So I haven’t updated you guys on my healthy for the LONGEST time …. basically I was managing my Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia really well using:
- Journalling (to pace and manage my stress & emotions)
- CBD oil (let me know if you want more info)
- Healthy eating
- Gentle Daily Exercise
- My Lovely Naturopath and a few supplements
Then the sh*t hit the fan and my symptoms changed …. I started to have wafting pain flowing up my feet, through my legs, especially at night, a VERY upset tummy, very sore feet, and a hot/burning/itchy sensation in my feet.
Basically Mast Cell Activation Syndrome had hit ?
Now, I don’t think I am a naturally ‘histaminey’ type of person, so I don’t get hay fever or hives or skin issues.
So I think this was a perfect storm of ….
- Terrible stress (business went into liquidation, business partner turned out to be a scam artist)
- Locked in with the now soon to be ex-husband during covid
- Less food deliveries – so food was less fresh
- I’m a pescatarian – fish is high in histamine
- Cooking one day and eating left overs the next – left overs are VERY high in histamine
- Peri-menopause / Menopause hitting
- ALL the healthy food I eat was high in histamine ??????
- Swimming in the paddling pool every day – very cold
I’ll admit that I am not managing to get my head around it all, but here are a few pointers for you, that I don’t think are obvious (please note I am not a doctor, nurse, medical professional, nutritionist, naturopath etc – this is just my personal experience and you should always chat to a specialist, if you can find one):
- There is a difference between inflammatory foods and high histamine – I was choosing inflammatory over histamine, as histamine produces pain for me (Inflammatory would be wheat, sugar and dairy).
- There are 3 types of problematic histamine food can be (1) high in histamine, (2) stop the body dealing with histamine, or (3) encourage the body to release more histamine.
- Anti-histamines: The first subtype is called H-1 receptor antagonists or H-1 blockers is used to treat allergy symptoms. The second subtype is called H-2 receptor antagonists or H-2 blockers and are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD] (also called acid reflux), peptic ulcers, gastritis, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.
Histamine vs MAST Cells
- There is a difference between high histamine and mast cell activation syndrome.
- The Mast Cells ‘guard’ the body and can become over active – this is what happened to me
- High Histamine means that your body can’t handle the amount of histamine in it ‘the load’
- You can have both, or just High Histamine, but your mast cells are fine.
- The body uses DAO and HNMT to handle histamine – which may not be as successful without a healthy gut, low zinc/B6/Copper/Vitamin C or if your methylation process isn’t working efficiently
- I have MAST – I need to tackle more than just food (but there is a bit more to it) – it’s worth checking out the link below to see what you think is troubling you.
- If you have just high histamine, you can probably managed it all with just food changes.
Causes of MAST
- Gut Issues (Dysbiosis)
- Chronic Inflammation
- Viral Infections
- Chronic Stress
- Trauma & Abuse
- You can even be genetically more prone to it
Things To Remember That Make It Worse
- Exercise produces histamine
- Extreme cold / heat e.g. ‘wild swimming’ or the ‘wim hof method’ or hot saunas
- Stress makes histamine worse
- Hormones make histamine worse
This is a ‘whole body approach’ or ‘histamine bucket’ approach, not just food:
- Avoid chemicals in your cleaning products in order to lighten the load
- Also avoid chemicals in your skin or hair care
- Look out for mould in your house
- Avoid broth, collagen, Kefir, Kambuchia or anything fermented
- Avoid left overs (freeze and defrost instead)
- Choose gentler exercise
- Include rest time & meditation / relaxing hobbies
- Avoid fish, unless caught and instantaneously frozen
- Avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocado, spinach & bananas (See full list below)
- Be careful of vitamin / mineral mixes, as they may include ones you don’t want e.g Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid is considered bad for histamine
- Vitamin C is often made from a citrus source (high histamine) and by growing mould on it (high histamine)
- There is a wisdom in creating a schedule that you stick to every day, so that your body knows exactly what to expect
- Prioritise sleep (but remember that you also need rest to heal, and that is different).
- If you have always had histamine issues, this is likely to be a change that you make for life.
- If you weren’t always, then you can probably focus on healing the things that kicked it off and seeing how you do after some healing time.
- I strongly recommend looking at calming your nervous system as a help to reducing the amount of histamine in the body
- But, whichever it is, focus on what you CAN eat and CAN do, (see my next blog post)
- And consider it your body’s guidance system, instead of a restriction.
Now I haven’t spent a lot on supplements, because I found it too confusing, in fact, I dropped most of mine.
- Quercetin – definitely helps me
- CBD – definitely a priority for me and a good alternative to Vitamin C (See link below for more info)
- DAO – should be good, doesn’t seem to help me
- Vitamin C – I used to take, but only take now if my stomach is OK, don’t take the versions made from citrus
- Magnesium – definitely good for my restless & painful legs
- Probiotics – should help (I took a break from them)
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