Keeping a food diary is an absolute must as you navigate this road. There are many lists of foods that are high in histamine or are histamine liberators, but not one of those lists will be completely accurate for your body. The foods that make me itch might not make you itch even if they are on a list. The only way to know is to first eliminate them and then add them back in.
Basically, you almost have to start with the lists of high histamine foods you’ll find all around the Internet. (Check out this site for a really well researched list) Once you match up your diet to the lists, eliminate the high histamine foods, the liberators, and the DAO enzyme suppressors. (More on the science later) Once your symptoms abate, mine are the itching, sleeping problems, and the hot flashes, you can add something back in to see if it’s an offender. For example, I can’t eat tomato sauce but I can put a few slices of tomato on a sandwich. It’s like putting a puzzle together. Once you get your histamine levels down, when you stumble onto one of those things you shouldn’t eat you’ll know!
I had no idea avocado was a high histamine food. It took only about thirty seconds before my arm “lit up” for me to know I was not going to be eating avocados any time soon again. I used to eat cauliflower by the head practically and now I go insane with itching if I eat even a piece. And cauliflower is supposed to be relatively “safe.”
I cannot drink nettle tea, a popular antihistamine, nor can I have chamomile, also known to be good for lowering histamine levels. Yet I can eat bananas and most nuts. But you’ll find those on many lists of don’ts.
So I write it all down. From morning until night. Every single thing I ingest, how it makes me feel, when the itch started, where it is on my body, how long it lasted and what killed it! It’s all very detailed and probably even a bit OCD, but it’s my tangible connection to the reality of my situation. Before I started my food diary, the itching was arbitrary and random. With the food diary, it is grounded in fact.
And the fact is, I have histamine intolerance, and no amount of wishing and hoping right now seems to make it go away. So my food diary is my road map to sanity. I’ve become very attached to my yellow pad. It tells my story.
The things I miss most:
I’m sure I’ve left a ton of stuff off that list so I’ll update it later. And we do need to discuss supporting your low histamine diet with supplements. Click on the Supplements tab for information on the supplements I take to help manage my histamine intolerance.