Histamine, a little goes a long way

When you have allergies what do you think of? Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes?

Histamine and Allergies

It’s Fall, and you probably don’t think about allergies. I know I didn’t, but lo’ and behold, every time I went outside I started to sneeze and get itchy in my ears, nose and throat. This only last a couple of days. However, then today brought a new surprise.

I went to lunch with my husband and together we sat outdoors. As we talked, I noticed him sitting still and me moving and squiggling in my seat, touching the tip of my nose for a scratch here, and on my head and face, there. Over to my shoulder here, and to my forearm over there. And on occasion, three little tickly itches happened on three little spots in different places within one second of each other, making it annoying and darn near impossible to gently scratch all three at the same time.

My husband asked me what was going on and I wondered the same. Oh my, it became a little irritating with these little prickly itches. Nothing big, but just little annoyances here and there.

The thing is, I know this is not me.

Then driving home, I found myself also getting annoyed at other drivers, another thing that is not my nature. all the while, a little itch here and another one there. It occurred to me I was having a histamine response. Of course! Allergies like hay fever don’t always need to be sneezing. But allergies almost always increase the white blood cells to talk to the mast cells to increase histamine production.

Histamine has a place in your body, they release themselves into the body when the body experiences unfriendly foreign invaders. They are part of gobbling these invaders up and flushing them out of the body.

The problem is when we produce a lot of histamine, then it also creates more inflammation than we want, hence the sneezing and itchy eyes. But not just those areas, it can create little itchiness all over the body. And with the internal inflammation, it can also create angst and a little bit of mental irritation.

So, in the car, I changed the radio station to smooth music, and promised to go home and sip water and go on a low histamine diet for a few days to help create a support system in my body.

You, too can do this. Hold off on citrus, and any fermented or cured foods, like yogurt, kimchi and pickles. Rest from tomatoes, spinach and cabbage. And take a break from nuts, beans, shellfish and most fish. I know they say fish is fine, but the truth is unless your fish was freshly caught and eaten in the first 24 hours of catches, then it too will increase in histamine sit sits in the refrigerator eating to be bought and cooked.

Enjoy your fresh food and grains, root vegetables and keep it simple for a few days to quiet down the over reaction inside. Ok, and hold off on chocolate. You’ll be thankful you did. Your inside and outside will thank you. Your brain will thank you, too.

Cheers to knowing what you need today and taking good care of yourself.

Elinor Silverstein