All Histamine Newbie Info for those with mild to moderate mast cell issues
Please note that there are some mast cell conditions that are severe and my notes may not help as much as medication and antihistamines. While I do encourage natural foods as your medicine, there are more severe conditions that do not respond ,or do not respond enough, and require meds. I am not against medicines or antihistamines at all!!!! I am one who does not require meds on a regular basis but on occasion antihistamines are needed when food is not enough.
Remember that regardless of what histamine protocol you follow, please do not follow blindly. We all differ in some ways so what is good for me, may not be for you. Research. Find out as much as you can about it before proceeding. I researched everything and some things I chose to not follow as I did not like the side effects, possible risks or whatever. There is no magic pill out there but you do the best you can with what you have.
I thought I would tell my story to help any others new to this site or to members who are still struggling. I am only a pm away if you need some help.
When my father passed in 1995, I was devastated. My world became even more traumatic when my mother and sister became accusatory and emotionally abusive. I had done nothing wrong but they obviously needed someone to blame for my Dads passing due to brain and lung cancer or to take their pain out on someone. This went on for 18 years until I took a stand and refused to accept their abuse anymore. But the damage had been done, I was to find out later. The year of my father's passing brought a positive in that I met my future husband whose love and support helped me deal with my heartbreaking situation and gave me reason to live again, to enjoy life and see the possibilities again.
That same year, I developed hives any time I was exerting or walking. My allergist thought it was an exercise allergy but after the allergy tests, she discovered I had a gluten allergy. I was surprised as I had never had a reaction right after eating gluten so she said it must be a mild one so take antihistamine before eating. Any one knows, I didnt at the time, that the more you eat an allergen, the more pronounced the reaction. I found that out when I went anaphylactic in 2010. Gluten was stopped immediately and the symptoms I had experienced for years went away and I dropped 20 lbs to boot.
I developed different symptoms a short time later, the same year. I was dumbfounded what could be wrong now. After some food diary, i discovered nightshade (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and eggplant) and MSG were issues so I stopped those. All symptoms went away. I was finally back to normal. I used a site called, foodintolerance.com, as a resource to discover my intolerances. I did not pay anything, just used their resources and info.
In early 2012, I developed acid reflux for the first time in my life. Then I was getting neurological symptoms, pain, weakness, fatigue, asthma, etc. I was so depressed and was in the walk in clinic every week. My doc was puzzled as I had passed all the tests. He referred me to a neurologist for MS assessment and after all the tests, I did not have MS. Migraines were also rearing their ugly head as well. I also had Interstatial cystitis which continued on for awhile until I discovered the cause, that of a mast cell disorder as I describe below.
Christmas Day, 2012, I had eaten some chocolate and developed a huge migraine. I sat miserably in the dark with ice packs and sunglasses while my husband made Christmas dinner. I spent my holidays researching my plethora of symptoms and came across a website called The Low Histamine Chef by Yasmina Ykelenstem (now, Healing Histamine.com) which listed all my symptoms and I finally had my answer to all the suffering I had been experiencing. I joined her Facebook site, Histamine Intolerance, signed up for her blog site, now called Healing Histamine ,full of informative articles and began my journey into low histamine living.
I am not selling anything or pushing anything, the above suggestions are all resources I used. Healinghistamine.com also has free blogs which have tons of information without spending a cent.
Other resources are MastAttack online and a Facebook group, Mastocytosis and Mast Cell disorders: an integrative approach.
One of the hugest challenges is making eating exciting again after losing so many foods between gluten, nightshade and then histamine. I bought some of Healing histamine.coms ebooks with great recipes and began to be inspired in to making some yummy meals. I bought her book on Beauty and started to eliminate all the histamine contributors in modern beauty and toiletry products.My symptoms started to go away or mild up. I lost another 20 lbs. I started to regain my quality of life again. I also did a food diary to figure out all my tolerances so I had a list of foods I could work with to begin making new favourites and making my own recipes. I used normal recipes and subbed in what I could eat.
The year 2017, I developed problems with oxalates after two rounds of antibiotics that succeeded in finishing off all the oxalobacter formagene gut flora that processes and dissolves oxalates. Many of us can also struggle with oxalates and salicylates (but not necessarily),I discovered, due to our leaky guts. The oxalate problem was just another food intolerance I did not need with so many others already. I had no clue how to cope. Luckily, Yasmina had issues with them as well and had written an oxalate ebook to give me some direction on how to meet this new challenge.
Between reading her ebook and joining the Facebook group Trying Low Oxalates, I can now say my symptoms have calmed down and I am still able to eat most of the foods I had before the oxalate issue and enjoy the meals to boot.
Healing histamine.com, (or Yasmina Ykelenstam is the author), has also done both some videos on meditation and on dealing with histamine and healing on You tube. She also has done some ecourses,which whenever you see them come available on her site, I highly recommend them as they helped me understand how to naturally deal with histamine issues both with meditation, using food as medicine and she suggested some supplements to stabilize. I will premise this with saying, as I know Yasmina has said this too, that all of the info you learn here, is helpful but not everything is going to be good for everyone since we all have different DNA and health issues. You should either consult your doctor and/or research side effects and contraindications for any supplements or advice provided. There is no magic pill to get rid of our mast cell issues but there are things to do to help heal that don't always involve a prescription, though there are some of us who need this as well.
NEWBIES, READ THIS BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY
By Pamela Kullman
To all my lovely newbies,
I have been dealing with intolerances and allergies since 1996 but did not identify them till much later. I have been avoiding certain foods and been on specific diets since 2010. I had given up gluten and then Nightshade Veggies (Tomatoes, Potatoes, Bell Peppers and Eggplant). Gluten and Nightshade are a huge part of our modern diet and not easy to give up and cook without, but I did. (Frankly, it probably was our modern diet that got us here, full of sugar, fat, processed foods, and chemicals. A polluted and chemical laden environment that we live in helped. A Stressful world. Our DNA. Genes that have been altered and damaged by the above have been the result which has lead us here to dealing with a variety of disorders ) The symptoms and what I was doing to my body with Inflammation was not worth those prized foods. Continuing on foods that inflame your body leaves you open to new food intolerances (as if we need any more), immune disorders (already have one and don't need another one) and cancer (don't want to go down that road, thanks). While I understand, as a former newbie, that it is hard and heart rending to leave some of the former foods behind and there is a period of rebellion and tantrums ( been there), the sooner you adjust your thinking, the quicker you will feel better and gain back your quality of life. Society has set an emotional attachment to the act of eating and while I am no different in that regard, early on I set my mind to discovering new favorites that were healthier for me and that I enjoyed. The symptoms were just NOT worth indulging in a trigger food.I am not above a treat for myself and so I do partake in some foods that are higher histamine (when my bucket is not full in the histamine department) and not so good for me on occasion but that is left in moderation. Eating antihistamine, antiinflammatory, antioxidant foods are so calming for the body and this leaves you alot more energetic and happy to enjoy life. If there are any here that would love to lose weight, calming your body's inflammation will give you that. I lost 22 lbs after giving up gluten and another 20 lbs when I went on the histamine diet. Some of the higher histamine, high nutrient foods may be added back to your diet once you have got a handle on your histamine levels and some your body will never accept very well. However, there is hope, I got an instant migraine with chocolate early on and am now able to tolerate it as long as I am not a pig. I will say that, even though we all suffer a similar disorder, our food tolerances and our Histamine triggers will vary as one thing I discovered is we are all different in that regard. So, what food works for one, may not for another. A food diary with symptom notes is your best friend in this battle as it will give you YOUR personal food triggers and if you are diligent in your symptom notes, you can also note anything else that occured that day that may have triggered a histamine reaction.
There are NON FOOD TRIGGERS which I believe I cover in a couple of sections in my notes. Exertion/exercise, the act of digestion releases histamine,sex, stress (good or bad), barometric pressure, temperature, weather, pressure, friction, scents, seasonal and year round allergies, fluorescent lights, electromagnetic energy (cell phones, tv, computers), etc. So, yes, there is work and research involved in this process but this is all working towards feeling better, a beneficial investment of your time. No one can do this for you or provide a simple solution or give you a magic pill to make things better. Google is very easy to use, type in your question or a term you see a member mention that you do not understand. If it is not on Google, the mast cell Facebook sites will certainly help you out.
Histamine lists and info by Dr Janice Joneja on the Vickerstaff site can give you a leg up but again, some of the foods may or may not work for you so the list is a guideline. http://www.allergynutrition.com/faqs-fact-sheets/
There are apps on Itunes that will help you as well. Type in Histamine Intolerance and Food Intolerance and it should bring up those apps that help identify higher histamine foods and what is safer. Again, make your own safe list as these are strictly guidelines. If you are unsure of a food, you can ask the mast cell Facebook site membership but again, many will say it is fine and you eat it and react so use a Food Diary to find YOUR safe foods. We are here for you as emotional support as this is not an easy journey and there will be many frustrations ahead. Many find their families and friends very hard to deal with as they may not acknowledge, believe or lend importance to your issues. This is common but you have to do this for you, you don’t need others approval.
The medical community is still not as supportive as we would like as Immune disorders such as these are hard to detect at times and some medical practitioners still know very little about them or don't acknowledge them. We are left being our own doctors at times or advocating for ourselves to various specialists that may or may not be helpful. It can be a very hard emotional path to get through but that is where we come in, when those you love or trust can't be. The Facebook groups and Yasmina were my Godsend, my lifeline when I was struggling. They still are really, as every now and again a hiccup in my life sends me a new challenge and I need experienced people to set me back on the right path. Menopause has been one of those hiccups and once again, I found myself reaching out for guidance and support. Hormonal milestones sometimes are the trigger for histamine issues to start. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world, who I feel tremendous kinship with on the mast cell sites. We have seen each other through thick and thin and those bonds will never break. You WILL get through this, you WILL feel better but it takes time and patience and hard work. Good luck to all of you. :)
First of all I want to apologize for forgetting to include the no nos of my diet in any great detail so I am about to rectify this in my new letter to you.
The big NO NO s of the Low Histamine Diet
Anything aged: cheese, wine, processed meat, bacon,cold cuts,sausage,etc.
I will also include meats sitting too long in the grocery store refrigerator or in your own fridge. Veggies or fruits sitting too long at the grocery store or sitting too long in your fridge drawer are higher histamine. For example, I ate Kale that was a week or so old and boy did I get a reaction. Fresh is best and you cannot always tell, I know, but do your best. Frozen foods do slow down the aging but it is not infinite, eventually the frozen foods will age too and you may not handle them then. I mainly eat fresh but I also eat frozen fruits and veggies. They are eaten within weeks to a month or so after purchase. Same with my meat. Cheese, I did not use except for fresh, local mozza than has not been aged. ( I do eat cheese, yogurt now in small amounts with no issue). It is more stretchy and soft than a slab of mozzarella you buy in the grocery store. I have purchased fresh mozza that isn’t local too and no problems. I also tolerate a small amount of cream cheese as long as it is not full of fillers and chemicals. The best for me is Philadelphia Cream cheese, 44% less fat and the blocks of cream cheese with few additives. You can still get your cheese on but in small, non aged quantities. I freeze all my meat in individual portions upon cooking them. Then, I only have to worry about sides. It helps speed up cooking for yourself when all you have to do is make your family something and make sides you all can eat. There is no cooking everyday for yourself with frozen meat ready to heat and sides for you and the whole family. I just microwave my meat to defrost and add my sides. Instant supper. My family also started to eat what I eat which was better anyway for them but they also had their own foods which I could not touch.
Anything fermented: wine, vinegar (though I can tolerate some), yogurt, sour cream, etc.
Anything processed: all those commercially produced frozen, dried, packaged items that are loaded with ingredients that make you go, HMMMM, and preservatives and dyes,etc. Fresh is the key, folks! Prepared from scratch so you can identify what is in it.
Anything caffeinated: chocolate, coffee, tea, etc. These are individual as far as tolerance but I cannot do a lot of caffeine or I feel like crap.
Avoid citrus fruits, pineapple, mango (agrees with some but not me) and acidic veggies such as tomatoes.
Red fruits such as watermelon, strawberries and raspberries can be a problem.
Any leftover: leftovers, though refrigerated, do continue to age and bacteria builds which leads to high histamine. I freeze all my cooked meat in individual packages and defrost as needed. I can tolerate the next day leftovers but anything beyond that I get a reaction to. The exception for me is leftover veggies as I can eat them a couple of days later but any longer, I get a reaction.
Other than food, histamine sources or histamine releasers still lurk .
Shampoo, soap, body wash, creams, make up, medication,etc.
So, make sure you are careful to choose more natural, organic items for use. You may have to test a few things before you find something that doesn’t release histamine or make you itch or flush.
Aside from things you eat or use on or in your body , the rest of the triggers may be beyond our control:
If you like sex, like I do, it may trigger some response or a severe response. I premedicate with antihistamine. I only have sex in the day as too close to bedtime, I get insomnia. I use KY lube or coconut oil for lube. If you react to coconut lube, you may have a salicylate issue. Pressure and rubbing can induce histamine to rise. Happily, my reactions are minimal. I would like to raise that semen/sperm of your partner may bother you. I found I got pelvic pain for at least a week to ten days after. Why you ask? Because your partner may eat items you are sensitive to and there may be remnants of those still in his sperm/semen which aggravate your very sensitive vaginal/cervical/pelvic area. We practice withdrawal or you could use a condom if not sensitive to them. Or tell him to stick to your diet only, DAMN IT! Lol, just kidding, not fair to him if he is not afflicted with our issues.
Temperature outside: I am completely bothered by heat and extreme cold so different seasons may play havoc with your histamine levels.
Change of seasons can bring molds and pollens in the air which may irritate even if you have no allergies to them. We are usually quite bothered by molds.
Barometric Pressure: I am bothered by rainy, humid, windy days or oncoming storms so you may feel more reactions during these times
Seasons: I FEEL Fall coming on which is weird cause the leaves haven’t turned red and orange yet and temps are still within summer norms. Coincidence? I think not. Some of us are super senstitive to changes in season.
Year round or Seasonal Allergies: these keep our levels at a constant so any more histamine added from other sources can overflow our bucket. I have dust mite allergies so no escaping those, no matter how clean we are. Uhhh, I am not super clean but I do dust my bedroom/house once a week and change the sheets once a week and vacuum once a week. That is my part in keeping my dust responses minimal but they are never gone totally.
Scent sensitivity, Light sensitivity or Noise sensitivity: Some of us aren’t too great with extremes in any of these areas so do your best to avoid the extremes or prepare with medication for running into these.
Pressure sensitivity: Something I have discovered lately is that my bra drives me crazy or anything tight on me, near my neck,etc. I have also heard some find underwear bothers them. Well, then you have to find creative ways to make yourself comfortable but not shock the world with your high beams or other areas outlined by your clothes, if you catch my meaning.
Viruses and colds are also a trigger as it is part of histamines job to attack invaders.
Medications, like cold meds and other things, and antibiotics can be a trigger so you need to find meds that won’t trigger and that is thru trial and error as we all vary in sensitivities.
Toiletries like shampoo, soap, creams, make up, nail polish are triggers.
Hair dying, I must premedicate as I react.
Red and yellow dyes are particularly a trigger.
Well I hope this helps reveal some of the mysterious roots of your symptoms or complaints. It’s just part of our world now.
A few things about histamine and allergies:
If you are found to have an allergy, get an epi pen prescribed. Being exposed to an allergen repetitively over time can gradually increase your reactivity over time to the point of anaphylaxis. Be ready should that happen with counter measures such as an epipen and benadryl. If you have trouble keeping your histamine levels down, and have no particular allergy, an epi pen is still good to have if your histamine levels soar and you develop anaphylaxis. If your doc will not prescribe, Benadryl is the next best thing.
Stress during an anaphylactic reaction is one thing that drives histamine higher. Try to stay calm, meditate by focusing on your breath during a reaction. Slowly breathe in and out feeling the breath come into your nose and leaving it. If you are caught without an epi pen and or benadryl, keep this in mind. Try not to be caught without one though. I carry liquid bendedryl
Histamine builds over time. Think of a bucket. With each histamine trigger, the bucket fills. Once your bucket is too full and overflows, the symptoms will come on. Between 2:30 am and 4:30 am, natural histamine is released to begin the waking process, if you are already full of histamine going to bed, the bucket will overflow and symptoms such as insomnia and other things can occur during that time. The morning is also the worst for symptoms but within half an hour to an hour, I feel better after being up and about.
Histamine is affected by more than food. Non food triggers are mold, scents, sex, exercise and exertion, barometric pressure, extreme temperatures ( very hot or very cold), stress ( good or bad), seasonal or year round allergies, fluorescent lights, electro magnetic energy, vibration, friction, etc. Everyone's triggers vary but these add to the bucket so it only takes one more trigger to overflow the bucket.
Some High histamine foods are:
Chocolate (not white chocolate)
Caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea (not white tea)
Fermented foods and beverages such as wine (especially red wine), yogurt
Aged foods such as cheese, sausage, cold cuts, bacon
Red berries like strawberries or raspberries (not cranberries)
Bananas ( cause histamine release)
Sugar ( cause histamine release)
Yellow and red dyes
MSG ( yeast extract is another name)
SOME ANTIHISTAMINE FOODS THAT HELP:
Herbs such as: basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, garlic, turmeric, thyme, ginger
Onions, apples (red), cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussel sprouts, zucchini, romaine lettuce, arugula, bok choy, olive oil,
Some antihistamine or helpful supplements:
Quercetin with bromelain (take with vitamin c and/or a form of oil like coconut or olive oil as these make quercetin more bioavailable/activates it) Bromelain is derived from pineapples so some do not tolerate so get without bromelain. Make sure Vit c and/or a fat is taken with quercetin so more bioavailable.
Luteolin and Rutin are also great for us.
Magnesium (not citrate, anything with citric acid is made from mold and a mast cell degranulator (histamine releaser)
Epsom salt baths detox the body of toxins, heavy metals, histamine, etc. Make sure bathwater is not hot or will release histamine. Warm is suffiicient. Stay only 20 mins of toxins can be reabsorbed.
Add baking soda to water as it too is beneficial
Water, histamine is released when dehydrated so drink lots of water. Water also flushes out toxins and such. Water and salt are considered antihistamines in nature. I only drink water, occasionally apple juice or ginger ale.
Benadryl, I use this with extreme reactions or emergencies.
Reactine or ceterizine , I use for less severe reactions, it is one of the more effective and older antihistamines. But everyone is different so if this is not effective for you then try others. They do have a liquid capsule form in ceterizine now which is my preference when i need quick response time. Lately they also have a chewable pill which is great for on the go help.
Meditation is very effective at reducing histamine. Stress is a huge histamine releaser.
Breathing technique - inhale slowly from the abdomen, hold for a few secs, slowly exhale, hold for a few secs and repeat. This has helped me bring down histamine symptoms and it also reduces adrenaline which is what causes insomnia. When the body has an excess of histamine, it signals the body to release adrenaline to counter it. This is also the natural process the body uses to slowly wake you up in the morning.
If you get a skin test to find your allergies and they find nothing that you are reactive to, then a mast cell disorder is a possibility. This is where the body is hyper reactive to many things and your body is not able to control the histamine levels in your body. A mast cell disorder acts like an allergy, but isn’t.
Combo Histamine notes and histamine tips
Pam’s Low Histamine Diet Notes and Information
These are notes/info I have learned that may help you in your Low Histamine Diet.These foods work for me but there may be some that may not work for you as though we all follow the same food diet, we do vary on some. Some people may have intolerances or sensitivities such as sulfites, salicylates,oxalates, etc. I do not have these sensitivities( I do have oxalate issues now as of 2017 but not during histamine phase of my journey) that I know of. Part of having these kinds of Masto/Histamine issues is you have to learn to adapt and record. The first step is to keep a food diary with symptom notes beside each meal and any other possible triggers that could crank your histamine levels or cause a mast cell degranulation. Sometimes the diet is only one factor affecting your overall load. Others would be: Stress (bad or excitement), Exertion and Exercise, Sex, Barometric pressure, Temperature outside or inside: Heat or Cold, Seasonal or Year Round allergies, etc. These as well crank up your histamine release.
Adapting is a skill you learn over time. You may come across a recipe that sounds good but some of the ingredients are triggers for you so you just substitute what you can or if you can't do that, create your own recipe. Another way of adapting is to stop pouting and tantruming over what you used to have and can't now and focus on finding things to replace them. There are foods out there that can satisfy you but you have to actively look and experiment. Research, Ask questions of other members on the fb sites. I am a dessertaholic and losing chocolate was hard.I am also gluten allergic/intolerant and that removes a lot of cakes and cookies I used to have. I discovered creme brulee, panna cotta, coconut macaroon cookies, Stemginger cookies, white chocolate chip cookies. Some of these were available commercially and I was able to tolerate them and many you can make yourself by looking for recipes. Being on the diet for awhile I am able to tolerate some chocolate but only in small quantities. The trick is to not waste energy on pouting and anger, but rather focus on solutions and alternatives that would turn that frown upside down. I did it. You can too. I do want to say that anger and tantruming and rebelling is very common with us all so I am not knocking it or criticizing you. We all went through it at one time or another. We still cheat every now and again but not too often or we will pay with symptoms or worse. Listen to your body, don't peeve your body off by eating bad foods and causing inflammation or you may end up with other conditions that you didn't have before which would compound your misery. I enjoy my low histamine diet, my cravings for the old foods are pretty minimal cause I have found things to replace them.I feel healthier, I have a better quality of life and I have lost weight. You can do it too. Keep that diary and adapt. I will support you; all the members will support you.
My diet below, as of now, see if there is anything you can eat from this and start with those then as you feel better you can try to add more. I only mentionned the ones I eat and can tolerate, there may be more that you can do but this is just a start for you on this Low Histamine Diet. I am no expert, I learned this by experimenting and recording and researching.
Fruits I peel all my fruit due to pesticide residue (avoid overripe, old fruit as higher histamine)
Bananas ( in small quantities, 1/day) (could be a trigger, it is a mast cell degranulator, I eat them when my histamine bucket is low)
Melon ( Honeydew or Cantalope) watermelon is a mast cell degranulator so avoid.
Blueberries ( I buy frozen to keep decay from happening)(could be a trigger but not for me)
Blackberries I buy frozen to keep decay from happening ( could be a trigger but not for me)
Cherries (I buy frozen to keep decay from happening) (could be a trigger but not for me)
Peaches ( I buy frozen to keep decay from happening) (could be a trigger but not for me) They are a mast cell stabilizer. I do buy fresh as well now, as long as not too ripe.
Mango ( I can’t tolerate but some do)
I have not tried any other fruit since some are histamine releasers or cause me symptoms and I have eliminated them. If there are others you can tolerate, feel free to add.
Red fruits like strawberries, raspberries are out. Citrus is out (oranges, lemons, limes). You may tolerate the odd lemon juice in cooking. Leave out for now. Pineapple, I can’t do. Mangoes, I can’t do.
(avoid overripe, old veggies, higher histamine)
Broccoli(antihistamine) or broccolini
Potatoes and bell peppers are fine but due to my nightshade issue, I can’t do them.
Corn ( some can't tolerate, but I can in small amounts though I heard it was inflammatory) corn is a GMO product
Squash (butternut, spaghetti and acorn)
Lettuce (Romaine mostly but also do bok choy and arugula)
Watercress i heard was good but cant find it here in Canada)
Lots of good antiinflammatory spices like thyme, basil, oregano, italian seasoning, parsley, rosemary, turmeric and black pepper combo, garlic, onion powder.
Eliminate chili powder, paprika, and cayenne as they are pepper based spices (doesn't include black pepper)
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, curry, and cloves and anise are high histamine so don't use those. I don't know about you, your choice what you can tolerate.
Vegetables leftover are usually okay for me for a couple of days but beware of ripe fruit or veggies as their histamine levels will increase over time. I do a lot of green veggies to keep my histamine down.
(avoid eating old cooked rice/quinoa as higher histamine)
Brown Rice or white rice
Quinoa (now and then)
Yeast free/Gluten free Bread ( I am gluten intolerant, you may not be) yeast is a huge trigger for me but again, maybe not for you.
I make my own pan bread with lentil flour, chickpea flour, sweet potato flour, coconut flour or rice flour. I also used coconut flour/sugar and oil. Coconut is something some can’t do due to high salicylates, others, like myself,can as it is very healthy. I use coconut sugar as a sweetener and in baking as it does not spike blood sugar.
Brown Rice Pasta
Chickpea and lentil pastas
Oatmeal ( buy only gluten/wheat free as most other oatmeal companies produce flour so cross contamination is an issue)
Sunflower seed butter ( it is a mast cell degranulator so I can’t do) or Pumpkin seed butter (organic and no/low additives)
Almond butter (organic and no/low additives)
I cannot tolerate yeast at all (though i can tolerate in small amounts now ) and your gut may not like it either from what I read so stick to baking with baking soda(can be a mast cell/histamine trigger so you will have to test if it is good for you) and baking powder. They can have gluten in them so read labels and don't buy from companies that also produce flour as cross contamination is an issue. Cornstarch is what I use for thickening but it may bother some people (Corn products such as corn syrup, corn starch, maltodextrin, dextrose, etc., are processed by soaking the corn in a sulfur dioxide solution, therefore there are hidden sulfites in them. Sulfites are a MAJOR histamine liberator). I also use gluten free flour as a thickener.
Beef (in small quantities as inflammatory)
Pork ( in small quantities as inflammatory)
No ground meat of any kind due to the Histamine Levels ( I have since had ground meat and I am okay with it but not for the beginning)
No leftovers unless I freeze pieces of meat on the day they have been cooked. I freeze portion size meat and microwave after I have prepared the sides.
Eggs (3-4 times a week)(some people can’t tolerate eggs as egg whites are higher histamine but I can)Egg whites need to be cooked or can be an issue for us.
Don’t scrape the pan if you have cooked eggs, the brown bits are higher histamine.
I didnt do fish oil in the beginning but am able to tolerate now but I did do Omega 3 flax supplements. That would be a good choice as far as Omega 3's for helping the mucousal lining of your intestines to heal your gut.
I cook a bunch of meat and then freeze each chicken breast or meat portion so I can take out and microwave on the day I need it. This prevents bacterial growth which increases histamine.It makes meal prep faster as all you have to worry about is sides. I buy alot of frozen veggies, fruits as the ripening and aging is slowed.
I can tolerate pumpkin seed butter, almond butter. I can tolerate almonds(antiinflammatory) and pecans. You will have to test which works for you. Peanuts, cashews, pistachios ,walnuts, I think were usually triggers but again it is individual.
I use these oils the most, occasionally i use canola, there are others that are okay but you will have to research. Again you have to assess what you tolerate. I use coconut oil in my oatmeal with some frozen fruit in the morning. Very yummy.
No processed foods/commercially prepared foods of any kind.
No additives, preservatives, or dyes
Organic when I can afford or when available
No leftovers (freeze meat the day you made in single portions for reheating in the microwave)
Sugar is inflammatory but I do have rice pudding and some homemade cookies with butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips, (chocolate ( I was able to tolerate later after stabilizing) and carob are out for me due to histamine). I limit the quantities of these as overdoing leads to illness for me.
I take a multivitamin, a vitamin D, two Omega 3 Flax or fish capsules, and a Magnesium ( not citrate as a mast cell degranulator- stay away from citric acid as it is not great for us) I use Malate and chelate (paired with amino acids which can trigger some sensitive to amines). There are other good magnesiums : Taurate, Biglycinate, chloride, glycinate. Note on glycinate and biglycinate, they are converted to Oxalates in the body so if have issues with Oxalates, do not use.
Stay away from magnesium oxide, not absorbable and a cheap form of the mineral.
I also add potassium and pink salt in my food as they are co factors of magnesium.
Calcium is also a co factor of magnesium so I eat calcium foods as we do not tolerate calcium supplements, usually.
Epsom salt baths /footbaths are also a form of magnesium you absorb through the skin. Transdermal magnesium is much more absorbable than supplements. It is magnesium sulfate so if you are sensitive to sulfites, use magnesium flakes or spray which is a chloride version of magnesium. I dont like the chloride version as it burns my skin. I also add baking soda (for help with oxidation) and potassium bicarbonate or cream of tartar for potassium source in my footbath as well. 1/2 cup of Epsom, 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/4 to1/2 cup of cream of tartar. The rest is from the real sources like food
Also, many of us react to chlorine in pools and water so may be a trigger.
Drink lots of water, preferrably filtered due to other irritants in tap water.
Pop has a lot of sugar and is inflammatory.Water is a natural antihistamine.Use filtered water not tap as much as you can.
I don't know about caffeine as far as Leaky gut but you will have to research that. Caffeine does increase histamine. Tea (except white tea), coffee, coca cola, cocoa, chocolate are all triggers.
Exercise if you can. Just walking and strength training for me due to histamine but I don't know what your tolerance is, so your call. Low impact is key. Starting slow like 5 minutes a day and working up so you dont get a histamine reaction. When your heart rate goes up, histamine is released so i know people try to keep it below a 100 beats a minute, I think. Dont quote me. Just keep heart rate lower when exercising. I use a trampoline, just slow and low bouncing at first for a short time. You can do it more than once a day for short periods. Trampoline and slight exercise i introduced years after i stabilized but everyone is different. I also use Leslie Sansone walking videos in the house.
Eating out is a challenge for me but I usually eat the same things every time. Steak/Chicken and steamed veggies and "Caesar Salad" which is Romaine lettuce, no toppings as they are all histamine problems ( I can have the bacon and cheese toppings now that my histamine is lower) and I have the dressing on the side which I dip my lettuce in to. Some can’t tolerate vinegar or mayo but I can in small quantities.
I type out an “allergy” list so that the waitress can bring it to the chef to check ingredients. They may not take them seriously so I list all my foods as allergies so that they are careful.
Avoid fried foods, junk food all that will just make you sicker.
My food list is a guide but you will have to do a food and symptoms diary to personalize your own list. Rate the reactions on a scale from one to ten so as you stabilize, start to re introduce the low reaction foods and work up to the higher ones to see if you now tolerate them. If you don’t. Leave them. If you do, more variety back in your food.
I hope some of these foods you can use. If they are all tolerable then you can start here and work on healing. Your symptoms will start to dwindle if you are eating well. It can take 6-12 months to be better. My simple recipes are tasty, repetitive to a certain degree but I still look forward to meals.
Here are a few more resources that have some histamine info. http://www.foodsmatter.com/allergy_intolerance/histamine/articles/histamine_joneja.html http://thelowhistaminechef.com/diagnosing-histamine-disorders/ http://www.imupro.com.au/food-intolerance/symptoms/histamine-intolerance http://chriskresser.com/headaches-hives-and-heartburn-could-histamine-be-the-cause http://foodallergies.about.com/od/commonfoodallergies/p/histamineintol.htm http://roosclues.blogspot.ca/2010/03/overview-of-high-histamine-also-called.htmlhttp://www.mastattack.org/
Once you have gotten your histamine levels down for a good couple of months where you have months of no symptoms or very mild symptoms then you can add back the odd higher histamine item but only a couple of times a week or histamine will build again. Yasmina from Low histamine chef said if you stay on only low histamine foods for the rest of your life, the body can start to react to even the low histamine foods. She basically adds back only the higher histamine foods that are healthy and will help repair/heal the body. Many of the ladies on the HI site use fruit/veggie smoothies or juicing to detox from histamine but I found I was too hungry to do that often. Also, oxalate issues can arise from too many high ox veggies and fruits as then with smoothies/juicing you get a concentrated amount of the veggie/fruit. That is a subject for another day so if juicing and such agree with you, go for it.
Also, if you find that you are not feeling any better or are getting worse histamine release with the low histamine diet, chances may be good you have an additional intolerance like oxalates or salicylates. The low histamine diet is high ox and salicylate since it is very high in plant food. If you find this is an issue, I can help with that too as I have an oxalate issue too as of 2017. Contact me anytime.
I am here for you anytime. PM me or email me if you need support or guidance email@example.com
If you want to join the FB groups that support this to see more info and other stories, apply to Histamine Intolerance and Mastocytosis and Mast cell disorders - An Integrative Approach and for Oxalates, Trying Low Oxalates(for anyone with oxalate issues). If you can’t get in, just friend me and I will invite you to those groups. They are a huge support for me and are from all over the world so have made many friends.
If you have an IPad or Iphone there are a couple of Apps you should sign up for. Look under Histamine Intolerance. It is a guide for high histamine foods. I also use Oxalator as an Oxalate food guide if you have an Oxalate issue as well. I also have notes for the Oxalate diet as there is more to it you should know before starting.
Also My Fitness Pal app is great for recording foods you eat as your diary and it has a notes section for you to keep track of your symptoms. I lost a lot of weight once I got off of high histamine foods as the inflammation hung on to all the weight before. You can record your weight loss and exercise on this too.
I hope I helped you start on the path of wellness.
PAM's HISTAMINE ADVICE:
Everyone is so different in their intolerances but in my case i eat my medicine.
Broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, cucumber, red onion, red cabbage, red apple with peel, , honeydew or cantalope,sweet potato,brusselsprouts, squash, herbs such as garlic, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, drink lots of water and cut out lots of sugar, dairy, meat or at least mininimize them. Take supplements such as magnesium, (avoid citrate as it is a mast cell degranulator and will cause inflammation. It is also corn based),vit c and d, ginger capsules,quercetin. Meditate.
Adapting your kitchen to your food sensitivities
By Pamela Kullman
In the realm of mast cell disorders, sometimes the only thing we share is the disorder itself but we all differ in our sensitivities and triggers, not to mention extra associated conditions.
This makes recipe creation and sharing difficult because not all of us can use the same ingredients. With this in mind, my recommendation for everyone is to establish a full list of all YOUR tolerated foods and then creative cuisine yourself making nice recipes that are healthy but tasty.
Meats (pick a meat):
Can't do meat?
Choose another protein source:
Eggs (some can't do chicken eggs but can do duck eggs) or since the white of the egg is the histamine contributor, use yolks only.
Legumes (beans, lentils, chick peas) (lectins in these foods can be a histamine trigger but some are not bothered. I can do some. Soaking and throwing out water helps reduce histamine in them.)
(some must be avoided due to histamine content or certain sensitivities such as sulfites, oxalates, etc.)
Green veggies are super antihistamines Broccoli, Brusselsprouts, asparagus, zucchini are good starts to your diet and can be eaten often unless you have sensitivities to these.
Try to eat as many colours of veggies as you can for your health and as long as they aren't histamine provoking like tomatoes (green tomatoes may not bother you as many have found they tolerate them.)
(Some fruits release or contain higher histamine levels so must be avoided but there are many that you can still eat which adds to your nutrient intake.
(I am gluten allergic/intolerant so barley and flours are out for me but they may not be for you. If they are out for you, see alternatives below)
Sweet potato flour
Other gluten free flours
Oatmeal(gluten free if intolerant to wheat)
( some are antagonistic to our condition but there are a few that you could try like almonds, or give seeds a try like pumpkin seeds or chia seeds)
( most spices are tolerated and sometimes beneficial in controlling our histamine and inflammation levels) Dried spice I can tolerate but someone with a sulfite issue may only be able to use fresh. In Canada, fresh isn't always available to buy.
The green spices such as basil, thyme, parsley and rosemary are great antihistamines but there are a few to avoid cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, cloves are not so good for the histamine levels.
These food stuffs can be inflammatory but like anything moderation is key.
Butter or a healthy version of it called ghee
Yoghurt is off limits due to the fermentation process ( I tolerate now)
Milk can be used in recipes or as a base for sauces
Cheese is off limits too because it is aged but if you can find an unaged cheese like fresh mozzarella or sometimes cheese curd. Ricotta and cottage cheese have come up as lower histamine possibilities. I have used ricotta in salad dressings and meat toppings in the past. Cottage cheese I have not yet tried. Since I lowered my histamine levels, I have been able to add a teensiest amount of Parmesan to my recipes now and again. It is such a flavourful cheese that you don't need a lot. I am sure there are other exceptions but I have not discovered them yet.
As dairy is inflammatory, it is best kept in moderation and not an everyday ingredient.
Commercial foods and/or premade foods or just some possible flavours to add to a meal:
Commercial foods are best kept at a minimum, or just don’t use, as dyes, preservatives and fillers wreak havoc on our systems but I do use some items to aid my recipe creations.
Through experimentation, I found a few that I use regularly
Cream cheese: but only certain types that don't have piles of fillers. I found Philadelphia cream cheese, the 44% less fat spread or some of the blocks of cream cheese have fewer fillers. I use this sometimes as a sub for butter on veggies or on meat as a flavouring mixed with a bunch of herbs.
Sunflower butter ( I react to it now but you may not so worth a try)
Pumpkin seed butter
Honey ( has lots of good qualities and health properties)
Breadcrumbs( though yeast is not our friend with histamine, I seem to tolerate breadcrumbs)
Salad dressing ( only certain varieties work for me such as Caesar and ranch. I use this stuff sparingly but it adds great flavour to salads and meat. Some may not tolerate this as vinegar is on the no no list but if used sparingly, maybe it won't bother you either.)
Bacon, bacon fat or sausage: big no no’s on the histamine diet but if used in very small quantities, adds a little flavour to meat or a casserole or soup
Apple juice, I use for keeping my meat moist while baking. I pour some at the bottom of the pan or even water. I also use it as the base for my salad dressings or part of a sauce.
Hummus is awesome, I use for dipping veggies or a flavouring for topping meat
Bone broth or veggie broth depending on your tolerance. These are homemade so no worries of chemicals or unwanted ingredients.
Coconut oil can be used to flavour oatmeal, veggies, and meats and has trace minerals that are good for you. It makes your oatmeal creamy too.
Coconut sugar, better for you doesn't spike your blood sugar
I do use brown sugar and sugar but not in large amounts or everyday.
Unsweetened apple sauce
Mayo/salad dressing - in small amounts, I can tolerate. I mainly use on a sandwich or to make honey dill sauce or to make a BBQ sauce for my meat
Mustard (yellow not Dijon) - again in small amounts I use this for a flavouring on meat, on a sandwich or as part of a homemade BBQ sauce.
Olive oil, that is not heated retains its nutrients but you can still use for cooking stir fries, flavouring veggies, frying meat, etc.
Garlic is a huge staple for me and has so many advantageous properties
I like dessert and have made cookies with butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips as a treat. Muffins are also yummy.
Now after you have filled these categories out, put them together, experiment to discover new tastes and recipes.I cannot put together any recipe where someone can't use one or more of the ingredients so I have given you the tools to make your own.
Mix spices together as a dry rub on meats and use apple juice at the bottom of the pan to add flavor and maintain moisture during roasting or slow cooking.
Use apple sauce or a fruit of choice puree or just lay whole across the meat
Use cream cheese mixed with spices as a topper for meat. Cream cheese with a minced garlic clove or two or onion is so yummy.
Use salad dressing or small pieces of sausage or both to flavour meat
Use oils to flavour meat or stir frys.
Use breadcrumbs, a little parmesan, and garlic over meat. If you can’t use bread crumbs, use cornflakes ground up or chia seeds or sunflower seeds and add spices.
Use oil like olive oil or coconut oil to lightly flavour and sprinkle spices or coconut sugar on top
Use apple juice or water in the bottom of pan and add spices such as basil and garlic and a teensy weensy bit of parmesan
Make a salad from bok choy, green grapes, apples or pears, cucumber, broccoli, add your own dressing or oil, maybe a little cooked chicken breast or if you can tolerate, unaged cheese pieces.
If you can’t have much in the way of desserts but still want something sweet, make a fruit crisp with a flour/oatmeal/butter or ghee/coconut sugar topping
Buy frozen fruits such as peaches, cherries, blueberries blackberries for a crisp or over your oatmeal at breakfast. Add a dollop of coconut oil, coconut milk or almond milk for creaminess on your oatmeal.
If I crave chocolate but cannot tolerate, white chocolate is a passable substitute. I tried carob and it didn’t go over well but it may work for you. Cacao nibs may also work, I haven’t tried them yet but will soon. A dark chocolate in its purest form may work in very small amounts as it does have its health benefits but I have never tried this yet.
Cooking with HIT -Pam's notes
I have gluten free oatmeal for breakfast with frozen black berries, blueberries and cherry mix or frozen peaches or banana. I top it off with coconut milk, almond milk or coconut oil for a little creaminess.
Groceries: I buy asparagus, broccoli, brusselsprouts, zucchini, cucumber, apples, pears, sweet potatoes,grapes,bananas, bok choy, kale, carrots, squashes, melon cantaloupe and honeydew not water melon. I have nightshade allergies so no tomatoes ( they are high histamine anyway), potatoes, bell peppers or eggplant (high histamine). If you don't have issues with these go for it. It is important to keep a food diary and symptom notes.
Bok choy I cut up for a stir fry or cut up cold in a salad. Brusselsprouts just steam them or roast them. Clean them well as lots of littl bugs and dirt get in to leaves. I take the first few layers of leaves off and cut them in half to steam.
Arugula in salad or scrambled eggs.
Frozen slows down aging so yes frozen is fine. I freeze all my cooked meat in individual portions. No leftovers though veggie leftovers for 5-7 days are fine for me but you will have to establish your own tolerances.
Fruit is fine for longer periods but avoid them if really brown and bruised or soft.
Also, I am able to tolerate all meats except for fish/seafood. I don't like it so haven't really tried it either. Seafood is high histamine but fresh fish is not. I use cream cheese and herbs for different flavours in cooking meat. With cream cheese be careful on too many fillers, I react to those so experiment to find yours. Coconut and olive oil too. Lots of parsley, rosemary, thymes, basil, garlic and onion powder,etc. these are all anti inflammatory and antihistamine. I tolerate the dried spices but not everyone does. I do eat eggs but not every day and if I know my histamine levels are up, I avoid higher histamine items. I use hummus as long as it doesn't have ingredients I can't tolerate. If you want I can send you a break down of how I put together meals. I make up recipes with the items I tolerate in mind. I buy commercial honey dill sauce which I tolerate for meat flavouring or dips. I do tolerate small amounts of mayonnaise, mustard ( yellow not Dijon as Dijon I reacted to) I make BBQ sauces with mustard and mayo. I can tolerate small amounts of vinegar too. I have green veggies everyday be it in salads, stir fries or sides.i eat apples with peel on for quercetin so wash well.
I use coconut sugar a lot for baking as doesn't spike blood sugar as well. You can't eat bread with yeast so I buy yeast free gluten free bread or I make pan bread like thick soccas. I use butter, not margarine,and some cheese. I found I tolerate cheese curd and fresh mozzarella that is unaged. I don't drink milk, I drink almond or coconut milk.
I have no specific recipes as I make them up as I go along but i will send a few things for you to try. I mix cream cheese with a lot of the spices I mentioned and then top the meat with it when I roast it. It is tasty. I use honey dill as I sauce over meat to roast or salad dressings that I can tolerate. I use unsweetened apple juice to pour over meat or put in the bottom of the pan to keep meat moist.
I eat steak when I go out, and have them just use salt n pepper and garlic butter for flavour. I order Caesar salad or rather romaine with the Caesar dressing on the side, I order steamed broccoli or cauliflower and rice or sweet potato fries.
Also, don't be afraid to use normal recipes and then change out the ingredients you can't tolerate with ones you can.
I eat red apples like gala but I don't think green is an issue. I know how frustrating this is, I got my HIT attack at Christmas in 2012 and tantrumed and cried for weeks cause I had already given up so much with gluten and the nightshade and now I had to do it again. My family eat what I eat and have been better for it. My son's seasonal allergies were much milder with my diet. I freeze my leftover meat in individual portions so all I have to worry about is sides. Also, if my family decide to make something I can't have, I already have meat ready, I just need to steam veggies and cook a sweet potato.
When you go to someone elses house bring your own items so you don't have to worry about what you eat and they don't have to fuss. Restaurants, I type out my allergies/intolerances and hand them a card so they know what I can't eat.
So when you find you react one day to an item and then not the next week, it is likely to be something other than food. If your histamine bucket is full, you will react to pretty much anything in the higher histamine department and maybe even to some of your safe foods as your histamine bucket was close to full. I know how I feel when I have higher histamine so choose to stick to mostly green veggies, maybe some brown rice and some sweet potato. Cut way back on sugars and irritating or inflammatory foods. I do not juice as I don't find it satisfying and thus it is not for me. If you are good with it, that is cool. I am listing what I can eat, some may differ with you.
I am gluten intolerant/allergic,and nightshade intolerant
Here is what I eat:
Beef or Burger
Other Protein sources
Chick peas in the form of Hummus (small amounts)
Bananas ( only if I am low histamine-wise as it’s a histamine liberator)
I do tolerate small quantities of dried fruit but don't eat often. Avoid the preservative ones.
I do not tolerate Mango, pineapple, water melon
Celery ( a lectin so small amounts)
Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash
Bell peppers and potato are also fine to eat but I have a nightshade Intolerance so I cannot eat them.
There are other lettuces and greens like fennel, watercress that are fine but I haven’t tried.
I am nightshade intolerant (tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and eggplant) so some of these are still okay for some people. Not tomatoes or eggplant, however, high histamine.
Cream Cheese (low fillers)
Fresh, unaged mozzarella
I was able to add other cheese in SMALL amounts ONCE I stabilized but not everyday.
Oatmeal (Gluten free)
Gluten free, Yeast free Bread
Brown Rice or white rice
Corn or Rice Pasta
(Corn is inflammatory as it is a GMO product so I eat on occasion not everyday)
Gluten free Beef, Chicken or Onion soup powder
Salt and Pepper
For baking I use jarred apple sauce and coconut sugar to keep calories and blood sugar down.
I mix cream cheese with diced garlic, onion powder, thyme, rosemary and top it on the meat and roast the meat. I use a little bit of apple juice in the pan to keep the meat moist.
Dry rubs of various spices I tolerate
I use commercial honey dill but you can make your own with mayo, honey and dill as a topping for meat
I use salad dressing to top meat like Caesar or Ranch dressing but the only ones I don't react to is Blue Menu (President's Choice) or The Keg dressing
I use gluten free bread crumbs mixed with spices over the meat and then I use salad dressing to top the bread crumbs off and add flavor.
You can use apple sauce over porkchops with garlic and such
Lamb is awesome as it doesn't need much flavor besides maybe garlic and rosemary
Roast chicken is awesome
Burger casserole ( I use cream cheese to cream up my casserole, I add lots of veggies, pasta or rice or quinoa
Soups - I make my own with chicken carcasses that I freeze until I need.
I freeze my meat after cooking in individual portions so I just have to worry about sides and I pull out some meat. I also can make something for my family that I can't have as I already have my meal
I can eat day old prepared meat without freezing but beyond that, no.
Side veggies and sweet potato/rice/quinoa, I can eat for a good week without reacting. It is only meat and casseroles that I can't go beyond a day.
Pam's Foods I cannot eat -
Milk (in high quantities)
Cheese (aged) - can tolerate some now
Parmesan ( in high quantities) - can tolerate some now
Citrus and citrus juices(in high quantities)
Fish (if fresh, it is fine but if not fresh, high histamine)
Seafood. (Histamine liberator so not great)
Cold cuts (in large quantities)
Sausage ( in large quantities)
Bacon (in large quantities)
Yeast (able to tolerate on occasion once I stabilized my histamine levels)
Wines ( especially red)
Processed foods(in large quantities or with forbidden ingredients)
Gluten of any kind
Worcestershire sauce (pepper spicing)
Seasoning salts of any kind
Sweet source icing sugar (tainted with gluten)
Regular oatmeal (tainted with gluten)
Avoid fermented, aged foods like cheese, wine (especially red wine), cold cuts, sausage, yogurt
Avoid leftovers, freeze all meat in individual portions so you reheat as needed.
Slow cookers are not good for us due to a lengthy cooking and increases histamine levels in meat. (Pressure cooker is better)
Avoid chocolate, coffee, tea (except white tea) or anything caffeinated.
Pam's Foods I can eat - at present, I am now histamine conscious and not necessarily all low histamine as I am stable now.
Foods I can eat
Squash (acorn, spaghetti, butternut)
Bell peppers and potato are also fine to eat but I have a nightshade Intolerance so I cannot eat them.
Pears ( peeled or med. ox.)
Apples (gala or ambrosia)
Bananas (med ox.)
Green or red grapes
Milk(small quantities or in baking/cooking)
Cream cheese (low fillers)
Parmesan (in small quantities)
Vinegars (small quantities)
Salad dressing (small quantities)
Yellow Mustard (small quantities)
Gluten free flour
Icing sugar (Rogers)