Histamine Determination Blood Test
The histamine determination blood test measures the amount of histamine in the blood.
Order a histamine determination blood test when experiencing repeated allergy symptoms to help identify the cause of the reaction. Typically, monitoring histamine levels shortly after symptoms begin to develop is most helpful.
Histamine intolerance is not a histamine sensitivity but an indicator that an individual has developed too much. Histamine is a chemical involved in the central nervous system, digestion, and immune system. Working as a neurotransmitter, it transmits vital signals from your body to your brain. It is also a stomach acid component that helps to break down food. The role of histamine in the body is to induce an instant inflammatory response. The immune system acts as a red flag, warning the body of any possible attackers. Antihistamines stop this inflammatory reaction.
Histamine triggers swelling in blood vessels so that white blood cells can rush in and solve any issues rapidly. It's part of the normal immune response in the body. Enzymes can usually break down the histamine so that it does not build up. If histamine is not broken down properly, it builds up, and an individual develops histamine intolerance.
Histamine can affect your skin, gut, brain, lungs, and your entire cardiovascular system as it flows through your bloodstream. This can make recognizing and diagnosing a histamine intolerance difficult. Histamine intolerance can display a vast range of symptoms, including:
- Abdominal cramps
- Abnormal menstrual cycle
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing
- Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate
- Nausea, vomiting
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Tissue swelling
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
- Vertigo or dizziness
Common causes of high histamine levels are:
- Allergies (IgE reactions)
- Leaky gut
- GI bleeding
- SIBO, or Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- Histamine-rich foods
- Diamine oxidase (DAO) deficiency
There are also a variety of foods that naturally contain histamine, cause histamine release, or block the enzyme (diamine oxidase or DAO) that breaks down histamine, in addition to the histamine produced inside your body.
Histamine-rich foods include:
- Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
- Aged cheeses including goat cheese
- Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne, and beer
- Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats, and hot dogs
- Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, yogurt, kombucha, etc.
- Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc.
- Most citrus fruits
- Smoked fish and certain species of fish including mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines
- Nuts: walnuts, cashews
- Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
- Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
Histamine-releasing foods include:
- Artificial preservatives and dyes
- Cow's milk
- Wheat germ
Histamine is primarily broken down by diamine oxidase (DAO) in the digestive tract.
Diamine oxidase (DAO) blocking foods include:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Mate tea
- Energy drinks
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