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

166 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 ♡

  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.

  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!

  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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 122 other followers

Blog Stats
  • 57,751 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 122 other followers

%d bloggers like this: