Low Histamine Diet

A large part of treating mast cell disease, especially if you have significant Gastro-intestinal issues or have reactions after eating, is to follow a low histamine diet.  It’s an absolute mine-field.  There appears to be very few research papers or clinical trials into the histamine content in food, although I did find a link to the histamine levels in a small sample of foods on the Food Intolerance Network website.  Added to that, the diets purported online can’t agree on even the most basic of food groups: some say wheat is fine so long as it’s unbleached flour and yeast free, some say no wheat.  Some say bananas are fine, others say no bananas.  You get the drift.

The Food Intolerance Network did a study on the reactions of over 800 histamine intolerant patients to various foods, and their results can be found here.  As it states quite clearly, each individual will be able to tolerate different foods depending on where they are in the treatment of their histamine intolerance.   Non-tolerated, and tolerated foods, will vary enormously from person to person depending on their individual reactions and from food to food, depending on how it’s been picked, stored and transported.  It really is a game of trial and error, and there are only a very small list of foods that everyone with histamine issues reacts badly to (red wine, beer, tinned tuna, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges).

Of course, it’s more complicated than just the histamine content of food.  There are also foods which are purported to block the DAO enzyme needed to ‘mop up’ histamine (eg. tea), and foods which don’t contain histamine per se but are purported to liberate histamine already in the body (eg. cocoa, nuts and some fruits).  I use the word “purported” deliberately, as I’m unclear how these conclusions have been reached.

There is also the fact that you’re cutting out large groups of foods but not replacing them with much of anything.  If you’ve had mast cell issues for some years your body is probably going to be in a state of utter disarray.  It needs to be slowly built back up, and good nutrition is the key.  I personally don’t have the time or energy to become obsessed with my diet, but I do try to buy organically wherever possible and include fresh fruit and vegetable juices.  Juicing from scratch is a total faff if I’m honest, is expensive (you need a lot of produce for a small amount of juice), it assumes you already have a good juicer, and many juices are a bit like drinking medicine (!), but it’s a great way to feed your body easy to digest nutrients without having to think about complicated recipes.  There are some juicing recipes on my Recipe page, or if you’d like to look into this further I highly recommend The Raw Energy Bible by Leslie Kenton.  Not only are the juicing recipes in this book adaptable for a low histamine diet, but so are many of her raw food recipes.

I started off following a quite strict low-histamine diet and found I was both miserable and starving half to death.  So I relaxed, and just cut out the worst offenders, however I’m aware this won’t be feasible for some people who will have to stick to a very rigid diet in order to control their symptoms.

Below is the diet I’m (loosely) following (taken from the International Chronic Urticaria Society website):  This diet excludes all:

  • foods with naturally high levels of histamine
  • fermented food
  • artificial food colouring, especially tartrazine
  • benzoates including food sources of benzoates, benzoic acid and sodium benzoate
  • butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydoxytoluene (BHT)

Items marked with an * are considered controversial and excluded, or included, by other versions of this diet.  If you want to see the kinds of foods I eat daily, click here or see my Low Histamine Shopping List page.

The List below is just a guide.  No definitive list of low histamine foods exists anywhere in the world – please see my blog post on the Truth About Low Histamine Food Lists for more information on how these lists are made and how accurate they are!


THE LOW HISTAMINE FOOD LIST

Milk & Dairy

Allowed:

  • Plain milk
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mascarpone cheese
  • Quark (similar to cottage cheese though thinner and made without rennet so always vegetarian friendly).
  • Butter
  • Cream (I also include Soured Cream, which is excluded by some of the diets).
  • Ice cream with allowed ingredients.

Restricted:

  • All other cheese, particularly hard mature cheese like mature Cheddar, or aged cheese like Stilton
  • *Cottage cheese
  • *Yogurt
  • Buttermilk
  • All pre-prepared dairy products made with restricted ingredients.

Eggs

Allowed:

  • All plain, cooked egg.

Restricted:

  • Raw egg white (found in some eggnog, hollandaise sauce and milkshakes).

Breads & Cereals

Allowed:

  • Any pure, unbleached grain or flour (note: all flour in the UK is unbleached by law).
  • Any plain, fresh bread, buns, biscuits, pizza dough with allowed ingredients.
  • Home-made or purchased baked cookies, pies etc. made with allowed ingredients.
  • Breakfast cereals made with allowed foods including all plain grains, plain oats and oatmeal, plain cream of wheat, puffed rice and wheat.
  • Plain crackers with allowed ingredients.
  • Plain pasta.

Restricted:

Products made with:

  • Artificial colours
  • Artificial flavours
  • Bleached flour (not available in the UK)
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cocoa
  • Margarine
  • Preservatives
  • Restricted fruits
  • Some jams (known as jelly in the States)
  • Any food made with, or cooked in, oils with hydrolyzed lecithin, BHA or BHT.
  • Commercial pie, pastry and fillings.
  • Baking mixes
  • Dry dessert mixes
  • Pre-packaged rice and pasta ready meals.

Vegetables

Allowed:

  • All pure, fresh and frozen vegetables except those listed in the restricted group.

Restricted:

  • Aubergiene (also known as Eggplant)
  • Pumpkin
  • Sauerkraut
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes and all tomato products including puree and passata.
  • Soy and all soy products, including soya lecithin.

Fruits

Allowed:

  • Apple
  • *Banana
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Figs
  • *Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • *Lime
  • *Lemon
  • Mango
  • Water melon
  • *Pear
  • Rhubarb
  • *Papaya (pawpaw)
  • *Gooseberry.
  • *Blackberry.
  • *Blueberry.
  • Coconut
  • Fruit dishes made with allowed ingredients.

Restricted:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Raisins, currants & sultanas
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Pineapple
  • Peach
  • Orange
  • Nectarine
  • Loganberry
  • Dates
  • Cranberry
  • Cherry
  • Apricot

Meat, Fish & Poultry

Allowed:

  • All pure, freshly cooked meat or poultry.
  • Any freshly caught, gutted, and cooked fish within 30 minutes of being caught (which realistically means no fish, unless you are a fisherman’s wife!)

Restricted:

  • All leftover cooked meats.
  • All processed meats, eg salami, hot dogs.
  • All fish (except those on the allowed list) and seafood.

Legumes

Allowed:

  • All plain legumes, except those on the restricted list.
  • *Pure peanut butter.

Restricted:

  • Soy beans, including miso and tofu.
  • Kidney beans (also known as red beans)

Nuts & Seeds

Allowed:

  • All plain nuts and seeds.

Restricted:

  • *This diet does not restrict nuts of any kind, but other diets restrict cashew nuts and sunflower seeds, whilst yet other diets restrict nuts of all varieties.

Fats & Oils

Allowed:

  • Butter
  • Pure vegetable oil.
  • Home-made salad dressings with allowed ingredients.
  • Lard & meat drippings.
  • Home-made gravies.

Restricted:

  • All fats & oils with colour and/or preservatives.
  • Hydroloyzed lecithin.
  • Margarine.
  • Pre-prepared salad dressings with restricted ingredients.
  • Pre-prepared gravies.

Spices & Herbs

Allowed:

  • All fresh, frozen or dried herbs and spices except those on the restricted list.

Restricted:

  • Anise
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Curry powder
  • Paprika
  • Nutmeg
  • Seasoning packets with restricted ingredients.
  • Foods labelled “with spices”.

Sweeteners

Allowed:

  • Sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Treacle
  • Maple syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Icing sugar
  • Pure jams, marmalades, conserves made with allowed ingredients.
  • Plain artificial sweeteners.
  • Home-made sweets made with allowed ingredients.

Restricted:

  • Flavoured syrups.
  • Prepared dessert fillings.
  • Prepared icings, frostings.
  • Spreads with restricted ingredients.
  • Cake decorations.
  • Commercial sweets (candies).

Miscellaneous

Allowed:

  • Baking powder.
  • Baking soda.
  • Cream of tartar.
  • Plain gelatin.
  • Home-made relishes with allowed ingredients.

Restricted:

  • Yeast and all yeast products including marmite, vegemite & bovril.
  • All chocolate and cocoa.
  • Flavoured gelatin (ie jelly/jello).
  • Mincemeat.
  • Prepared relishes and olives.
  • Vinegar and anything pickled in vinegar.
  • Most commercial salad dressings.
  • *Quorn is restricted on some lists (I assume because it’s so commercially prepared) but other lists don’t mention it at all. I eat some Quorn (like the mince, as it only has 4 ingredients) but not other Quorn products (like the burgers or sausages) because they contain many artificial ingredients some of which, like yeast, are restricted.

Beverages

Allowed:

  • Plain milk.
  • Pure juices of allowed fruits and vegetables.
  • Plain and carbonated mineral water.
  • Coffee.
  • Alcohol: plain *vodka, *gin, *white rum.

Restricted:

  • Flavoured milks.
  • Fruit juices and cocktails made with restricted ingredients.
  • All other carbonated drinks.
  • All teas.
  • All drinks with “flavour” or “spices”.
  • All alcohol unless on the allowed list, including beer, cider, wine.
  • Non-alcoholic beer and wines.

If you want a stricter low histamine diet, try the Mastocytosis Society of Canada’s list of allowed & restricted foods, although you’ll soon notice that they allow foods my diet does not and visca versa!


My version of the above diet is quite lax at the moment but I seem to be doing relatively well on it. I don’t have the time or energy (due to my M.E.) to make everything from scratch every day.  I absolutely have to be able to eat shop-bought produce, though I do choose those with as few ingredients as possible.  Click on the Low Histamine Shopping List Menu tab to see the kinds of groceries I buy each week, along with ingredients for pre-prepared items.

Being as though I’m pesco-vegetarian I do worry about my protein intake, so I personally include mild fermented cheeses like Mozzarella and Mild Cheddar.  I also occasionally include frozen fish like wild salmon, cod, haddock and pollock (which I figure is frozen very shortly after capture and gutting thereby reducing histamine production, whereas you don’t know how long fresh fish has been sitting around).  I will also eat bread containing yeast if I’m out or at someone else’s house, and I do still drink tea – so sue me ;-).

After my Immunology appointment I’ll get some advice on whether I need to be stricter on the list of foods I should avoid.

My list of daily breakfast foods include:

  • White toast (I use yeast free bread from the Village Bakery, see Shopping List for details), with butter and blueberry conserve or home-made Rhubarb jam (see Low Histamine Recipes page).
  • Allowed breakfast cereal (eg. Weetabix, Cornflakes, Bran Flakes) with organic skimmed milk.
  • Fresh fruit: a bowl of chopped cantaloupe melon, mango, bananas.
  • Organic Porridge Oats, with skimmed milk.

My list of daily lunch foods include:

  • Baked potato, or sweet potato, with ricotta cheese and sweetcorn.
  • Scrambled egg on yeast-free toast.
  • ‘Tesco’s’ Hummus with plain Italian breadsticks (contain yeast!) or if I have the time and energy chopped raw vegetable sticks, eg. cucumber, carrot. celery and even cauliflower.
  • Home-made soup with allowed ingredients.  Or ‘New Covent Garden’ Leek & Potato, or Carrot & Coriander, soups.  Plus yeast-free bread.
  • Soft boiled eggs with yeast-free toast ‘soldiers’ and butter.
  • Sliced banana and honey on yeast-free toast.
  • Egg mayo-less sandwich on yeast-free bread, plus a packet of plain ‘Kettle’ crisps or plain ‘Hoola Hoops’.
  • Home-made roasted vegetables in a flour tortilla (Tesco’s ownbrand are yeast free) spread with ‘Tesco’ organic hummus.
  • Organic mild cheddar cheese on toast.
  • A fried egg butty (though it’s not quite the same without a good dollop of tomato ketchup!).
  • Quorn ‘chicken’ deli fillets and home-made apple sauce sandwich on yeast-free bread, plus packet allowed crisps.
  • Stir fried vegetables (eg. beansprouts, spring onions, carrots, courgette, peppers, pak choi) with optional Quorn deli ‘chicken’ fillets, tossed in home-made sweet and sour sauce (see Recipe page) on a yeast-free wrap.  Serve hot or cold.

My list of daily dinners include:

  • Home-made mushroom risotto (see Recipe page).
  • Home-made lentil shepherd’s pie (see Recipe page).
  • Home-made roast Quorn dinner (Quorn roast ‘chicken’, home-made Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, home-made apple sauce and sweet potato/carrot casserole using the juice for gravy – see Recipe page for casserole).
  • Home-made roasted vegetable burritos with couscous.
  • Home-made lentil macaroni bake (see Recipe page).
  • Vegetable omelette plus halved baby potatoes fried in organic olive oil, or salad (no tomatoes or dressing).
  • Mixed bean casserole with garlic bread topping.
  • Frozen wild Alaskan salmon, with couscous and frozen peas (this is my “I’m shattered” and don’t have the energy to cook meal!).
  • Stir fried vegetables and Quorn in a home-made sweet ‘n sour sauce (see Recipe page), on rice or in a tortilla wrap.

Beverages:

  • ‘Innocent’ mango & apple juice drink, diluted with carbonated mineral water.
  • ‘Pom’ pomegranate juice, diluted with carbonated mineral water.
  • ‘Eden’ carrot juice.
  • Freshly juiced fruit and veg juices (see Recipe page).
  • Organic skimmed (fat free) milk.
  • Decaff tea (yes, I know it’s forbidden but life isn’t worth living without my cuppa!!!) or Organic white tea.
  • Elderflower cordial made with hot water -  makes a nice substitute for tea (most packaged herbal teabags contain fruits not allowed on the low histamine diet, such as strawberries and oranges).

Condiments & Sauces:

  • Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce: halleleujah this doesn’t contain tomatoes, is free from artifical colours and preservatives, and suitable for both vegetarians & vegans, however it does contain acetic acid.
  • Sharwood’s Green Label Mango Chutney, which also contains acetic acid).
  • ‘Tesco’s’ Organic Hummus.

Snacks & Desserts:

  • Lightly salted ‘Kettle’ chips, ie. crisps.
  • ‘Hoola Hoop’ crisps.
  • Tesco lightly salted Tortilla Chips.
  • ‘Ambrosia’ Rice Pudding dessert pot.
  • ‘Tesco’ Malted Milk biscuits.
  • ‘Tesco Finest’ all butter traditional Scottish Shortbread biscuits.
  • ‘Botham’s of Whitby’ tea biscuits which I get at Booths supermarkets.
  • ‘Uncle Joe’s’ mint ball sweets available from Tesco.
  • Haagen-Dazs Dairy Vanilla ice cream.

Miscellaneous:

  • Carnation ‘Light’ or regular Condensed Milk.
  • ‘Pataks’ pappadums.

Further Notes

Acetic Acid:  I’m really conflicted about this ingredient.  On the one hand it is, I think (!), made from a process of fermentation and is the main component in vinegar.  However it is NOT vinegar, which is made by a further fermentation process.  Acetic acid is naturally occurring in body fluids and plant extracts and plays a role in body metabolism.  Although an E number (E260) it is not artificial and has no known contraindications to human health.  It’s present in lots of commercial products, including some bread, as it inhibits mould growth and has antibacterial properties.  Unless someone with much more knowledge than me can tell me I shouldn’t be eating it, it’s on my ‘allowed’ list in small quantities.

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Tags: low histamine diet, low histamine foods

38 thoughts on “Low Histamine Diet

  1. krazykemist

    Vinegar is basically a 2 to 5% aqueous acetic acid solution, with or without other stuff, depending whether it has been purified, and what it comes from. It is produced after fermentation, if you expose the alcohol produced by fermentation to oxygen. For instance, you’ll get vinegar from wine if you blow air in it, or if you simply open the bottle and leave it there for some time. Or from apple cider in the same way. And yes, it is produced in some metabolic pathways, such as the one we use to metabolize alcohol (alcohol to formaldehyde, formaldehyde to acetic acid).

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Thanks for that explanation krazykemist. I’m none the wiser, but that’s just me being totally dense lol! The mango chutney just tastes so nice that it’s going to be my little cheat once in a while – doesn’t seem to do me any harm (at least that’s what I tell myself!).

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    1. Fruitbat

      Oh yes and how about avocado (I read elsewhere its high in histamine) and grapefruit? I notice you allow some citrus (which is music to my ears) when many other folk advise avoiding all citrus.

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    2. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Fruitbat. If you see the last paragraph before the actual food list it says “Items marked with an * are considered controversial and excluded, or included, by other versions of this diet.”

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      1. bertieandme Post author

        The truth about low histamine food lists is this: there aren’t any. I know that’s not what anyone wants to hear, but it is the truth. As far as I’m aware (bearing in mind I’m not any kind of expert, I’m just a normal person struggling along with the rest of you) there have been no large scale studies done into the histamine content of foods and certainly no studies done into the histamine content of *all* foods. Most of the lists you will see online are based on questionnaire’s of how people with Histamine issues have reacted to a particular food, and as we all react differently that’s why the lists differ so much.

        The waters get even muddier when you get into histamine liberators and DAO blocking foods. I can’t find any studies at all done on these, so I have no idea how this information has been reached – if anyone can point me in the direction of research into these areas please do!

        It’s such a new area that I think much of the information is pure guesswork.

        As for avocado, I haven’t included it on my list because it wasn’t on the list which my diet is based on (I don’t like avocado anyway, so that’s not a problem for me).

        I’ve included *small amounts* of lemon juice because without it food is disgusting and doesn’t store – if you react to lemon juice, don’t eat it. There is *no* definitive low histamine food list – they don’t exist. The diet I’m following is one which isn’t excessively restrictive because I think the very restricted diets are unhealthy in that they cut out too many food groups. As I’ve stated in this piece, we all react differently so just eat what you can and avoid what you react to – it really is that simple.

        Jak x

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Thanks for that dj. As I’ve said above though, in my opinion there is no definitive list of low histamine foods – they don’t exist as not enough research has been done in this area yet. If you find a more restrictive diet helps then that’s great. I’m OK following a less restrictive diet and all I’m sharing with this blog is my own personal journey – I don’t claim to be any kind of expert, just struggling with histamine along with the rest of you.

      Jak x

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  2. Christine

    I’m currently suffering a horrible bout of urticaria and because I’m breast feeding I can’t take any medications. Finding your blog feels as though it’s the light at the end of the tunnel to get through this bout. Thanks so much for providing so much information.

    I’m an Aussie living in England, I noticed you’ve got some Tesco products listed so I guess you’re in the UK somewhere? Where do you buy Quark from? I’m vegetarian which further decreases my possible food choices so wondered where you were able to purchase Quark. TIA

    Christine

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Christine

      I feel for you – not being able to tolerate drugs makes managing symptoms so difficult. Are you able to use rub-on creams? I find Tea Tree cream from my local health shop helps with the itching of my hives if used 3 times a day, and will eventually settle them down. Or if you can tolerate something stronger whilst pregnant you could try a hydrocortisone cream bought over the counter.

      I buy my Quark from Tesco. It’s made locally to me (yes, I’m in England and live in the Lake District). The manufacturer’s website is here http://www.lakedistrictquark.co.uk/. This particular Quark is also available from Morrisons, Ocado and Sainsburys.

      Jak x

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  3. Christine

    HI Jak

    Many thanks for your prompt reply. I saw my GP today he prescribed prednisolone (just for 3 days). I now think this recent bout was triggered by nurofen. I’m allergic to paracetamol and following surgery last week I was only given nurofen for pain relief – I didn’t realise it was a known urticaria trigger. Had I known I would have told the anaesthetist and not just the surgeon that I suffer from urticaria :/

    On the bright side, I’ve found your site and I can implement some changes to hopefully lessen my urticaria bouts (the GP has ordered some blood tests – it will be good to try and get to the bottom of it). As an escape clause many things are not recommended for use while breast feeding or pregnancy as no tests have been conducted (and for ethics reasons never will be, I’m ok with this!).

    I’ll ask about tea-tree lotion at the health food store (time time at Holland & Barrett she recommended aloe vera – it’s done nothing).

    I must have blinkers on while I’m at the supermarket, I’ll keep an eye out for Quark next time I’m there. Thanks again
    Christine

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    1. Jen

      Hi Christine,

      I am scheduled to have surgery at the end of the month and am worried about getting a reaction to the anesthesia. So your reaction was to the pain meds and not the anesthesia itself? Do you have any advice on this?

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  4. Christine

    My reaction was definitely to my pain relief (ibuprofen – it is a known trigger for urticaria sufferers). I actually had quite severe hives on my legs prior to surgery & once I came around it had cleared up. I now joke I just need some sleep to avoid urticaria (I have 2 young children & I’ve not slept a full night through in over 2 years).

    I hope your surgery goes well & you don’t suffer any ill effects xx

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  5. nessa

    Hi!
    This list is great! I have chronic hives, many food allergies, and also DPU (Delayed pressure Urticaria) Otherwise known as pressure hives. Any minor injury, or overuse of any part of the body and it swells up with deep hives like a balloon accompanied with a lot of pain/numbness. Very debilitating and frustrating. I figured since my body is creating SO much histamine, and attacking itself constantly with hives,maybe a diet of foods with very low histamines could possibly help. This was informative!

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Nessa

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, though sorry to hear about your awful symptoms. I’m glad you’ve found the information helpful and I hope you can find a way of lessoning your hives. It took about 4 months for me to see that the diet was helping, and I initially felt quite rough on it, so don’t give up straight away if it looks like it isn’t working. Jak x

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      1. Nessa

        Hello again! I just wanted to let you know I’ve been following *your* diet for about a week and a half! I realize there are other antihistamine diets out there, but I chose yours! I started a blog, to keep track of exactly what I eat, and how I am feeling. Mostly to keep track of everything for my own self, but also to possibly help others! Trying to be as detailed as possible! I also posted my grocery list for here in the states (California). I’m not sure if it’s helping hive-wise but we sure are eating better! I’m sticking with this! Here is my blog if anyone would like to take a look at how I started all of this:

        http://dealingwithhives.blogspot.com/

        And thank you again! If i had not stumbled upon your page I probably would have never started this diet!

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        1. bertieandme Post author

          Hi Nessa

          Your blog looks great :-) . It’s a fab idea to put the information out there so that you can help other people. If the aloe is causing a problem, you could try high dose Vitamin C which is a mast cell stabilizer. You can get non citrus Vit C (I’m trying Ester C but I don’t know if that’s available in the States). Take it in divided doses during the day as you pee excess Vit C out quickly.

          Your reaction after the carrot/sprout dinner was odd – just because something is low in histamine doesn’t mean you won’t react to it though. I found I was reacting to apples – I was drinking loads of fresh apple juice! Be interesting to see what happens when you have the same meal again and if you react, or whether it was indeed just stress that day. Well done on the blog and keep me posted as to how it goes. Jak x

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  6. Lynn

    Hello!
    I have read so many blogs, articles, webpages, and even ordered a cookbook for low histamine diets. By far, your list is the best. An acquaintance told me to basically follow a gluten free diet- but I could eat plain oats. He also told me under no circumstances should I eat tomatoes, spinach, chocolate, strawberries, bananas, peanuts, tea (certain “teas” are allowed), chewing gum, soda pop (carbonated beverage), cranberries, licorice, or chicken. Brown sugar should also be used over white sugar. The “teas” that were recommended were organic ginger/ turmeric tea, organic chamomile tea, organic oregano tea, and organic Reishi mushroom tea. These teas will supposedly counteract (?) histamine; the reishi mushroom tea is supposed to stop histamine before it starts. I have ordered these teas, but have yet to try them. I will post my experiences with these teas.

    Thank you so much for your blog, grocery list, and recipes! I literally printed off your lists and added a few ingredients of my own. Lynn

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Lynn

      I’m delighted you’re finding the list and recipes helpful :-) Funnily enough I don’t do well with Oats – just shows how individual we all are! I’m not a big believer in cutting out things unless I can prove I react to them – lists are just guidelines. I try something for a week and if I’m OK on it I eat it, even if some list somewhere says not to! Jak x

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  7. Kay

    Waw confusing but im sure when my head calms down il make sense of it. I should definitely try this as its made the most perfect sense I thought my body was going crazy im now hoping this will make a difference. It adds up especially with how my gut reacts debilitating symptoms the dr just have pills as a sultan id got to the point of I can’t find the course im stuck nit knowing when I will be in shere agony ans when it will be just bearable or not able to eat or when do I need my next anti histamine because the uncontrolled ridiculous itching would serfice again and the list just goes on. I know something is wrong I just didn’t know where to begin. But it makes sense because I use anti histamine to control my symptoms like itching so much that just that alone kinda says it all and its often 1every 2-4 days or somewhere in between and with out fail it will return. This could be just what I need to reduce the issues

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Kay

      Really sorry to hear you are suffering. I hope the low histamine diet helps. It sounds like you need to try and find a doctor who is knowledgeable on mast cell issues too, which sadly I can’t help with unless you are in the UK, USA or Spain? You could try joining one of the online groups listed on the Links & Resources page and see if anyone knows who are the mast cell experts where you live. Good luck with it all, I know how overwhelming it all seems.

      Jak x

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  8. Cindy Cluett

    Finally someone can tell me what I should be eating and what to avoid, as I have been asking Profeesionals (Doctors and Dieticians) for the last 15 years and no one could help!
    I love the internet and modern technology.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      I’m with you on loving the internet! To be fair though, the whole histamine field is so new that hardly anyone knows anything as so little research has been done, so it’s unsurprising that medical professionals don’t have the answers to our questions. Do bear in mind that this is a basic list which suits me personally – it’s a good starting point, but you may find you can tolerate things I can’t and visa versa. We’re all so individual we need to find a diet which suits us personally. Good luck and I hope the diet helps x

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  9. Heather

    Thanks for your time for writing “Low Histamine Diet
    | Mast Cells & Collagen Behaving Badly”. I reallymight certainly be
    back again for more reading through and commenting soon
    enough. Thank you, Launa

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      I feel your pain Lisa! The first 4 months were hell, but I’m used to it now and gradually finding foods to substitute my old favourites. Still miss chocolate but!! The worst part for me is the time it takes. Making everything from scratch is *really* time consuming, and expensive! But to not be worried about anaphylaxis every time I eat is worth it all. I’m still on drugs too though, they’re just as important as the diet for me personally. Jak x

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  10. Lisa Helt

    I swear sometimes I live on a steady diet of gas x, maloxx, pepto bismol , and the like, I have been so sick for 2 days, extremely bloated and distended, been like this since I was a teen, my mother has it, my grandmother suffered her whole life with it

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  11. Ragnarok

    i guess we all have our different sensitivities, I’ve been trying to nail down my migraine triggers…
    So far, They are:
    Non-dairy coffee creamers
    American cheese (Funny I don’t react to cheeses on the no-no list)
    Azodicarbonamide (used in bread)
    Chicory root extract
    Honey
    Peanut butter (just store brands)

    American cheese is by far my worst trigger, It’ll have me on the couch for a least a whole day writhing in pain…

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Thanks for the comment though sorry to hear you’re suffering. Food intolerance/sensitivities are a whole other area from mast cell disorders. MCAD isn’t an allergy or sensitivity disorder, which I know many people find confusing as it involves histamine and histamine is produced in allergies etc. Glad you’ve found your triggers though – migraines are the pits!

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  12. Susan

    It’s funny when I’ve never reacted to food before. I’m wondering why all of a sudden now? I wonder what happened t o change me. And I’ve always eaten large amounts of things on the ‘no’ list. Another one to add on the avoid list, is animal fats and deep fried fats.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Susan

      I know, I felt the same way. I’d reacted to drugs for many years but the one thing that was never affected by anything was my stomach. Apart from slow transit I never had *any* stomach issues and absolutely loved my food. My entire diet was made up of things high in histamine and they just didn’t both me! And then 2 years ago BAM – I started reacting to everything I ate! Like you I’ve no idea what set it off. However, when I had an endoscopy they found 11 stomach polyps, so obviously damage had been occurring in my stomach for years without me realising.

      Jak x

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  13. susie

    jak x,

    First, I’d like to know where collagen ties in? And second, I feel much of the why this is happening is related to gut dysbiosis, as least it is for me.
    I’ve had issues with constipation most of my life and within the past five years my symptoms (many of the same complaints as everyone else) have steadily gotten worse to where they can’t ignored any longer.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      Hi Susie

      MCAD appears to be much more common in the Ehlers-Danlos population than the healthy population. No research conclusions have been reached yet as to why, but Dr Maitland (a leading MCAD Immunologist in New York who also sees many EDS patients) theorizes it’s because mast cells live in the “extra cellular matrix” (ie. the connective tissue) and of course in EDS the connective tissue is faulty. The collagen doesn’t have enough ‘brake’ – in other words it’s over excitable. She thinks the collagen is mis-communicating with the mast cells living within it, in turn making them over-excitable.

      I know many people agree with you re the gut dysbiosis, but I’m unsure whether it’s a chicken or an egg situation. The gut is prolific with mast cells. The gut is also almost entirely made up of connective tissue, which again in EDS is over-stretchy and causes mast cells to be overactive and de-granulate too readily. Mast cell de-granulation causes the gut walls to become leaky (see the Canary post on this blog for more info) and allow proteins from food to enter the bloodstream (ie leaky gut syndrome) causing food reactions.

      It’s all such a minefield of overlapping ‘faults’ it’s hard to know what is primarily causing what.

      From the people who have contacted me, nearly all are women and most seem to develop really severe EDS and mast cell issues around the age of 40 so one can only assume there is some hormonal trigger which increases the severity of symptoms.

      Jak x

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      1. Susan

        I fit into that category although the first time I had dermatitis all over my body (showed up a little differently back then), was 10 years ago when I was in my early 30s. At the time I didn’t attribute it to food – histamine. I was stressed, lacked sleep, we were moving, and I had cleaned out with a gloved hand what I think was a huge block of dried mold from around my under-the-sink pipe. Back then I didn’t know about health and alternative medicine, so I did the standard drugs and steroid creams to make the dermatitis go away.

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  14. Susan

    It’s funny as I’ve never had an allergy to food before, never restricted my diet, and all of a sudden certain foods trigger horrible eczema on me. Thank God that is all it is. I feel for the rest of you who have other symptoms. An acupuncturist has helped me calm down the eczema , yet no one can seem to offer an explanation on what created my sudden histamine intolerance. I’m wondering, is it that we have recent pollutants in the environment we didn’t have before? Even stranger is I was really careful to eat only healthy, unprocessed food, raw dairies, pastured meats, healthy fats. The rest of me is healthy except my skin.

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    1. bertieandme Post author

      I’ve reacted to drugs for many years, but could eat absolutely anything I liked with no problems whatsoever until April 2012 when all hell broke loose and I started passing out after every meal. It came totally out of the blue and I’ve no idea why. I live in the middle of nowhere with very clean air and water (I live in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), my home and myself are virtually chemical free, I eat organically – I wish I had the answers but sadly I don’t think anyone does.

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