Why not just use antihistamines?

I think this is the question I am asked most when I discuss histamine intolerance.

I know many people use antihistamines to “get their bodies under control,” with the goal of getting off of them in the future. But, I am sorry, this is flawed thinking. Had I thought this way, I’d still be struggling to get my itching under control and I would not be in the shape I’m in today.

When my intolerance hit, actually before I even knew it was intolerance, I knew I had a choice. I could take antihistamines and stop the itching, or I could try to figure out what was making me itch. Sure, antihistamines will stop the itching, but only temporarily, until you eat or touch whatever it is that unleashes your histamine and you’re back to square one. How ever will you figure it all out if you keep masking the problem?

I know this stance could easily alienate some of my readers, but I wanted to take that risk to get the message across. Some might even think my itch wasn’t as severe as theirs. We can never know another’s pain, but let me assure you I do understand all too well how debilitating and traumatic the itching and hives can be. I actually thought one day that I completely understood how people commit suicide when they have psoriasis. (A study suggests that every year 350 Britons commit suicide because of psoriasis. This is the article that had that statistic.)

There are numerous bad side effects to taking antihistamines, even weight gain. Although the theories for why you gain weight while on antihistamines varies depending on the study, the consensus seems to be that they do cause weight gain.

And check out this list of possible side effects from Zrytec. Life threatening allergic reaction is a side effect of an allergy medicine?! Yikes!

I know this could be a very unpopular post. And I don’t want to come off judgmental considering so many people who find my blog are or have been using antihistamines. But I really want to get the word out that there are other ways to get your intolerance under control. And I mean really under control. Not just by masking what is going wrong with your body but by healing it. Antihistamines do not heal the problem. They just make you stop itching for a short amount of time. Once you eat or touch that thing that triggers a reaction you’re back to square one.

So please view this advice with the intent it is given. Work to control your intolerance without antihistamines. Take control of your body and heal yourself. Yes, it takes a lot of work. I’ve been there, I know. But I can also tell you how great it feels when you start to resume a normal life without thinking about itching every single moment of the day.

Take a look at my supplements page. Start a food diary. And visit the Low Histamine Chef’s site. You can do this without drugs.

In health,

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in histamine intolerance, menopause, peri-menopause, Women's health
7 comments on “Why not just use antihistamines?
  1. Cormom says:

    I totally agree with you! Physician just want to throw antihistamines as you as we’ll instead of fixing the problem.

  2. K.K. says:

    Hi DLB,

    I’m 100% with you on this, too.

    In general, my first choice in healing is to always listen to my body, and try to find a natural way to remedy whatever is going on.

    Specifically, as you pointed out, antihistamines have way too many adverse affects.

    Itching, hives, or anything out of the ordinary is the body’s way of letting you know something is out of balance.

    Taking something like an antihistamine suppresses not only the message being sent by the body, but the body’s ability to heal itself.

    Dealing with the affects of the antihistamine then becomes yet another issue with which to contend on top of the itch, etc.

    Like you, I’m not judging those who do take them. It’s a very personal choice, but I would encourage a more holistic, natural approach to healing whenever possible.


  3. K.K. says:

    Hi DLB,

    That is kind and generous of you to say, but you are clearly the driving force here. 😀

    Your caring, concern, and compassion for your readers is obvious, and inherent in all of your posts.

    Hope all is well on all counts for everyone on here. 🙂

    I am loving the arrival of fall weather. It’s not only my favorite time of year (tied with winter), but I always feel so much better in cooler weather.


  4. Mary says:

    Hello! This is my first time here and glad that I got directed to your site. I really was beginning to think that I’m losing my mind with the sudden onset of a seemingly severe allergic reaction to nuts and now, other things that I can’t sometimes even narrow down. And then sudden severe palpitations as well out of nowhere, even when I’m just quietly sittling, as well as high blood pressure that was in control before. Both my skin prick test and blood test are coming back inconclusive. I am currently seeing an allergist who is systematically going down a list of things to test for but so far, all of the results are coming back negative. He feels that I don’t actually have allergies per se but that it’s involving mast cells. At least he has ruled out mastocytosis. For the meantime, he asked me to start taking Zyrtec daily which I was opposed to without a pressing reason and justification to do so but after several visits to the ER due to a sudden reaction, daily living now just seems to be like going through a minefield, not knowing what will set me off, for lack of an alternative, I agreed. Everything subsided since then but as you said, I am very resistant to it because it just masks the system and does not get to the root of the problem which is the one I want resolved. Then even after being on Zyrtec, I had another reaction, so now I’m on an H2 blocker!!!, since he said it address a different kind of histamine!!! I’m on that right now until I find a better way to manage this and resolve it. Would you please point me on your blog where I can read up on how you got to manage the histamine intolerance naturally? For the meantime, I was casually mentioning to my friend my recent issues which I never had before, and then she casually mentioned that she(and she knows of a couple of other friends who went through the same thing) had a sudden onset of allergies when she started going through menopause. While I wasn’t officially on menopause then, I was beginning to suspect that I was beginning through perimenopause as I was beginning to become irregular(when I used to be like clockwork).

    At a visit to my NP(nurse practitioner) one day, I mentioned that I’ve been palpitating a lot and having sudden feelings of anxiety for no reason, and to also check my blood pressure. I mentioned to her that when I mentioned this to my primary care, he told me to consider seeing a therapist(!!!) – not that I have a problem with that but I assured him that other than these health issues happening, there really hasn’t been any reason for me to suddenly have palpitations. She then said that maybe I’m going through menopause and to check my hormone levels. The results basically showed very low levels on the three major ones – estrogen,progeterone and I think estriadol(sp).

    Prior to this, I’ve hardly ever been to doctors(although I do have chronic pain that I just try to manage on my own-fibromyalgia). When I read the symptoms of systemic mastocytosis however, the symptoms sound more like me than fibromyalgia.

    Do you have in any particular place in your blog, how to manage histamine intolerance naturally, getting to the root, rather than masking with meds. Did you also get an official diagnosis, and what kind of doctor helped you the most in figuring this out. It’s very frustrating that everyone is approaching what’s going on with me separately, instead of looking at the whole situation as a whole. What kind of doctor do I go to who can approach it from a menopause related perspective maybe? I mean, will we even get that kind of prognosis or pretty much chalk it up to just our own research without actual confirmation?


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