Spring is around the corner, but with the arrival of the season comes much dread for some because of…dun dun dun…seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies can be absolutely miserable, and if you suffer from them you’re all too familiar with how they can affect your quality of life. You probably know the tell-tale symptoms, like sneezing, a runny nose, skin irritation, watery eyes, itchiness, a scratchy throat, ear irritation, coughing and more. But have you ever heard of histamine intolerance?
Are you still with us?
In our FUNC MED programs we dive deeper into these, but here are some natural ways to enhance DAO function and ultimately reduce the impact of histamine on your body:
Add DAO boosting foods to your meals
Like most other health issues, there are certain nutrients that can help keep our DAO levels in check! Many studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids, found in foods like wild-caught fish, walnuts and olive oil, enhance DAO function and are less likely to trigger a histamine response. Other foods like grass fed-meat, almonds, lentils and spinach (which are rich in zinc) and magnesium rich foods like dark leafy greens are also known to boost the DAO in our body. There are certain herbs that have anti-histamine properties too, like parsley, thyme, turmeric, ginger, chamomile, and nettle.
Ditch DAO blocking & high histamine foods
For anyone having challenges with histamine and allergies, high histamine foods should be avoided. Some examples included fermented foods (like sauerkraut and kimchi) aged cheese and meats (charcuterie anyone?), processed foods, sour foods, dried fruit and vinegar containing foods. There are also foods that don’t necessarily contain histamine themselves but block DAO action, like bananas, chocolate, avocado, strawberries and tomatoes.
Not sure how to navigate a low-histamine diet and still make it delicious?
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Limit alcohol consumption
With the start of spring, not only do seasonal allergies decide to roar, but the rosé starts to flow. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but increased alcohol consumption is unfortunately a bad mix for histamine sensitive folks and allergy sufferers. Alcohol triggers the release of inflammatory histamine from your mast cells, which is why you might’ve experienced those rosy, warm cheeks from drinking. This happens for three reasons. The first is alcohol is a potent DAO inhibitor itself, the second is that it’s also HIGH in histamine, third is it uses the same enzymes and metabolic pathways as histamine breakdown. Triple whammy! Alcoholic beverages that aren’t distilled, like wine, champagne and beer should especially be avoided.
Be weary of medications
Taking certain medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) can interfere with our DAO function. Drugs such as NSAIDs (like Advil and aspirin!), acid-blocking medications, anti-depressants and immune suppressants can alter someone’s DAO production, causing histamine levels to rise.
If you’re an Advil fan and are looking for a natural alternative, Inflammatone is a great option! As the name suggests, Inflammatone targets inflammation in the body, helping to reduce swelling, pain & discomfort.
Be good to your hormones
Having healthy, balanced hormones is key to our overall health, and our DAO production is no exception to this. Estrogen, for example, plays a role in stimulating our mast cells to release histamine. On top of this, estrogen down-regulates DAO, so you can see how this can cause issues for someone with an estrogen dominance! Some ways you can balance your hormone levels are to add hormone balancing foods like seeds and cruciferous veggies to your diet, limit inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar, stay hydrated with filtered water and manage your stress levels.
Want to test your hormones? See below for how we can help!
Identify any nutrient deficiencies
The function of DAO production and histamine metabolism depend on nutrients like B6, vitamin C, zinc and copper. This means deficiencies in these nutrients may contribute to a DAO deficiency. Vitamin C, for example is well known for its antihistamine properties and B6 is a key factor that allows DAO to break down histamine. If you suffer from allergies or histamine intolerance, it may be a good idea to get tested. This will help you to see if you should be supplementing. Testing can also reveal if you should be switching up your diet to increase your intake of these nutrients. Even vitamin B12 and iron play a crucial role here.
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Book a free consultation call today so we can answer all of your questions about histamine intolerance and find a customized solution to your issue!