GiaK

Histamine food intolerance

247 posts in this topic

I've switched to a low histamine diet...

 

this blog is awesome: http://thelowhistaminechef.com/

 

the improvement is PHENOMENAL...

 

no kidding...check it out...I'm sure it won't help everyone but it's turning out to be clearly foundational for me.

 

since I was eating FERMENTS and BONE BROTH like crazy...and they're both high histamine, this info was critically important...I needed to stop eating those two things!! (as well as a host of other high histamine foods)

 

I'll share more as I learn...frankly, I'm in an intense learning curve now...this is all very fascinating...

 

it's got to do with nerves...histamine intolerance will MESS big time with your nerves...and my autonomic system has TOTALLY mellowed out in just a week!! of low-histamine diet...

 

I've got a ways to go, but this feels different than all the other things I've changed.

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I've switched to a low histamine diet...

 

this blog is awesome: http://thelowhistaminechef.com/

 

the improvement is PHENOMENAL...

 

no kidding...check it out...I'm sure it won't help everyone but it's turning out to be clearly foundational for me.

 

since I was eating FERMENTS and BONE BROTH like crazy...and they're both high histamine, this info was critically important...I needed to stop eating those two things!! (as well as a host of other high histamine foods)

 

I'll share more as I learn...frankly, I'm in an instense learning curve now...this is all very fascinating...

 

it's got to do with nerves...histamine intolerance will MESS big time with your nerves...and my autonomic system has TOTALLY mellowed out in just a week!! of low-histamine diet...

 

I've got a ways to go, but this feels different than all the other things I've changed.

 

Hi Gianna,

 

That is great news.

 

Would love to hear more when you're ready to share.

 

Thanks!

 

CS

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Fascinating Gia, I'll be watching for updates on your progress. The fennel apple coleslaw looks divine.

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Thanks for the post, Gia. I'll be watching for more as well.

 

I've also had to throw in the towel on fermented foods and the Paleo sort of diet. I tried working my way up from tiny amounts of kimchi to larger ones and never did develop a tolerance. As for the high meat and fat involved in the Paleo approach, my cholesterol numbers got worse (the ratio of good to bad) after switching from a nearly vegetarian diet. So much for that idea.

 

The list of foods makes it obvious why cutting out dairy has almost eliminated my allergies. I've also noted that a generic anthistamine similar to Benadryl works very effectively as both a sleeping pill and antidepressant for me without all the side effects of benzos or antidepressants, although I don't think taking them on a regular basis is a good idea.

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Taking care of ourselves is a moving target! Fascinating to hear what you've found out, GiaK.

 

Also see the recent topic on tyramine, a component of fermented foods.

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I don't have much more to say except that the improvement has been marked and sustained for about 12 days now.

 

the most noticeable thing is additional physical capacities...while my stamina still remains hugely challenged I've been able to walk 30 to 50 minutes in the mountains every day (yes, bonafide short HIKES). Given that a 30 minute walk was something I've only been able to achieve once or twice a month for over 2 years this is hugely significant. My goal has been to walk 30 minutes a day for over a year...and generally I cannot manage more than 5 to 20 minutes and really quite often I couldn't walk at all...so...this is BIG

 

Also, my autonomic system chaos is significantly toned down...really very much so, but I still can't live with my husband (he stays downstairs, I upstairs)...but we are able to have more conversations and have meals together again more often. I still need quiet in the house for the bulk of the time, but again, I couldn't even sit and have a meal with him more than once a week or so...now we often have two meals together and we're spending more time hanging...

 

it's premature to celebrate but it's clear that histamine is an issue for me...

 

interesting that in 2007 I was actually tested for histamine by an orthomolecular doctor and I did indeed test HIGH...but her only treatment was SAMe which sent me through the roof...she didn't know you could just EAT LESS HISTAMINE!! Why are doctors such idiots. I might have caught this all that time ago. At that point I didn't understand the significance of diet myself and I ended up just dismissing the whole thing because she was really clueless about my withdrawal needs and a control freak to boot.

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Interesting about the diet. I am morethanever interested in dietary interventions.

 

One thing I stumbled across: Quercetin, a supplement bioflavanoid, knocked out my intense 'cedar fever' allergies ... I discovered this quite by accident, trying the quercetin for another problem. It seems to have an effect against histamine though.

 

I don't know how others might react, but passing along the info...

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yes, I'm taking Quercetin and Vitamin C and Bromelain (enzyme) to help with lowering...all very safe for me...I'd taken all of it at various times in any case...

 

I'm also eating as many anti-histamine foods as possible along with LOW histamine foods...(should be noted one cannot be on a histamine FREE diet...we all need histamine...those with an intolerance simply reach a threshold where it becomes toxic.

 

I'm also incorporating lots of PRE-biotic foods to help with the probiotic population in my gut since I can no longer eat ferments or take probiotics...

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I did a post with much more information included

 

Histamine intolerance (new discovery, likely to apply to others on psych meds and coming off them too)

http://beyondmeds.com/2013/01/07/histamine-intolerance/

 

I'm pretty certain some percentage of us are effected by this...I hope to hear back from people who find it makes a difference so that perhaps we might learn more...

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Hi Gia, This sounds very interesting! I am interested in trying this in hopes that it can lower some of my chemical sensitivities. Just curious....what have you been eating for breakfast ect.....or any other meals. I have been doing some reading on it. I too have been eating fermented foods and bone broth. Annie :)

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I eat the same foods for breakfast as I eat for lunch and dinner...but I've been doing that for a long time. I'm allergic to eggs and I don't eat grains...so traditional breakfast foods are out!

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Annie, please let us know how the histamine diet goes if you do follow through...I'm really curious about whether others might find this helpful too or not.

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I will Gia, thanks!

 

I am trying to start it already. I am finding conflicting lists on what I can and cannot eat on different sites. Do you have any good breakfast ideas? I have been doing the paleo for awhile and was only eating eggs and goat yogurt smoothies. Now I am unsure what to eat. I read on your blog that a lady had trouble coming off her meds until this diet. That is so interesting and intriguing. I am going to have to revamp everything I have been eating :rolleyes: but I have been doing that for years. Was going to have cod for dinner tonight but it looks like fish is a no no. Do you know a website with a free menu plan? I will probably buy her book, but it can take a week or two to get here. Annie.......Leo glad you are finding a bit of relief :)

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there is a link to a list of foods at the bottom of the post...it's the best list I've found...and yeah, lots of contradictory info...because everyone's threshold is different I think...you just have to experiment to some extent...good luck!

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Hi Gia

 

When I was in the no mans land of withdrawal with clueless about what was going on. I read up about histamine intolerance and thought this could be it (particularly given my ad is a potent antihistamine)

 

I organised private testing which cost a fortune and came back negative - not histamine intolerant. Just wondering if youve read anything about these kind of tests and how reliable they are?

 

Dalsaan

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from what I understand the tests aren't particularly reliable...but I did test high histamine in 2007 with an orthomolecular doctor which i mentioned in the article...so that lends additional weight to the FACT that my life is hugely less painful and difficult since I've lowered histamine...

 

unfortunately it's looking like the intolerance is severe and complicated not just by the foods I eat but by my own body manufacturing histamine at levels it doesn't like...so lots of tweaking ahead...

 

if you have any question about it still...like if the info really resonates I'd just give the diet a shot for a week or two...the results were apparent for me within a few days...

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little update since some of you have asked that I do that...

 

Without the histamine buzz my body found toxic, I'm now simply exhausted (with much fewer of the other autonomic symptoms)...which is lovely because maybe I'll heal now. I keep accidentally poisoning myself though by eating something too high in histamine (at which point all the autonomic symptoms come raging back)...I'll be talking to an expert on histamine intolerance disorders sometime in the next week or two, thank god. It's really weird this trip...and still not at all easy...but thank god I've found something foundational I can work with...

 

I need to string together a few weeks of clean days...so far I've not managed more than 3 days before I accidently throw my body back into reactivity...but that I guess is the learning curve as the diet is tough!! (for me...it seems it would vary a lot given the individual)

 

I'll keep y'all all apprised...

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little update since some of you have asked that I do that...

 

Without the histamine buzz my body found toxic, I'm now simply exhausted (with much fewer of the other autonomic symptoms)...which is lovely because maybe I'll heal now. I keep accidentally poisoning myself though by eating something too high in histamine (at which point all the autonomic symptoms come raging back)...I'll be talking to an expert on histamine intolerance disorders sometime in the next week or two, thank god. It's really weird this trip...and still not at all easy...but thank god I've found something foundational I can work with...

 

I need to string together a few weeks of clean days...so far I've not managed more than 3 days before I accidently throw my body back into reactivity...but that I guess is the learning curve as the diet is tough!! (for me...it seems it would vary a lot given the individual)

 

I'll keep y'all all apprised...

 

Hi Gianna,

 

Because of your blog entry this morning on the subject, I started to do more research on the foods to eat and was curious about something. On another website, it listed broccoli as high in histamine. But yet I swear when I eat it, I feel less congested.

 

Also, I believe ghee is listed as a low histamine food but it will clog my sinuses unless I consume it in the morning when I have taken an OTC sinus remedy that has enzymes in it.

 

By the way, that histamine chef site you linked to is very valuable. I am going to look into the Nigella Sativa seeds that it mentioned might replace a nasal steroid spray for treating the conditions that it does.

 

Keep us posted.

 

CS

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I don't know how to answer your questions...there is very little that is straight-forward about this stuff...it's not just the histamine in foods...it's also the histamine in your body...also some foods are not histaminic but they will release your bodies histamine...it gets very crazy making...

 

this issue is much more complex than just food in the body. it involves a complex but hopefully eventually comprehensible system. That system involves exogenous and endogenous histamine; the conversion of histadine to histamine in the gut; the conversion of histadine to histamine inside food sources; the breakdown of histamine in the gut; the interaction of histamine with other neurotransmitters and hormones; the role of histamine as an essential amino acid and its role in regulating wakefulness. Understanding how all these moving parts fit together seems to be necessary in conjunction with figuring out how to maintain a low histamine diet.

 

my hormonal cycle totally brings about fluctuations in what is now clearly histamine levels too...

 

oy vey!

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""oy vey!""

 

I think that pretty much says it all :lol:

 

All jokes aside, I need to simply pay attention to my body's reactions to food and go from there.

 

Thanks for responding.

 

CS

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wow!

 

this is a wild ride...nothing clear or straight about it but TONS OF CHANGES are happening.

 

still sick and disabled...but I feel more optimistic than ever...this is going to require a lot of work paying attn and learning more about exactly how to minimize histamine...and then the fact that my body has many years of being sick to recover from as well...but it's really helping a lot.

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wow!

 

this is a wild ride...nothing clear or straight about it but TONS OF CHANGES are happening.

 

still sick and disabled...but I feel more optimistic than ever...this is going to require a lot of work paying attn and learning more about exactly how to minimize histamine...and then the fact that my body has many years of being sick to recover from as well...but it's really helping a lot.

Hi Gia.. I've been following your narrative about histamine intolerance. I have a histamine sensitivity, and am reading your posts with much interest.

 

Other substances come into play when we are in WD (think?) and you have perseverance that alerts you to hurdles in your path. Congrats. Wayyy to go!!!

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hello again...

 

comsports...since you mentioned Nigella Sativa and I bought some and tried them I thought I'd report back...

 

WOW again...

 

this is a brief (edited) email exchange I had with the woman who writes The Low Histamine Chef (where we both found out about these seeds)

 

 

From: giaK

Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM

To:

 

 

1 tsp of nigella sativa seeds totally knocked out a major histamine reaction I was having...

 

have you tried them? is there a catch to this glory?

 

I learned about them on your site.

 

I heated them briefly, ground them up in a spice grinder and took 1 tsp.

 

within an hour the histamine reaction I was having completely disappeared.

 

 

 

----------

From: low histamine chef

Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

To: giak

 

 

Wooo!! Awesome!

 

No side effects, no catch. The beauty of natural anti histamines. Have you tried quercetin yet? It's a lifesaver. If you try, find one without too much bromelain. I use http://www.nutricentre.com/p-28306-quercetin-b5-complex.aspx in case of emergency.

 

These things will start kicking in big time. Once your overall inflammation is down, your body will re-learn how to respond normally to foods. Don't sweat the reactions too much. Just ride them out while giving proper anti inflammatory nutrition.....

 

 

I'm in amazement here. Just thought I'd share.

 

I've found lots of fascinating info on these seeds. Mohammad the prophet recommended that everyone eat them daily.

 

They've been researched and there are quite a lot of studies in the medical literature...of note, they are good for balancing blood sugar...something I really need since I have metabolic issues...

 

here are a couple of sites to get started if anyone is interested:

 

http://theblessedseed.blogspot.com/

 

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_sativa

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21675032

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Thanks Gianna for the update. Wow, I am so happy for the good fortune you are having.

 

Time for me to get some of those Nigella Sativa seeds.

 

CS

 

hello again...

 

comsports...since you mentioned Nigella Sativa and I bought some and tried them I thought I'd report back...

 

WOW again...

 

this is a brief (edited) email exchange I had with the woman who writes The Low Histamine Chef (where we both found out about these seeds)

 

 

From: giaK

Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 5:18 PM

To:

 

 

1 tsp of nigella sativa seeds totally knocked out a major histamine reaction I was having...

 

have you tried them? is there a catch to this glory?

 

I learned about them on your site.

 

I heated them briefly, ground them up in a spice grinder and took 1 tsp.

 

within an hour the histamine reaction I was having completely disappeared.

 

 

 

----------

From: low histamine chef

Date: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

To: giak

 

 

Wooo!! Awesome!

 

No side effects, no catch. The beauty of natural anti histamines. Have you tried quercetin yet? It's a lifesaver. If you try, find one without too much bromelain. I use http://www.nutricentre.com/p-28306-quercetin-b5-complex.aspx in case of emergency.

 

These things will start kicking in big time. Once your overall inflammation is down, your body will re-learn how to respond normally to foods. Don't sweat the reactions too much. Just ride them out while giving proper anti inflammatory nutrition.....

 

 

I'm in amazement here. Just thought I'd share.

 

I've found lots of fascinating info on these seeds. Mohammad the prophet recommended that everyone eat them daily.

 

They've been researched and there are quite a lot of studies in the medical literature...of note, they are good for balancing blood sugar...something I really need since I have metabolic issues...

 

here are a couple of sites to get started if anyone is interested:

 

http://theblessedseed.blogspot.com/

 

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigella_sativa

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21675032

 

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Are quercetin and nigella sativa something you can take when you feel you need it or do you take them regularly?

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Is it okay to take Benadryl? I'm having an allergic reaction to something unknown & can't get a doctors appt until next month. I'm @ my wits end. Is it okay to take Benadryl during withdrawal? Will i have withdrawal from it?

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Dani,

If you're tolerating benadryl it's most likely okay in the short term, but it's not a good permanent fix while one is in withdrawal and in fact it's not a good long-term fix for anyone. it's an anticholinergic drug and they are bad for your brain. They cause cognitive slowing and are associated with dementia in older people.

 

I do have a withdrawal friend who it turns out has the same histamine issue I have...she is hooked on benadryl and is finding that she does definitely have withdrawal issues. I don't think they're very common but we are not common...

 

Doctors in general don't recognize that one can treat these histamine conditions naturally.

 

You might want to try eliminating high histamine foods and see if that helps your allergy too, Dani.

 

a couple of years ago I had hives and radically bad Urticaria...both serious allergic reactions...I now understand the episode with new eyes. I had no idea what had set me off at that time. and for me it was because it wasn't one food...it was that I was over threshold for histamine

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Are quercetin and nigella sativa something you can take when you feel you need it or do you take them regularly?

 

I don't know for sure, though since I'm taking the Nigella Sativa for blood sugar issues too, I will be taking it daily as that is what is needed according to studies. I think the answer to that question in general is found in how one responds to taking them.

 

I will be experimenting.

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Dani,

If you're tolerating benadryl it's most likely okay in the short term, but it's not a good permanent fix while one is in withdrawal and in fact it's not a good long-term fix for anyone. it's an anticholinergic drug and they are bad for your brain. They cause cognitive slowing and are associated with dementia in older people.

 

I do have a withdrawal friend who it turns out has the same histamine issue I have...she is hooked on benadryl and is finding that she does definitely have withdrawal issues. I don't think they're very common but we are not common...

 

Doctors in general don't recognize that one can treat these histamine conditions naturally.

 

You might want to try eliminating high histamine foods and see if that helps your allergy too, Dani.

 

a couple of years ago I had hives and radically bad Urticaria...both serious allergic reactions...I now understand the episode with new eyes. I had no idea what had set me off at that time. and for me it was because it wasn't one food...it was that I was over threshold for histamine

 

Thanks for responding!!!

I have really bad seasonal allergies and was so scared to take Zyrtec & other OTC meds. I read that eating a teaspoon of local honey daily helps. Well honey helped me last spring with those allergies. But I'm not sure why I'm going through issues right now. I got sick & developed a cold sore b4 xmas and used Abreva. I think it caused a bad reaction but I'm not sure.

I haven't taken Benadryl in years... And definitely not while in this withdrawal. But my face is so irritated. I feel as if I'm having seasonal allergies...feels like my skin is crawling. Yuck. That is why i was asking if it's okay to use.

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another update on this issue:

 

Chris Kresser wrote on histamine intolerance today...I shared my post with him and work with him on occasion too, so I assume this is a result of our interactions...he's a good guy.

 

http://chriskresser.com/headaches-hives-and-heartburn-could-histamine-be-the-cause?inf_contact_key=b4d0bf8697e0c9fa9d4bf0f6f0b10b42

 

I left a comment in the comment section folks might be interested in reading as well.

 

http://chriskresser.com/headaches-hives-and-heartburn-could-histamine-be-the-cause?inf_contact_key=b4d0bf8697e0c9fa9d4bf0f6f0b10b42#comment-37730

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I found this article (cited by Kresser) about histamine intolerance by Dr Janice Joneja to be a good explanation http://www.foodsmatter.com/allergy_intolerance/miscellaneous/articles/histamine_joneja.html

 

(I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to follow the injunction against all meats. I live in a city and can't slaughter my own.)

 

Here are folk remedy tips regarding Nigella Sativa http://www.naturalnews.com/026868_Nigella_Sativa_migraine_seeds.html

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I was very excited to happen onto this thread, because allergies have run my life to a large degree, and not surprisingly they got worse with meds, especially after my (too-fast) paxil w/d over six years ago.

 

I have found that eliminating more and more of the very healthy foods I love has resulted in significant decreases in symptoms that started or greatly worsened with that w/d.

 

I also had a reaction (most likely to the artificial color in the 0.5 mg tabs of clonazepam I switched to last August for more accurate dosing than cutting the 2 mg tabs into fourths - the 2 mg tabs have no artificial color) that's been horrible. Clusters of itchy hive-like urticaria lumps that last longer than hives and cause large surrounding areas of skin to feel like raw burns. After a while the lasting ones have been mostly on my breasts, of all places (aargh), and then also some on one inner elbow. This started in September, I switched back to cutting the 2 mg tabs of white clonazepam again, of course - but still in agony.

 

(Mammogram was negative and the radiology doctor told me to see a dermatologist. I'm fortunate to have an awesome dermatologist who takes my sensitivities seriously (and who shares my concerns about the direction medicine has been taking - hallelujah!), but it took three months to get in to see him. My regular (integrative) medicine doc took a look at what remains of the problem end of December and determined it was some kind of allergy, but still wanted to make sure, and was overdue for seeing dermatologist for other conditions anyway.

 

He said it was definitely urticaria and that "your body has too much histamine."

 

I'm also back to being barely able to eat anything (always an issue, but has been worse than ever). The healthier the food, the worse I feel eating it. And I love healthy food, never really liked sweets or junk food, even as a kid. There have been times in my life I've been so sick (flu, etc.) I literally couldn't eat for up to two weeks, and I remember even when I was younger (before any w/d's) telling doctors that sick as I was (and hungry!), certain chronic conditions got better when I didn't eat.

 

Anyway, after months of having to restrain myself from clawing my skin off (though Florasone cream is a godsend - if you're unfamiliar with it, it's an herbal alternative to cortisone and is cortisone-free; amazingly it's one thing I've never had a side effect or aggravation of w/d symptoms from), and feeling like I have burns over my body, I was so anxious after skimming through this thread I wanted to rush out to the health food store tomorrow and try it. (I've heard of nigella sativa throughout my life, but not in connection to histamine, so never learned much about it or tried it).

 

But I've learned to check for herb-drug interactions since I'm still on the clonazepam (much I could say about this), and found the following:

 

Nigella sativa - Memorial Sloan-Kettering

 

It says:

 

Herb-Drug Interactions

  • Cytochrome P450 substrates: Nigella sativa inhibits CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 and can affect the intracellular concentration of drugs metabolized by these enzymes (24).

Oh, crap.

 

Just thought I'd post this in case it's helpful for anyone who's still on certain benzos or SSRIs.

 

(Gia, thank you so much for starting this important thread. I'm going to check out those links and see if there are other things I can do to reduce my sky-high histamine levels.)

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Well, after initially not thinking I had a histamine intolerance, I can say I definitely do after eating the foods yesterday that are high in them. My sinuses became extremely congested.

 

Unfortunately, for various reasons, I just don't have the capacity to do much cooking so I am limited to those evil convenience foods that are high in histamine. But I will see what low histamine foods I can incorporate in diet to hopefully balance the ones that are high.

 

By the way, I have switched over to a paleo type diet that seems to work the best at controlling my food cravings. So that is another reason why I am reluctant to change too many things. Sheesh, it seems like you almost have to fast to avoid any problems with food.

 

Meanwhile, a sinus remedy product that in the past greatly helped with sinus congestion is supposed to arrive today so I am hoping my success with it will continue. If not, then I will definitely try the nigella sativa seeds.

 

Anyway, I sound like the crowd that takes pills to avoid making lifestyle changes but I really feel that taking OTC remedies to deal with congestion and histamine are my best options.

 

CS

 

PS - I just looked at a histamine food chart and found a main reason why I had problems yesterday. I was eating coconut oil all day as I thought for some erroneous reason that butter was bad for my sinuses. It listed as a low histamine food.

 

This is a pain in the neck :)

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Gia,

 

How is the histamine intolerance diet/protocol progressing?

 

Alex

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Gia,

 

How is the histamine intolerance diet/protocol progressing?

 

Alex

 

I was going to ask that too!

 

I'm working with two doctors now on histamine and food/chemical sensitivities. I'll post more about that when I have time.

 

Right now I've cut out a lot of the "healthy" foods that were nutritious and that I actually seemed to tolerate OK, but now think I was having delayed and/or cumulative reactions to. A lot of my lingering symptoms that started with paxil w/d seem greatly decreased so far.

 

More soon - gotta dash to the health food store!

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