that creatine can be a game changer for many people – along with phosphatidylcholine.

      • inom says:

        Thank you Dr Lynch for amazing and valuable information on HIT, I can imagine how much hard work and research, it needs to gather all this rare information. Thanks for giving us a platform to share our issues and find some directions.

    • Michelle says:

      I love your testimony, Jacky. Thank you so for sharing! I can relate to a lot of the things you talk about, so I am going to give creatine a shot. Thanks again!

      • inom says:

        Did you try Creatine? I got my amino acid levels back from lab, seems like I am on borderline lower side in normal range in a dozen of amino acids.

    • inom says:


      Thanks for sharing your story. I am feeling exactly same way. banana and simple food giving me problem, and After all those supplement, I am convinced I don’t have adequate amino acid and methylation machinery. How you are feeling now? In my case, I feel H pylori, did make me deficient in all those nutrients.

  • Katy Davidson says:

    One skilled MTHFR ? Love it. I wish we could set up a documentary where you came in to my family and transformed our health (I’m on the journey, my ma and pa not so much) so that people could literally see the transformations. I despair at the current attitudes of General Practitioners in the Health Service….. UK would love that documentary… the world would! Would be a great way to daylight this stuff….. Let’s get 23andme to sponsor it! ?. Thank you for all your hard work.

  • Andreia says:

    Hello, Dr. Ben,
    I have been reading a lot about histamine intolerance and methylation. I believe I have histamine intolerance, as I fit psychologically in the stereotype (OCD, competitive, self-motivated, etc.) and also have some of the symptoms (hives when I eat a lot of berries, long history of allergies and polyps, etc.). I am a bit confused, as some of your advice differs from Dr. William Walsh’s, who is also an expert in this field. He advises against giving folic acid to undermethylators, and focuses more on supplementing l-methionine and SAM-e, while you focus on supplementing methylfolate. Could you possibly tell us why you prefer this approach? And, also: some studies have shown that NAC is effective for OCD – nevertheless, it raises histamine levels. Isn’t that contradictory? / And: do all undermethylators have a mutation (MTHFR or other? Thank you for your attention!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Andreia –

      There are definitely differing opinions out there. Which makes sense really. All accepted science is anyhow is accepted theory 🙂

      I do agree with Dr Walsh that taking folic acid is not good. My stance is that it shouldn’t be used period. Ever.

      It’s not as simple as giving SAMe to those with high histamine. If that helps, great. If it backfires, then there is a blockage somewhere and you’ll quickly know 😉

      I don’t focus on supplementing with methylfolate only. Some can use it well and others no. It depends.

      Supporting with L-methionine can also be helpful – agree with Dr Walsh there. That can help some for sure.

      NAC raises histamine levels? Who says? That doesn’t make sense to me. Mechanism?

      I do not agree with the term ‘undermethylator’ or ‘overmethylator’. It sounds great and is easy to simplify it that way but the body doesn’t act like this in my opinion. I do not agree with these terms. There are reasons why one may have high or low histamine regardless of methylation status.

      • Andreia says:

        Hello, Dr. Ben, I’ve read this piece of information (that NAC increases mast cell and peripheral blood mononucleocyte cell histamine release ) in several websites, including in some articles on NCBI (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20136478. There are some articles that also say it blocks DAO ( Jarisch, Reinhart: “Histamin-Intoleranz, Histamin und Seekrankheit”, Thieme Verlag, 2004, ISBN 3-13-105382-8).

  • Lindsay says:

    This is EFFING FANTASTIC! What a fantastic summary of the available evidence and information. It has taken me a dozen visits to a very qualified doctor (trained in methylation and chemical science etc) to wrap my head around half of this stuff, thank you providing this!

  • Dawn says:

    This is a great article Dr. Lynch. I have the homozygous C6777T mutation & would like to share a little bit about myself that might help others.
    I got sick with the “flu” 11 years ago & didn’t recover. I went to multiple doctors to no avail including alternative docs. The only thing noteworthy that came up was Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis for which I began treatment but improvement in general was minimal. Three years ago when I hit rock bottom & looked like I was anorexic, I finally realized it was serious & no one but myself was going to help me. So I trolled the internet with my symptoms & diagnosed myself with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & then found an infectious disease/CFS specialist out of state. He found that I’d had pneumonia for 8 years! He treated me successfully but I wasn’t out of the woods yet. So I continued my research & realized that I needed to be on a hypoglycemic diet added to my Celiac diet. I had already determined years ago that I couldn’t handle grains. Also prior to my finding the specialist out of state, my daughter had her 3rd child who was born with Down’s Syndrome. Her research led her to discover the family mutation. This was when I had blood work done to discover the double MTHFR defect. It alone wasn’t the answer however. I kept researching. I then realized I was having reactions to mold so we did mold remediation in our home. This helped & I took Cholesyramine which has helped further. I’ve had NAET for mold which also helped as well as homeopathics for mold. But it didn’t fix everything. So then I discovered histamine intolerance or rather my daughter did & that has been amazing. I follow the diet put forth by The Histamine Chef & take the recommended supplements & I am doing so much better. For me this has been nearly the final piece of the chronic illness puzzle. It has been long, hard, difficult, frustrating & I have not had the help of doctors telling me what to do nor how to do it or diagnose me. I have had to do it myself. There are no magic bullets. One thing seemed to take me down but it has taken a dozen self-initiated repairs & diagnosis to bring me back up. The last step for me that I have not taken yet but am getting ready for is to go on the Guaifenisin Protocol for FM/ME/CFS & then I fully expect to be healthy again. Better than before.

    • Dr Lynch says:


      Way to pursue the cause. So cool. Glad you identified mold – it is a common, yet very under diagnosed, cause of chronic dysfunction.

      Health has many requirements – and so many want the magic bullet. As you so pointed out – they don’t exist. It takes work.

  • Britt says:

    Great Article! I really appreciate your work, Dr. Lynch! You are a MTHFR pioneer and I already learned a lot of you!

    Talking about problems with histamine, we should be aware of Mastcell Activation Disorders like MCAS or mastocytosis as well. ( High trypase level is a first indicator)

    Dealing with the subject ‘food and histamine ‘ it is not only important to be aware of histamine containing food, but also of Food, which liberates histamine or is DAO or HNMT blocking. This is the case with lots of medication as well! Sometimes even antihistamines can block the extra cellular or intracellular capability to get rid of histamine. For example: Diphenhydramine is known to block the HNMT.
    Therefore it is always important to find out, where the reason for histamine intolerance is.

  • Tina Clements says:

    I have fructose malabsorption and also suspect histamine intolerance if you look at the food list for the 2 I will not have too many options. I’ve lost 60 lbs in 4 months after taking ciprofloxacin. Reacting to everything since then, water blisters everywhere if I get overheated, blood in urine, beins that are rupturing, gasses.coming from Lungsjust to name a few and I have always for as ling as i can remember sneezed with sweets or if i ate too much, adrenaline rush, don’t even know where to start…

  • Trevor Koch says:

    Dear DR Ben,
    All my symptoms add up to histamine but when ever I use methylation to fix it my kidneys block up. I always feel better but have to stop. Doctors say don’t take meth folate but it does fix everything except for my fatigue{still don’t want to do anything} One thing it does not fix is my bright blotchey neck. Any ideas

  • Kathleen N Clester says:

    Dr. Lynch,

    I have mao++, comt val/val, cbs ++, mthfr, mao++, dao+-, gad-+, many autoimmune markers, mold allergies ..and due to trauma and a back surgery I have histamine intolerance and mcs.. I have tried to work on methylation however every time I work on one mutation it throws off another. I am experiencing adrenal fatigue, hairloss, Fibromyalgia type pain, hypoxia. I want to work on this but my anxiety is off the charts. Any suggestions? Worked with a couple of doctorseconds on your list but they are lost. I know you don’t practice anymore. But I really need the best. I have done so much research and know I can only help myself but really need guidance. Also doing meditation, and nlp..

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Kathleen –

      I’m sorry to hear you’re not making much headway.

      Working on one SNP at a time vs all of you is going to throw things off -absolutely.

      I highly recommend you run your 23andMe data through StrateGene.

      Then you’ll receive a link to join our private Facebook group.

      Join. Post questions you have and ask for professional help. We have health professionals there who are experts and do offer consults.

      This Facebook Group is by far the most educated and advanced one out there in terms of SNPs and how to handle them – as a whole part of the picture. Not in isolation.

  • John says:

    Need to find a histamine intolerance expert in Milwaukee Chicago area for my daughter.

  • Dogbreath says:

    Need to find a histamine expert in the Pittsburgh area.
    After 10 years of passive avoidance of certain foods, its time to step up and be more proactive.

  • Nix says:

    I found out about histamine intolerance 3 weeks ago after 43 years of symptoms. I happened to google ‘why do I get reflux from apple cider vinegar’ and it came back as my answer. It was like reading a diary I had written. Everything that makes others feel vibrant makes me feel sick.

    So far a Vit B complex injection has given instant improvement.

  • Erica says:

    I have primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis. It’s a chronic liver disease resulting from progressive destruction of the bile ducts in the liver.

    Itching is one of the major symptoms of the disease. Mine was intolerable. Long story short, I did a lot of research and determined that I had Histamine Intolerance in addition to the PBC. When I went on a restricted diet, the itching decreased.

    I wonder if the HIT is related to the PBC. Any thoughts?

  • Karen says:

    My 1 year old grandson eats limited solid foods because he turns red on the left side of his face from his temple to his jaw with almost all foods. The redness is hot to the touch. Could this be related? Do you have any suggestions of what we should test for?

  • Maureen Gladden says:

    Look into NAET to eliminate allergies. My 3 year old daughter has many MANY allergies including histamine intolerance and salicylate sensitivities. NAET has eliminated many of her allergies and improved her life and mine unbelievably.

  • Rose says:

    I don’t sweat and have histamine intolerance to food and heat. My father had it as well.
    After going on an anti histamine diet my fatigue fell away but my burning read face and head swelling is so distracting that I can’t sleep. I am thinking that because I can’t sweat my body temperature is not handled well and when any amount of heat cannot be regulated my histamine goes sky hi. Where can I get professional help for this?

  • Kathleen Burson says:

    Just beginning the journey. No testing done. Beginning with 2 weeks of dietary changes. A doctor told me a year ago that heart-racing/pounding was likely due to an allergy. A few nights ago, I had 2 hours of pounding of my heart after a day of my usual fermented foods and grapefruit and oranges on an otherwise empty stomach. Googled “heart-racing allergy”. Bingo, histamine intolerance came up. Wow, all the dots from a lifetime of frustrating issues are connecting. Thank you for all the great info here. Already dove in to make the suggested environmental, physical, dietary and other changes. First day of reduced stomach and joint pain already.

  • April Kurtyka says:

    2 years ago a functional medicine dr tested my histamine levels and it was normal. However, now, I really feel like kombucha, red meat and fermented foods gives me pressure in my head and heart palpitations.

    Could that test have been wrong? Or were my histamine levels okay then but are now just over loaded? I’m sorry if something like this has been answered, I read the entire article, and I’m doing my very best to understand it all!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Histamine testing is not reliable at all. It’s short lived – meaning histamine can be missed on the lab. Best is to do as you state here – identify what you’re eating and then remove what you think are offending foods / drinks.

  • Dan says:

    L. Plantarum is the probiotic for dust mite allergies. Especially helpful for those who cannot rip up carpeting, if they rent or live in an apartment.

    Really helps.

  • Lu says:

    Loved this article. I have gone on a strict low histamine/low everything diet! It has helped But I still struggle with chronic nasal inflammation, (treating gut and metyhlation now) Reducing dose of methylfolate and folinic acid has helped with congestion as well. Never thought of creatine! I’m curious if you can recommend a daily dose of creatine. I know most studies (although for muscle) show 5 grams a day. But I know the seeking health brand is only 500 mg. I assume for methylation/histamine purposes you don’t need as much?
    My biggest fear with creatine is the increase of dht, because looking at my older brothers and father I know receding hair can potentially be in my future. But maybe with this lower dose you get all the benefits and none of the drawbacks?

    Thanks so much!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Starting low with creatine and working up – or altering the amount on different days – is a great way to see what works for you. Yes – Optimal Creatine by Seeking Health is 500 mg per serving; however, you can easily take more. I personally made the serving size small so it is easy to go up and measure.

      • Lu says:

        Awesome! Thank you. Do you by chance have any preferred total daily dose recommendation in terms of supporting methylation/histamine?

  • Sonia says:

    Wow, this is very informative. How is histamine intolerance different than allergies to sulphites?

  • Zara Davy says:

    You’ve GOT to be an INTJ. Please tell me you’re an INTJ. XD All this stuff is really encouraging and helpful, and best of all, combined with wit. Well done, and thank you for this helpful info.

  • Deborah Williams says:

    Thanks so much for the article. I find this a stressful topic, but your humor and light heartedness are refreshing. This answers so many questions and the piece of the puzzle that I was missing in my health. I was recently tested for gluten intolerance and I have made all of the wrong choices in food since my symptoms have worsened as relates to HIT. I have never understood what triggered my bad reactions, it seemed so random. I am so sensitive to most medications and go into a panic every time one is prescribed worried about what reaction I may have. I will have to look into the books you recommended and hopefully it won’t be as daunting as it seems, you have given me hope.

  • stacy baumiester says:

    I am positive that I have histamine Intolerance. I follow a histamine free diet and I feel good but some days not so good. I would love to know how I can find a doctor to help me further and run these tests so I can know the exact cause of the intolerance and find what else I could be doing. My family doctor and gynecologist know nothing about it and think I am crazy. I am doing all that I can , reading all the time. Please help. thanks Stacy

  • Keri says:

    You asked for comments about triggers you might have forgotten and I’d add mold.

  • Frank says:

    Hi Dr Lynch,

    I wanted to ask as regards to histamine issues and your I3+DIM product. It is under the histamine pathway on your site.

    I am 100 percent sure I have histamine intolerance. I have been beginning all recommended cofactors and I was also considering taking the I3+DIM, however I was wondering if you could explain why this may be beneficial for histamine issues and why it is under that pathway as I have been unable to find this out and the mechanism behind it.

    Also, are there any updates with the histamine thing? I know you said you were still investigating stuff and with the histamineX product etc.
    Thanks for your time.

  • A Clark says:

    Dr. Lynch,

    I am recent follower and came here following the Phelix Helix podcast you did. Thank you for your sharing of knowledge. It means so, so much.

    My 12 year old son is on year 3 of allergy shots. He has not been tested for MTHFR gene mutation, however I have and have the 677 C/C and 1298 A/C. My question is, since I am just finding out the ramifications of all of this (very new) could his lack of response to the allergy shots be related to inability to methylate properly?

    Basically, we have seen no improvement in his allergy symptoms (seasonal). During testing, he reacted to every single prick performed on his skin (about 150?) the only spot that didn’t rise was the saline / placebo.

    Any direction and help is appreciated!

  • Tara says:

    What type of doctor and tests do I run to see if I have? I have MTHFR C677T hetero
    I’m 39 and have experienced dizziness or more lightheadness plus an array of other symptoms for past six years , a few months after I had my 2nd child

  • Tara says:

    What type of doctor and tests do I run to see if I have? I have MTHFR C677T hetero
    I’m 39 and have experienced dizziness or more lightheadness plus an array of other symptoms for past six years , a few months after I had my 2nd child .

  • Annmarie Kostyk says:

    Thanks for this! I submitted my blood results from 23andMe to get further results. A lot was confirmed… deficient in a lot of gene areas.

    Two years ago I finally figured out, on my own, that I had histamine intolerance. I had done the gamut of docs and drugs. I had asthma and allergies my whole life, always tired, mild depression since I can remember, pulse skyrocketed and blood pressure dipped when I drank any alcohol or kombucha, so I stopped – 30 years ago. Once I switched to a low histamine diet, my ulcerative colitis went away. I think my asthma has too. I’m no longer on any medication. I am scared of food now though So many of the food lists are different. I used the SIGHI list.

    Interestingly enough, I figured it out after I went gung ho with “healing the gut”. Bone broth, sardines, green drinks, avocados, etc. I ended up in the hospital for 5 days. I couldn’t speak or hold anything in my hands! So scary.

    If you have time to answer, how do you feel about beans? They are on some lists and not on others. I miss them more than anything else. Lemons too. Hummus!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Awesome overall! Your one situation does sound scary. Try beans and see how you do. Bone broth is definitely high high histamine. I can’t do it much – plus I don’t like the taste much.

      Do try ProBiota Bifido – it is really helping a number of folks with histamine intolerance.

  • Catherine DeVeau says:

    I am feel so incredibly known reading this article!

    6 years ago February I broke out with a mass on the back of my neck, as time went on these spread to all parts of my body and came more and more frequently. The diagnosis from the dermatologist was chronic urticaria. I went to my doctor and was tested for allergies- my IgE was high and they diagnosed me as having a “histamine intolerance”. Later on after more blood work I was told I have several autoimmune diseases. When tested for MTHFR I came back positive for C677.

    I hadn’t until now looked into if the elevated IgE and the MTHFR could be related and boy am I glad I did. I have been eating low histamine for the most part but this is even more detail. I feel like I have some things I can go to my doctor with and ask to be tested for now so that I know what the best course of action can be to help me be as symptom free as possible!

    Thanks so much! If you know of any doctors in NorCal/ Southern Oregon please let me know!

    • Catherine DeVeau says:

      I also forgot to mention that when the allergy panel came back I was “severely” allergic to avocados and mildly allergic to dust mites and mold.

  • Laura says:

    I realize this article is over 2 years old, but I must say that it is, by far, the most informative and helpful of the dozens of articles (from personal blogs to peer-reviewed scholarly articles) I’ve read. I have the to be either Traditional Dr. or Naturopath diagnoses, but with your help I’m getting closer to understanding HI and all of it’s ugly sidekicks. Thank you, thank you for this encouraging read; it came when I needed it the most.

  • Kim says:

    I didn’t see SIBO in the list of “The causative factors for histamine intolerance”.

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Kim – SIBO does increase histamine intolerance – absolutely. I discuss SIBO and histamine intolerance here.

      • Jayne says:

        Dr. Lynch I have hashimotos and used to take b12 then after a year of not taking b12 due to huge stress, termial dad, moving twice while new pace getting ready, mum having major surgery and dog attack on my mum, i started feeling really crappy, off balance, tingly feeling in legs, clumsy, forgetful. realized i hadnt taken b12 in over a year ( intial level was 166 when i started them) took it again and felt amazing for about 3 days then it all went downhill and i started getting panic attacks and what i think was low potassium from high dose b12. I have also now been getting what i think is histamine issues, congestion, and itchy scalp comes and goes so i think food related. Very congested when i drink red wine. I dont know where to start. im guessing ive messed up my methylation. maybe due to stress, not sure. i just know i can no longer run (last fall i stopped and i miss it so much) and feel awful most of the time. Small amount of b12( 300mcg every other day) enables me to function enough, but cant tolerate the 1200-5000 mcg i used to take. Im a single mum who needs to work . . My doc just wanted to give me meds for the anxiety. Even though i told her it started from the b12 and goes down when my b12 dose does. Basic blood test was all normal. She didnt do b12 as she said it would not be correct as i had been supplementing. i cant afford a naturopath doc being a single mum. Any help would be sooo appreciated, Feel like im just going downhill.

        • Jayne says:

          As an added fyi i cant handle caffeine and have never been able to do any stimulants of any kind, And as of late i cant handle multi vitamins anymore either. Good for a few days then anxious and feel unwell. I do take 1000 magnesium and 2000 vitamin D daily.

  • Wiliam "Dean" Bruno says:

    I am a 63-year old male. I learned of my MTHFR condition (neither gene works) about 15-20 years ago. I was tested after one of my siblings learned she had the condition. My PCP prescribed folbic (1-2 tablets a day). I have been taking it ever since. It never occurred to me until this week that perhaps there is a connection between MTHFR and other medical issues I am dealing with. Based on reading your article, I now think there is a probable connection. Below is a brief summary of my medical history.

    I have battled eczema for many years. It is easily managed with topical creams, either OTC or a prescribed steroid-based product, Triamcinolone Acetonide .1%.

    In 2000 I developed a throat lesion caused by silent acid reflux. Scar tissue was surgically removed. My ENT prescribed Nexium (replaced with Prilosec). I have been taking one or the other since first diagnosed. As explained later, on March 23, 2018 my PCP changed the prescription to Zantac (twice a day).

    About four years ago I developed an aggravating, hard to see, rash on my upper back. My dermatologist indicated Grover’s disease (apparently common in older men), something he was not worried about. He prescribed the same steroid-based cream to manage the itch.

    About three years ago I started getting periodic hives on my chest and back. The hives would come and go (lasting several days) but were nothing more than a minor nuisance. I assumed the hives were connected to the Grover’s rash. I used the same steroid-based cream to soothe the itching and burning caused by the sporadic hives. My PCP and my dermatologist indicated that the hives were unrelated to Grover’s and both suspected that I might be allergic to hydrochlorothiazide. I was taking a daily blood pressure medicine containing it. I was also taking a daily diuretic (which is hydrochlorothiazide) to help combat Meniere’s disease, a problem that I developed sometime around 1996.

    Eventually my hives worsened, covering most of my back, and became chronic (would not subside over several weeks). I was taken off both medications containing hydrochlorothiazide. Over the next year (2016-2017) I had three treatments of Predizone (last one in December 2017). I was referred to an allergist in December, 2017. I tested negative for numerous allergens. My allergist suspected that I had chronic autoimmune urticaria (CAU). Blood work confirmed her suspicion. Neither my PCP or allergist made mention of any possible connection to MTHFR.

    My allergist has me taking an OTC antihistamine (H1 blocker) twice a day. She also indicated I should avoid common triggers (tomatoes, strawberries, heat, and pressure) and self-monitor myself for other triggers such as alcohol. She does not think I need to see a dietitian.

    I have been trying to eat a low histamine diet—something I decided on my own in early January, 2018. My logic was simple. Why add histamine when I have an antibody that tricks mast cells to constantly release histamine without cause? I was not thinking that I was possibly histamine intolerant as well. I have consumed no tomatoes (or tomato-based products), alcohol, cheese, canned/preserved foods, or citrus since January 1, 2018. I have also limited eating leftovers and limited my gluten intake over the same period. I eat a lot of leaf lettuce salad, broccoli, brown rice or baked potato, gluten-free toast with natural peanut butter, a bowl of a corn-based cereal (with almond milk), and apples. I also eat fresh beef, chicken, or pork usually baked on the same day purchased. I drink one 12-ounce cup of caffeinated coffee each morning and two or three 12-ounce bottles of water a day. I try to limit my snacking to gluten-free crackers, but I have a sweet tooth and have had other snacks (nothing like I used to eat).

    My allergist does not think a low histamine diet is necessary. She continues to indicate that I should avoid known histamine releasers such as tomatoes and strawberries and watch for other common triggers such as alcohol, heat, and pressure.

    Despite my dietary efforts described above, my hives returned with a vengeance in mid-March. I tried to isolate possible triggers (salt-free pretzels, gummies, vanilla almond milk, gluten-free chocolate once a week), but I have been unable to isolate the trigger(s). The hives have continued and worsened.

    I visited my PCP today (March 23, 2018) to discuss whether there is a specialist better suited for someone, like me, who has both MTHFR and CAU. I am also scheduled to see my dermatologist on April 6th in search of a non-steroid based lotion to help soothe the discomfort (more burning and discomfort than itching).

    My PCP recommended the following:

    • Replace Prilosec with Zantac (H2 blocker) twice a day;
    • continue taking an H1 antihistamine twice a day;
    • see my dermatologist as planned; and
    • consider participating in a University-based (Loyola or Northwestern) program to deal with people with hard to define/treat conditions involving multiple intersecting factors and medical disciplines.

    He plans to explore opportunities at Loyola and Northwestern and then make a recommendation. I asked about naturopathic options. He indicated that it is possible the University-based approach may lead there, but he would prefer to start with a University-based approach due to the uniqueness of my situation. He seemed to agree with me that the MTHF I have been trying to eat a low histamine diet—something I concluded on my own since early January, 2018. R may have caused histamine intolerance that essentially magnifies my problem caused by CAU. I am wondering if my MTHFR condition possibly caused me to develop CAU.

    Any suggestions or comments?

  • jc says:

    My chronic hives cure story. I have suffered from chronic idiopathic hives for years, and I believe I just resolved them. I have the MTHFR 1298ac snp. It is active. I learned through an elimination diet I was allergic to sugar. There is no lab test for this allergy. I was taking an antihistamine daily to treat the hives. I just learned from this website to stop ingesting folic acid. I stopped all folic acid intake (I was already taking methyl folate and methyl B12.) and stopped the antihistamine. I have no hives anymore. I just wanted to share this in case it helps someone else. Mainstream medicine could not help me (they just said nothing was wrong with me).

  • mark says:

    Regrettably we don’t have enough solid scientific studies on this topic, but histamine degrading probiotics did more for me than trying low histamine foods. Cutting out those foods did nothing. By the way, the probiotic blend you are selling for histamine sensitive individuals is not histamine free..we have recent studies showing that longum and salivarius may produce histamine! ..please do your homework and try to keep up to date as your product may cause needless suffering.

  • Thomas says:

    WOW, what an article, great work!

    Hey folks, Dr Lynch, Thomas here from Austria. I’m 32 now and I struggle since 4 years after a severe burnout due to work, drugs and certainly not-so-good decision making, behavior and alike. Invested in the 5 digits (€) already and have tried A LOT, still struggling, not being able to get back to work yet.

    Symptoms: can’t jog more than 50m without severe muscle burning and heavyness, anything beyond Tai’Chi is super exhausting, douzens of food intolerances, digestion problems, depression, anxiety, receding gums, nervousness, almost always in “activation”, racing heart, sleep problems, racing thoughts, multitasking, super cold hands and feets, sweaty feets, jaw joint problems along intense tension around the neck, intense cravings towards sweets/alcohol in the afternoon, itching, restlessness, dry skin, not wanting to go to bed at night, tight chest, red spots/rashes, and some more. My serum histamine showed up as 1200 (150 is the upper limit here), vitd3 at 32, progesterone double the upper limit, b12 upper limit, fasting glucose around 100 and some more on the upper or lower limit. VCS Test shows 61-72%.

    You wrote something about more symptoms. Here’s an interesting one: I’ve tried several times now to get back on track and one of the things I like to do is to go outside to the park and do barefoot Tai’Chi when the sun rises. Every time I did this in the past months, I’ve had a more or less intense (sometimes extreme) rash almost all over my body along itching,… I’m checking right now if cold showers do the same as I used to follow up with them after my Tai’Chi but it seems they don’t affect me, though something doesn’t feel alright after hot showers. It’s the same reaction that I get from meals high in histamine: rash all over my upper body and sometimes face/legs/arms, super intense itching, hot and red ears and lips, extreme tension, getting pissed off, confused, restless, anxious, shivers. One time I lost consciousness for a fraction of a second and couldn’t walk properly anymore for a while, they didn’t find something in the emergency. Sometimes I had to lay down and couldn’t get up for an hour or more, and I’m somebody who can take quite the beating (which doesn’t always have to be good). I used to be the guy who got nicknames in the gym because he trained so hard, people would puke or give up 1/3 through my workout.

    So as for now I try to get back on track again with the basics. My biggest deficits are certainly in the social realm (friends, fam, love), huge one!! That’s what I really wanna work on and it’s super challenging, not only due to several setbacks in the past. But I try, sometimes I need a while to get back on track but I won’t give up. Dreams are too big, a lot of experience to share, a lot of people who need some actual help, a lot of bullshit out there that needs to be silenced by the truth.

    So far Paul Chek and Matthew Wallden (CHEK Practitioner I’ve worked with) have been very very helpful, especially when it comes down to the basics! Mike from High Intensity Health is doing a wonderful job and now I discovered you aswell good Sir, with some (in my opinion) unbiased, objective and back to earth information and tipps that I certainly need by times. I love that you start with the basics and confront people with some truth here. Sadly a lot of people in the business go for the money and promote “magic bullets” or “one-size-fits-all” thinking, repeating the vicious cycle that I feel so many people are trapped in.

    Certainly I’m happy about suggestions and help :)! Can’t really afford too many supplements to experiment with though, I try to save my money for some organic food and maybe some sauna as I don’t really sweat a lot lately due to lack of exercise. Maybe I’ll save some money for the genetic testing though as my body feedback isn’t that clear by times due to all the symptoms, pains and also mental programing by the ads and industries.

    Amazing work you’re doing here Dr Lynch and team! You guys rock and I wish you all that you need in your lives to keep growing and keep going!

    Much Love,

  • Alyson says:

    Is there any relationship between histamine intolerance and salicylate intolerance as far as MTHFR or other genes? (I have the milder MTHFR mutation). I developed both conditions last year when taking a supplement that contained corn-derived ingredients (I am severely intolerant to corn). When I stopped the supplement, my HIT disappeared, but the salicylate issue remains. I was on a high-veggie and berry diet too, very high in salicylates. Am trying to figure out how best to support my system, and hopefully heal this (if that’s possible…).

    • Kelly says:

      Alyson, salicylates deplete histidine. Some say histidine makes histamine intolerance worse, while others say it actually helps. Google Janet Stone for more info…

  • Laura says:

    Thank you for this honest, forward thinking and informative article. I will read more! Truly appreciate your effort and candor.

  • Cristina says:

    Great article. Im not really sure you cant cure histamine intolerance.

    I became vegan, both parents got sick, got a divorce and then had ibs and sibo. 4 years into that, i took antibiotics and only then i got histamine intolerance at 36 years old. im from Romania and 6 months of the years the only vegetables we were eating were fermented. but we also ate in summer salads, walked a lot and skipped breakfast. i have the mthfr mutation and NAT2. thats why i am not convinced you cant cure it….wish me luch:).

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Cristina –

      I don’t believe in the word ‘cure’. Body is dynamic. Histamine intolerance cannot be cured – it requires maintenance. Symptoms of histamine intolerance may absolutely be stabilized but the moment one eats or drinks too much histamine stuff or stresses out or overexercises or sleeps poorly or eats intolerant foods – look out. It’s coming back.

  • Annoushka says:

    How can i arrange a consultation with you Dr. Ben Lynch?
    Do you take patients? Is this possible at all?

  • Mary W says:

    Could dermatographia possibly have anything to do with MTHFR mutation?

  • Liz says:

    I found out about my histamine (precisely Tyramine) intolerance when I started to have dangerously high blood pressure spikes (i.e. 200/110) and researched these. Ended up in the ER three times in 2 weeks before I found info on histamine intolerance, since it is usually only mentioned in combination with MAOi’s.
    Thank you for this article. I appreciate all the work you put into it. It is very helpful.

  • rachel demauro says:

    Do you have a more specific diet to follow or recommend ?

  • Rachel says:

    Symptoms. Add: burning bladder. This is often my second or third sign that my histamine is rising. First is puffy eyelids. If I get to burning bladder, I have to get it under control and I kick out some of the borderline foods for awhile. For women, this is important to know, because we have to investigate if we are having high histamine or if we have a UTI.

  • Erin says:

    I am allergic to everything they have tested me for so far, except mice. My issues started when I was pregnant and I developed severe pain in the liver area (and threw everything up the whole time), which led them to taking out my gallbladder at 28 wks. It didn’t help and actually made things worse. I progressed to identifiable anaphylaxis reactions (coupled with the still intense – worse than my 40 hr labor – pain) and extremely high liver enzymes at the time of the events (I call them attacks). My worst was over 1600/1700 on the AST/ ALT. Dr thinks I have exercise induced anaphylaxis which has been devastating as I’m an athlete. I’m currently able to run ~25 miles per week very slowly w/ a heart rate monitor keeping HR below 138 (I use the MAF method), fasted. My times have gone from ~7:30 m/ m to 12 m/m but at least I’m out there. I have hetero MTHFR/ MAOA homo PEMT, I can’t figure out the HEMT one. The list of foods I can tolerate is small (full fat dairy, meat, potatoes, white rice). I can’t tolerate any fruits, most veggies, alcohol, nuts, beans, wheat, oats, sweet potatoes, corn, and I full on flip my lid with cilantro/ cabbage/ wheat. No one has ever suggested that my histamine issues were at all related to MTHFR mutation, which surprises me since I’ve been in and out of the hospital and I work closely w/ an allergist and a naturopath. I’m currently functional due to immunotherapy and a restrictive diet, oral cromolyn, zyrtec, zantac (PRN on both), and BCQ by vital nutrients and an iron infusion (it was awful – horrible reaction, but at least my iron is above 5, which were I sat for years). I’ve had an “attack” (anaphylaxis) happen while I was surfing once. Terrifying! Now I take a prophylactic antihistamine first.

  • Corrin says:

    When my youngest daughter was 2 she had her first anyphylatic reaction to food which caused a cascade of food intolerances and eczema. After doing an elimination diet with her and trying some gut healing bone broth we realized she actually had histamine intolerance. I’ve had her on a AIP PALEO diet and low histamine diet ever since and also did some gut healing and got her stomach acid back into proper order. The eczema and histamine intolerance have been under pretty steady control with no need for any creams or antihistamines at all.
    I haven’t had her DNA tested yet, but can imagine she likely has a MTHFR gene mutation by looking around at our families symptoms. Personally I suffered from migraines and uticaria since childhood. Her brother has chronic urticaria and mood problems, and her sister has horrible seasonal allergies along with adhd and anxiety. That’s besides the point I guess, as I plan to order the testing for her ASAP and will find out for sure. My main hurdle continues with my youngest daughter is that she can’t sweat in even the most extreme heat and exercise conditions, and she has no energy to play, and has the dryest scalp ever (we only wash her hair once a month or if it’s physcally dirty). She’s 5 years old now and still naps everyday when she gets home from school, completely exhausted from kindergarten. Her pain in her joints has gotten much better since supplementing with methylated B12 and folate, but I’m curious if she needs thyroid support? We have history of hypothyroidism on both sides of our family.
    Thank you

  • Marynia Poppins says:

    Dear Dr. Lynch,

    You might want to add fat to the list of “causative factors for histamine intolerance”:


    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi there –

      Depends on how you define ‘fat’. The ketogenic diet actually reduces inflammation significantly when done properly – and that’s a lot of fat.

  • Anna says:

    Another major cause of histamine intolerance is accumulated oxalate, that’s why you shouldn’t be eating whole grains, especially not quinoa!
    Oxalates are also the true cause of dysbiosis and leaky gut, taking L-glutamine doesn’t fix it, I know because I fixed mine!

    • Dr Lynch says:

      Hi Anna –

      Most intolerance to oxalates is an environmental issue – it’s a result of low stomach acid, nutrient deficiency, stress, antibiotic use, low bile flow, low digestive enzymes, imbalanced gut flora.

      Very little intolerance to oxalates is genetic.

      • Anna says:

        Dear Dr. Lynch,
        I’m sorry but you obviously don’t know much about the deep field of oxalate. There is no such thing as intolerance to oxalates. They are a poison and a large amount will harm anybody. Obviously there is some individual variation of the amount of oxalate per day that a given person can deal with, but everyone has a limit and I’m sure nobody can eat hundreds of milligrams every day and not eventually get problems. It’s just not obvious right away because the body is very good at storing it and it doesn’t warn us that we have just eaten something poisonous because this particular poison is too common, our ancestors would have starved if they had been avoiding it.
        Why don’t you go on a low oxalate diet for a few months and see if your histamine intolerance resolves completely?

        • Dr Lynch says:

          Anna –

          Oxalates are not the issue itself. There are many components in food which the microbiome – if healthy – can metabolize.

          How can you say there is no such thing as intolerance to oxalates?

          Going on an oxalate free, histamine free, acid free, dairy free diet is not the answer.

          Healing the entire system is

          I’m finding and hearing from health professionals that oxalate issues go away when digestive systems are functioning well.

          Big ones:
          – stomach acid
          – gallbladder ie bile flow
          – microbial population healthy – not yeast/candida

          • Anna says:

            Dear Dr. Lynch,
            I never claimed that anyone should go on an oxalate free, histamine free, acid free or dairy free diet. I am aware that there are many intolerances which can be fixed. But oxalate is another matter. I think everyone should aim to stay below around 50 – 100mg per day (depending on individual sensitivity) because there is a limit to how much even a healthy microbiome can metabolise. Above a certain threshold it will even cause the oxalate degrading bacteria to die off rather than flourish like you might think! Also, a lot of oxalate is already absorbed through the stomach, this is a known fact. And it is absorbed through simple membrane diffusion, so why should the stomach acid matter?
            As for candida, it is not a cause but a result of high oxalates, because it is there to help the bacteria find more oxalate. Many people have found that killing off the candida only made them feel worse, not better.
            Most health professionals are not fully aware of all the issues caused by oxalates. Many of them are subtle and people just assume they are normal or part of the ageing process, like feeling lazy or having less and less energy as you age, and shrinking and losing teeth due to bone loss. So maybe those health professionals managed to make their clients a bit better able to deal with oxalate but I doubt these people can now eat spinach every day and feel as good as I do now!
            I had a very miserable childhood and now realise that oxalates were the root cause. Yet I had pretty good digestion, in fact I was able to eat huge bowls of salad as a main meal without any difficulty, and would feel good afterwards due to all the nutrients. And I was never given antibiotics because I was hardly ever ill, so my microbiome should have been fairly diverse. You’ll have to give me a better explanation for my supposed oxalate intolerance!

          • Kelly says:

            Anna, your logic is well…illogical. Please cite a study — even one — to back up your claims. As for an explanation for your current issues, you may want to look into diversifying your microbiome. There are other bacteria besides Oxalobacter formigenes…

          • Anna says:

            Kelly, please bring some proper arguments to back up your claim if you have any.
            As for studies, unfortunately the topic of oxalate has been badly neglected, so people have had to go by their own experiences in many regards. I can’t prove everything I’m saying until the science catches up with what people already know. There is research showing that oxalate absorption by the stomach is significant though: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022534717364005 As for oxalates making you feel lazy and zapping your energy, that is due to mitochondrial dysfunction: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5975227/ And here’s a study about oxalates causing bone resorption: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7041638 Here one that says that oxalate is toxic and causes inflammation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4891250/ And another about how calcium oxalate crystals can lead to leaky gut: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28335665
            And I don’t need advice from people like you who obviously know very little about the topic. I’ve already tried taking probiotics with many of those types of bacteria known to degrade oxalate, but that hasn’t made me any less sensitive to it.

  • Sundeep Rattan says:

    Hello Dr. Ben, Thank you for the vital information.
    You recommended Quinoa.
    Is Freekeh better than Quinoa or else i should try to use Quinoa only?


  • Francisco Pedroza says:

    Hello Doctor. I recently got my immunoglobulin E(IgE) test results and it was way high and was wondering if there’s a natural way to bring it back to normal. The result showed 369 mg/dl, it says it says an adult should be at around 180 mg/dl max.

  • Bridget says:

    Hi there, I have a long history of histamine problems, too. What you didn’t mention as triggers above are gluten, oxalates and some others. Especially gluten and oxalates are great for increasing histamines in the gut and causing diarrhea. Vitamin B9 is a histamine liberator, too, and causes fast heartbeat and shaking of my hands.
    Therefore I eat a lot of yogurt, really loads and feel good. I can’t eat much fish let alone meat or poultry.
    I take a lot of supplements and co-enzyme q10 tablets have replaced my anti-histamine drugs.
    In the past I went to lots of doctors and often got anti-depressants which I put in the bin. I went to nutritionists who made things worse. But I went to a homeopath who actually fixed my hyperactive thyroid gland with iodine. Iodine is an anti-histamine as well. Maybe that’s why I had these severe thyroid problems incl. goiter.
    I only found out 5 yrs ago that my problems come from histamines. I had a lot of the symptoms you described above.
    But lots of supplements plus magnesium baths have improved things a lot.
    I am still looking for more info on this as I am on a very restricted diet.

  • Jekoha says:

    What supplements can a child take for lowering histamine?

    • Hi Jekoha –

      Many of what you read above are what may be used.

      I’d start with: ProBiota HistaminX and Optimal Liposomal Vitamin C first. If not enough, then can add in HistaminX.

  • Tamara says:

    There are 3 of us in our family who have been struggling with histamine intolerance. One of them has the MTHFR mutation. After many years of research I have written how I went about identifying this condition and the treatment options that really worked for us in my blog:


  • Ann says:

    Hello Dr. Lynch..i have the same problem with hashimotos and mthfr confirmed. I get total body hives daily with a huge flare during menstruation for no apparent reason. Would the same protocol help me or can you suggest another? Thanks.

  • Kelly says:

    This study showed that niacin(amide) raises histamine, even in small doses — 100 mg. Is that because it depletes methyl donors?


    If so, then how do we balance the two?

    Thanks in advance.

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