Do You Have a Histamine Intolerance?

Have you ever suffered from a headache after drinking red wine?

If you have, you might have a histamine intolerance.

You usually hear the word “histamine” when referring to “anti-histamines,” which are used to treat allergies. However, histamines are also found naturally in the body.

“When our body has an inflammatory response, there are cells in our body called mass cells, which will release more granules of histamine,” said Dr. Peter Bongiorno, of Intersource Health on Long Island, N.Y. “And it's kind of a way for the body to call to arms, to tell other immune cells to kind of get together and create some inflammation and bring dilation to the area, bring blood to the area, and try to increase its fighting effect.”

Bongiorno said there are certain foods that are high in histamines:
-Aged cheese and meats
-Yeast-containing foods

According to Bongiorno, inflammation caused by these foods caused by these foods could lead to real health problems.

“More typically you will see redness, sometimes rashes, sometimes eczema and some people you'll see it almost looks like a conjunctivitis,” Bongiorno said. “Their eyes get kind of red, They can get kind of teary. In other people you can see things like mood changes... arrhythmia, people have heart beat changes, you can see blood pressure lower. Occasionally blood pressure can actually even increase.”

If you suspect you have a histamine intolerance, Bongiorno said to start a food diary, and keep track of what you are eating. Eliminating histamine foods that are giving you problems may help the symptoms go away.