the chemical breakdown – a look at histamine intolerance in the body

All too often we begin to feel the effects of our diet, usually attributing it to other issues.

Joint pain? Working too hard. Thyroid issues? Faulty thyroid, can’t fix it… Stomach pains and gastritis? Stress or just an ‘off’ day. Exhaustion? The American dream…

Accoreding to, “the prevalence rate for people (struggling) with gastritis are 1 in 100 in the U.S., (translating to) … 2.7 million annually…”(Web, N.A., 2003).

While all of the reasons listed above can be a reason, they do not serve as the only reasons for those issues. All of the problems, even properly attributed to the reasons above, can be aided with the agent of diet change to reduce the histamine load on your body.

Nearly everything in the American diet is loaded heavily with these little things and they can cause bigger problems than you could ever imagine until you’re living it.

meat burger with coleslaw on side and brown handled fork
Photo by Flickr on

These histamines build in the body, much like garbage in a trash can, until it is just too full to cope. It overflows and spills out the top, and brings you lovely inflammation issues, worsening fibromyalgia, anxiety and neurological issues, and a plethora of stomach issues.

So, how do we take out the trash? For people with an undersupply of Diamine Oxidase (DAO) or with the MTHFR gene (causing low methylation efficiency and amino acid disruption of absorption), this is harder than you may think. But what do I mean by this? 


The MTHFR gene aids in the methylation process as one of the main duties it does in the body. Methylation and certain mediums (such as DAO) work to take out the histamine trash. If the methylation isn’t happening because you have a defect or a mutation, the gene cannot work properly and therefore the histamine is never broken down efficiently. It piles, and piles…. much like my husband’s socks he likes to leave around!

Many people, due to the American diet today, also have a gross shortage of DAO to help take out the trash! The odds are stacked against you if you have both and don’t know it.

According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “In healthy persons, dietary histamine can be rapidly detoxified by amine oxidases, whereas persons with low amine oxidase activity are at risk of histamine toxicity. Diamine oxidase (DAO) is the main enzyme for the metabolism of ingested histamine.” (Maintz & Novack, 1185).

So how do we naturally raise the levels of DAO in the body?

Peas, interestingly enough, are like God’s miracle food to help raise those levels and break down what you eat on a daily basis. More specifically – self sprouting peas.’

pea sprouts

I am trying this for myself as well to help reset my body (because I am clinically presenting as if I had low DAO)…I can’t wait to start feeling better!

You can find an organic pea sprouter on Amazon here… I plan on getting one of those and buying the organic peas to sprout separately.

You can also manually lower the amount of histamine you are consuming by radically changing your diet, reducing your stress, excercise, and hydration! America does not place enough importance on true, holistic, whole-body health. That is part of the predicament we are in… we have the best healthcare system in the world and still we are sick and struggle because this is not something medication can help with. 

woman meditating on rock near body of water
Photo by Nathan Cowley on

First steps to doing this are to go gluten free, and also dairy free since these both have high levels of histamine. Key vegetables to avoid also at the start are tomato, spinach, and olives or fermented items (such as pickles). Start part of an excercise regime that is gentle and will not crowd your detoxification pathways and make you feel worse, such as yoga or walking daily. Consistancy is key!

I will be posting a full list of safe foods and also foods that may be tolerable based on my own trial and error experience!

If you are interested in having a tailored histamine-friendly diet plan sent to you for $5 (encompassing two weeks and including a shopping list for histamine-friendly snacks and what you need to buy for the recipes), let me know via the contact option on the blog! I would be happy to get in touch with you and help you in your health journey!





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