Histamine: The Good and the Bad
Histamine is one of five biogenic amine neurotransmitters, namely; dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin and histamine. To put it simply it is the body’s first response to allergy – a reaction that triggers skin disorders.
Histamine is made throughout the bodies tissues, especially in the GI track, skin and lungs and is produced by the immune system as an inflammatory response, hence the signal the body uses like potential allergy reactions. When stressed, or worse, when our immune system is down, histamine is released that leads to allergy reactions. Although stress alone doesn’t actually cause allergies, it can make an allergic reaction such as rashes and reddening of the skin.
Some of the more common reactions to histamine:
- Rashes, hives or eczema
- Headaches or migraines
- Low blood pressure
- Premenstrual cramping or headaches
Unfortunately, some people develop a symptom now called as histamine intolerance, which is the build of histamine in the body. In healthy individuals histamine is broken down on a regular basis by two enzymes: DAO and HNMT. The enzyme DAO is produced in the intestine. When there is a problem with the intestine there may not be enough DAO to degrade histamine effectively thus the build-up and symptoms appear.
Aside for the above-stated symptoms, other reactions to histamine intolerance are:
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
If you think you may have histamine intolerance, consult your physician or doctor for advice. But there are ways to combat histamine intolerance by just changing your lifestyle like exercising more, eating green fresh vegetables and having a low-histamine diet.