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. Or start here, on the Index of Posts.

DLB

545 comments on “Mission Statement
  1. LeAnne says:

    I have a question. We are all pretty positive the hives, rashes and lack of hormones are linked together. And low hormones means low histamine. I see a lot of people taking things to help rid the flare ups, but has anyone tried taking something natural to build up their hormones so that the body will produce it’s own anti histamine.

    • I personally don’t believe in altering what your hormones are trying to do. Your body is wanting to change the hormone levels. It makes more sense to me to accommodate the changes with food and nutrition that supports that change.

      Once you bring your body back into balance you won’t have hives anymore. My blog discusses all of this in great detail.

      But as I’ve said, I am not a doctor and this is just my opinion. I think big pharma’s need to control a woman’s body is what’s made women suffer. Take control with diet and lifestyle changes and let your body do what it needs to do to transition.

      But that’s just me…

      • K. Martin says:

        I stumbled onto this blog while going through a very frustrating search for what has been causing these hives I’ve been plagued with. It has taken me almost 6 months to figure out the correlation between hormones and hives thanks to your website. Thank you!! I’m 52 and have gone now 2 months without a period, and on and off pryor to that. Last summer we had an abundance of tomatoes in our garden so we were having tomato salads every day. I saw these welts appear on my body thinking I had mosquito bites. It got worse by the week and extremely uncomfortable. My sister saw them all over my stomach and said “those are hives, not bug bites”. And so the mystery has unfolded. I pay the price when I have tomatoes, possibly wine, avocado and who knows what else, but at least I know what’s going on now. Thank you so much for this blog of yours.

      • Melanie says:

        Hello Everyone, I am back to give you an update. Ok, for some reason, my shoulder got inflamed and I think it was because I was taking too much omega 3(Krill Oil) and Omega 6(black currant seed oil) together so I had to reduce my dose of the black currant seed oil to 2 pills a day of 600 mg each instead of 3 pills per day. Unfortunately,, the itching came back. But I have even better news. I read that itching is associated with the liver and also hypothyroidism which I have. So I bought some milk thistle and have been taking that. In the middle of all of this, I was getting some sort of UTI infection so I started taking the OLIVIUS olive leaf extract (which is supposed to be good for UTI infections) that I had ordered awhile ago but had not taken it yet. Well after a day or 2, my itching has completely stopped. What is really amazing is that I would always get itchy after taking my progesterone compounded capsule and also my nature throid which I thought would still happen after taking my supplements but that stopped also. It has been 4 days and I barely have an itch, if very slight. I honestly do not know if it is the milk thistle extract by Gaia herbs or if it is the Olive Leaf Extract by Olivius or a combination of both or a combo of this with the black seed currant oil. My gut tells me it might be the Olive leaf extract as I read some other comments on this website that it has helped some women with the itching. If the Olive Leaf Extract is working, does that mean we need to take an adrenal supplement? I hate to add more supplements into the mix but I guess I could get tested for adrenal fatigue. I am just thrilled not to be itching. Maybe for other women out there, try the olive leaf extract first and see if that works and if not, maybe the combination of the olive leaf extract, milk thistle and black seed current oil, but I think the olive leaf extract is what really worked. I could only see a place to post a reply on this website but not a comment so that is why my post is showing up here I guess.

    • Julie says:

      Thank you so much for the info. I’m very new on my path toward peri menopause and woke up the other day with hives all over my legs and hips. It drove me crazy trying to make a connection with whatever I may have been eating or using topically that my body was reacting too. Your post gave me a clear direction to follow.

    • Melanie says:

      I think I can help. For 2 years now, I have been fighting intense itching and hives since I went post menopausal, especially on my wrists and calves. I cleaned up my diet whereas I eat pretty much organic(dairy free and wheat free) with some food sensitivities that I have to be careful of as well as some medications. I lost 25 pounds from this without even trying, I went on the bio identical hormones as my symptoms were terrible and I could not enjoy life, even with the natural remedies, but still the constant itching/hives after eating or medication. Somehow, I stumbled upon Black Currant Seed Oil which I actually started taking because of the GLA which helps to keep my weight down. Well, low and behold, most of my itching completely stopped on the outside of my skin and the hives stopped. Just so you know, I do not work for this company as I am a realtor. I bought the Solaray brand of Black Seed Oil as it was the only one that Whole Foods Market carries. . I take 3 softgels per day of 600 mg per gel. That is a total of 1800 mg per day which would be 90 mg of gamma linolenic acid per soft gel so a total of 270 mg of Gamma Linolenic Acid per day. I believe it is the GLA that is helping the atopic dermatititis-itchiness and hives- because if you read about it, that is the part that helps. I would like to explain that I was on the Evening Primrose Oil for the GLA before but I was still itching. The black seed currant oil has a higher amount of the GLA so that is why it is helping I guess and the Evening Primrose Oil did not. The Borage Oil has the highest amount but I did not choose it because of possible toxicity to the liver even though they are hexane free, the internet still seems to be nervous about it. But the black currant seed oil is working and safe for me so no need to use the Borage. I am writing this to help other women that are suffering from this as I am an avid researcher and have tried everything I can find to stop the itching. I also researched that this is caused by an overactive immune system so I also ordered the Reishi mushroom extract from Perfectifungi.com This is supposed to modulate or balance the immune systems so we do not get this reaction. I have just received it but have not taken it yet. I will come back and post after I take it for a few days to see if it did anything or not. Honestly, once I feel better, I don’t like to upset the apple cart, however , being the researcher that I am, I am trying to find a cure. The Black Seed Currant Oil has really been a Godsend for me but I am sure I will still have setbacks or slight itchiness, so I would like to find a cure. I am hoping that the Reishi mushroom will do the trick, but we shall see. I will come back and post after I start taking it. I don’t know what other people are taking and as always consult you doctor if you feel you need to before trying anything. I will tell you that I did this on my own as the doctors could not help me except to take antihistamines which sometimes I need, but I do not want to take these the rest of my life. I hope my story might help someone, but swim at your own risk or consult a doctor before trying anything.

    • Linda says:

      I just wanted to weigh-in for those who are just beginning their journey trying to figure out why they are having chronic hives. This is a great site, as are many others dealing with histamine intolerance. I am sure there are many suffering from just that, however, a word of caution is in order…and here is the reason why:
      My chronic hives began in September, 2015. They started out as annoying and just a few days after an acute, intensely stressful situation. That situation came on the heels of a very stress-filled two years and extremely stressful summer. I didn’t know it at the time, but my hives became chronic.
      After having hives for longer than three weeks, I started looking into the cause of chronic hives, which led me to this site along with several others. I learned a lot and thought I had found the answer, especially because so many of the other sites and reasons for chronic hives did not fit my experience.
      I have always been lean, healthy, athletic, so this episode took me completely off guard. Of course, after reading reams of information on histamine intolerance, I decided to go on the HIT diet. It is extremely limiting, but I did it anyway. I lost 10 lbs. within the first two months, which I really could not afford to do. I had no energy due to the weight loss and the sleep loss as my hives continued to worsen, especially at night. I read more, dieted more, and took supplements, but still the hives worsened.
      I will cut it off there and just say that after doing more research, I decided to cut out all grains–I was only eating low histamine ones allowed on the diet. After just a few days of dropping the carbs, my hives disappeared. I then consulted a nutritionist who informed me that my pH was off because the stress had caused my body to become too acidic. She said that can breed yeast infections, allergies, and a host of other ailments. I thought she was on to something as I have always had acidic digestive reactions when stressed.
      The nutritionist talked to me about lowering my intake of acid-producing foods, upping the alkaline-producing ones, and taking the right supplements to rebuild my body’s balance.
      I started doing all this five days ago and am still not eating carbs from grains or high glycemic foods. I eat mostly vegetables, olive oil, lean meats, avocado, and almond butter. My hives are disappearing and I am sleeping through the night without episodes. I can again wear sleeveless clothes because my arms are no longer red and scaly like a reptile’s.
      And so…I am writing this because I realize now that the HIT diet was actually counter-productive for me. The foods, such as grains, were acid producing and the weight I lost was detrimental on all levels. Be careful with this diet as you might not be histamine intolerant.
      Proceed with caution and consult a nutritionist before embarking on such a stringent diet!

      • A proper elimination diet is made up of nutrient dense foods. The variety of foods might be limited, but their nutritional value should be high. There are many low histamine and anti inflammatory foods a histamine intolerant person can eat while trying to figure out triggers. If done right, weight loss should not be a major issue. And an elimination diet is only a temporary stage in the healing process.

  2. Pamela Williams says:

    Big Thank You!!!!

  3. Jacqui hartley says:

    Thanks for this. I read about histamine and menopause in a very old leaflet of my mothers., I have angiodema in my neck. Bloods ok. Glands/thyroid normal. Itching burning tingly neck. Swelling in neck. In the upper dermis. Lump / pressure in throat. I’m going back to doctor to suggest histamine levels are checked. Etc. Every woman should know. HRT stopped flushes but I thought it had caused the angiodema so came off it but 6 weeks on no change in neck symptoms.

  4. Betty says:

    Hello,
    First of all, THANK YOU for this blog!! I thought my body had gone crazy. Could you share some of your diet and vitamin suggestions?

  5. beaulapage says:

    If i am having hot flushes but not itching & no rashes etc, then i guess my flushes aren’t due to high histamine?

  6. 1066hypno says:

    PS I have always had a strong reaction to insect bites though

    • See there might just be a connection there for you.

      • 1066hypno says:

        Thank you for the help. How about DAO supplements? I have also read that nettles (supplements) help too:/

      • Nettles made me itch but they help a lot of people. I never took DAO because I am vegetarian and it’s made from animal parts. But others have also found success with it.

        As you can see, everyone’s healing is a very individual path.

      • 1066hypno says:

        Thank you. Both DAOsin & Histame/Histamin Block are very expensive i think so i will try the olive leaf first. I already take enzymes (HCI & pepsin) 3x a day, iron, holy basil, probiotics, vit C powder, multi vit/min, fish oils (maybe i should stop those?), magnesium, vit D2 drops, every day, and low dose naltrexone apx 2mg every night. I was taking natural dessicated thyroid for a few months because of Hashimoto’s but i don’t seem to need it now (going for a blood test soon to check): i will stay gluten free though. All menopausal things which are meant to help many women (such as sage, soya, hops, phyto-oestrogens etc) have all made the flushes worse :)

  7. beaulapage says:

    Hi there, i took my first olive leaf extract capsule this morning and maybe it’s co-incidence but my flushes are worse than they have been for a long time today (i feel ok otherwise though). Is it normal to get worse before getting better using this supplement?
    I think i should add that i have tried many other supplements which many other women have felt better on (sage tincture, hops extract, maca, soya, progesterone cream, FX menopause – not at the same time) and flushes have been worse on all of them. I can’t take black cohosh because of the potential side-effects on the liver (i had cancer and some chemo 14/15 years ago).
    Thanks

    • I would say if you try it for a day or two and you feel that your flashes are consistently worse, than don’t use it. There is such a thing as a healing crisis, but I don’t think it would happen that quickly. I’ve reacted to many things that were supposed to be great for other women. This is what makes this such an individual journey!

      • beaulapage says:

        OK i will see if i can tolerate it – it might be co-incidence. I have been reading about Herxheimer’s reaction but as you say it might be a bit soon for that. They started being bad about two hours after taking the capsule. I reckon by the time i have tried everything, and probably bankrupted my savings(!), they will stop all by themselves:)

  8. Lisa says:

    OMG, I thought I was going crazy. I had a TAH-BSO three weeks ago and just over a week ago I started itching. Also feel like my esophagus has something stuck in it. I went to the doctor and she told me to take Reactine once a day and Ranitidine twice a day. That does control the itching for the most part (my hands and feet still itch like crazy) but how long can I stay on that. I am anxious to explore the rest of your blog to learn how I might control this. I feel like a total diet change is in order (which can be so hard to do). Wish me luck. BTW, hot flashes have not been that bad…yet!! I wonder if going on Estrogen replacement would help with the itching?

  9. Chris says:

    Thank you for your research. This information has helped me greatly with my itching and hot flashes.

  10. Jessy John says:

    Thank you so much for your article. I had doubts that my histamine intolerance might be linked to menopause and you have just confirmed that. I haven’t really started menopause yet.. This might be a precursor. However this is very educative.
    I have been grappling with this itching issue and recently came to know that it is due to histamine intolerance.
    Do you still follow a low histamine diet? I am quite upset that I have to forego some of my favorite foods.. yoghurt, coffee etc.

    • I do not still follow a low histamine diet. I did not add a few foods back in because I’m still a little sensitive to them and I stay away from processed foods with additives. Alcohol is still a problem. But other than that I eat whatever I want.

      You can heal this! I’m the proof.

  11. vicky says:

    hi thank you
    it been a year and i have been passed on from doctor to doctor with no answers ,i kept telling them that my hives are connected with me being pre menopausal ,they still feel that there is no link but i know there is a significant link .i need advice on how to teat it ,your blog has really helped

  12. Angela says:

    Hi i searched for ‘can antihistamines help hot flushes’ and came across your page. Im in my menopause terrible hot flushes and have developed itchy arms and a rash for past 2 wks doing or eating nothing different so purchased antihistamines and have noticed that my hot flushed seem less not gone but definitely improved. Good luck

  13. Angela says:

    What would be wrong with taking a antihistamine tab every day

    • There has been much written here and on many other sites about the side effects of taking them. I’m on my way to work now so I don’t have time to find all the information for you, but do a little Google search or search the low histamine chefs site.

      If you can avoid them, I always suggest you do. I think you should find your triggers, don’t just mask the problem. But I’m not a doctor and you have to do what’s best for yourself.

      • angela says:

        why not just take antihistamine tablets

      • They only mask the symptoms. They don’t heal anything. If you want to heal you have to figure out what’s making you itch.

      • Melanie says:

        Hello Angela, I want to get off the antihistamines as I think it is better to find the solution than just treat the symptoms as it is not solving the problem. The Olive Leaf Extract by Olivus seems to be working for me as I have been itch free for 4 days now.

      • angela says:

        hi, ive found that the antihistamines have helped with my hot flushes as well as the itchy arms and not sure what other products would combat both. Problem is i’m not sure if you can take them long term.

      • Olive leaf extract works for both.

      • Melanie says:

        Hello Angela , I have been on the bio identical hormones for 2 years now due to unbearable hot flashes and heart palpitations and they have helped me tremendously. I have researched them and have found out that they are more helpful in preventing diseases rather than causing problems. You can read more about it on the Suzanne Sommers website. I also went dairy free and wheat gluten free and buy mostly organic foods and even prepared foods from Whole Foods Market. There are many tasty alternatives so I don’t miss wheat or dairy at all. Dairy is one of the biggest causes of inflammation in the body so best to stay away. The only thing that did not go away was this constant itching concentrated on my wrists, calves and feet. I would get itch, especially from medication and then scratch and they turn into red bumps like hives and would not go away. It took me 2 years to figure this out but it is now day 5 and no itchiness after taking the Olive Leaf Extract-Unbelievable! I am kind of in shock as I have tried so many supplements. I have had no side effect from it either as apparantly it is very safe and effective. It can lower blood pressure a little so just monitor your blood pressure. I can now get off the antihistamines which is so wonderful. The doctor did tell me that antihistamines are safe long term but I don’t believe them as they could not help me. I took them and I still itched anyways. But with the Olive Leaf, no itching so far. I will come back and give an update in a few days to make sure it is still working.

  14. Andrea Elbaune says:

    I am so glad I came across your blog! I thought I was going crazy or it was just job stress. But, I have been stressed at work before and never had HIVES!! It has been since September – sometimes at work and sometimes when I get home or driving home. Just cannot stop itching. No hot flashes. Just HIVES. Then they go as quickly as they came. I have been taking a Benadryl thinking it was maybe an allergy to something. Then, driving to work it hit me that it may be menopause related. Any recommendations on what works. Oh, I am 55 years old so know it is in the right age bracket!!

  15. Lisa Braner says:

    Fantastic thanks for your help you are an angel!

  16. I just wanted to leave an update. I too was having really bad issues with swelling and chronic hives and a host of other problems like neurological symptoms, flushing, fainting, food and drug allergies, endometriosis, IBS, etc. Long story short, I have now been diagnosed with mast cell disease. In my case it is bone marrow biopsy confirmed monoclonal mast cell disease at this point (and possibly systemic mastocytosis).

    Again, I have always been ill with various inflammatory diseases but then I developed really bad hives, swelling and ‘histamine intolerance’ symptoms that began to get worse after I messed with hormone creams a few years ago. Many things including fluctuating hormone levels (think perimenopause!) trigger mast cell degranulation so I highly suggest anyone with hives and swelling and food/drug sensitivities be evaluated for mast cell disease.

    Even though it is ‘rare’, the experts believe this is only because it is extremely underdiagnosed. Your doctor may not know about it. It took me finding an immunologist who recently graduated who knew exactly what I was dealing with only because he read about it in school. And he was right! After 44 years of looking for answers as to why I’ve been chronically ill, I found mine and it has been confirmed through clinical testing as I said.

    I have been blogging about my journey over at The Empty Nest Housewife if anyone is interested. Good luck ladies, this is a very, very complicated road we’re all on regardless of what’s causing it but we’re in it together!

    xo Michelle Dellene

    • Now that you know what it is you can really heal.

      And for others reading this, histamine intolerance is similar in that the mast cells break open and release histamine into the system. The reasons for that happening might be different but the results are the same.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Dale

    • Melanie says:

      Good Luck to you Michelle in dealing with the Mast Cell issues as it sounds like you have got it on the run. I had these chronic hives and was tested for mast cell also but I did not have it. I think it is from hypothyroidism and lack of hormones. Strangely enough I get itchy when i take my compounded progesterone at night but that is the end of it now. I I did get off of wheat, dairy and processed sugar and only eat organic which helped me tremendously as well as getting on the bio identical hormones. I feel like myself again. I just recently found a histmaine degrading probiotic by Natren probiotics which is vegan so there is no dairy in it. That seems to be helping me to control the itching quite a bit. I wonder if that would help you. I also started on the OLIVE LEAF MAX CAPSULES by Olivius which also helped a lot with the itching.
      Maybe try those as well. I wish you well! Melanie

  17. Aleisa Unger says:

    I can’t even express how ecstatic I am to have come across your blog! My story just began recently a d I’ve bee so worried!

  18. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. I am petimenapausal and have developed hives for no apparent reason and I itch all over frequently. This info is helpful because now I can research foods high in histamine and see if aliminiating those foods helps. Thanks again!

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