If you experience flushing, break out in hives, or even experience diarrhea after consuming certain foods, it may possible that you are struggling with a histamine issue. Find out about histamine intolerance and how it could be affecting your gut health.
What is histamine intolerance?
Histamine intolerance, also known as a sensitivity to dietary histamine, is an overproduction of histamine, and/or an inability of the body to properly break down histamines. This is thought to be caused by reduced intestinal diamine oxidase (DAO) activity in the body. DAO activity is responsible for metabolizing histamine.
So, when people with histamine intolerance consume histamine-rich foods or beverages, their bodies struggle to break down histamine — leading to higher concentrations of histamine in the plasma.
This then triggers an immune response, which can manifest in a variety of issues, such as:
- Skin manifestations: Flushing, itching (pruritus), hives (urticaria)
- Respiratory manifestations: Sneezing, rhinitis, nasal congestion, runny nose
- Gastrointestinal manifestations: Diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain
- Cardiovascular manifestations: low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat
- Nervous system manifestations: headache, migraine, dizziness
As such, a low-histamine diet is recommended for those with histamine sensitivities. However, even if someone with histamine intolerance consumes a low-histamine diet, it is still possible for them to experience issues — and this where the importance of gut-bacteria comes into play, which we will discuss in detail below.
Stress response and histamines
However, before we go into the details of the gut, we also want to share another interesting component to histamine issues: emotional stress. Individuals who deal with histamine intolerance are also said to be under a lot of stress. Emerging research is showing the vast benefit of stress-reduction to help support a healthy histamine response! Unconventional therapies such as EFT (tapping), qigong, yoga, and other somatic practices have showed promising benefits!
What is the connection between the gut and histamine?
There are about 300 to 1,000 species of bacteria that naturally live in the gut microbiome. Some of those probiotic bacteria, specifically lactic acid bacteria, produce histamine.
Through an enzyme called L-histidine decarboxylase, these strains of bacteria in your gut can break down histidine and turn it into histamine.
Histidine is present in most foods including poultry, meats, seafood, eggs, and whole grains.
As such, an abundance of lactic acid probiotic bacteria in the body can lead to increased histamine levels. Alterations in the gut microbiota could be due to one’s diet, lifestyle, or environment, as well as the presence of chronic stress or illness.
Benefits of probiotics for histamine intolerance
There is ample research on the benefits of probiotic supplementation to one’s overall immunity and health. However, people with histamine intolerance must be wary about the probiotics they consume. There are many probiotic formulations available on the market that are not suitable for those with histamine intolerance.
The following are histamine-producing probiotics that you should avoid:
- Lactobacillus saerimneri
- Limosilactobacillus reuteri, vaginalis
- Lacticaseibacillus casei, paracasei
- Lactobacillus curvatus, delbrueckii, helveticus
- Lentilactobacillus buchneri, hilgardii, parabuchneri
- Lactiplantibacillus plantarum
- Lactilatobacillus spp
- Levilactobacillus brevis
Meanwhile, studies involving the Bifidobacterium genus have been very promising. Healthy people were found to have higher levels of Bifidobacterium strains in their gut microbiome. Thus, it appears to be a suitable probiotic for histamine intolerance.
If you’re looking for histamine-friendly probiotics, make sure to look out for the following bacteria strains:
- Bifidobacterium infantis
- B. breve
- B. longum
- B. bifidum
- B. coagulans
- B. indicus
- B. subtilis
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus
These strains are considered much more ‘histamine friendly.’ By finding these specific strains, someone who histamine issues can enjoy the many benefits that come with taking probiotic supplements. This includes better digestive health and less incidence of gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and or gas and of course mood support, too!
By improving gut health, specific types of probiotic bacteria can also support mood. Due to the gut-brain connections, studies have also shown that probiotics can help improve one’s mood and cognitive processes.
How do i know if it’s a histamine reaction or probiotic die-off?
Some people who take probiotics for the first time may experience symptoms such as headache, fatigue, irritability, nausea, flushing, rashes, gas, bloating, and muscle aches. Though these symptoms look similar to an allergic reaction, keep in mind that there is a difference between histamine response and probiotic die-off.
The probiotic die-off is based on the “Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction,” where patients who were taking probiotics were often seen as getting worse before they got better. The mild symptoms when first taking a probiotic could be due to the good bacteria, displacing the bacteria in your gut.
If you want to minimize probiotic die-off, you can start your dose with a significantly lower dose— by opening the capsule and sprinkling some of the contents into a smoothie or drink. You can then place the ‘lid’ back on the capsule and use the remaining contents another day.
Choosing the best probiotic for histamine intolerance
At Lifted Naturals, we want everyone to experience the benefits of probiotics. That’s why we’ve crafted histamine-friendly probiotic blends to cater to our customers with sensitivities. You won’t have to worry about histamine responses because we’ve ensured that our formulations are suitable for histamine sensitive individuals.
Our Bifidus Mood Boost formula features four powerful bacterial strains that not only support your digestive health and immune health but also support your mood. We’ve also included our favorite stress-supportive prebiotic, galactooligosaccharide (GOS), making it perfect for those looking for a probiotic and robotic all in one.
For those who do not prefer a formula with prebiotics, you can check out our Mood Super Strains, which come with six histamine-friendly bacterial strains to help with your mood and stress response.
Last but not least, we have SBO Mood Boost. If you have not seen much improvement in your previous probiotics, consider our spore-based probiotic that not only helps bring back balance to your gut microbiota, but can also lead to a healthier immune system.
All our products are manufactured in the United States, at our GMP certified facility to ensure that you get the very highest quality supplements available.