One of the most widely misunderstood areas with histamine intolerance is how to reintroduce nutritious higher histamine foods.
A low histamine elimination diet should only be done for 2 – 4 weeks to confirm histamine intolerance.
If it does not resolve key symptoms, it should be ceased altogether instead of adding in additional food restrictions.
If it resolves symptoms, higher histamine foods should slowly be reintroduced to find your unique histamine threshold.
The aim is not to only eat low-histamine foods.
It is to keep as many nutritious foods in our diet with as high a variety of foods as possible.
Here are some guidelines on how to reintroduce nutritious higher histamine foods.
Histamine intolerance is not an allergy but a thresshold issue.
So we must establish our threshold by reintroducing foods until our sensitivity level is determined.
I recommend introducing small quantities of medium and high histamine foods as condiments or in soups, salads, or smoothies.
If you have not already done so, please download The Insiders’ Guide To The Low Histamine Food List, which classifies foods into relative histamine content to assist in titrating histamine levels.
Using this list, histamine-sensitive people can tolerate:
Low histamine foods – any amount
Moderate histamine foods – 1 serve (1/2 cup) daily
High histamine foods (alternative to moderate histamine foods) – 1/10 serve of a high histamine food daily, and
Very high histamine foods – are rarely tolerated (if at all).
Many can tolerate more and readily increase their threshold well beyond these limits.
If you cannot tolerate low histamine foods or even small amounts of moderate histamine foods, please consider that you may not be histamine intolerant.
Not all reactions, including mast cell activation, are caused by food.
Clients with mast cell activation frequently have a high histamine threshold, as food is not the underlying cause of their symptoms.
Equally, most clients with histamine intolerance benefit significantly from learning how to navigate their unique histamine thresshold.
Minor reactions do not necessarily mean that you have reached your threshold.
Often reactions settle with time, and it is safe to just continue with that threshold level.
Before you eliminate then reintroduce foods, I recommend you identify your significant histamine symptoms and use those to adjust your thresshold.
I also recommend not getting sidetracked by minor tolerable reactions.
My minor reaction may be incidental urticaria on my feet. My significant reaction is chronic insomnia. Everyone’s will be different – those are just mine.
Histamine as a threshold issue can be cumulative.
We may only begin to react adversely after several days of exceeding your threshold.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is to rely on a handful of “safe” foods, which can see that handful of foods eaten in high quantities to the point that sensitivity to even the safe foods is lost.
A rotation diet is particularly helpful in keeping foods in our diet and reducing cumulative reactions.
If there are no adverse effects after 2 weeks at a particular threshold, increase your histamine load again.
If we get a definitive reaction, which for me is insomnia, we can return to the previous level for a few more weeks.
Other typical definitive reactions include itching, urticaria, flushing, diarrhea, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue, brain fog, and rapid heartbeats, to name a few.
What is your main symptom? What will you monitor as a definitive reaction?
Even if we have a definitive reaction, we often do not need to go back to a strictly low histamine diet.
I have helped hundreds of people reverse their histamine intolerance.
I believe that a low histamine diet plays a crucial role in rebalancing the histamine system.
Nevertheless, a low histamine diet merely manages symptoms.
We also need to work on the underlying cause to restore histamine intolerance.
I believe there are three root causes, a leaky gut, auto-immunity, and mast cell activation.
You can learn more in my FREE Course, The Roadmap To Resolution of Histamine Intolerance and Mast Cell Activation.