Leaky gut, menopause, and histamine intolerance

I’ve wanted to address the whole leaky gut/histamine intolerance issue for quite a while. If I had a dime for every time someone said they wanted to first heal their leaky gut I’d be rich off of this blog! But I’m not sure some of these women actually suffer from leaky gut, or are confusing symptoms of menopause or even histamine intolerance itself with leaky gut. The constellation of symptoms of all three issues have so much overlap, how do you know what it is you’re contending with? And if you don’t have leaky gut, but are taking probiotics to treat it, you might really be making your histamine intolerance much worse. So let’s take a look at leaky gut.

So what is leaky gut? The thinking is that a person with leaky gut syndrome has intestinal permeability, a condition of an altered or damaged bowel lining. Because the gut wall is rendered permeable by toxins, parasites, infection, poor diet, or medications, it allows substances such as toxins, microbes, undigested food, waste, or larger than normal macromolecules to leak through an abnormally permeable gut wall. Proponents suggest that these out-of-place substances affect the body directly or initiate an immune reaction.

In other words, food particles leak though the gut wall and get into your bloodstream causing an immune response because the stuff shouldn’t be there.

While physicians, medical researchers, holistic practitioners, and others generally agree that increased permeability of the intestinal lining is a real phenomenon, there is disagreement over whether this “leakiness”, in and of itself, is capable of causing or worsening the diseases in question.[5]

Much like the debate that rages on about adrenal fatigue and whether it is a real problem, leaky gut falls into this category. Many allopathic doctors don’t really agree on whether there is such a thing at all. They do seem to agree, or get closer to agreeing, that if you suffer from Crohn’s , Celliac, or Irritable Bowel you could have a leaky gut. But other than that, the question of whether others have it goes on.

So then what are the symptoms of leaky gut?
Hives, eczema, mental fog, or fatigue, joint pain, swelling, or arthritis, constipation, diarrhea, food allergies, sinus or nasal congestion,(especially shortly after you eat.) chronic or frequent inflammation anywhere in your body, confusion, poor memory or mood swings.

Well now, look at that list. Any one of those symptoms could be a symptom of menopause. And most of them are symptoms of histamine intolerance. It seems to me the bowel issues, constipation and diarrhea, are the reasons many women think they have leaky gut. But histamine intolerance can be causing those problems. Or menopause could be for that matter.

Why is this so important to discuss? Because the way many people heal from a leaky gut is to take probiotics and probiotics are terrible for histamine intolerance. There’s a good chance probiotics could be doing you more harm than good. If you can’t tolerate vinegars than you probably shouldn’t be taking probiotics.They are similar in that they are both fermented by bacteria and would have a similar effect down in your gut. Yogurt too, in case you hadn’t thought about it.

If you are here because you’ve been researching the link between histamine intolerance and menopause, I urge you to reconsider your thinking on leaky gut and probiotics. As we’ve seen, many of the symptoms overlap. And if you are like me and your menopause triggered your histamine intolerance, and you are having a myriad of symptoms including bowel problems, you might just need to get your intolerance under control to correct the other issues.

Yes some people have leaky gut, and maybe you are one of them. But maybe you are not. You must reflect back on when your symptoms started, what they are, and what’s causing them. You could really be treating the wrong problem and making your histamine intolerance worse.

Remember, I am not a doctor. I am a compiler of research and information. Only you can make an informed choice about your health.

DLB

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Posted in Women's health
39 comments on “Leaky gut, menopause, and histamine intolerance
  1. Susan says:

    Oh Crap!! This article really applies to me!! It is not menopause for me, but could be leaky gut, but did not know the probiotics I take could raise histamine!! I definitely have a histamine problem as the symptoms got worse the further away from my daily zytec my withdrawal I went and I have almost every symptom of excess histamine on the list. My problem is though that I started the zyrtec for hives and a bad stomach in the fisrt place after a truamatic week of no heat during Hurricane Sandy. I have had a lot of acid reflux since menopause which is my only complaint with the whole process. The hives are not a bad issue now as my body has lost a lot of the inflammation, but the excess histamine symptoms seemed to have peeked and now seem to be lessoning. I had a lot of bloodwork last week and anxious to see my results. One measured histamine levels. Of course these tests were ordered by a naturopathic doctor as my regular doctors do not ever mention diet, Candida, leaky gut, etc Susan

    • Well the good news, if there is ever good news when you’re talking about histamine intolerance, is that once you find the culprit and eliminate it your symptoms stop. So if probiotics are a problem and you stop them you should see a difference pretty quickly, I should think.

      I started adding a quarter teaspoon of kelp granules back into my morning smoothies recently. I use them for iodine, because I am a vegetarian and don’t eat fish and use only sea salt. And I thought I was fine. But after a few days I noticed my legs were unusually itchy again. I looked at my food diary and thought maybe it was the kelp. But a delayed reaction?

      Off I went to research and within minutes found, on one of my trusted sites, a passage about kelp and how if you have an allergy to it you might not see it for days, as it is multiple ingestions over time that build up and then cause a reaction. I stopped it immediately, of course, and have noticed I am worlds better. And it’s only been three days since I stopped it.

      So if you stop the probiotics you might see a difference pretty quickly. And it’s not like you need them to live or anything, so what could it hurt to stop and see? But of course you decide based on what you think your body needs.

      DLB

      • Susan says:

        I have always thought I have H Pylorior some bad bacteria in my gut and I like the idea of adding the probiotic. I just did a breathe test for H-Pylori but results are not confirmed yet. I know the absolute way to detect it is from a tissue biopsy..no thanks!! I had a lot of stomach issues when my hives started 6 months ago. I should have resolved them then instead of going on Zyrtec for 6 months. This whole histamine issue has come up as a result of going off the Zyrtec but I have had the histamine reaction after certain foods for years now and never knew about histamine in foods. Most of the public do not either. I am making some progress and I might just stop the probiotic to test the result. Love your blog!!

      • Thanks, I’m glad you find the blog helpful.

        You keep a food diary now right? Just make sure you note when you stop the probiotics if you do, and note if anything improves. It’s really the only way to know right now.

        And I have read numerous times how bad antihistamines are for the body. I have to find a good link to post. I know it seems like you suffer more without them but it just sounds like leaving them behind is healthier. I know the Low Histamine Chef talks about that too. Gotta find that link…

  2. Mill says:

    HI there DLB you make a valid point and while I know you’re not a doctor, just somebody giving your informed opinion, as are the rest of us ladies; I am going to put your theory to the test where I am concerned. I think it is certainly worth looking into.

    I’m smack bang in the middle of menopause. I’ll be 50 in August and had a total abdominal hysterectomy last summer which sent me spiralling into car crash menopause. I won’t take HRT due to my commitment to animal welfare and I have also had calcifications on my right breast – discovered following five biopsies in February.

    My symptoms began prior to my hysterectomy but didn’t get totally out of control until December 2012. And I mean totally out of control with chemical like burns all over my body, swollen lips, eyes, ears and general depression with me crying as if I was competing for the Olympic Gold Medal for Ireland.

    Doctors and specialists proved useless handing me steroids and antihistamines. I was on four antihistamines per day. Now with a carefully managed low histamine diet I am down to one 10mg antihistamine every second day and trying to get off them too but some days I get this dreadful rash and when I back track I haven’t eaten anything on my ‘off’ list. Can’t figure it out.

    Anyhow I have been put on acidophilus called…wait for it…Saccharomyces Boulardii, they cost an arm and a leg but felt they were worth it in order to mend my gut, which the nutritionist said was leaking. I was on three a day now it’s down to two.

    I have decided today that I will give them a rest for a week and see how I get on. I’ll report back to you.

    Thanks so much for the research. I do this all day, research and research in a quest to mend myself and hubby to be…getting married in August for the second time, actually on my 50th birthday keeps urging me to try and enjoy life and to stop obsessively researching my rash.

    Will report back at the end of the week if there’s an improvement.

    Chat soon ladies and thanks so much for all of your help and support…oh ad womanly wisdom.

    Mill xx
    Apologies for typos, rushing out the door.

    • Oh I just make that “I am not a doctor” disclaimer just in case some crazy woman hopped up on hormones and histamine who goes off and finally kills her husband doesn’t come back and tell the judge that some other menopausaliy challenged woman told her to stop her probiotics and that compromised her thinking…

      Please do let us know how you do after stopping the probiotics. I’m sure others will be anxious to hear too.

      And tell hubby-to-be that we need to keep researching. It’s down right therapeutic!

  3. Susan says:

    Dear Mill,
    My kids told me if my recent bloodwork all comes back normal they are disconnecting my cable modem to keep me off the internet researching health!!! LOL I think it is very important that we do this when we are not feeling well. The doctors will only hand you drugs and I do not want the side affects unless it is absolutely necessary. I have gone through a nightmare going off Zyrtec and now 38 days later I have high histamine symptoms i never had before, plus my hives and rashes I had before the zyrtec. I will do every test in the book to find out what is going on. Hope you feel better. Susan

    • I just wrote a long reply to this and then hit the wrong button and it all went away!

      I’ll give you the short version…until they suffer from what you suffer from, they don’t get a vote as to how you spend your time. Do what helps you to be healthy and happy!

      DLB

      • Kim C says:

        Hello Ladies!
        I have not checked in for a few days, however this new post really caught my eye! First tho, I would like to say that thanks to this wonderful site I am making some slow, steady progress. So THANKS, THANKS, THANKS!

        My story is a little different but also similar to some of you in some ways. I hit menopause smack at 50 in 07, and that same year my first symptoms of a histamine problem was swelling inside my mouth. At that point I had no clue this was a classic high histamine symptom. GI doc was useless and told me (after 9 biopsies – ouch!) I had mild gastritis due to GERD, which I repeatedly told him I rarely had. None the less, I continued on the recommended PROBIOTICS (was told to switch around with various strains) which I had been taking for years, seemingly without ANY problems… hmmm. I skipped the suggested Prilosec.

        Next came the severe hives in 2010… treated with steriods although I was reluctant but so HORRIBLY itchy and bloody I was desperate. Thought I would never recover from that hit to the adrenals and I didn’t completely. I was going down hill badly but could hardly get anyone to listen. “Integrated medicine” did me no good. They threw me onto thyroid meds and “adrenal support” and more PROBIOTICS, which only made matters much worse. BTW, thyroid meds, I now understand, can and do raise histamine levels. Trust me, I know. Since the thyroid meds didn’t work, they decided that I had Lyme as test results were suspicious, however I was not convinced since I had Lyme before (2000) and had already been treated, so I did not treat it at that time. High histamine symptoms are similar to many reported by Lyme patients…. hmmmm.

        In Nov. 2011 I dutifully had my colonoscopy (albeit a bit late) which was normal, however the GI doc did biopsies to test mast cells for mastocytosis since I was still struggling with hives periodically and was still MISERABLE. Now if this brainiac doc knew about THAT problem, would it not have made sense for him to mention at least SOMETHING about HISTAMINE??? Not a nugget of info was shared… I was just told I was “fine”.

        Next came diagnosis of a large thyroid nodule in March 2012 which was first benign so more thyroid meds and feeling awful with CLASSIC high histamine symptoms (Still I did not know what was REALLY wrong). I kept stopping the meds and telling the endo doc I felt better without them (although still felt horrible) but she did not know why although she reported that many of her patients could not tolerate thyroid.

        In Sept. I began to get numb all over and so dizzy that I could barely function. The subject of Lyme came up again by my endo. Basic tests were all negative including for “other” tick-borne illness. No one seemed to have a clue what was wrong. Even my acupuncturist was stumped. Regular Doc said not Lyme but did not know what it was… he thought Fibromyalgia, but I never had muscle pain and my sed rate and C reactive protein were always low. I was TERRIFIED, which only made things worse. Now I was also yellow all over, but liver function and such was all normal, including MRIs. I am still yellow and anemic looking and have lost a lot of weight – not good.

        Then came the suspicious 2nd nodule biopsy so it had to go,or so they told me. Possible cancer can scare the crap out of you, so In December of last year they removed 1/2 my thyroid along with a perfectly benign lump which I feel would most likely have resolved had the HISTAMINE PROBLEM been addressed (perhaps). In any event I regret my surgery. I crashed and burned a month later (when the thyroid hormones ran out and the huge change in hormones) similarly to you Mill… however my symptoms were mostly excruciating nerve pain and burning… and the mouth swelling became much worse, now with a lupus-like rash on my face. I got terrible neurological symptoms with extreme dizziness. Constant insomnia until I would just collapse from tiredness. The crying was almost unstoppable. I was trembling and shaking due to what I later learned were panic attacks. I was sent home from the overnight ER with Lyrica (which I stopped as soon as I got home) with the neurologist I saw explaining that if I could get to the bottom of what was causing my numbness it would heal. Not a word about HISTAMINE, only that all my labs were normal. And through all of this I dutifully took my PROBIOTICS! Today I cancelled my follow up appt. with the 2nd neurologist I saw, and left her a message as to what has been wrong.

        With things getting steadily worse I now sought treatment for Lyme as it seemed that it was the only thing left and my deeper level testing was “indeterminate” so I made the mistake, out of desperation and since we are in a high risk area, of thinking that this was my answer. 5 weeks of misery on antibiotics with in between recommended doses of PROBIOTICS OF COURSE was all my stomach could handle. The Lyme specialist wanted me to continue. I stopped. I am sure that if I did have lyme, that 5 weeks of antibiotics would have done some good… I only got worse.

        My last mistake was HRT (natural- bioidentical) I had posted elsewhere that I was not interested in doing this, but two docs suggested it. Surely if two docs suggested it this MUST be the cure, right? Worst thing I ever did! Estrogen raises histamine levels. I tanked after another 5 weeks. Shame on that “Alternative Medicine Doctor” who specialized in hormone replacement for not knowing that Histamine is a real problem for MANY menopausal women. I have since enlightened him, but do not know what he will do, if anything, with the information.

        My gut is in big trouble. If not leaky (most likely not) I do have a bad malabsorption problem. This problem is not new of course (bad since menopause onset), but is now much worse. I stopped my probiotics and made some progress and the face rash is hugely improved, and at times the swelling in my mouth is much better but still comes and goes depending on what I have eaten. Unfortunatley there has been a lot of damage done to my tum. Now no normal stools.

        Recently, I discovered that there are some gut bugs that actually PROMOTE histamine, and some which disolve or reduce it. The last supplement I used contained many of the histamine promoting bugs and none of the histamine reducing ones. I am taking a leap of faith here, and have decided that there may be some hope if I attempt to stack the deck of bugs in my gut with one particular gut bug that is a histamine reducer – B infantis (Align). I am going to try this for as long as I see some improvement or until the package is empty, then leave myself alone. It is my only hope.

        My tum is a little quieter since starting the Align, but I am not sure if it is the probiotic. It could just be the general help of the reduced histamine diet and supps as suggested here along with Histame. Additionally I recently started SamE supps to help with methylation… since after all this I have gotten pretty run down. The SamE immediately helped my mood with further reduction in histamine symptoms so I will add other methyl donors of TMG, and Methonione and keep my other supps as suggested here too since digestion is so bad. I have also added a few basic enzymes and herbs to soothe the tum which are not Histamine producers (many herbs are!) Several of my family members are diagnosed with bi-polar disorder… now I think it may be this histamine problem instead.

        I find it very interesting that there seem to be at least some people who go on the GAPS diet to heal their “leaky gut” and brain problems (which places a lot of emphasis on probiotic foods and supps) who do OK for a while, but then report the development of a histamine problem months to years later. Makes you kind of wonder….. Seems to me that our ancestors only lived on broths and such when they were sick or when food was scarce… not all the time. And as far as I know, our ancestors were not using probiotic supplements but rather getting their gut bugs from foods grown in their enviornment or from each other. BTW, I was a bottle baby as many of us gals this age were (I am 56).

        So for me… after this last try to stack my gut bugs in favor of one that may help me…. I am DONE with probiotics. I have already stopped giving them to my dog (was prescribed by her holistic vet) since her eyes are always runny. She eats a healthy human food diet but much of the food is prepared in advance and left in the fridge. I will stop that too. From now on she will share my freshly prepared turkey (which is about all I can eat right now). I have also taken my horses off their probiotic supplement as was recommended by their vet. ENOUGH ALREADY! I honestly think that overall, probiotics made my situation much, much worse. Perhaps they work for some, but certainly not this blood type O with a family history of a possible histamine problem.

        Sorry this post is so long, but perhaps there may be a snip of info here that may help someone along the road. Lots of folks who think they have lyme and or thyroid problems out there… you never know who might be reading this. Plus, it let me tell my story and get it off of my mind, so thanks to all of you for reading and listening. I feel like I have found some great hope here for my road to recovery. It will only get easier from here! It already is!
        Hugs to all! Kim C 🙂

      • Susan says:

        Hi Kim C,
        That was a wonderful posting and thank you for sharing your story. (Were you nervous that you would lose the power in your home and lose the post 3/4 of the way through?? LOL ) I appreciate that you took so much time and provided so much detail. I think a lot of us on here are so baffled by our symptoms and at this point with all of my healthy lab tests, my family thinks I am nuts!! The histamine reaction causes swelling in my mouth and tongue as well. I decided to stop my probiotics for now as I read somewhere that the body may see them as a foreign invader and release the dreaded histamine. I am getting a horrible reaction with my digestion and sometimes just the action of water going down will trigger symptoms. I hate to take any medicine and mask what is going on, but today I resorted to a little children’s antihistamine. I am working with both an allergist and a naturopath ( not the best combintation) but I have to get through my day so I am going to take some limited antihistamine meds again, while I try to heal my possiblly leaky gut and kill whatever bacteria is possible ailing me. I look back over my past three years of healthy tests and diagnosis of chronic fatigue, flushing, and fibromyalgia and realize that there is a bigger picture going on..histamine!! I am also doing a blood test to see if I have Mastocytosis. This is quite a lonely journey and I almost cried with what you have gone through, At least you are finding support here. Susan

      • Wow, what Susan said. Great post. Thanks so much for sharing that.

        Have you been on the Low Histamine Chef site? Her story and yours sound so similar. I wonder how many other women can tell a similar story.

        Sometimes I think I was lucky that I never went to a doctor about the itching. I was coming to the point where I was deciding who to go to. I think I was going to try a dermatologist first because I thought it was a skin thing. But it does make me wonder what path I would be on had I gone.

        I hope you keep improving. I once read that it takes a month of healing for every year you have the issue. I think I read it in a book about herbal concoctions. But maybe that gives you a realistic perspective on how long it might take. Healing won’t be overnight, but it won’t take forever either!

        So stay strong and keep doing what works! Let us know how you’re doing. I think we are all motivated by each other’s stories. We need to keep telling them.

        DLB

  4. Susan says:

    I have been on Yasmina’s website and bought her E books. Love the beauty product ideas. I am going to go on a little antihistamine as I am wearing myself down with these symptoms. So far nothing to report on my tests and they are all coming up healthy. Will report in again. I am far from menopause, but it makes sense that it throws your body out of wack. I went through it easily with some added soy. I was lucky. If you have any othe rmedical conditions at that time, then it can be so much worse. Again, it takes the body time ot adjust. I am impatient and always want an overnight cure. We all have to learn to age as naturally and healthy as possible. I do not think there are any other shortcuts or ways to avoid it. Susan

    • Kim C says:

      Hello again everyone!
      Thanks for all your support! Susan. Sorry to hear about your tummy and mouth stuff too. Not much doubt that histamine and gut are profoundly linked, that is for sure. Hopefully diet changes will help some, but lately for me it is the antihistamine supps which seem to help the most. I have had a few rough days the last few… Perhaps it is the decaf coffee which I added back.. Will stop and see. It also seems like for now the added methylators were a flop. I have been taking b vit supps for a long time and I think this MAY have worsened some of my symptoms. I have stopped all of these things for now. Just trying to let my body find a happy place if I can. My b12 levels are always high or over lately.

      I am positive that all the stress of looking for a diagnosis of what was wrong made my situation much worse. Add to that the harm that doctors caused me in spite of some of them being well meaning and my body really went through the ringer.

      I did also get one of Yasmina’s books. She is quite an inspiration and I am trying to implement some of the meditation techniques I found thru her site. I am tightly wound so to speak and am one of those who is also impatient and want answers and to just fix it. I feel like I have to make some profound changes to my thinking in order to overcome this. My hormones are what they are… I have to find a way to adjust and let my body heal.

      This is hard…. Some days I am still so weepy, especially when I backslide a bit. Today my face rash has started to come back so back to the drawing board.. I was trying to rush things. this stuff is humbling to say the least. I must learn patience. I put all the extra supps I have tried that made things worse in a box and hid them down stairs… Did not want to look at them as it made me angry and frustrated.

      I will keep you all posted as things progress and hope you ladies will do the same so we can continue to help each other!
      Hugs! Kim C

      • Susan says:

        Hi Kim C,
        I am right there with you. I have printed out so many diets and I am so confused!! My histamine levels came back normal. No H-Pylori either. Yet, I continue to have gastric symptoms and that of histamine inotolerance and hives. I am testing for Mastocytosis ( the tryptase test ) …results not in yert. I felt so horrible that I went back ot the Allergist while waitning for my Naturopath to get all my results. He told me to go back on the antihistamine, so I tried Allegra and the Zyrtec I took before and both inflamed my stomach. I am just waiting for all of of my tests to come back and this is so frustrating as so far all I showed is some type of inflammation in my body, but What??? What a nightmare!! Susan

      • I am so sorry to hear that both of you are not improving yet. I know it’s just awful. I’d eat something and then wait for a reaction. I felt like, a ticking time bomb at times.

        So this question is for both of you. Do you note any improvement when you are super strict with your diets? And are there things you know you can eat and know you cannot touch?

        When I was at my worst, I was literally eating a dozen things only. And I was using only body products and household cleansers I knew didn’t cause a reaction. I also started taking baths in place of hot showers and stopped using a razor.

        So there were so many things that triggered me, but it took me months until I thought, oh, the hot showers, or hey the razor burn is triggering me.

        I’d say life got weird, but it was manageable. So have you guys been analyzing everything, not just food? I know it’s a basic question, but like I said, it took me months to make the relationship with everything I was doing and touching.

        It almost sounds condescending to ask the question, but then I know I was still eating kelp as a supplement up until two weeks ago and never realized it was causing me to react, until one morning I thought, hey, I wonder if it’s the kelp?

        My good friend has a dear friend who was breaking out in awful rashes on her body. It turned out she was having a reaction to pine tar, I think, something like that, which is in like every soap and cleaning supply she was using. It’s even in body products.

        So think outside the box. What’s in your house? Does someone use an art supply, a cleaning supply, shoe polish, nail polish…is there something there that’s always been there that you’d never think about? Some people have awful allergies to household products because they all give off odors which means they are releasing toxins. Everybody loves new car smell, but that’s an indicator of the chemical release of all the synthetic products that are in the car. New carpets, bedding, the list goes on and on.

        I sometimes break out on my thighs because of my jeans, of all things. Probably the dye.

        Anyway, I hope I’ve triggered some thinking. We are all investigators, I think, if you have intolerance. There is a culprit. You just have to find it.

        Hang in there ladies!

        DLB

  5. Kim C says:

    Hi Gals!
    Yes, for sure, I have examined everything and you are so right that other stuff can play a big role. For me I realize that my own internal histamine is my biggest problem so even the strictest of strict diet and the natural antihistamines only helps a little.

    This realization prompted me to look at internal things which were contributing to the problem. I thought back to when my symptoms began to get bad which was at the beginning of menopause. I have had some histamine issues throughout my life I now realize but nothing that was life altering like now. I had been saliva tested in 2010 and at that time there was a clear imbalance betwee estrogen and progesterone aka estrogen dominance. I think most of us are in this same boat. Natural progesterone cream did not help me much tho. Most of the hormones I have tried to take shut down my natural production, at least based on symptoms. And certainly we all have phyto and xeno estrogens in our bodies which no one is measuring which most likely worsens things.

    In the last two days I thought about the stressors which were not food specific… Worry for years not knowing what was wrong but knowing that SOMETHING was. Not eating because I felt better when I didn’t. Lack of decent sleep due to severe insomnia for many years. And, of course, the ever changing hormones. These are just a few. Add in the chemical exposures that all of us have even when being careful, and the hormones ect. In the food supply. It all takes its toll, especially when, as in my case, you already have a genetic issue which pre disposes you to this pattern of under methylation.

    OK, so what of these can I try to fix? I can eat. For now, every two hours to keep blood sugar more stable, even if only a little bit. I am doing these really gross smoothies which consist of low histamine foods which also Lower estrogen to help get the excess out. Right now I want my levels as low as possible since estrogen and histamine stimulate each other, with no progesterone to counter the effect.

    Next I looked at ways to increase my body’s progesterone. Hormones are made from cholesterol and mine is pitifully low. After seeing your success with olive oil I tried to add it in, especially considering its healthful properties. Unfortunately I was extremely reactive plus tons more of my hair fell out. OK, so what other fat might help me make some additional cholesterol? coconut oil!

    There are only anectodal mentions out there which I could find indicating a direct link between coconut oil and progesterone, however, there does seem to be a lot of info regarding gut healing properties, which I need, thyroid function improvement, which I also need (and progesterone does improve thyroid function so maybe a link there) and its ability to kill unfriendly bacteria and viruses in the body (all those over multiplied probiotic gut bugs perhaps?). Yesterday I began adding about a tablespoon of the oil to my morning buckwheat and all of my smoothies. Within a few hours I noticed more energy and was able to go to town for the first time in weeks for a hair cut. I was a little weepy stil, but better. I still had my afternoon crash and high histamine symptom of hyper startle, but it was much more manageable AND last night I actually got some decent sleep and I dreamt. still not as much as I want after being sleep deprived for so long but hopefully it is a start!

    Today’s my energy level is unbelievably better! Mood is better too. I actually accomplished a few things around the house which needed doing. It is afternoon now, and my back is tight as usual for this time of day, but I don,t feel flattened. This ALONE will improve my stress level as now I see very tangible improvement.

    So the jury is still out. Other things have seemed to help before and then I crashed (like adding the b Vits and SamE – I have since discovered my genetic issue with this and why these things make me worse), but I am hopeful. This morning my mouth swelling was much less, although I’m pretty puffy this afternoon. Still, I have some energy and my brain fog is very much better. I even paid a few bills and could concentrate.

    I did also see a correlation with coconut oil helping with adrenal fatigue. My last saliva cortisol test was very, very low. Perhaps all the vitamin C plus the oil will help with that. I will take just a little oil at bed tonight like you do with the olive oil and see if I sleep again tonight.

    Will keep all you Ladies posted and hopefully will be back with some good news!
    Again, many thanks for the support!
    Hugs! Kim C

    • Hmmm… Ok I’m going to have to do a lot more research on coconut oil now. I’ve read a bit about it but now you’ve really peaked my interest!

      Whatever I find I’ll report out on it. It seems a hot topic and one of the foods many histamine intolerant women can eat.

      The estrogen dominance thing interests me too. I am a migraine sufferer and those were always triggered by my periods when estrogen spiked. I don’t seem to get them anymore now that my estrogen is falling off. But I think it’s all been a part of the bigger picture my whole life.

      And I don’t think not eating is ever the answer. Histamine rises when you think about food. Your gastric juices trigger it. So if you’re always hungry and thinking about food it would make sense that you are always in a state of high histamine. That’s just my theory though.

    • Susan says:

      Hi Kim,
      I just posted on another topic about water on this forum. You could be narrating my life story lately and all the things you are going through are exactly what I am going through. The only big difference is that I am 64 and went through menopause at 51 very easily. My problems started with going off Zyrtec that I took for 5 months battling ideopathic hives after a week of cold, stress and bad eating during Hurricane Sandy. My body is so out of whack!! All my tests keep coming up healthy and it is so frustrating. I am afraid to go out of the house most days and drive. Yesterday I pushed and went to get a manicure and pedicure. I just cancelled a vacation to New Orleans as the idea of not having my kitchen near by was causing me to panic!! Plus the food is very good, but very rich and I was afraid to go!! Anyway, it is wonderful to have this blog to share and thanks to the woman who started it. I have to go eat a little as I feel so hungry and my blood sugar will react. I am a perfectly healthy woman, but boy I am learning a lot about histamine and will continue to post my experiences with everyone here!! Susan
      PS. I hate to resort back ot anihistamines, but I may have to go back on them plus the the H-2 blocker for my stomach Zantac as the H-1 medicines are upsetting my stomach. Not sure about the olive oil yet. I read Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Furhman and he thinks you should eat the olives instead to get the nourishment.

      • I agree with the idea of eating whole foods but I wonder if you could eat enough olives to activate the DAO in the intestines where it’s supposed to help.

      • Susan says:

        I agree that you certainly can not eat enough olives to probably get the therapeutic dose that you need for the DHEA. I am preety sure I read that Dr. Joel Furhman thinks that processed oils are inflammatory, I will have to pull that info out of his book and get back to you. I have been a regular consumer of Extra Virgin Coconut oil for years when I learned of it’s anti-viral properties. Plus now they are linking it to the decrease of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Susan

      • Most oils I won’t touch because of their inflammatory properties. But I think the benefits outweigh the negatives of using olive or coconut oil.

        Same thing with nuts. I can eat nuts but some are higher in omega 6 than I’d like, but they are a whole food that have many benefits, so I eat them in moderation, which I think is key.

        And no matter what someone else says about my beloved olive oil, I know it’s made a huge difference to my healing and no one can convince me to give it up! I panic when the bottle gets low.

      • Susan says:

        LOL!! They have a huge bottle at Costco!!! I hear you and I will add it back to my routine. My stomach is so bad right now, I feel I will have to consult a Gastro and that means all kinds of tests..UGH. I cut out grains and decided to day to eat some gluten free rice bread. Not to be graphic, but does excess histamine cause diarreah? Not sure of my spelling there. I feel so much better when my staomch is completley empty. Once I eat, the symptoms come flooding back. Susan

      • Yes histamine intolerance can cause bowel issues.

        I’m so sorry you are suffering so. I hope someone can help or something finally works.

        What can you eat that causes no problems? Anything?

      • Susan says:

        I find if I eat later in the day, I can do fine. I have been trying to eat mainly vegetarian with a little protein mixed in and lots of vegetable juicing. Not much starch or grains, but I wonder if that could be more of a problem. I feel like my insides are very inflamed and I just want to drink water. I am trying different anti histamines and I think that is the problem. Did you ever have hives? I can not beleive how every week away from he zyrtec, I am feeling worse. There are a lot of posts that people can not get off the drug with all kinds of symptoms, yet my allergist thinks I should go back on because I still have some hives. But I feel the hives are dissipating, it is my digetion that is so off!! Susan

      • I personally find I need grains to keep my system going. Without grains everything “slows down.” You need both kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. I do really well with rye bread and I can eat pasta. I don’t eat either of them every day, but a few times a week at least. But I don’t have a gluten intolerance.

        I have never taken antihistamines. I really wanted to control my issue with food and supplements. I’ve read awful things about them. And how will you ever know what is causing your hives if you keep masking the symptoms? (you meaning the global you, not you specifically) But everyone needs to do what gets them through their day and gives them a quality of life.

        I don’t often get hives now, especially since I don’t take hot showers anymore. My symptom is pruritus, which is an invisible itch. So I itch with no visible reason. I really thought I was nuts when it started!

      • Susan says:

        By the way..love your blog and you are so wonderful in repsonding to people so fast. I just sent it to two people. I also get that same itch under the skin and sometimes a burning sensation with no obvious hives. I believe they are also under the surface and from what I have read you can get them inside youre body. I have had them on my tongue and inner lip. Actually, I feel my body is struggling to get regulated again after the Zyrtec withdrawal ( it has been 7 weeks on Friday ). Very comparible to what you are going through with menopause and your body struggling to compensate from the loss of natural hormones. I have always been very healthy and take no meds. I wish I never took the Zyrtec and explored the cause of the hives right away. Unfortunately doctors like their meds. Now I have bad stomach issues and I am sure I will be on some type of meds again. But I am working with a very good Naturopath now and hopefully he can help me get balanced again. The frustrating part is waiting for all the tests to come back and I may still have another week with the essential fatty acid test and so far everything else is normal. Very frustrating to feel so ill and have good tests. Plus, as bad as I feel, I am not vomiting, have no fever, have not acutally passed out although I got the feeling I was after eating at times, and so it is hard to be taken seriously. Susan PS. Are you in England?

      • It’s like having an invisible illness! I am healthy as a horse but couldn’t eat food like normal people?!

        Maybe the next test you go to you should eat something you really react to so you can walk in as one gigantic hive and go “see, I told ya!”

        I am actually in Miami Florida, USA. I realize I’ve been hesitant to post any really personal information but might post a bit more about myself in the future.

        Are you in the UK?

      • Susan says:

        No I live in Long Island, NY and I thought you and the Low Histamine Chef were both in Europe. There are so many people suffering with this and up until this past month, I never knew about histamine!!! I have never taken any allergy meds and my tests have been so normal that they termed my hives ideopathic dermagraphic urticaria. When I weaned off the Zyrtec, around day 11, I started to react to foods. I really do not have a specific list of foods as I feel just the act of digestion sends me over the edge of the full histamine bucket. I am trying to stay away from the chief high histamine players though. I get a racy feeling in my gut first thing in the morning and until I calm down, I react, and do most of my eating at night, trying to eat just enough to not have a low blood sugar attack. I am going to add in some low residue carbs like pasta to try and bind up my stomach that feels in over drive. I am going ot put olive oil and will resume putting it on my skin? Did you read “Super Immunity” by Dr. Joel Furhman? Very good book…he is so well respected. You should definitely put a more personal spin on your blog…people like that. Of course respecting your privacy and of course I guess you always need the disclaimer “I am not a doctor!! ” LOL Susan

      • Of course Long Island. The hurricane. You’ve mentioned that. All my cousins live in Long Beach and other parts of Long Island. Also Jersey and Staten Island. Thank G-d they all came through it. I’ve been through a few major hurricanes. And now this is interesting and I hadn’t thought of this until this very moment.

        After a bad one, we had no electricity for three weeks. At the end of the third week, my entire back broke out into hives. For two nights it was like that. I thought it was carbon monoxide poisoning from my stupid neighbor’s generator running under my condo window. After two nights of that the electricity finally came on and the hives went away. I had never had them before like that and never since.

      • Susan says:

        That is very interesting!! Were you cold or hot? I was freezing and felt like I froze my insides out. Plus eating restaurant food for 8 days and who knows how fresh that was? Have you tried Holy Basil Tea or Lemon Balm Tea.? The Lemon Balm is very calming and the Holy Basil is supposed to stabilize Mast cells. Susan

      • It was hot!! In the eighties.

        And I only drink white tea, occasionally jasmine green, and pure ginger. I had trouble with all the others. Even nettle and chamomile made me itch so I gave them all up. I tired holy basil but it didn’t do anything for me.

        At the height of the problem I only drank the ginger tea. Ginger is an antihistamine.

    • Mill says:

      Hi Kim C,

      Mill here. I just read your blog and I too had histamine issues, albeit small throughout my life. When I hit menopause following an emergency hysterectomy last summer and my refusal to take HRT due to my animal welfare issues and later due to having five biopsies on my right breast which showed benign calcifications, I won’t take it now for health reasons either. Anyhoo long story short hon, I have severe histamine intolerance which I believe is linked directly to menopause and through research and through reading all of the lovely ladies’ blogs have realised that my mother’s severe migraine over the years has led me to understand there is a genetic link for me.

      So I’m now on a strict low histamine diet – very restricting and boring and I am starving all the time and have lost a considerable amount of weight which I did not need to lose. I was only a size 10 to begin with although I did have large boobs which are now gone. I was on acidophalus and decided after reading a blog from another lady to experiment with cutting out my two acidophalus per day to see if this had a link to raising my histamine levels. Well it didn’t. I still flared up. so I went back on them because I do feel I need to repair my leaky gut but if they had been a problem I’d have cut them out totally.

      I have now gone from taking steroids and daily doses of four antihistamines per day to managing my boring diet and now only need to take one 10mg Zyrtek every second day which is not ideal but better than I had been doing and healthier.

      I don’t seem to be able to get by the rash and burning, searing itch which appear like clockwork every second day and while I have tried expensive creams to alleviate the symptoms I just cannot deal with the rash and need to give in and take the tablet.

      Anyhow thought I’d share with you.

      I’m a 49 year old woman, mother, grandmother and future wife to be. I’ll be 50 in August and marrying my second husband whom I adore and who is a wonderfully supportive human being and who takes great care to make sure I eat low histamine foods.

      Chat soon and big hugs and best wishes.

      Mill xx

      Apologies for typos I’m rushing out the door and find that stress and tiredness affects my rash big time.

      • Susan says:

        Hi Mill,
        I just saw your post ( a litle late ) . I am off Zyrtec 7 weeks and it has been very difficult. I was only taking 5mg for 5 months. I have so much rebound histamine in my body, yet my bloodwork does not show it, but my symptoms do. I tried to go back on as I was depsparate but it affected my stomach and I hated the semi-loopy feeling I get on it the next day. I am taking the H-2 Zantac now and trying quercitin, nettle Tea and vitamin C for the rest. Do not know what else to take? Google Zyrtec withdrawal and you will see what people are going through. Susan

  6. Kandie says:

    Not all probiotics release histamine. I have checked with a pharmacologist who has a PhD and also read some information on the page on FB of the Low Histamine Chef. Yes, you are right, some do definitely product histamines, but there are a few that don’t and may be beneficial for some people.

    • Yes you’re right. I guess, based on what the Low Histamine Chef reports, when we talk about probiotics we probably should be more specific about the strain of bacteria we are talking about.

      • Kim C says:

        Hi Gals,
        Thanks for sharing. I hate that we are all in this crappy boat. sorry to report that I crashed today with renewed anxiety, worsened diarrhea, burning tingles, but no itching. I have been reduced to eating only buckwheat and yesterday a few veggies in my smoothie but none today. Not sure if what set me off was the small amount of mango which I put in there plus a fewnbitesnof fresh turkey. It was such a small amount. I was disheartened to hear that you, Susan, were already using the coconut oil and it does not seem to be helping this stuff.

        I am loosing a pound a day and too thin already. heading toward a size 5. Unlike you all, I have no appetite whatsoever. My hair is falling out in clumps.

        I called my gastros office today and she is going to order stool tests to make sure I have enzymes working. Otherwise she does not know where I can gets any help. suggested an allergist … Been there done that… Idiopathic hives as well. she suggested Mayo clinic or NIH (I’d am in Maryland near Bethesda) but I doubt there is help at either place.

        I went back on the Align probiotic today as quitting it did not seem to help, and the vast majority (including the gastro today) still seem to suggest probiotics. I won’t add any tho which are the wrong ones according to the Low histamine chef site. I just don’t know what else to do… Feel so helpless and crying my eyes out again today… No wonder they treated my whole family for bipolar…. Looks just like it but improves with diet restriction.

        sorry to be such a downer… Will keep you posted… Hard to stay positive on days like this.
        I will keep trying!
        Kim C

      • Susan says:

        Kim,
        I had the worst day ever yesterday and today I had a great day. I think I know my problem and the cause of my ideopathic hives. I think it is stomach acid causing inflammation. After all of this, I tried to go back on Zyrtec and also tried Allegra over the weekend as I had a vacation planned that I have since cancelled and both left me with the worst belching and diarreah ( can not spell that !! ). The Allergist told me to take an H-2 antihistamine instead and I went with Zantac which you may know is an over the counter acid reducer. I took 1/2 of a 75mg yesterday morning and it gave me a bad headache and then I took the other half last night and woke up and was able to have a normal breakfast, no hives, and my stomach was calm after eating. I felt so good today it was a miracle. Then I had to decide what to do about taking it again as I had no symptoms. After much thought i decided to take another half around 1pm and immediately got a headache and small reaction. But, it only lasted a 1/2 hr and I resumed my day feeling OK. I may have avoided all of this if I had taken something for my horrible heartburn the week of the Hurricane!! I hate to take any med’s but in this case I might have been very foolish. Time will tell, but I am encouraged to have had a great day. Going over all of my blood work from my Naturopath tommorrow and will report in. Susan

  7. Pamela says:

    I have been in menopause for over 8 years . All of a sudden last sept 2014 I started gaining weight. By dec of 2014 I had gained almost 12 lbs. I questioned my dr about histamine and he said no. He did a blood sugar test, etc. Ok. May 27, 2015 I asked about leaky gut. He put me on a few supplements by standard process and told me to use a good probiotic. I am still bloated, can’t lose weight and have constipation. I just started taking TMG. Will get off probiotic also. I am also doing bone broth.

  8. Tina says:

    Sounds like a legit theory !
    Fits me to the letter!
    I’m gonna stop the probiotic for awhile and see what happens!
    I’ll update you as soon as I see a difference!

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