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Sudden Major Histmine Sensitivity

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  • Sudden Major Histmine Sensitivity

    You know, all this time I never put it together. Way before I went paleo, I had to stop eating a number of foods and just thought I was allergic to them. It started with tomato- I began craving them like crazy and thought I was developing adult acne (never had acne). I had itchy sores on my face that took forever to heal. Then one day I ate a fresh tomato salad for lunch and had manicotti for dinner, and my face turned bright red like a sunburn. I took Benadryl but it did not help. It subsided on it's own. After a few days I tried eating tomato again and my face turned red once again. I let some time pass and experimented with tomato- if I ate just a little, what would happen? The reaction was always different. Sometimes I would immediately get a red face, other times the next day I'd wake up and have hives on my chest. It was unpredictable so I stopped eating them entirely.

    Around this time, mushrooms began causing doubled-over stomach cramping and I stopped eating those, too. I also had severe stomach cramping from dark or potent beers, fresh spinach, some cheeses in salads like the goat cheeses. I bought a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread once and half way through the loaf one day my face turned red like the tomatos- another muffin type bread I ate one morning had tons of nutmeg in it and my face itched like crazy. I told any doctor I happened to see and not one had any idea. I had gone to allergists and tested negative for many of these things but tested positive for things like soy, yeast, carrot, onion, celery, hoppes, a LONG list.

    A few years ago, my peanut allergic son was diagnosed Celiac and I took a hard look at my own gluten consumption and eliminated it. I later discovered The Primal Blueprint- and the human intolerance to legumes and grains made perfect sense to me so I went paleo. I did great for a long, long time. But what happened was I became somewhat bored with food and began trying to liven things up a little, rmembering that Mark said 80% is decent.

    Since I eliminated dessert, I became a huge dark chocolate eater. I only wanted a little something after dinner so each night, I had dark chocolate. I ate more fruits and vegetables, more seafood, more chicken, more salad with balsamic vinegar almost every night. I loved sunflower butter and ate a whole jar to myself almost every week.

    This summer, I developed a horrible rash that spread all over my body over 6 days, only getting worse. They put me on prednisone to stop it. Shortly after the 9 day course, my symptoms began returning. It didn't seem as bad, instead of being covered I had patches of the rash coming and going and popping up here and there. Now, after this weekend, it has spread much stronger all over my arms and legs and my face went up like a sunburn again as if I've eaten tomatos- even if my food was contmainated I can't imagine it was enough to do anything.

    At my wits end, I began searching online. Suddenly it occurred to me to look in my food diary for what I ate the day BEFORE my huge rash, instead of the day of, and what I ate right around the time I took my last dose of prednisone and began getting symptoms again 3 days later. The day before my rash I had a heaping pile of sauerkraut, and right around the time it came back, I had sauerkraut again. I immediately googled: "rash sauerkraut" and came up with histamine sensitivity. Many of the foods on the list were foods I already no longer ate due to the same symptoms associated with it, like, stomach cramping, flushing of the face, rash. All the foods I listed above are extremely high in histamine. I've been TOTALLY overloading my system.

    I came across another Blog by someone called Paleo Guy and he specifically addresses histamine sensitivity and the fact that when you go Paleo, you tend to eliminate foods and then consume more foods which coincidentally are often naturally high in histamine. Since I am allergic to apples and pears and tree fruits, I ate way more strawberries and blueberries- which are high in histamine. I ate salad every day with balasmic vinegar- high in histamine. I ate tons of seafood, shrimp, and chicken, all high in histamine. I ate raisins and prunes, sunflower butter, cheese- high in histamine. When you go on a diet like that- if you are a busy person like me with little time to cook time consuming meals, you tend to just reach for things when you get hungry. I ate bell peppers often- high in histamine. Every thing I eat tends to be high in it. Now I am stuck with the dilemma that while I've eliminated all these gluten containing foods, I can't eat anything that's left! I've "overdone" it with what's left and am now sensitive to it.

    Also, there was a list posted here and from what I've read, the list conflicts with other lists I've read and things that are ok on Mark's list are not ok on other lists, like chicken- my #1 most eaten meat.

    I have no idea where to go from here. Paleo worked great until a few years had gone by with me eating conentrated amounts of histamine containing foods that it now appears I have adverse reactions to. Just thought I'd write about this to see if anyone else is experiencing rashes, red itchy face, hives, and all over body rash like I am.
    Last edited by Sharon C.; 08-16-2011, 11:11 AM. Reason: Trying to change title because of typo- but no way to.

  • #2
    I got the same problem recently, just not as bad as you. At first I thought it was weird because the rashes coincided with me eating stricter (I started primal in Nov 2009), like cutting out most fruits but berries etc. I'm still researching histamine intolerance at the moment and kind of hoping my case can be explained with increased stress levels or maybe some nutritient deficiency. I'd be interested as well if/how others deal with this.


    • #3
      I am also in the same situation. The moment I think I've got a lock on it and eliminate that, I find something else. My rashes and allergy reactions were caused by corn, sulfites and peppermint. My stomach gets upset if I eat too much fruit, dairy, any gluten, and nitrates. Fruit is often one of two reactions, to either the fructose or to salicyate (aspirin). Safer fruits are bananas, pears, and apples as far as salicyates go.

      The thing that I've needed to do is severely simplify my diet, and then add things back one at a time, as an allergy elimination diet. Sometimes what you react to things you might never guess (like sulfites is a preservative in wine and fruit juice - I was using lemon juice and getting reactions).


      • #4
        It all sounds like leaky gut might be compounding your problems. Have you checked out the GAPS diet?

        Another approach might be to try a teaspoonful of l-glutamine powder in a glass of water on an empty stomach once a day. Have you tried that?


        • #5
          I hear you. After PB, if I eat walnuts or almonds the pain in my gut is very intense and uncomfortable. No rashes or anything though, so hopefully I don't get worse.'


          • #6
            Wow! Thanks for posting this. I think I need to switch up my diet a little. I've gotten lazy and often eat the same things for days in a row. Sometimes two salads with balsamic vinegar a day, and sometimes two helpings of frozen berries. I would hate to get this because I am prone to allergies and I've noticed my sniffles which were getting better after starting primal are now picking up again.

            I don't think Mark mentioned this in his post on food variety but maybe he should have. Maybe I should go re-read it
            Last edited by belinda; 08-17-2011, 07:56 PM.
            Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

            Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
            CW: 146.8 lbs
            GW 140 lbs
            A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


            • #7
              I went through the same thing, plus some more. You can search my posts and find the info. Adrenal fatigue is a large part of this, along with leaky gut.

              GAPS plus the proper supplements, lowering stress and moving your body will heal you most of the way. Two years later and I can eat high histamine foods in moderation. The last bit can be helped with chinese medicine.


              • #8
                My husband mentioned leaky gut- but I wasn't sure how to go about confirming it. The allergy testing showed some environmental allergies but nothing the doctor can think of would cause this. They checked me for lupus, lymphoma, thyroid, they checked my liver and kidneys- the testing results were negative/normal for all.

                I have no sneezing or watery eyes- the entire reaction is skin symptoms. My face and arms are the worst right now- my legs got itchy and bumpy last night. The allergist didn't know what to do- he said that he really can't help me any further- didn't know much about histamine sensitivity. He just recommended Zyrtec and that's it. I'm thinking about going to the dermatologist next. I really want to get to the bottom of this.

                Another thing worth mentioning is that I am highly reactive to tomato- and my neighbor has an ennormous tomato garden this year. But could I be reacting from living next to it? We just had a ton of rain and I am still reacting. It's kind of a long shot but I'm open to anything being possible.


                • #9
                  From Michigan Food Allergy, Sinus & Asthma Specialists - W. Bloomfield MI, Livonia MI - Welcome

                  Histamine-Rich Foods (including fermented foods):

                  Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine.
                  Cheeses, especially aged or fermented cheese, such as parmesan, blue and Roquefort.
                  Cider and home-made root beer.
                  Dried fruits such as apricots, dates, prunes, figs and raisins (you may be able to eat these fruits - without reaction - if the fruit is thoroughly washed).
                  Fermented foods, such as pickled or smoked meats, sauerkraut, etc.
                  Processed meats - sausage, hot dogs, salami, etc.
                  Smoked fish - herring, sardines, etc.
                  Sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, yogurt - especially if not fresh.
                  Soured breads, such as pumpernickel, coffee cakes and other foods made with large amounts of yeast.
                  Spinach, tomatoes
                  Vinegar or vinegar-containing foods, such as mayonnaise, salad dressing, ketchup, chili sauce, pickles, pickled beets, relishes, olives.

                  Histamine-Releasing Foods (cause the body to release histamines when ingested):

                  Last edited by belinda; 08-17-2011, 04:50 AM.
                  Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!

                  Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
                  CW: 146.8 lbs
                  GW 140 lbs
                  A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals


                  • #10
                    (This was in response to a post that seemed to disappear, about having the book.)

                    I do have it, thanks. Loaned it to quite a few people and have varied from 80%-100% primal for a year and a half.


                    • #11
                      A regular doctor or derm will not know how to help you. They are not trained to get to the bottom of things, they know how to prescribe pills. There is no test or pill that is going to fix this. Check out Chris Kresser or more info. Again, research GAPS, adrenal fatigue and chinese medicine. Those are the tools you can use to heal your body.


                      • #12
                        Wow. How well timed are your posts!!
                        I have the same problem and have been really suffering for the last 4 weeks. I have been Primal for 2 months now after being veggie for 20 years.
                        4 weeks ago, completely out of the blue, I started to feel overwhelmingly tired, fatigued, shaky, racing heart, low blood pressure, confused, panic attacks and anxious. At 1st i though it was a virus but 4 weeks later and alot of research I have come to the conclusion that I have histamine issues with certain foods.
                        I wake up in the morning, eat breakfast and then within 30mins the effects begin to take over and last all day.
                        I have had numerous days off work and it has totally blown my confidence. At times I have thought I was losing my mind!!! I have good days and bad days and can't seem to find the trigger foods. I am currently cutting out Pork products in the hope to beat this.
                        I love Primal eating but may have to reconsider if this goes on much longer.
                        Last edited by wehey; 08-17-2011, 11:44 PM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for any advice, input. Well, I am still leaning toward the histamine thing. I am fine when I don't eat and then it seems it starts up when I do. I don't normally eat this, but I was so freaked out that I ordered a grilled chicken ceasars salad without croutons out to dinner the other night- when the dressing touched my lips, they became instantly itchy to the point where it was uncomfortable to eat. I tried keeping the dressing off my lips but even a small touch kept them itching and burning. My lower lip and skin right outside appeared ever so slightly swollen. I don't normally eat that dressing but I have in the past without that reaction. I looked up common ingredients and was surprised worchstershire sauce is one and not only is it not GF but it's fermented, too- high in histamine. Can't think of what else it could be but the itching was immediate and strong. I'm on vacation right now, and I wound up at a dinner again and this time I had steak and mashed potatos (I know but Mark said 80%, right?) and I would have had vegetables too but they put cracked red hot pepper and cinnamon on that and I am allergic to cinnamon (I know that because years ago a dermatologist tested me with tape on my back and I had a big hive from that) so I did not eat them, and now, tonight, I did not have any itching. I also learned that cinnamon is high in histamine as well as nutmeg and I cannot tolerate them for a long time, way before my paleo days even began. I think I may have had issues with histamine before paleo, and I increased my sensitivity by not having enough variety with the paleo (my fault). I tend to be like that, though.

                          I will fiind a way to cope because I prefer the paleo lifestyle still, and never want to return to my old ways.
                          Last edited by Sharon C.; 08-20-2011, 07:59 PM. Reason: typos


                          • #14
                            Aren't there foods that counteract the histamine? I think grain is a major antihistamine food, so I'm guessing that's why going primal brings it on. Maybe you can research that direction? Find some foods that counteract the problem and include more of them in your diet.


                            • #15
                              Most of my food intolerances disappeared after I got sufficient in Vitamin D. Have you had your level checked?
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