This is one of those question I get all the time. And it’s usually from women who have been to several different allopathic doctors looking for relief from a myriad of symptoms.
I think there are three reasons why doctors don’t diagnose histamine intolerance. First, none of them look at a woman as a whole body. They just focus on the body part they specialize in. Second, none of them deal with the foods your eating unless, on some cursory level, they question whether you are eating healthfully. And third, I think a lot of them don’t even know about histamine intolerance and mast cell diseases. I think it’s relatively new and they’re just not up to date with their knowledge.
When I first became seriously intolerant, my major symptoms were pruritus (which is an invisible itch), insomnia, hives, hot flashes, and a constant need, or at least the feeling, that I needed to urinate.
I’d sit around and try to figure out what doctor to see based really on only the itch. I hadn’t really quite understood the rest was related to the itching and the itching was the thing making me completely insane, so that was my focus.
But who to go to? A dermatologist? An allergist?
When I researched dermatological reasons for an invisible itch it was all cancer things. Oh and one weird disease brought on by the sun hitting your arm through the driver’s side window. For a few days I thought maybe it was that.
If I’d gone to an allergist like many other women, I would have left more confused. Those allergy scratch tests only register allergies to foods. We don’t have allergies to foods. We have allergic-like reactions to the histamine in foods.
I think I would have left both those kinds of doctors with a handful of antihistamines and no reason for the itch they could think of.
What about gynecologists? Many women wind up there for s couple of reasons. They either have an aggravating itch in their nether-regions, or they have put together their symptoms with menopause and go to get confirmation. I’ve heard from both sets of women on this front and it never ends well. Many women report having awful painful vulvic biopsies looking for cancer…doctors love to look for cancer don’t they…or their doctors dismiss the itching/menopause connection outright. I wish I had a dollar for every women who’s told me her doctor dismissed that idea.
Who do you go to next? What doctor can you find that treats an entire body and not just a body part? Cardiologists look at hearts. Renal guys look at kidneys. Endocrinologists look at hormones. Podiatrist, feet. Orthopedics, bones. The list goes on and on. Is it any wonder no one links food, hormones, and anything else together into one body?
And what about histamine intolerance as a health concern. What doctor even knows about it? It’s relatively new on the scene it seems. The psychiatric community knows a bit about histamine because it’s often linked to depression and even anorexia. But I bet you have to find a psychiatrist who’s into nutrition to help diagnose that! And then you’d have to find one who is willing to treat your depression with an alternative diet instead of drugs. Obsessive compulsive disorder…histamine intolerance. If I know why don’t they?
Maybe it’s too easy. Maybe too many doctors would be out of business if they really worked to heal a body and not just their body part. Could you imagine a doctor saying no, you don’t need Prozac, you need to stop eating the food you eat with all those horrifying food additives and other junk and go do some exercise while your at it and never come see me again!
And don’t get me started on big Pharma. If you’ve read my mission statement on my first page you might remember I talked about a med that was supposed to help women with hot flashes. It’s info page talked about a direct link between hot flashes and rising histamine levels. So then the medical community knows about the histamine link right? Hmmm…so then does your gynecologist know too, after all?
Until doctors start dealing with people as a whole body nothing will change. And until doctors start admitting that foods can harm as well as cure nothing will change there either. America, where I reside, is so worried about only obesity the conversation about food never happens outside of it.
It is quite horrifying to read boxes and packages of the food-like products people put into their bodies with reckless abandon. Why isn’t your doctor stopping you from doing that? Maybe your nutritionist would but would your gynecologist? He ever ask you if you’ve eaten yellow dye number 4 in your Reese’s pieces? Talk about a bad histamine reaction?!
So there you go. My three reasons why doctors don’t know. But guess what? You’re reading this because you do know. Because you’ve become in-tune with your body and you have to help yourself because your doctor hasn’t. So listen to your body. Stop eating what annoys it and start eating what cures it. Switch out your bottle of antihistamines with a bottle of ginger capsules, (yeah I’m not letting that one go), and take control over your body.
And one other thing. If you do find a doctor who gets it, hang on to him/her. There are so few from what I understand from my readers. Maybe we can even start a list of the good ones by region. If you want to share your amazing doctor’s name and your story, by all means do it in the comments section.
Now I need to go hop on the bike. Although it’s 55 degrees and for Miami that’s really cold! But I’m gonna…
Have a good day ladies!