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.