Thursday, 3 September 2015

Histamine: A common but little known trigger for fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition which can many different triggers. One little known but common trigger of pain I find in my fibromyalgia clients is excess histamine.

What is Histamine?

Histamine is a chemical that is produced by your body’s immune system when it encounters an allergen.
For example, you are bitten by a mosquito the body releases histamine into the area which then causes the skin around the bite to become red.
Typically, once the body has dealt with the bite, it produces an enzyme that breaks down any remaining histamine.
Unfortunately for some people they have a genetic mutation that means they that produce less of the enzyme so not all the histamine is broken down and remains in the blood.
If you are exposed to allergens over an extended period then histamine levels will rise and will eventually cause symptoms including fibromyalgia pain.

Histamine Intolerance

Other common symptoms of excess histamine or histamine intolerance include anxiety, chest pain, dizziness on standing up, headaches, heartburn, hives, nasal congestion, and palpitations.
Other factors that can cause a build up in histamine include an imbalance in your friendly bacteria, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and consuming foods that are high in histamine.

Helping yourself?

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and think that you may have excess histamine in your body then a useful initial step is to reduce your consumption of high histamine foods and see if your symptoms improve.
Foods that are high in histamine include tomatoes, fermented foods such as cheese, processed meat products, and alcohol. 

What next?

If you find that reducing high histamine foods reduces your symptoms then this is a good indication that excess histamine is at the root of your fibromyalgia. At this point it advisable to seek the advice of a trusted health practitioner who can identify and treat the cause.

If you want to understand more about your fibromyalgia you can book a complementary no-obligation assessment with one of our experienced health coaches who can answer your questions. Call 613 230-0998, book online, or email info@ottawaholisticwellness.ca today!

About the author

Dominick Hussey, Functional Medicine Practitioner, combines osteopathy, functional medicine with nutrition and lifestyle counseling in his practice, and firmly believes that healing is a process in which the patient must take an active role. He has become disillusioned with modern approaches which only provide a band-aid approach to mask and temporarily relieve symptoms. His passion is in determining the real, underlying cause for those symptoms and in so doing to bring about true, deep, lasting healing.

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