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.

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8 years ago

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!

7 years ago
Reply to  Katie

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.

8 years ago

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!

8 years ago
Reply to  Tania

How long would you need to be on a low histamine diet in order to find out if histamine is a problem? Would you know within a couple of days or might it take weeks?

7 years ago
Reply to  Tania

sorry Tania, I posted to the wrong comment. Look for a reply to Katie.

Jodi S
8 years ago

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Jodi S

Lara Bars have alot of dried fruit. So high histamine…

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

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?

8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  kayla

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

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.

6 years ago
Reply to  Alyson

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!


8 years ago
Reply to  Carol

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.

7 years ago
Reply to  Karen

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.

5 years ago
Reply to  Carol

Did you ever find out what was causing your POTS and elevated glycine? Mitochondrial disorder??

Jane McDermott
8 years ago

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?

8 years ago

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
8 years ago
Reply to  karen

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?

8 years ago
Reply to  karen

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?

8 years ago

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.

6 years ago
Reply to  Claire

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.

8 years ago

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

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Doro

Doro~ Can you please tell me what you’ve done to help yourself! I have prayed and prayed for relief…

8 years ago

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.

7 years ago
Reply to  HD

email me at rachelforshee@gmail.com I’d like to better understand what helped you so I can try.

Audrey WAlker
8 years ago

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Audrey WAlker

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!

8 years ago

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.

Dr. Aron
8 years ago
Reply to  Jessica

Hello Jessica – This can all seem daunting in the beginning…even for doctors! Compound heterozygous MTHFR C677T and A1298C refer to the specific MTHFR genes you inherited from your parents. Hyperhomocystenemia is just a label saying you have elevated homocysteine. The MTHFR gene mutations are the body’s blueprint that can predispose you to high homocysteine levels.

Start with these articles and try to find someone knowledgeable to help in the Physician Directory:
Dr. Ben’s general starting protocol: https://mthfr.net/mthfr-c677t-mutation-basic-protocol/2012/02/24/
Prevent methylfolate side effects: https://mthfr.net/preventing-methylfolate-side-effects/2014/11/26/
Physician Directory: https://seekinghealth.org/physician-directory/

Now that you are aware that MTHFR is indeed a big deal, you can start empowering yourself with some information and start looking for a doctor who is willing to work with you. Please keep us updated!

All the best,
Dr. Aron

8 years ago

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!

7 years ago
Reply to  Gabbrielle

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

7 years ago
Reply to  Jen

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!!

7 years ago
Reply to  Gabbrielle

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

Sandy Toma
8 years ago

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.

7 years ago
Reply to  Sandy Toma

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.

7 years ago
Reply to  Souglas

Also, mast cell activation causes major histamine issues. Left that out.

6 years ago
Reply to  Souglas

I too wonder about that, what of the above applies then?

Tracey Linneweber
8 years ago

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

8 years ago

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!

8 years ago

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.

Dr. Aron
8 years ago
Reply to  Gabbrielle

Gabbrielle – you can find a number of doctors who have completed methylation training with Dr. Ben here: http://seekinghealth.org/physician-directory/.

8 years ago

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

6 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

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
8 years ago
Reply to  Fran

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.

6 years ago
Reply to  Fran

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.

8 years ago

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…

8 years ago

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!

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Katie

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Katie


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!

8 years ago


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
8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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!

Sandy Toma
8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Ben Lynch

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!

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

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
8 years ago
Reply to  Nikki

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

8 years ago

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

8 years ago

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?

8 years ago

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
8 years ago
Reply to  Maria

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

8 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Aron

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.

Kristin Outlan
8 years ago
Reply to  maria

Maria how much and at what time do you take the Mg? Thanks

7 years ago
Reply to  maria

Maria what type of mag are you taking? Glycinate, citrate etc? Thank you. So glad it worked for you!

Maria C
8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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
8 years ago


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?



8 years ago

So sorry, Autumn Casiglia.

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

John Macgregor
8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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
8 years ago
Reply to  Gail Stutman

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.

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

Dr. Aron
8 years ago
Reply to  Christina

This is great to hear!

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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?

8 years ago

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.

Dr. Aron
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Andrea – You may link to this article on your blog. Thanks for spreading the word!

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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
8 years ago

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.

8 years ago

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.

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