The final theory on why I’ve healed

I feel like I’ve been putting a jigsaw puzzle together for the last three months. Everyday I snapped in another piece, until yesterday I finally put all the pieces together, stepped back and saw the whole picture.

Menopause triggered my histamine intolerance, but why and how?

As I said in my previous post, I think my histamine intolerance was triggered by the hormonal fluctuations of menopause. I now believe it happened because I already had an over-abundance of omega 6 in my diet and by supplementing with Evening Primrose Oil, thus creating a deficiency in omega 3. This caused my cortisol levels to rise and my DHEA levels to diminish. (The hormones released by the adrenal glands)

I believe my body was dealing with an inflammatory situation before menopause began.The drop in estrogen and progesterone basically unveiled the problem and had a direct affect on insufficient DHEA and cortisol levels produced by the adrenals, and the ensuing inflammatory response.The link between cortisol production and DHEA is an important one because, with long periods of chronically high cortisol levels, the ability to produce DHEA diminishes and your immune system becomes compromised. It’s that compromised immune system that then wreaks havoc with inflammation, and thus causes histamine intolerance.

In other words, one of the most significant effects of restoring DHEA seems to be the restoration of the normal balance between DHEA and cortisol. As DHEA levels increase, the propensity to overproduce cortisol is dampened—along with the spiral of symptoms induced by high cortisol.

In my earlier posts I thought it was the cortisol levels that were the direct issue, but now I believe ultimately it’s the production of DHEA. This has a lot to do with what olive oil has contributed to the big picture. The reason my body has begun to really heal is not due to the quercetin and other vitamin supplements, but is due to the omega 3 supplementation and the use of olive oil on my body and in my diet. Eliminating the Evening Primrose Oil, eating a low histamine diet, and the taking the other supplements managed my histamine intolerance, but I really believe the omega 3 and olive oil healed it.

What’s the olive oil connection? DHEA is the body’s natural cortisol antagonist and prevents many of the negative effects of cortisol. It is believed that olive oil helps the body absorb DHEA. Additionally, some researchers also suggest olive oil builds more healthy omega 3/omega 6 balance by displacing omega 6 acids.

I had stopped taking EPO and started taking omega 3 for about two months before I started using olive oil on my skin and adding it heavily into my diet. (I’ve always used olive oil but I started adding a tablespoon into my morning smoothie and taking a teaspoon before bed) My intolerance had been slowly improving, but once I started with the olive oil, it was within two weeks I became basically itch free. I also do not suffer from hot flashes or mood swings. Basically, I do not suffer from any of the “typical” menopausal symptoms right now.

I have to state one more time for the record that I am not in medicine and I am not dispensing medical advise. I am sharing a theory I have developed based on the results of eating a low histamine diet and my supplementation regimen, the research I’ve done, and how my body has reacted and ultimately healed from histamine intolerance.

I still maintain a low histamine diet and will continue to do so for quite some time. I also have added a list of “unsafe” foods based on their omega 6 content and their high inflammatory nature. I will also continue to supplement using my regimen of vitamins and other nutrients for at least the next three months. I consider myself healing, rather than completely healed and know that there are still some hurdles to jump. I probably won’t drink beer again or eat chocolate anytime soon, and still have not tried some of my biggest triggers like balsamic vinegar, tomato sauce, or spinach. I also threw out all of my razors and will only use my electric razor and will only take baths. It seems too risky to change anything right now since everything is working so well for me. It is early into what I consider a healing body and I am wary about tilting the balance backwards.

I have quoted a few things from each of the following sites. If you want an in depth knowledge on the importance of DHEA on overall health, look here. If you’d like to read about cortisol deficiency, take a look at this site.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in olive oil, omega 3, polyphenols
47 comments on “The final theory on why I’ve healed
  1. Audrey says:

    The DHEA connection is something I’ve never considered before. Very interesting. Are there any specific sources of Omega 3s you think are better or are any fine?

  2. Once I read the symptoms of a deficiency of DHEA I realized the connection because I had a few of them and they’re not necessarily common to other issues.

    As for which omega, I am vegetarian, so I look for one that is made from algae, and about 500mg of mixed EPA and DHA. I like the brand Ovegs3. I also eat a handful of walnuts to get the third component, which I don’t remember, is it ALA? But if you are not vegetarian, than look for a fish oil that has a similar composition.

    I also am careful about eating less omega 6, so no sunflower or safflower oil or anything made with them and no processed foods. But you can see the overlap between what you wouldn’t eat for histamine intolerance and low inflammatory. Those things are on both lists, which I find very interesting…

  3. Susan says:

    I just found your blog through the Low Histamine Chef’s Blog. I just realized that my ideopathic chronic hives for the past six months could be related to histamine levels in foods. I was masking the symptoms by taking an antihistamine. I have been reading up on the Palaeo Diet, The Perfect health Diet and The Low Histamine Chef’s recipes and now I have to figure out a way to eat. Look forward to your emails. Susan

    • Welcome! Yes the puzzle pieces start to fall into place don’t they? I encourage you, if you don’t already, to keep a food diary. It’s the only effective way to keep track of what you’ve eaten and record reactions. I keep it religiously.

      I just got home from an after school happy hour and must now try to remember everything I’ve had today. The Cosmo was definitely the best part of it all and I didn’t have a reaction to it! Yay! But the remembering might now be a little foggy!

  4. […] Ultimately, I believe my body was dealing with an inflammatory situation before menopause began.The drop in estrogen and progesterone basically unveiled the problem and had a direct affect on insufficient DHEA and high cortisol levels produced by the adrenals, and the ensuing inflammatory response.The link between cortisol production and DHEA is an important one because, with long periods of chronically high cortisol levels, the ability to produce DHEA diminishes and your immune system becomes compromised. It’s that compromised immune system that then wreaks havoc with inflammation, and thus causes histamine intolerance. To read all my findings please read my post on the final theory on why healed. […]

  5. Great article, I’m intrigued. I’m definitely going to up my olive oil and maybe look for a dhea supplement. Right at the end you talk about throwing out your razors and only taking baths, but with no explanation as why. Can you elaborate more on that?

    • I have a post on that somewhere. The hot water triggered hives on my thighs. And the razor caused hives on my calves. I had to take only quick cool water baths for a year and I only use an electric razor even now.

      Actually, last night I took a hot shower for too long and had a hive on my thigh. That hasn’t happened in over a year. I’ve been warned!

      As for supplementing with Dhea, I’d think twice about it. Try the olive oil and Omega 3 first I think. What if Dhea is not the issue? You can throw the balance off even more. Just my opinion.

      • beagarth says:

        I think in part it depends on one’s age and constitution. As one ages everyone gets lower and lower in dhea. The thing is to have one’s levels tested. And of course continue to have an excellent diet, exercise, do yoga, find an occupation you love etc.

    • This is from the Webmd site. I use it when I’m researching supplements especially. The following is why I won’t take DHEA. Anything that can alter your hormones that much is nothing I will mess with!

      Possible side effects of DHEA supplements can include:

      Oily skin and acne, as well as skin thickening
      Hair loss
      Stomach upset
      High blood pressure
      Changes in menstrual cycle
      Facial hair in women
      Deepening of the voice in women
      Nasal congestion
      Rapid or irregular heart beat
      Unfavorable changes in cholesterol levels

      Some of these side effects can result from DHEA raising the level of testosterone and estrogen in a person’s body. Medical experts caution that little is known about the long-term effect of the elevated hormone levels. DHEA supplements should not be taken long-term without consulting with a health care professional.

  6. Denise Veal says:

    I’m 48 yrs. old and reached menopause 5 months. ago.(No period for a yr. and blood tests show postmenopausal levels.) From blood tests, I know I have extremely low estrogen levels. I have had constant burning in my face for almost a yr. now. Certain foods (high histamine cause flareups where the burning is more intense and goes into my hands and feet.) It started in my feet. The burning has not gone away completely since it started almost a yr. ago. This menopause histamine intolerance makes so much sense now. I started the Gaps diet this week, but even eating chicken and chicken broth, eggs will cause a flareup. Should I just go ahead and add olive oil, and follow the anti histamine diet instead? I started taking a really great Omega 3fish oil capsule. Has anyone else experienced constant facial burning? Has anyone else done the Gaps diet for histamine intolerance? The creator of the diet said it would work for histamine intolerant people. Thank you in advance for all replies. Sincerely, Denise

    • I have had women say the Gaps diet works for them.

      I know Yasmina talks about not living off of an elimination diet and eating anti-inflammatory, and I agree with her, but I had to do a short elimination diet to get things under control. So if something makes you react I wouldn’t eat it right now.

      Try the olive oil. Have a teaspoon alone without anything else and see what happens. If you don’t react then add it into your regimen. I noticed such a big leap in my healing once I started using it as a supplement. And if you can’t eat it, try a little on your skin. Your body will absorb it that way until you can eat it. Worth a try!

      But right now, if chicken makes your face burn, then don’t eat it. There’s lots more healthy things you can eat without needing to eat it.

  7. Denise Veal says:

    Thank you so much for your quick response. I will try that. Just curious, can you tell me about your short elimination diet please? What did you eliminate and for how long? Thank you for your blog. I’m sure it is helping VERY MANY women. Blessings, Denise

    • I eliminate de what made me itch. This is the challenge for everyone. What made me itch might be ok for you. But my biggies were spinach, avocado, beer, cheese, vinegars, tea, cauliflower. I lived off of broccoli, apples, butternut squash, and salads with no vinegar dressings for about a month. The next few months I started adding things back in. By about six months I was eating pretty much normally. But no processed foods. Tomatoes are still a problem for me as is aged cheese. Haven’t touched a beer in two years. But I can be a little bad every now and again. I was lucky. I could eat bananas and nuts and beans even at my worst. But I can’t drink nettle or chamomile tea. Or green tea.

  8. Cassandra says:

    Yes! As soon as my doctor put me on DHEA to increase my oestrogen levels and counteract my high cortisol levels my histamine intoelrance has been near to non-existent. Exciting!

    • Wow your comment is the closest thing to validating my theory I’ve seen yet. Thank you so much for writing! Keep healing.

      • Melissa says:

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but with all due sincere respect, taking supplemental DHEA seems to be counter to your ‘theory’ or protocol. You didn’t take DHEA, you stopped EPO and increase omega 3 and olive oil.

        You stated that “It is believed that olive oil helps the body absorb DHEA.” The problem with that is the body doesn’t ‘absorb’ DHEA. It’s produced by the adrenal gland, not in the gut or anywhere else.

        On the flip side, olive oil was found in rat studies to reduce inflammation in their guts, so perhaps that’s why you experienced a benefit.

    • beagarth says:

      Wow–I am going to try it out!! I plan on getting my DHEA levels tested and then go ahead. I also am thinking of using a small amount of pregnenolone with it since it is the “mother of all sterols” and helps regulate almost if not all of them–including the female hormones. It also helps the body make its own DHEA.

  9. Suzanne. says:

    I have very low DHEA and very high Cortisol levels. I used to eat a large number of sunflower seeds, even making biscuits with them, I also used sunflower oil. I am definitely going to give Omega 3 and Olive oil a go.. starting tonight! Many Thanks. Suzanne.

  10. Debbie says:

    When 3 different doctors had no answers for me I went rogue and took matters completely into my own hands. I narrowed it down to a perfect storm of extreme stress, the onset of menopause and the worst pollin season ever launching a histimine intolerance. I have done an elimination diet and added suppliments and various other things. I have eliminated hives but sometimes the itchyness is unbearable, every day. I still have night sweats and constant night time bathroom breaks. Happening upon your blog has given me more hope than anything to date. And I have sleeplessness to thank! Can’t sleep, what do you do? Research histimine intolerance. Thank you.

    • I know you can heal. You sound like you’re right where I was when I started this blog. I’m completely itch free. And hot flashes happen only when I eat or drink something I shouldn’t have. I also sleep through the night.

      Now that you know what it is you can get rid of it! Good luck.


      • Debbie says:

        Thank you. Heat is a problem. The actual sweating is a problem. I am lying here thinking about how I can head into summer and avoid heat! I think I will miss the sun the most if this is the case. What I want to know is is this for life or just for menopause? I am at the very beginning. No missed periods yet. Turning 50 next Monday. I just climbed Kilimanjaro in September, never felt healthier. Now mere months later I have never felt worse. But I have hope.

  11. Kelly says:

    Does extra virgin olive oil work the same as olive oil?

  12. Laura Combs says:

    Thank you for all of your excellent, work, reporting and thinking! I am going to add more olive oil and look into DHEA!

    One quick hack – I found that if I sip magnesium citrate with a histamine food, that the effects of histamine are 95% eliminated. The Mg helps produce DAO, which clears histamine. I am Mg deficient from going ketogenic, which sheds histamine, and my life at 50 spun out. The keto, which I did for a week, got rid of estrogen dominance, I slept like a baby, no menopausal symptoms, and 30 days later my world spun out. Turns out you shed Mg when in keto and you need Mg to make DAO. I went from estrogen dominant to estrogen and progesterone deficient and in a whole world of unbelievable hurt. Hard to find that balance but you have given me new tools!

    Also, calcium bentonite clay and activated charcoal can quickly counteract a food mishap that causes a flair.

    I look forward to reading more!

  13. […] body’s functions. It helps regulate cortisol, which I’ve written about and it’s theoretical tie-in to histamine intolerance. It helps the body absorb and retain calcium. It plays a role in hormonal […]

  14. Sarah says:

    Thanks for posting your observations on this link – I have exactly the same issues and since supplementing for the past two weeks with 50mg of DHEA my menopausal symptoms have all but disappeared.

    As part of my vitamin regime I also take a high dose of 1320 mg Omega 3, 100mcg B12 & 1g Vit C at the moment and am really noticing feeling less ‘allergic’ and mire energy – also sleeping better.

  15. […] Ultimately, I believe my body was dealing with an inflammatory situation before menopause began.The drop in estrogen and progesterone basically unveiled the problem and had a direct affect on insufficient DHEA and high cortisol levels produced by the adrenals, and the ensuing inflammatory response.The link between cortisol production and DHEA is an important one because, with long periods of chronically high cortisol levels, the ability to produce DHEA diminishes and your immune system becomes compromised. It’s that compromised immune system that then wreaks havoc with inflammation, and thus causes histamine intolerance. To read all my findings please read my post on the final theory on why healed. […]

  16. This is a fantastic blog, thanks so much. It’s really given me a lot to think about. You mention in this post: ‘I also have added a list of “unsafe” foods based on their omega 6 content and their high inflammatory nature’ – I can’t find this list? Can you point me to it?

    • It looks like I never made a link to a list. I wrote that a few years ago and have no idea what list I was referencing! I would just google foods with high omega 6’s. It would be easy enough to find.

      Sorry. Must have had a senior blogging moment that day!


  17. J.Smith says:

    My issue is interstitial cystitis which leaves me feeling like I want to pee all the time as well as eating foods on the “no” list which cause inflammation in my bladder. If I take B1,B6,B9 and B12 will this reduce the histamine inflammation? Is it possible to take to much of these?

  18. Lori Susi says:

    Thank you so much for this , been trying for 3 years of hell trying to figure out what the hell is going on . And how can I help my self .. went into eia.. excerise induced is my whole life .. will give this a shot . Fingers crossed

    • I think you emailed and wanted me to take this post down. Let me know if this is the post you want deleted and I will delete it for you.

      • Jane says:

        Thank you for sharing your insights! I was diagnosed with histamine intolerance and maintained a strict diet for a long time. i gradually started reintroducing foods and was feeling great – no more uncomfortable symptoms. But looking back, I now realize this was about this time that I started having hot flashes. I too had increased my consumption of olive oil and stopped taking EPO. I’m going to go back on my low histamine diet and see if that reduces or eliminates the hot flashes. Thank you!

      • Stop back by and let me know!


  19. Katie says:

    Thanks for your blog! Helpful information!
    The body is so complicated. Others experiences are helpful.
    A few questions:
    Do you still take olive leaf extract?
    Also, how much olive oil a day total?
    Do you have a favorite brand of EVOO?
    I know the freshness makes a big difference in polyphenols.
    How much did quercetin help you? Which brand did you use? It is hard to find a brand without additives. Pure encapsulation has one but it is the dehydrate version which I read wasn’t as absorbable.
    What did you find the most helpful to stop hive reactions?
    I’m glad you figure out how to feel better!

    • I take olive leaf every day. 500 mg

      I use about a tablespoon of olive oil every day.

      I used Now brand of Quercetin. I don’t take it anymore.

      I needed it all to stop the itching including ginger which I also still take every day. 500mg and B vitamins. Omega 3’s are also good.

      I occasionally take magnesium too.

  20. Sherri Coats says:

    Suffering with hives and itchy burning skin. Do you think adding olive oil will help. I read somewhere that olive oil increases histamine levels. That seemed to contradict it helping. Can you elaborate on that?
    Also, a list of other supplements that may help would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • I have quite a few posts about olive oil helping with intolerance. It helps promote DAO production. If you use the search function you can find the posts. Also look at the top where the menus are and you’ll find a supplements tab.

      Thanks for writing.

      • Sherri Coats says:

        Thank you. I have reviewed the menu tab and I appreciate your efforts to help us. 😊🙏🏼

  21. Katie says:

    Have you tried taking DHEA as part of your HRT?

  22. Tiffany says:

    Thank you so much for your blog. I’m a menopausal woman who recently had diverticulitis with perforation which then led to psoriatic arthritis (inflammation in most joints and spine) and now hives and extreme itching. Your information has been a revelation. After reading your words, I’m dropping the daily EPO, changing to a low histamine diet, continuing to take the omega 3 supplements and just ordered the quertcin. I also just had my shot evoo and rubbed some on my body for good measure! I’ve been to so many doctors (including an integrative medical doctor) and while I got some good advice, it’s really been up to me to figure out how to get better. It’s been overwhelming and often confusing. My one question for you is what are your thoughts on HRT as it relates to histamine intolerance? Thank you!

    • My philosophy has been that women don’t need to be on HRT if they can get everything else under control with diet and supplements. I don’t have hot flashes anymore as long as I stay on the ginger and olive leaf. Olive oil too. My sister who is three years older still suffers from hot flashes and my mother had them well into her seventies. So family history would indicate I’m doing something right.

      I know some women would beg to differ, but I’m doing really well and never touched it. But everyone is different and I’m not a medical advisor. I can only suggest you try my way first.

      Good luck and come back and tell me how you’re doing. I’d love to hear you improved. Thanks for reaching out.


      • Denise Posey says:

        As soon as you mentioned the itch under your shoulder blade that you can never quite reach I knew I had to keep reading. This summer I suddenly started having what I finally figured out were histamine responses to foods and smells. The responses were different for different foods. To make matters more confusing I also have Lyme Disease and tend to chalk random health issues like fatigue,vertigo, facial flushing, headaches, etc. to Lyme. But when the histamine issues started I was at a loss. It never occurred to me that it could be hormone related. I had a total hysterectomy in 2007. I have been using bio-identical hormones since 2005 which includes DHEA for adrenal support. Now I’m wondering what to do to determine if what I have been experiencing is hormone related. If I’m already taking DHEA is it safe for me to add omega3s and extra olive oil? In the past I would submit a saliva test to ZRT laboratories to check my cortisol and estrogen/progesterone/testosterone levels. But I moved from a major US city to a rural area in a new state and don’t really have a doctor that can evaluate my tests results. I think I better hunt down a doc who can read my test and advise. In the meantime, not sure how to get things under control. I was so sure I had been exposed to mold and found out today that my very expensive environmental mold test at my home and office came out negative!

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