- General remarks
- Symptoms of histaminosis
The symptoms of a histaminosis are similar to those of an allergy, food poisoning or a flu. They usually occur in connection with food intake, but they may also become chronic, so that it is difficult for the people concerned to tie the symptoms to the foods ingested. There are a wide range of partly unspecific symptoms possible, and symptoms are very individual. Typical guiding symptoms are:
- Swelling of the nasal mucous membrane, runny nose, sneazing, expectoration, irritation of the throat, breathing troubles
- Digestive problems: diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, heartburn
- Itching, rash, flush (particular in the face)
- Hot flashes, attack of sweating, impaired temperature sensation
- Tachycardia, allodromy, palpitation, drop in blood pressure
- Headache, migraine, dizziness
- Sleep disturbance, fatigue
- Nausea, vomiting
- Menstrual molimina
- Oedema (Swelling, water retention, i.e. swollen eyelids), angioedema
Inconsistency of symptoms
Histamine serves various functions in our body. This is why histaminosis may trigger a wide range of symptoms, affecting different organ systems. People suffering from HIT may display highly diverse symptoms. Every person has individual weak spots, which may be afflicted earlier than other parts in the body. Sufferers may be troubled by many of the following symptoms, either simultaneously or alternately. People may also only display one or few of the symptoms typical for HIT, like for example an isolated headache. Some afflictions are chronic or very frequent, others may only occur sporadically. The symptoms are so varied that the people affected by HIT often do not suspect a single trigger
Triggers are hard to identify
If affected people ever find out some trigger factors causing their pain (see Therapy and subpages), they're mostly some of these:
Foodstuff: red wine, sparkling wine, Champagne ("alcohol allergy"), well matured cheese, fish (tuna), seafood, meat (sausages and cold meats, cold cuts), tomato, pizza ("pizza-allergy"), walnut, sauerkraut, convenience food, additives ("additive incompatibilities").
Medication: acetyle salicylic acid (Aspirine), X-ray contrast media, analgetics, ... ("drug allergies").
Severity of the disease
The severity of the disease may vary widely. Healthy people or those who are only slightly affected may only have symptoms in extreme situations, for example after the intake of a sumptuous meal in combination with alcohol or medications. In severe cases with only little reactivity of the enzyme that breaks down histamine, the metabolic disorder may - if left untreated - lead to exhaustion and an inability to work, which may only last days or become chronic in the worst case. As long as the disorder is not diagnosed and treated, many people affected by HIT are constantly suffering from poor health and have an impaired quality of life. One day, they may be afflicted by one ailment, the next it is something else. Most of them are, however, not really sick (in the sense of incapable of working), and may be able to lead a more or less normal life.
Important: The symptoms listed here are mostly unspecific symptoms, which may be due to other causes. Therefore it is necessary to clarify whether other diseases may be the cause (differential diagnostics). It is not possible to diagnose a histaminosis solely based on the symptoms. Should a patient, however, repeatedly suffer from one or more of the listed symptoms, which cannot be traced back to a clear trigger, a histaminosis should be taken into consideration. Please also refer to our important notes!
Symptoms of histaminosis
This enumeration is without claim to completeness. Symptoms are listed, which are proven to be directly connected with histaminosis as well as those, which are often mentioned by people affected and which clearly diminish or disappear with a histamine elimination diet, even if the connection has not been established scientifically. Some of this symptoms are probably caused by excessive release of other mast cell mediators than histamine. All of those symptoms may, but do not have to occur.
Digestive tract, gastro-intestinal system
The most frequently observed troubles that occur with histaminosis are acute or chronic gastrointestinal symptoms. These problems are often unspecific because the often extensive consultation does not lead to a clear pathological finding. Often people are diagnosed with an irritable stomach or an irritable colon respectively. A direct connection between food intake and the symptoms is often difficult to discern. This is due to the fact that the ingredients of ingested foods are only slowly absorbed by the body during the bowel transit time, which may last several hours, so that problems may only manifest themselves with a considerable delay. Putrefied foods or those with high histamine content, however, may trigger abdominal cramps and severe diarrhea within 15-30 minutes.
Digestive problems, flatulence, abdominal pain, stitch, stomach or intestinal cramps, frequent or chronic diarrhea, morning diarrhea
Histamine increases the motility of the bowel movements, so that the bolus passes the intestines faster than normal, which impairs the absorption of nutrients because of the short retention time.
More rarely also constipation or constipation alternating with diarrhea
heart burn, acid reflux
Inflammatory gastro-intestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome
Sea sickness, motion sickness
Chinese restaurant syndrome (disputed)
Symptoms similar to gastric flu (gastroenteritis)
Drop in blood pressure, low blood pressure (hypotension)
Cardiac arrhythmias (allodromy)
Palpitation (stronger heart beat caused by a release of adrenaline)
Racing heart (tachycardia), panic attacks
Skin, mucous membranes, airways
Perennial rhinitis, swelling of nasal mucous membrane, runny nose (rhinitis, rhinorrhea) especially after food intake, also independent from type and histamine content of food, possibly aggravated by cold/smoke/smog/smells
Blowing the nose may lead to nosebleed (because of increased permeability of the blood vessels)
Excessive sweating, attack of sweating, night-time sweating, perspiring hands/feet, hot flashes
Flushing of face following meals (flush), heat build-up, facial skin feels slightly irritated
Skin blemishes, acne, pimples, blackheads, overproduction of sebaceous gland, oily skin
Rashes, flushes, itching, eczema, hives (urticaria)
Itching (e.g. itchy scalp, itchy vaccination scars)
Physical irritation such as scratching, strokes or heat triggering flashes/rash or itching
Upper arms covered in little red spots/pimples, partially keratinised or purulent (impaired keratinisation), perhaps in connection with pollen allergies?
Hands with burning/aching inflammation/blisters/nodules/calluses (image)
Sun allergy: the skin goes very quickly red in the sun, but the sunburn disappears on the following day.
Aphtha, lesions of the oral mucosa, which become small yellow-white holes/wounds that hurt and will not heal for days and sometimes months. In addition to the oral mucosa, some papillae on the tongue may hurt like an aphtha.
Chronic cough, constant tickly throat, dry cough, bronchitis, irritated bronchia
Constant clearing of the throat, particularly in stress situations
Sputum: viscid mucus to expectorate, frequent clearing of throat, perhaps also breathy vocal cords, particularly after sumptuous meals (similar to cystic fibrosis)
Oedema (=Swelling because of fluid retention in the interstitial tissue), e.g. swollen eyelids, leg swelling
Histamine plays a role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm and acts as neurotransmitter. High levels of histamine in the body may lead to a wide range of neurological symptoms. Neurological symptoms are in particular pronounced with a HNMT enzymopathy. Headache, fatigue, sleep disturbance may also be typical symptoms of a DAO enzymopathy.
Headache, migraine, feeling of pressure in the head, dizziness
Fatigue, loss of energy, lack of motivation, exhaustion
Insomnia, problems falling asleep or sleeping through the night, only superficial catnapping without deep sleep, dreamlessness
Lack of concentration, impairment of cognitive performance, slowness
Forgetfulness, limited ability to retrieve memories
Noise sensitivity, search for tranquillity and uneventfulness, vulnerability for sensory overload
susceptibility to stress, impaired ability to withstand stress, feeling of bournout (feeling of mental and nervous exhaustion and breakdown)
Clearing of throat in stress situations
Tension, nervousness, jumpiness (also without external cause), restlessness, tingling sensation, feeling of caffeine overdose
Muscle twitching, tremor, clenched jaws, grinding of teeth (bruxism), worn down teeth
Symptoms similar to those of poisoning with a mild neurotoxin
Melancholia, sadness, weepiness, depressive moods, depressions (often without visible cause)
Thoughts of suicide
Temporary loss of impairment of the sense of smell
Personality changes, perhaps other mental/neurological disturbances
Menstrual Molimina: Dysmenorrhoea (=menstrual cramps), Amenorrhoea
development disorder, failure to thrive
Susceptibility to infections, immune system
Increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, frequent infections
increased susceptibility for inflammations, inflamed areas
Flulike symptoms without defined onset of disease, prolonged malaise, pain in the limbs
Sinus infection (sinusitis): frontal sinusitis, maxillary sinusitis, inflammation of other sinuses such as sphenoid or ethmoid sinuses
Constant swelling painful lymph nodes
Tonsillitis, adenoid vegetation (adenoid hyperplasia), possible surgical removal of tonsils. (The tonsils serve the immune defence. Their removal may further acerbate the increased susceptibility for infectious diseases.)
Lump in one's throat
Inflammation of connective tissue: tissue underneath the skin with inflammatory pain or tenderness
Painful feeling of inflammation, heat or pressure in the head, chronic (non-bacterial) inflammation of the brain (chronic encephalitis)
Painful/burning bladder, desire to void, frequent urination (similar to bacterial bladder infection)
Conjunctivitis, irritated reddened eyes
Yellow-white boogies collect in the corners of the eyes or mouth
Misted, impaired vision
Inflammatory rheumatic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis (e.g. knuckle joint rheumatism)
Soft-tissue rheumatism: e.g. pain in the tendons or joints, back pain: the back muscles hurt similar to a strained muscle/muscle ache (muscular rheumatism, inflammation of a muscle)
Periodic toothache, inflammation of the gums or wisdom teeth
Herpes simplex labialis (oral herpes, cold sores) or symptoms similar to herpes (e.g. badly healing skin cracks)
Alcoholic beverages not tolerated or only in small quantities
Deficiencies of vitamins and nutrients (iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency) because of impaired absorption mechanisms of the inflamed/irritated bowels
A body that is constantly inflamed, irritated and weakened may potentially be more sensitive to minor environmental influences, which would remain unnoticed in a healthy person.
Sensitivity to electric smog?
Sensitivity to terrestrial radiation, water veins, energy points, lattice structures and other phenomena of radiesthesia?
References and bibliography
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