THE HISTAMINE, MAST CELL ACTIVATION, AND BLOOD SUGAR CONNECTION

One of the most overlooked ways in which histamine tolerance can be improved is through the stabilisation of blood sugar levels.

In the scientific literature, it is a well established that there is a bi-directional relationship between blood sugar control and histamine levels.

This means that unstable blood sugar can increase histamine levels, and histamine levels can progress the development of diabetes or insulin resistance.

Histamine Intolerance and Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterised by an increase in the amount of glucose in the blood.

It is caused either by a destruction of the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, or resistance to the effect of insulin (which normally lowers blood glucose levels) or a mixture of both factors.

Histamine intolerance is directly implicated in diabetes. Studies have consistently shown:

  • Increased histamine levels in diabetics,
  • Low levels of diamine oxidase (DAO) which breaks down ingested histamine in diabetic experimental animals,
  • H3 receptors (one of the 4 histamine receptors that regulate the supply of histamine) reside in the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, and
  • H3 receptor blockers lead to a reduction of glucose levels in diabetic experimental animals.

Whats more, histamine levels by affecting the permeability of the blood vessels, are directly implicated in the widespread symptoms and progression of the disease.

Mast-cell Activation and Diabetes

Mast cell activation is also directly implicated in diabetes. Studies have consistently shown:

  • Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that become overladen with glucose in diabetics, directly lead to mast-cell degranulation, which then releases histamine, and
  • Mast-cell stabilisers and anti-histamines have been shown to decrease complications from diabetes.

An increased number of mast cells, with the subsequent release of histamine and blood vessel inflammation, has also been found in diabetics.

Histamine Intolerance and Insulin Resistance

Whilst histamine is known to pay a role in regulating blood glucose levels in diabetics, the role of histamine in insulin production and low, high, or unstable blood sugar is hypothesised by not fully understood.

Within my practice, I see health on a spectrum, where blood sugar issues can exist, long before the symptoms of insulin resitance and diabetes.  Certainly, fluctuating blood sugar causes a great deal of stress on your body, and histamine is a symptom of a body under stress.

What's more it's entirely preventable with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Blood Sugar Control

I encourage all of my clients to test the stability of their blood sugar by using a glucometer.

Its easy and inexpensive to do. You prick your finger with a sterilised lancet, and then you apply the drop of blood to a “test strip,” that has been inserted into the glucometer, and it measures your blood sugar.

Based on these glucometer results, you can adjusting your protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios, and also any identify inflammatory foods, to maintain blood sugar control.

Whilst it is not the only cause of histamine intolerance it is frequently overlooked.

Personally, I have seen really significant improvements in my health, through addressing blood sugar fluctuations, and I know you can too.  In fact, I started this histamine journey with fluctuating blood sugar issues against a family history of diabetes.

If you suspect that blood sugar control might be playing a role in your histamine intolerance or mast-cell activation I can help you to stabilise your blood sugar and develop a bio-individual diet.

 

Additional Reading:

Pini Alessandro, Obara Ilona, Battell Emma, Chazot Paul L, Rosa Arianna Carolina.Histamine in diabetes: is it time to reconsider?.Pharmacological Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2016.06.021

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