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.
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.