Mission Statement

mr itchThis blog is dedicated to women who are suffering from histamine intolerance brought on by the hormonal fluctuations common to menopause. It is a compilation of months of research.

Disclaimer

I am not in the medical field and this is not medical advice. I am just an ordinary woman, like you maybe, just starting menopause and newly suffering from histamine intolerance because of the changes in my hormonal balance. I wanted to compile my hours of research to make it easier for women like me to find answers.

Why are you here?

Maybe because you have been suffering multiple hot flashes at night and can’t sleep. You are having nightmares, and are restless. Maybe you are waking up with hives, or itching during the day for what seems like no reason. Your brain is in a fog, you feel dysfunctional, you can’t focus and you feel fatigued and just plain awful. You’ve done the reading, and you know you are starting menopause, so you think this is how you should feel and just get through it.

Your options seem to be to take HRT or to use herbal remedies, but you still itch and those hot flashes don’t stop.

Maybe though, you’ve been lucky enough to stumble, and I do mean stumble, over what really might be affecting you; high histamine levels brought on by the hormonal imbalance of menopause. In other words, you might be suffering from histamine intolerance. Basically, that means that what you eat is directly affecting how you feel. Foods high in histamine are triggering allergy-like reactions in your body. For me it’s itching. Additionally, there is a strong link to high histamine levels and hot flashes. I can attest to that link too!

Once I discovered the link between hormones and histamine, and then understood the link between histamine and food, I started making major changes to my diet and started taking vitamin supplements to help bring down my high histamine levels and my life improved dramatically.

In a nutshell, histamine intolerance is a problem the body has handling excess histamine. Up until my hormones changed with menopause, my body had no problem with anything I ate. But now my body cannot handle histamine coming in from outside sources, with those outside sources being food. So it’s not an allergy to food per se. A doctor could do a scratch test (a common test for allergies) for spinach let’s say, but my skin won’t react. That’s because I am not allergic to the food, but the histamine in the food.

I still suffer from histamine intolerance, but I am now educated about the issue and can work to, if not recover from it completely, at least control it. My itching is at a minimum depending on my diet, and my hot flashes are non-existent. My mood is even and dare I say peaceful, and my focus on tasks is returning. I still get fatigued, but I’m a high school teacher so that’s a normal state of being, but I feel relatively normal again.

And I don’t feel crazy anymore. Before I discovered what was going on with my body I thought I was going crazy. Or that I had some awful disease!

Anyone who has histamine intolerance will tell you navigating through life is trickier. It takes a lot of work to maintain an itch free day. And there are many surprises along the way. (I’m going to have to live with some mildew on my bathroom caulking because I learned the hard way bleach lights me up like a fire cracker!) But knowing what it is and how to manage it makes life so much better.

What made me start this blog?

I guess you could say I had an itch to write! I always thought it would be the great American novel…

Anyway, the real story is that I was researching my itching for at least two months when I landed on a site talking about the link between menopause and its effect on rising histamine levels. It backed up what I had already known from other sources. But what I didn’t realize at first was that it was a site advertising a med for hot flashes. I clicked on the information page and was completely horrified.

The med had nothing to do with lowering histamine. Yes, it had Vitamin C which is a known antihistamine, but the other ingredients were too many syllables to remember. But one ingredient really infuriated me. MSG!

How many people have a problem with that chemical already? And to put it in something that is supposed to minimize hot flashes?! I was incensed!

Women need to be educated. High Histamine is hidden in the lists of things that can go haywire with our bodies during menopause. Most women might never make the connection between menopause and histamine. Pharmaceutical companies who know what the issue is should be working to help women, but they really just want to sell drugs.

So that was it. I’ve learned so much and feel so much better I wanted to share my knowledge. I haven’t had a hot flash at night in weeks. I was having six a night before I figured it out. I can’t imagine what I’d be like if I were taking a drug with MSG in it.

And one other thing I’ve noticed. I have not had mood swings since I started a low histamine diet in conjunction with vitamin supplements. There is a well documented link between high histamine and depression. I think there must be a link between high histamine and mood swings but I haven’t found that specific information documented yet.

I am a teacher by profession. This is just another chance to share and teach. So if you’ve fallen over my site in your search for relief, please leave a comment and let me know if I’ve helped. I figure if I help one person, then my time is well spent.

Don’t forget to take a look around by clicking the links at the top of the page.

DLB

251 comments on “Mission Statement
  1. Kelley says:

    Thank you for your blog! I am 44 and have been going nuts trying to figure out what is going on with my body and what to do about it. My doctor said I my skin has too much histamine and the only solution is to take Allegra every day. Thank God it helps, but I want to get to the root of all my symptoms (similar to yours). Please let me know the foods you found are effective.
    Thanks,
    Kelley

    • Ann says:

      Hi Kelley.
      Having had this problem for several years the short answer is do not eat anything that is commercially produced, [no fermented food/drinks] make your own fresh. If I have a sandwich out I ask it to not include any dairy, beetroot or cheese or pickles. When we go on a cruise the shipping lines have a special chef for people with food allergies and so far I have had wonderful cruises except for the one when I did not know what was affecting me. So plain food is the order of the day for me and now I am down to just 1 or 2 anti histamines a week from one each 12 hours.
      Good luck
      Ann

    • The site I’ve referenced often on my blog is this one:

      http://histamino.wordpress.com

      It’s a good place to start when it comes to identifying foods that are known to trigger histamine intolerance.

      For me, at my worst, I ate a lot of butternut squash and apples because I had absolutely no reaction to them. I eat apples everyday even now. I crave them.

      Start a food diary and start making your own lists of safe foods and trigger foods. As I write this I’m having a huge hot flash because I drank a glass of white wine with friends earlier, which is simply awful for me!

      Good luck and let me know how you’re doing.

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        Oh Dale! you naughty girl! Some 22 odd years ago if I drank wine I would feel green about five hours later, it was one of the first things I stopped having, then cheese, then icecream, then all dairy. Then I noticed Mint Sauce….the pattern had started with fermented foods. [mint sauce has vinegar in]
        Have you tried taking a stronger anti histamine 30 minutes before you drink a glass of wine?
        Perhaps a couple of glasses of water too?
        It would be interesting to see how much your body can tolerate, I guess it depends on what meal your body is digesting before you have drunk the wine.
        For some years now I have felt I am a human test machine! LOL
        Avocado is really bad for me it is nearly as bad as MSG!
        Some medical sites have suggested also the stress/strain a body is under can have
        something to do with the digestion of histamines. I have found besides the Vit C the Vit B6 is a great way to help digest ‘difficult’ foods.

      • Oh Ann you really made me laugh with that opening!

        I’m really just beginning to understand that I’m going to have to eliminate some things permanently. Wine should be one of them. Cheese and dairy also. And I never touch avocado!

        I actually also limit any kind of mint. It’s bad for hot flashes too I’ve come to realize.

        I don’t take an anti histamine at all. Never have. So for me, it’s eat or drink something and pay the consequences or eliminate it. I choose to eliminate things, well right up until I’m out with friends and I drink a big ‘ole glass of white wine…

  2. Vicki says:

    This is awesome r. I went through 7 years of misery and many thousands of dollars before I got the menopause connection. I will share this with my three daughters and three sisters.

  3. Teresa says:

    Well, I will definitely give this a try. I have had leaky gut and food allergies along with itching ears and terrible lymphatic drainage that make me cough really bad at times. I have worked a lot with holistic practitioners as western medical doctors kept looking at me strangely when I tell them I wanted to get to the root of the problems, not just treat the symptoms. I’ve learned a lot and am some better, but I only get so far before I hit the wall, and the progress stops.
    I stumbled on this site because I thought that maybe looking at the histamine release from the food could help. I had no idea about the association with menopause. Then it clicked, this all began about 14 years ago after I had a hysterectomy. It just kept getting worse until I removed gluten and dairy. I also stopped most of the sugar. I haven’t had a cold for years. But the list of foods that were troublesome kept growing. I’ve had bad mood swings, anxiety, hot flashes. Supplements that nourish the adrenals help with those issues.
    Lastly, treating for h-pylori has been very beneficial, but again I’ve hit the wall. I do feel better when I take an antihistamine, so I’m going to follow through with this. Yea! I’m excited to see how this goes. If I can calm the inflammation, then the leaky gut should heal, right? Oh, I hope so. Thanks for sharing your information. Teresa

  4. wanda ellis says:

    I’m glad I came across your blog. Today was one of the worse day of my life, felt like crying but couldn’t. Went back to work after lunch no sooner I sat down I felt my body on fire, body itched all over, hives the size of nickles, red, scared of what was going on. Went home took cold shower, call doctor took me right in he said allergies but who knows their body better than ourselves I knew there was more i didn’t feel right but took my benadryl & I was prescribed prednisone so I guess I will be ok for the next 10 days……need to start to watch my diet….it was a bit embarrassing at work everyone concern which I thank them for but it made me nervous & paranoid. Thank you for your blog I’m not going crazy it’s a relief to have some guidance and become knowledgeable for the journey I’m about to begin Menopause. ………Thank you again ♡

    • Kathy says:

      I have leaky gut as well. The hives were controlling my life. Ive had a hysterectomy about 8 years ago and am not on estregen either. I gradually got off all wheat products and am gluten free. reduced my meal size, no dairy, and cook with coconut oil. Don’t use soy sauce, but use coconut amino acid as a substitute. Quercitan, Bromelin, L-Glutimin in a blended drink of pea-protien and pineapple, vs. soy….every morning. No meat, ie pork, beef, lamb, chicken for at least one month to help heal the gut faster. Salmon is the best if meat must be eatten or you crave meat. I am in remission from hives and hideous indigestion which I had for 5 or 6 years…. my focus is much clearer and I do not have that puffy bloat in my face and fingers as before. I am a firm believer that diet is the key to all things healthy. I can ride my horse in my English style saddle without getting giant pressure hives between my knees and making my rein holding fingers itch as well…..There is HOPE

  5. johnda says:

    I want to thank you so much for your time and effort. I am also a high school teacher and 56 yrs.old. I have recently( like the past 2 weeks) been itching almost nightly with hives. I thought it was the detergent or allergies. Doesn’t last long but it is odd, Then I read your blog and WOW sounds like me! In menopause for 5 years now. Thank you again. We are not alone! Now I can relax and clear my sometimes foggy mind for the last week of the school year!

    • I hope you’ve found the answer to your hives. I can remember those awful nights like they were yesterday.

      You must be a northern gal. We southern gals just finished the last week of school yesterday. I am so exhausted and happy. What’s that old teacher joke; what are the three best things about teaching? June, July, and August!

      Keep in touch and let me know if what you’ve found here helps.

      Dale

  6. franki says:

    has anyone tried hormone replacements to try and level out the histamine?

    • One of my readers will have to weigh in on this. I’ve never tried it.

      Thanks for the inquiry. Hopefully someone will come along and give you a little insight if they have tried.

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        No I have never been on HRT! Not a person that likes to take medications unless I need to. I must admit when I was around 40 if I had a drink of wine to be social I would get a hot flush! Then felt green the next morning, so I have not drunk any alcohol since then. I have never missed it and I am so glad I left it out of my life. I used to Membership Secretary of PWP, which here in Australia is an organization for widowed or single parents. I have seen many a sorry sight of women drinking when they shouldn’t just because they think it is the social thing to do, without considering their own health.

    • Pamela Greenwood says:

      Hi Frankie, I have been on hormones on and off for some time now, low dose and bio-identical. 0.25mg of Estradiol via a weekly patch and 100mg of Progesterone by pill each night. My hives started about June this year. THought it was a nickel allergy to my iPad as I heard the story break in the news and nickel allergy is very common. Went to my allergist to see if I had developed any new food allergies. I have celiac disease so I knew to stay away from gluten anyway but I had no new allergies. He said I had chronic idiopathic urticaria and I could take antihistamines and use Cordran lotion sparingly to calm my skin. I have gone off and on my hormones thinking there might be some connection, even called my gynecologist but have not heard back – they may be dismissing me. I seem to have found that the hives do go away once I d/c my hormones but I just can’t tolerate life without them. I’m going to try the food diary that Dale has referenced here. It’s such a conundrum! I will hate to give up my wine and cheese – and my frozen yogurt!!!!

      • Ann says:

        Hi Pamela. I am 69, have never taken HRT! Never had any hot flushes either. Just this sensitivity to fermented food. Since my mid 30s I have taken multi vitamins [for women] and felt better keeping off white potato, replacing it with sweet potato. I do feel that as we get older it is harder to digest starchy foods, which white potato is. I felt better for not taking white potato for a year, and have only just re introduced a roast potato into my diet, I have left off mashed potato totally. I have yet to trial my body on tinned salmon! That on the list of no nos is high in histamine, but snapped frozen fish like Birds Eye doesn’t affect me.
        I prefer fresh fish though.
        Ann

    • Yes, I have. I’m 60 years old, and have indolent systemic mastocytosis. I have been learning to control histamine levels in my body since my diagnosis 4 years ago. I recently moved, and needed to find new doctors. My former GYN was comfortable with my staying on a low dose of Estradiol, which allows me to sleep well. (My dosage has never been higher than 1.0 mg daily. I currently take .5 mg daily, and have annual mammograms. I’ve tried many other sleep aid options, they didn’t work, this does.) My new MD wanted me off the HRT. I tried to scale it back gradually, and the masto symptoms increased; my histamine levels were obviously higher. I called the MD’s office, and felt like I had to go to battle for the HRT, even while they were acknowledging that my dosage has never been high. The challenge for me is that mastocytosis (and histamine intolerance) is so little understood by most MDs. They have been trained to try to reduce the risk for breast cancer, but for me higher histamine levels and the related misery is a much bigger concern!

      • Ann says:

        Hi Beth.
        I’ve never had much luck with GPs either, as a matter of fact I go to several Specialists for one thing and another, for this problem we chat about here, I originally sought help from a Allergy Specialist who was a great help. Then I mentioned the problem to my Dermatologist I had been seeing. His reaction was ‘why didn’t you come to see me before’ it did not occur to me! I started to talk about the findings I had found and he said ‘do not worry about it, even the scientists are puzzled by it!’

        My problem is not only the exterior hives but the interior hives!!!
        If I digest a higher histamine meal, this can bring on internal hives before external hives!

        It is these internal hives that give me the runs, literally.

        MSG in food is the worst for a very fast reaction!! In the UK they have a lot of MSG in commercial food, so when we lived there I stayed away from this type of food and baked my own.

        So I personally attribute IBS to the internal Hives, Keeping my diet on track and I do not suffer IBS which I have done for over 20 years till I found the correlation between IBS and the Internal hives, which I was not aware was happening till the Allergy Specialist pointed it out to me! No Gastro Specialist had even thought about it! [I have had 5 colonoscopies].

        Pity as I wish the scientists would listen to women that suffer from it.

        Having sorted out the diet, the problem still arises with pressure, there has to be something that causes the hives to come with pressure. Perhaps that is what the scientists are puzzled about! Personally I think it has to do with the blood in hot weather, perhaps it becomes too thick, I do not know.

        My problem is more an issue in the hot humid heat of Australia, I combat this with drinking more water, that doesn’t mean tea, coffee, fruit juices or the like. I up my water intake and keep the body cool in the hot humid conditions to control this problem. So these days I do not look forward to the hot days of the Australian summer.
        Ann

  7. Lynne says:

    I have been suffering with hives for 3 months now (started menopause about a year before). I have noticed any link to foods I eat, however I do breakout in areas that come in contact with anything (clothing, other parts of my body, if I carry boxes etc…) and also when I come out of the shower. I’ve been living on a daily antihistamine which keeps the breakouts to a minimum (less often and not as severe), but I don’t want to be living on them for years. Really not sure what to do.

    • Lynne,

      Have you ruled out foods as the culprit? Until I started to keep a food diary I had no idea what was causing me to itch. And because I had itching with no hives, well I thought I was actually just crazy.

      You might think it’s what you’re touching but it could be what you’ve eaten and you’ve not yet made that relationship. If I were you, I’d start a food diary right away. I’d add in what I was wearing and touching also.

      I think it’s a good idea. Take my situation. I’d eat a smoothie in the morning at around 6:30 and drive to school and start teaching around 7:30. By then I’d be scratching my arms until I bled. But it was the spinach in the smoothie from the hour before. Had I not pieced it all together I might also have thought it was something I was touching at school.

      And hot showers also caused terrible hives on my thighs. And shaving with a razor gave me hives on my lower legs.

      You have to be a detective! Everything must be considered. Lotions, personal hygiene products, house cleaning supplies. Everything!

      Start that food diary and journal everything you eat and touch. Write down when a reaction occurs and what preceded it. You’ll see a pattern, if your histamine intolerant, I guarantee it! And please look at my supplements page to see what natural supplements I take to help. I’ve never used antihistamines. I’ve managed with supplements and a diet that works for me.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes,

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        I came out with hives all over my body some two and a half years ago, but looking back over the years I used to get the odd hot spot [even as a teenager ] and I think that was the beginning of this problem.

        Whether it is menopause related I do not know.

        I personally think it has more to do with the auto immune problem which I have 4 of, this last one has been diagnosed as such, as I have a Slow Thyroid, the specialist say they do not as yet know the exact cause, but I have narrowed it down to histamines. The specialist did admit that pressure can cause this.

        The areas I find that come out with hives are areas that has the most constant pressure onto the body.

        My menopause started when I was 50 my Thyroid problems were diagnosed when I was 46.
        But I had symptoms of a Thyroid problem some years before that but was ignorant to what I was suffering from. Like a lot of doctors they miss diagnose slow Thyroid problems, and in my case my GP said it was the stress I was under. At least I was lucky enough to not be treated for depression, as I have been told a lot of Thyroid Specialists get rather narked with GPs for treating the Thyroid problem as if it was depression and it is not.

        I am able to control the hives and the Irritable bowel by not having a high fermented diet, in other words no histamines. This is a very detailed diet which I have managed to learn and over the last two years have re introduced food that has histamines in, I just wanted to check how my body reacts to this type of food. Of course the worst is alcohol and cheese or anything that has vinegar in usually sauces.

        I am English/Australian, born in the UK, so I hope you may understand me!

        Good luck!

      • Ann says:

        Dale your post reminds me of when I carried in a large bag all my cleaning fluids to the specialist as I thought they were the culprit! LOL But no………not them. Today I do not use so much and I get my husband to use bleach where it is required I keep away from touching it.

        Ann

  8. Lynda Purcell says:

    Thank You, Thank you, Thank you! I had not made the connection of ‘high hormone levels and histamine intolerance”. In my early thirties, had had to go in to the emergency room for an unexpected D an C. The Dr. I was seeing at the time said the hemorrhaging was caused by the fact that I was going thru the change ‘early’ since I was single (I had been widowed at an early age). but had not remarried. I did not have a reason not to believe him. The hormone therapy he put me on was not tolerated as horrible migraine headaches become my lot in life. I quit ‘the pill’ and suffered from cluster headaches and allergic reaction for the next 10 years. It was not until remarried 10 years later and found a gynecologist who put me on “Loestrin’ to control my hormone fluctuations and eventual ‘hot flashes’ during the next ten years. I am past the hot flashes now but still have many problems with food allergies and bleach products which affect my ability to breathe after being exposed. There are many medications I cannot take as they cause severe allergic reactions. Thanks again the the ‘heads-up” in a field I feel is just emerging….

  9. karen says:

    I have not been feeling well for almost 2 years. My symptoms are: tingling sensations in my head behind the ears and also in the lower portion of my cheeks. My skin suddenly became very wrinkly on my cheeks and hands. I usually feel worse in the evening. I sometimes feel foggy and have trouble focusing. I describe it as an allergy in my head. It has really effected my quality of life. I have seen every doctor known to man and have had most tests possible. The only thing they have come up with is an elevated IGE and elevated histamine levels which explains the way I describe the feeling. Most doctors now think I am a little crazy, but I know my body. I just don’t know how to fix it. I did not think it would be possible for this to be a result of menopause. I am almost 59, I never thought these symptoms I have could be menopause. I thought that was almost over. I continue to read websites to find the “cure”. If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to the help. I started to watch the diet, but I am a little discouraged because there doesn’t seem to be one trigger that I can put my hand on. I feel lousy everyday, especially in the afternoon. Antihistamines have done nothing.
    If this is menopause, when does it stop?

    • Ann says:

      Hi Karen.
      I am Carol from Australia.
      I have had similar feelings off and on over the last 20 odd years, I am 69 year young!
      Have you had a scan of the area at all?
      It sounds if it could be two things, bone degeneration.
      I also sometimes feel a little dizzy when I have been a bit hard on the body and the inner ear bones get out of place. Also being dehydrated. You may need to increase your water content, that doesn’t include coffee and tea or coke and any other fizzy drinks.
      This degeneration happens to everyone at some times, our bones start to shrink.
      Have you had a bone density xray. Something women in Australia have done regularly
      probably every 3 – 4 years to keep an eye on our bone density.
      Hope that helps.
      Carol

    • Karen,
      From what I’ve read, some women can suffer from the symptoms of menopause for years after the hormones settle down.

      You should start a food diary and can try an elimination diet to see if you can improve your health. You should also research mast cell diseases even separately from menopause. There are issues that might not necessarily be menopause related but do effect mast cells. In simplest terms, mast cells are the cells responsible for the release of histamine. You don’t have to be in menopause to have issues with mast cells. And because you’ve been tested and know you have an elevated level of IGE and elevated histamine, I think you are in the right ballpark.

      You are not crazy. You need to take control of your body now. Start the food diary and start an elimination diet to get the healing started. Take a look at my supplements page and also search my site for anything I’ve written about olive oil.

      If histamine intolerance is the thing torturing you, you will know soon upon starting the diary, and you will regain control of your body.

      Good luck and come back and ask questions and let me know how you’re doing.

      Dale

  10. I am so glad I stumbled across this site :) I’ve had a burning sensation in my feet for many months now and the last few weeks it is even painful. I’ve been too busy to go to the doc’s and since there is no marks I had felt foolish to go to the docs. Now I can try to change my diet to see if it helps. Sadly pickles are one of my passions, it is going to be difficult to give them up :/

  11. Karen says:

    Am equally happy to find this blog! Thank you! I started with occasional hives 2 years ago at age 56 (never had them in my life prior) and after seeing a dermatologist, the recommendation was antihistamines daily for a month to get things back in balance (it was allergy season as well) – although my GP (a male) had my thyroid checked and did associate the hives with my menopause symptoms – fuzziness, night sweats. But all in all, things were tolerable and I thought, “This isn’t so bad!” Then I had a full hysterectomy and now I additionally have hot flashes AND hives pretty much 24/7, itchy fingers, palms, feet – even itchy ears! Benadryl doesn’t even help anymore. Add in the fact I live in Florida so I can’t even walk out to get the mail without breaking into a sweat – which only exacerbates the whole issue ….. and makes me doubly cranky. Can someone just wake me when it’s over? Oh wait – you can’t wake me because I can’t sleep!!! After reading every comment here (thank you all!) I am DEFINITELY starting my food diary today .. but admittedly, white wine would be the last thing to go …. the VERY last … :-)

    • Well, I know it’s hard to want to give up certain things but once you realize how good you can feel it gets way easier. I never thought I’d give up chocolate, but now when someone offers me a piece all I see is a hot flash!

      Give up the wine girl. And when things are under control add it back in and see if your body can handle it. I’m happy to say I can drink at happy hour and not have a flash. But it took me a while to get here. Either that or pop a quercetin with that Chardonnay!

      No matter, I hope you’re now on a healing path and get some relief. Let me know how it goes.

      Dale

  12. Ann says:

    Hi Karen.
    I have tears in my eyes, having gone through this with the Thyroid too, may be I will need the same op, will be having another internal ultra sound next Wednesday to find out if a tumor has grown larger.
    But what brings tears to my eyes is your last sentence, if you are truly serious about the Hives and I am sure you are, the first thing to eliminate from your diet is any wine, spirits or beer, together with vinegar and all things [like sauces] that have vinegar/wine in. I have learned the hard way and I only signed up here to write/communicate what I have experienced over many years to help ladies like you. Believe me hives can and are internal, I see you have not experienced IBS, lucky you. Because when I avoid these foods I do not experience IBS. Only the allergy specialist told me the hives can be internal, not the dermatologist [who has admitted yes they do and can] not the Gastro specialist even! Having had 5 colonoscopies I am now refusing to have any more because I now understand fully what has been happening.
    So PLEASE for your own sake go off all the fermented products.
    God Bless and good luck.

  13. Ann says:

    PS: Even when out having a sandwich or roll I have to ask for no cheese or dressing on salad as they have vinegar in most of the time.

  14. tamara p says:

    Hmmm…my comments are gone.

  15. eunmi38 says:

    Glad I found your blog. I have had problems with touch-related hives since I moved to Texas (i.e., I will get hives if a hard plastic touches the inside of my arm and it will resemble the edge that touched me), but recently, I have been breaking out in hives behind my knees every single morning! They will come out in other places as well, such as near my elbows, but they are not everywhere. Benedryl takes care of them, but I couldn’t figure out why it was happening, except that it has been extremely humid here recently. But I think that being menopausal is probably the real culprit…will have to see if they go away once it cools down or the humidity drops. I will be talking to my doc about this when I see him, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one dealing with this!

    • Ann says:

      Hi Eunmi38
      Sounds like you have an element of delayed pressure angioedema. Which is something that reoccurs with me if I am sitting in one place too long in my groin and pubic area.
      Some of these GPs you ladies are going to should be sending you to professional dieticians I feel.

  16. tamara p says:

    Sorry Dale…like I said I NEVER sleep so it was one of those long days! You were right and thanks for your reply. I responded to yours as well.

  17. Linda Santiago says:

    Omg. Thank you for this blog. I thought I was going crazy. Im perimenopausal and the heat flashes are unbearable. The mood swings are horrific…but the itchy hives are the worst. At least I know im not the only one. Thank you.

  18. amy mahoney says:

    Hello Everyone,
    I started having allergic reactions to various things after I had my third child by c-section (I was 32). My reactions are so bad that I carry an epi-pen. I had a good idea what I was allergic to until recently I have been breaking out for no reason.One example is today I walked outside and it was hot. I instantly felt a hot flash and bam hives everywhere. The first thing I do when I have these reactions is take three benedryl and jump into a cold shower. My biggest issue is I am returning to work next week and I can not just jump into a shower at work. I am sure most of you have the same reaction to benedryl (being tired) just doesn’t cut it for a preschool teacher! I am a vegan and I do not drink anything other than water and unsweetened ice tea. I am not sure what else to do.
    Amy

  19. jill cohen says:

    WOW… I LOVE THIS INFORMATION AND WANT MORE… HERE’S MY STORY.. I
    am a 57 year old woman, still getting my periods almost every month (have only missed 2 each year). I have always had a reaction (rashy itchy skin rash) when in contact with flowers in high humidity or sweating in high humidity – also very bad migraines from msg or food with preservatives.
    Two years ago I got a rash on my back (thought it was latex – near my sports bra) – it erupted into hive/rash/welts that continued non-stop. After countless dr appts (excema diagnosis, biopsies, etc) – it flared so badly – ruining my life. Clothing impossible.. can’t wear underwear or elastic, reacting to every food. I stopped eating Gluten and it all went away! Until I had soy sauce and it all came back.
    I finally went to a high end dermatologist who put me on cyclosporin, then chemical testing showing the allergy to limonene (lemon scent in most cleaning supplies) and geraniol( rose scent in cosmetics and perfume). I stopped eating gluten, soy, dairy, stopped all chemicals in cosmetics soap, etc. I’m pure in household supplies and soap and watch everything i eat.
    BUT the skin doesn’t stop itching and hive eruption. They then put me on Methotrexate.

    If I go outside I flare, after almost every meal I flare… don’t know what to eat anymore other than white chicken, rice, lettuce, no sauces. I was eating lots of avocado and fruit until i read about the histamine high foods… now the menopause connection is making more sense… please provide MORE advice.. any relief? does it go away? will it go on until i complete menopause??

    • Ann says:

      Hi Jill.
      You have been through the mill with everything.

      I do not know why but avocado is one of my biggest problems I only started eating it in salads about ten years ago. I would stop eating that ASAP. Some people it doesn’t affect.
      You should start a food diary today.

      Some fruits activate the natural histamines in our bodies, like banana. I used to eat a lot of banana till I found out what it can do in some people.
      Soy Sauce is also an issue with me together with cheese, wine and vinegar and any products with these in.
      So I have gone from 2 strong antihistamines a day to maybe 2 a week if I avoid these products. Pressure on certain areas of the body also cause hives and welts so be careful
      also drink a lot of plain water.
      I am not sure how this helped me but when I was making my food dairy and sorting out which foods to avoid I drank a lot of water perhaps it flushes histamines out of the system?
      Today, it is winter in Australia where I live, I am not drink nearly as much water but seem to be fine. Some folks are affected by tomato and tea, but it doesn’t seem to affect me.
      I would also have some good sleep patterns to rest the nervous system.
      Finally take Vitamin C daily.
      Good luck
      Ann

      • Avocado was a big trigger for me and I hardly ever eat them now. Soy sauce too. Won’t touch it. I can only drink white tea and I can eat tomatoes now but couldn’t when I was really itchy.

        And I agree. Drink lots of water and take vitamin C.

        Dale

    • You can learn to control it to the point that you don’t itch or have hives at all in my opinion. I can eat almost everything I want and am virtually reaction free. Of course that’s within reason. I don’t eat junk food and if I do I will react. I still don’t eat some things like chocolate and spinach. I don’t think it’s gone away completely as much as it’s under control because I know when I eat badly I will itch. And I have no idea if once we’re all through menopause if it goes away permanently, not having reached that point myself.

      Please look at my supplements page and search my site for information on the food diary and what to do next to get this under control.

      So yes, you can have your life back. I hope you are now on a healing path.

      Dale

  20. Hoops says:

    I’m so glad I found this site! Confirms my own “diagnosis”. Re-started with hives about 2 years ago. After about a month – they got so bad (covered head to toe) I went to Doctor and she put me on a anti-histamine cocktail. (Benedryl (which I was already taking and not doing anything), Claritin and Zantac (H-2). After about three weeks they finally subsided.

    I can go months without a reaction, then they show up again. Dealing with another particularly bad breakout now and am back on the regime. Trying to figure out the culprit has been driving me crazy as I wasn’t eating anything different or new soaps, etc. etc.. But the more I thought about things, it dawned on me about the menopause link. The first time I dealt with them was just before starting my period. A couple years of itchy hell. Then decades nothing. Now I’m menopausal and VOILA! they are back. Thus I said “re-started” in the beginning of my post.

    Sounds like I still need to figure out what is triggering them though. Obviously more sensitive now to those histamines than before. I know the pills only help with the symptoms. Like to be able to manage them without all the pills. Truly hoping when I do finally get through menopause, they’ll stop.

    • You can get it to stop before you reach the end of menopause. Take a look at my supplements page and start a food diary. Maybe hone in on those triggers and eliminate them until you can introduce them back in. Also eat a lot of foods that are anti-histamic to help you along. Read up on my site about olive oil and omegas too. Take a look at the low histamine chef’s site too. She has tons of information on what foods to eat.

      I bet you’re on the right track. If you are you’ll be able to get off those antihistamines right away and control your issues with food.

      Good luck and let me know how it goes.

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        Dale I always cook with Olive Oil, but a report I read recently suggested that heated/cooking olive oil is not good for our health! Olive Oil it stated was for putting on salads!
        Something happens to olive oil when it gets to a high temperature.
        Ann

      • I have a post that addresses that. You can cook with it but it’s not supposed to go over 375 degrees.

      • Ann says:

        I don’t think many women take their cooking oil’s temperature!! LOL
        How do you know when it reaches that temperature then?
        I sure am not going to put my finger in it! LOL
        Ann

      • I go by oven temperature.

        Have you ever watched cooking shows where these chefs stick their fingers in hot oil?! I don’t know how they do it.

    • Ann says:

      Hi Hoops. Sounds to me you have an intolerance to histamines, it builds up in the body so it is like valleys and mountains! You digest a few foods with histamines and the body cannot get rid of it for some reason.
      My blood test showed up a missing enzyme in my liver!
      Ann

  21. Joni says:

    I am so glad I found this blog. I am 50 years old and have been going through menopause for two years. This Feb. I began to get swelling in my lips and hives on my scalp. I went for tests, and pollen is a factor but this is the first time I have EVER dealt with these type of ailments. Right now I am taking Zyrtec daily just so I can get through my days without stressing about the swelling. I have been going to my holistic doctor, as well, she has my on some herbs but as of today nothing has worked. I plan to read all of these comments to see what everyone else is doing.

    Joni

    • Please also read about the supplements I’ve taken as well as my posts on olive oil and omegas. There’s tons of information here on a variety of subjects and many different strategies for healing.

      Good luck and welcome!

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        Joni it sounds like you have the same as I had 3 years ago, my periods stopped when I was 53, my hives started when I was 66! My specialist said it is an auto immune issue that a lot of people get [male and female] and they suddenly go away. He specializes in allergies and tested me for everything and everything came back negative. Another specialist a dermatologist who is internationally respected but now lives in Perth Western Australia, said do not bother trying to work it out, even the specialists top of their fields have been puzzled by this. So I just listen to my body. Certain things reacted more than others. What I found in a nut shell is fermented foods caused the hives on me. Now I leave fermented foods alone and I am fine 99% of the time. Reading about micro biology and researching it, I also learned that certain foods actually release Histamines that are already in our bodies. Like Banana and Avocado.I each the odd Banana but stay clear of Avocado, like cheese, wine and vinegar these are the worst things I can eat. Tomato I have to watch and I can have a tomato dish once a week with no affect, but if I have it two days running I am in trouble. I take Claratine for when I may get sus that a hive is about to come. Also the specialist said pressure causes hives, sitting for a long period of time or tight clothing is an issue in some females in the genital area. One thing I did find is I am better if I limit my TEA intact, I have not drunk coffee for 30 years. I mix the tea up sometimes it is decaffeinated sometimes black tea. But what does seem to help is drinking at least 500mls of water a day, in summer I will drink three times that. It also helps to hydrate the skin for those on the Blog that have dry skin! Dale I think most of your fellow bloggers are around 40 – 50s? I am finding the drinking of water so very beneficial to keep the wrinkles at bay! LOL
        Hope this helps you.
        Good Luck
        Ann

  22. Joni says:

    And sometimes my hives start first thing in the morning, before I have eaten or drank anything. Today I have a couple of large hives on my scalp. I will start the diary but it seems like each day is different. One day I can eat a potato and a couple of days later, it causes a hive. Blueberries and Cherries are an issue, too. Can no longer take Advil.

    • Remember it’s not just what you eat. It can be some body product you’re using or a house product like a cleanser. Or even your detergent. All needs to be investigated.

    • Ann says:

      Yes mine were at their worst having been laying horizontal, I often wondered why, if I had any toxins that were going to the lowest part of my body. Took nearly 8 months for the specialist to convince me my problem was the auto immune playing up and I needed a low histamine diet.
      I was thinking of anything I ate to house hold cleaning fluids!
      Hives would be coming out within a couple of hours after you have digested something not days.
      Ann

    • Ann says:

      Years ago Joni I was told by a Natropath to stop having white potato, mainly due to the starch content which doesn’t agree with my slow thyroid. I hesitated for many months then actually cut them out of my meals, I did find a difference, I did not suffer from bloat like I used to.
      Ann

  23. Joni says:

    Thanks ladies. I ate some Horseradish white cheese, only a small piece, and had a reaction within minutes. why does it always have to be the good stuff we have reactions to? ;-)
    I take Quercitin, too.

  24. mary says:

    I feel like I just found a new sister! Someone who understands what I am going through! A year ago in June I started taking Victoza to control my blood sugar, it caused me a great deal of trouble trying to adjust to it. I threw up and had bathroom issues alot. Then I had episodes of IBS and hives and throwing up. It was awful! I went to the ER three times. I don’t know why I stayed on it. Anyway, this past May, I had an episode of diarihea and vomiting and swelling of my hands, face, tongue, , hives, and took benedryl. Ended up passing out and ER via ambulance. So victoza is out!! But THEN, last week (three months later). It all happened again, and I had to use my new epi-pen! and back to the ER. Back to the allergist! I was so sad, because I thought it was all behind me. So after much investigation and new blood test (i had been tested for any food allergies in May and passed them all). We now think it has to do with histamine intolerance, and menopause, and the fact that I was having a hot flash, and drinking a glass of red wine! The doc says that maybe the blood sugar med might have “awaken the beast” to start all of this. I;m 48 years old and never had bad allergies. Although, I do have a touch of eczema on my hands.
    Anyway, now I am scared to eat anything! I just started my food journal, it’s been a tough week. The thought of reacting like that again really scares me. I am going to now read everything you have blogged!! And then reread it !!
    Thank you so much for sharing! I know feel better knowing I ‘m not alone!!
    Mary

    • Don’t be scared. Be happy that you might have found an answer. I lived off of butternut squash and apples for three months!

      Let me know if you have any questions as you read through my blog. I hope you find it helps.

      Dale

      • Ann says:

        It is VERY VERY frightening, especially when the hives come out and the pain in the stomach brings tears to ones eyes. The the doctors wanted me to have anti acids which made it worse, then on the cruise ship in the middle of the ocean they gave me stronger anti acids….
        It was at that stage I said to myself….’listen to your body’ I stopped the anti acids and as I have already said had honey liquid amber.
        I would be pretty sure Mary you have what I have, the histamine hiccup!

        Not funny when it happens as I had suffered from IBS for 20 odd years. it was only when the allergy specialist said ‘you know you can get them internally’. [hives] No I did not.
        So I am just chugging along now with no IBS unless I eat out and I take a silly gamble, which is not very often.
        Mary keep yourself on a LOW HISTAMINE diet and watch the banana intake!
        Watch the Avocado and tomato intake also.

        Drink a lot of water besides the tea I now get decaffeinated tea and am slowly introducing black tea. Never have coffee. The biggest threat I have found is commercially baked cakes as I never know what is in them, that goes for biscuits/cookies also.
        Good luck
        Ann

  25. jane says:

    I stumbled across your site purely because I am always looking for answers to my terrible vasometer menopause hot flushes.I too suffered all my life with allergies.I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism for which I take levothyroxine. I realise from reading your blog that I hadn’t. Linked the two together and almost forgot that I hadn’t been suffering the same allergy related symptoms. These have been replaced with the hot flushes… Eureka!!! I must be needing antihistamine.I am going to try taking it again and see how I get on. I would also be very grateful if you could let me know which goods are low in histamine. X

  26. Joni says:

    I could use some advice. My daughter, who is 29, and severely disabled. She has cerebral Palsy and Developmental delay. Ever since she started puberty her hormones have been out of whack. She did some blood work and it turned out she was minus estrogen, therefore in menopause. She has been on birth control for years and it has really helped, I also give her some holistic products.
    Now, just these past couple of weeks I am noticing that when she has a hot flash or gets very sweaty, it hurts her body, she gets stiff, shaky and acts like she is in pain. As soon as she cools off, she relaxes and the pain seems to go away, (she does not communicate so I have to guess). I am almost certain is it body temp related. I plan to take her to her OB/GYN, but half of the time they don’t want to deal with it so they tell me to either give her tylenol or try to send her off to another Dr. That gets old after awhile. Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Joni

    • Joni, let’s start with eating. Can you give me some information on what your daughter eats. Also what kind of holistic products are you using?

      I would love to help but I could use a clearer picture of what her situation is.

      And one more question. Are you sure she’s in pain or is it a way to communicates discomfort that is new to her that she doesn’t understand? I’m not in pain when I get flashes but I squirm with discomfort sometimes.

      Dale

      • Joni says:

        Thanks Dale,

        She eats pretty healthy, cereal, oatmeal or flax muffins in the morning. A sandwich with fruit and activia for lunch, and dinner, we don’t eat much meat, so mainly pasta, fish, rice, a veggie. Last night we had eggplant, rice and a Kale cole slaw.
        She drinks Emergen-C in the morning, she hates water, so lemonade, prune juice or vitamin water.
        Products: Not daily but a few times a week she will drink a estrium “Metagenics” drink and I add two Cal/Mag caplets. I also use DoTerra oils on her.
        I am not sure she is in pain but she acts like it. She can stand and walk with my assistance, and that is when she acts like it hurts, but only when she is HOT, when she is cool, she walks fine. That is why I think it is temperature related.

      • Well the interesting thing about her diet is that you have listed foods that are high in histamine. Eggplant is one. Probiotics can be a problem for people with intolerance issues also. I don’t know what estrium is orDoTerra but I can look those up. And as a not flax seeds are a powerful phytoestrogen.

        So where does that leave us right now? I know for me, I take an olive lead capsule every morning and night which I think really helps control my flashes. I also take 500mg of ginger as a natural anti inflammatory and antihistamine.

        As for eliminating an offending food, I would say you could try eliminating the eggplant for a little while and see if that makes any difference. And maybe the probiotics? Does she need those to stay regular or can you stop them to test what happens?

        Once I found that green tea was my biggest trigger I’ve been worlds better. But I still get one every once in a while and more than likely it’s when my hormones are imbalances and I’m eating things I shouldn’t be. It would be much harder to figure out with a gal who can’t communicate clearly. But you might see a difference in intensity if you stumble over a trigger.

        Maybe introduce a spoonful of olive oil in a drink. That was another key to my healing. Even rubbing it in her skin will allow the polyphenols into her body through absorption.

        Those are just a few ideas.

        I actually have a colleague at school who has cerebral palsy. I’m not sure if she’s to the hot flash stage but I could ask her how her body processes heat and if she has pain. I’ll see her tomorrow and ask. We’re close enough that she wouldn’t mind such a question.

      • Joni says:

        We don’t always eat eggplant, first time in months, but that surprises me that it triggers histamine. I am having problems with that. I will try the Olive oil. I am not sure if she will drink it but I will give it a shot and also rub some on her tummy. Surprised about the probiotic too, she eats activia 5 days a week, I will cut it out. She loves little date bars, too. Thanks so much for info. Is there a list of histamine foods on this site? I will look around.

      • This is the site always point folks to. I think it has the best list. http://histamino.wordpress.com

        Maybe mix the olive oil in the lemonade. She might not notice it there. But rubbing on the tummy sounds nice too!

        Good luck and check in with me every now and again. I hope you can figure it out and get your daughter some relief. It sounds like you must really have your hands full.

        And if my friend has any insight I’ll be sure to share.

        Dale

      • Joni says:

        Thank you so much, Dale. The is always something with her that I am trying to solve, lol.

      • Joni says:

        Dale, as I think about my daughters diet. You could be on to something with the flax seed. Kristi started eating the flax muffins about two months ago, and then these symptoms began around 2-3 weeks ago. I am taking her off the flax to see if that helps. Thank you of the information, I had no idea. I just googled it.

        Joni and Kristi

      • Ann says:

        Pro-biotic comes in many forms in Australia and the UK, so I am assuming they in the US?

        I ONLY purchase from a Chemist, I only purchase from the refrigeration counter and I ONLY purchase the Pro-biotic that has no sugar or dairy in its manufacturer.

        When we travel we have to keep them in a cooler container and put them in the hotel fridge in our room, as these can only be kept in a cool space.

        There are many that do not have this requirement, but I never use them as I find they have some type of capability to be stored for longer periods without a fridge and they also are not non dairy.
        I am on a non dairy diet myself, sugar is also a problem with many people with allergies. One being Corn Syrup. Corn Syrup makes me very sick and as it is also a laxative it can react with some sensitive stomachs.

        Some people do find they feel ‘strange’ if they have too much sugar in one drink or meal, if so it is worth having a test for diabetes.
        Ann

      • Yes flax actually has significantly more phytoestrogen than soy even. I think a lot of women don’t realize how disruptive it can be.

        I’m almost hoping for Kristi’s sake it is the flax and it’s an easy fix.

        Please keep in touch and let me know how things go.

      • Joni says:

        She IS constipated all the time, which may play a factor. I give her a variety of things to help her go but they don’t always work.

      • Oh ok so a teaspoon of olive oil before bed might really help. It’s a natural stool softener.

  27. Venessa Fraser says:

    Hi, so glad I found your blog. Funny I was diagnosed with an almond allergy right when I started going through menopause. Symptoms were horrid, itchy all over especially ears, eyes and the roof of my mouth which was often cut from me scratching in my sleep. I gave up nuts and symptoms were ok for a while but then returned and the only connection I made was wine and chocolate but I could not understand how almonds got into wine, silly me! This past week my ears, eyes, throat and mouth have been on fire….so itchy! My arms are bleeding from scratching in my sleep. Antihistamines not helping much. I am going to investigate this further tomorrow but am now hopeful I can find some answers and improve the quality of my life. Thank you very much for sharing.

    • Ann says:

      Venessa there are lots of different anti histamines of various strengths. You may need to speak to an allergy specialist for some assistance on what is best for you.
      Ann

    • Well the good news is if it is histamine intolerance you can learn how to get a handle on it and hopefully control it if not get rid of it entirely.

      In the meantime, make sure you go to the current thoughts tab and take a look at the index of posts. That’s a good place to start.

      Good luck and welcome!

      Dale

  28. Ann says:

    Joni Hi.
    I have had two operations on my bowel, so have had deep and meaningful conversations with the surgeon and specialists on this topic of constipation! Mostly the cause of constipation is the lack of fluid. This means plain drinking water. A lot of drinks, like tea and coffee dehydrate the bowel.

    I was not aware till the surgeon explained that people that have a high fibre diet and those that have high fibre in breakfast cereals have to counter that high fibre with water. This does not include tea and coffee but the person taking these high fibre cereals must also drink water. The surgeons are recommending a litre of water a day, that is about two pints of water. Lactalose is a liquid they given people after bowel operations, it is high in sugar, which I have explained is a laxative in itself. But this should not be taken for long periods of time. If you are able to get your daughter to drink a lot of water and perhaps she may like grated apple you may find you do not need Lactalose. But if you are giving it to her please let your doctor know.

    Most of us need to drink more plain drinking water, that is not including plain soft drinks, as more and more people seem to have a dehydration problem these days. It is a horrible feeling I have experienced it and was unconscious for two hours! I was taken to hospital and they put me on a drip and monitored my heart.
    Ann

  29. Ann says:

    Just a thought about constipation, if any of the group are taking calcium tablets for our bones during the change of life, we really need to watch the strength of what we are taking. I was on a very high dosage and doing myself a problem. [It is no good taking high doses of calcium if you do not have a high dose of Vit D3] The D3 helps absorb the calcium. They do constipate us if we do not drink enough water especially if we are also eating high fibre diets. Not everyone can tolerate high fibre. I cannot and I get so sick of people saying it is healthy for us. It is not healthy for those people that suffer from some other allergies! For years I could not understand why I could not eat brown breads, till I realized the content in the brown breads!
    Ann

  30. Jean Morefield says:

    I have been 20 years with these symptoms…. So relieved to find this site… I am a tea drinker and had my first intense headache when I increased my tea consumption…. Thought it was caffeine, tanins… Had ringing in my ears was soo bad, itching in hands and feet… Then I went into menopause 10 yrs ago….. It got extremely worse.also had chemical sensitivity… The worse was sweaty or menopause feet as I call them…. My dr thought I was crazy, gave me foot spray..had to change socks 3 times a day…ha ha…..2/3 of the food on the histamine list I love, Tomatoes, avocados, vinegar, yogurt, soy…..but the Light Went On… Thank you I will be watching those triggers now…

    • Jean,

      I hope you are on a healing path now. That’s a long time to suffer!

    • Ann says:

      Jean hi. You are correct the tannins and caffeine would have been an issue if that was all the bowel liquid it was getting. When my hives started I stopped tea,[ I do not mean the herb teas, I mean tea like English Breakfast, Early Grey, Darjeeling and similar teas. Yorkshire tea is the strongest I have come across and do not like that, both my husbad and I have black tea, but we drink it very weak you can see the bottom of the cup! In other words, no milk is used.]

      So getting back to when my hives started I stopped drinking tea for about a month I think it was having learned that tea has histamine in. I have reintroduced it having about 3 cups a day, if I have more or have another food with a high histamine count in I will need to take an anti histamine. All our bodies are different what seems to flare up in one person doesn’t in another, so it is a case of just seeing what suits the individual body.

      If I have bacon for two days running and the tea I will need an antihistamine, I have also had to cut back once a week on frozen chips, because the ones I have been purchasing are beer covered! Not that one can taste the beer it seems to just make them more crisp! LOL
      Something I cannot remember if I have mentioned, hives can come under pressure the specialist said, this means if you have shoes or clothing, undies or sitting for long periods of time, the hives will come in the pubic and groin. So if you have a long bus trip or a train trip or flying it is best to try and walk around at stops or on the train, on a long haul flight it is more difficult!

      So the surgeon was correct we all need to drink more plain water, having said that I was reading a report last week on bottled water, apparently when they produce bottled water it has no magnesium in, so a lot of the population has been suffering from a lack of magnesium! I have been taking twice a week a multi vitamin, I take daily two Vit D3, to help absorb the calcium for my bones. Once a week I take half a tablet of Zinc for my skin.
      The GP told me to take zinc when I had an ulcer on my skin that would not heal, but I stopped taking it daily when it healed, but found the zinc seemed to keep my skin in a better condition, but only HALF A TABLET ONCE A WEEK. I had to laugh when I had my six weekly facial the beautician asked me what else I was using on my skin! I had to think then realized it must be the zinc. But we can over dose on zinc so it has to be A VERY LOSE DOSE PLEASE LADIES.

  31. Pamela says:

    My suffering through perimenopause greatly reduced when I cut our Dairy and Gluten from my diet. Before menopause I could anything but during menopause when I developed these typical symptoms my naturopath started looking at my diet and my overall health improved. 20 years later I am still intolerant to those foods but not near as much as I was. It really helps to look at your diet around this time of life. This is a great blog.

  32. Leslie Eversole says:

    Hello I read you story and if at all possible I’d love to talk with you! I’m suffering with hive/rash and have no idea but I am postmenopausal. I’m so frustrated and scared. My name is Leslie Eversole my number is (deleted for security issues) or if you feel more comfortable e-mailing me that is fine as well. Thank you.

  33. Liz riby says:

    Very useful blog , I realised I was histamine intolerant a number of years ago during the menopause & after a histamine overdose from a plate of shellfish landed me in hospital. The most important step is identifying the issue in the first instance & then to follow an exclusion diet & to keep a food diary to help identify the triggers.
    Once identified there is a lot of information available on the internet , which is just as well because in the UK finding any medical practitioner prepared to take the problem seriously is virtually impossible . I only take an anti histamine when I have no other option as a great deal of information surrounding HIT indicate that antihistamines actually reduce the bodies natural defences ( reduction of DAO)
    Keep up the good work , bringing together groups of sufferers who share information & advice can be a life changer!

    Liz ( from Wales)

    • Liz,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you like the blog!

      Dale

    • Ann says:

      Hi Liz.
      I am in West Australia, but come from Hampshire.
      I combat the problem with reduction of DAO by taking the supplements they recommend.
      Balances things out, not that I take much antihistamine these days, with the diet low in histamines, the hives have all but gone, has to have been over a year since I had an issue.
      However, if I should start an itch I can always take a Claratine.
      But it is not only the histamines that can cause the Hives, it is also pressure on an area.
      Have a nice day.
      Ann

  34. Sharon says:

    You might want to try essential oils for cleaning. Isle all my own cleaning products. Safe and nontoxic but work! Email me for details.

  35. Teri says:

    WOW you have just described this 50-yr old pre-menapausal woman’s last few months to a T! Now I’m excited to learn more. Thank you thank you thank you!

  36. Laura Rickels says:

    You have managed in a blog to help me discover exactly what has plagued me for years. After much frustration with fruitless Dr apps just trying to find some relief for my itching and hives I stumbled on you through researching my symptoms. I was going through early menopause as well as thyroid issues and had started developing hives. I had seasonal allergies growing up but never experienced hives and certainly none 4 to 5 inches in diameter and all over head to toe. I noticed a link to my thyroid meds reducing the severity of the hives and started my research from there. Since I started to eat to reduce the histamine in my body I’ve rarely had debilitating hives. Thank you for saving my sanity, I hope others with similar issues are able to stumble upon your blog as I did and get some restored hope!

    • Laura,

      Thank you so much for writing. I am always elated to know my blog has helped someone figure it all out. I hope you continue to improve and lead a hive free existence!

      If you are on social media, be sure to share my blog address to help get the word out and help others stumble over me.

      In health,

      Dale

  37. stacey says:

    You just told me what I needed to know. I am constantly getting hives and itching baaaad. Now I just got to find a diet that works… thank you so much.

  38. Jenny says:

    I emailed this to the blog author, but would love anyone else’s feedback:

    Hello. I just stumbled upon your blog and wonder if I am suffering from this condition as well. I was hoping if I told you about what has been happening to me, you could tellme if it fits.
    First, I am fair skinned white woman who has always blushed easily, with anger, over excitement, in the sun, extreme stress, alcohol, etc. So, that is nothing new to me. I am also a chronic migraine sufferer. in August of 2013, I started using bio-identical progesterone cream to help with headaches…I gradually increased it overthat year as well. I started noticing last winter that if anything touched my neck, clothing, my hair, I would get itchy and flush all the way up to my face. I figured it was just a new hormone thing with me as I always run hot. Also, that winter, I opened my own therapy practice with a friend and w emoved into a new office in Feb 2014. I started noticing more flushing when we would have meetings about the business, which I chalked up to stress. In the meantime, I increase progesterone again for the migraines and noticed this summer the flushing getting worse and happening more at home, this was around Aug/sept. I started getting to the point where I was flushing all day at work no matter if I felt stressed or not and I could not tolerate having my hair , that I spent 2 years growing out, down at all. I have gone off the hormone treatment and cut my hair about 4 inches up to my chin. I also noticed that taking zyrtec seemed to help. I have been off hormones for about 3 weeks and it does seem better, I also blow a fan on my face all day. But, it is still happening most days at work. Now it seems to start with my ears if I have my hair down, even though it is off my neck nowAs the day progresses, and I get hotter, . My neck will get really itchy and the cream I got from the dermatologist helps with that and seems to have a calming effect. . My cheeks do not get as hot as they were getting but my ears burn and sometimes my face then feels feverish, like my lips feeling chapped and burning. It is better when I’m at home on weekends. But it definitely is worse at work with stress or if I am concentrating a lot. So, I think there is a connection with the hormones and then aggrevated by stress. I am nearly 41 by the way and got tmy tubes tied this summer as well. I’m just trying to think of everything. I rarely drink due to migraines and flushing. Also, since our office is new, I have wondered if I’m allergic to something in their, i.e. dry wall dust, carpet, since it really feels like an allergic reaction and is worse when I’m at the office. Even if I’m there alone and don’t see any clients or co-workers. However, it was happening at home as weel, but that has improved since stopping the hormones.

    I have an appointment to see an aesthetician to discuss skin therapy as I found an article about sensitized skin that also seemed to fit.

    If nothing else works after a few months of getting my hormones back to normal, I’m going to try a beta blocker, , which I have been on before for headaches, but think it made me depressed.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts and love to hear back from you.

    • I’m going to give you a quick response for now, as I’m short on time.

      Please take a look at my post “I think I’m histamine intolerant what do I do now.” It’s everything I tell people who need to figure it all out.

      Sorry for the short answer but I know it will get you started. More later.

      Dale

  39. Jenny says:

    Is allergy testing recommended fo for this? I’ve been considering it. Also, if I talk to our family allergist about histamine intolerance will he know what I’m talking about?

    • Histamine intolerance will not show as an allergy. You are not allergic to the foods per se. You are having an allergic-like reaction to the histamine in foods. So standard allergy tests can come back that you have no allergies.

      An allergist might know about it but it would not be their area of expertise necessarily.

  40. Susan says:

    Thanks for this article! My allergies really ramped up beginning with perimenopause and I continue to have days where I feel completely overwhelmed with the physical symptoms that accompany them. In addition to food, weather changes also seem to bring on an allergy-like response.

    I don’t know if someone mentioned Quercetin (a natural histamine blocker) already. I’ve been taking that on and off for about a year and it seems to help.

  41. Beth says:

    Thought I was going crazy – from out of nowhere constant hive outbreaks. Dr. said hives just happen for no reason and to take an antihistamine. It’s been going on for about two months and I’m turning 52. I’m so happy to have found this site and look forward to figuring out what’s going on.

  42. bokurowski says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for writing this post! I am 48, and for the last couple of years I’ve been breaking out in hives. Not all the time, but every other month or so, mostly on my legs. I cannot figure out where it’s coming from! It is terribly itchy and lasts for weeks. I will now pay attention to histamine! It’s amazing that my doctors have not mentioned this as a possibility!

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