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Can Histamine Intolerance Cause Anxiety? Exploring the Link and Effective Strategies

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I'm Joanne
I’m a Naturopath, MTHFR & Methylation Specialist. I’m dedicated to helping you achieve your health goals so you can live a vibrant & fulfilling life

Can Histamine Intolerance Cause Anxiety? Exploring the Link and Effective Strategies

Introduction

Can histamine intolerance contribute to anxiety? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the potential connection between histamine intolerance and anxiety symptoms. Understanding this relationship is essential for effectively managing both conditions. Let’s explore the impact of histamine on the brain, how it triggers anxiety, and steps you can take to alleviate histamine-related anxiety symptoms.

Histamine Intolerance Symptoms and its Role in the Brain

Histamine intolerance manifests in various symptoms, including anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and nausea. While histamine is commonly associated with allergic reactions, it also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It influences important brain functions like learning, memory, attention, and stress hormone release.

Histamine in the Brain and its Regulation

The brain produces its own histamine, which is separate from histamine in the body. Histamine in the body doesn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. The brain metabolizes histamine through the Histamine-N-Methyl-transferase (HNMT) enzyme and the MAO-B enzyme. Genetic mutations in these enzymes can lead to histamine build-up in the brain.

The Role of Histamine in Anxiety

Elevated histamine levels disrupt the sleep-wake cycle, leading to insomnia, a significant contributor to anxiety. Fluctuations in estrogen levels also influence histamine production in the brain, exacerbating anxiety symptoms. Histamine promotes the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and noradrenaline, contributing to physical anxiety symptoms such as heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, shaking, and nausea.

Strategies to Reduce Histamine-Related Anxiety

1. Address SAM production blockages:

Look for any issues with the MTHFR enzyme, which is involved in SAM production. Support it through appropriate supplementation and a healthy diet.

2. Ensure sufficient Vitamin B12 intake:

Consume animal protein regularly or consider Vitamin B12 supplementation to support SAM production.

3. Optimize nutrient levels:

B Group vitamins, zinc, choline, and methionine are essential for SAM production. Vitamin B2 plays a crucial role as a cofactor for the MAO-B enzyme.

4. Reduce histamine load:

Limit histamine-rich foods such as fermented foods, aged cheeses, cured meats, tinned fish, tomato, avocado, and alcohol in your diet.

5. Address SIBO and gut dysbiosis:

Treating these gut issues is vital as they increase histamine levels in the body.

6. Support estrogen detoxification:

Promote healthy liver function to aid in the detoxification of estrogen, as proper methylation is crucial for phase II liver detoxification.

Conclusion

Histamine intolerance and anxiety can have an interwoven relationship. By understanding the impact of histamine on the brain and its role in triggering anxiety symptoms, you can implement strategies to manage histamine-related anxiety effectively. However, it’s important to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your specific needs.

References

Shan L, Bao A & Swabb D, 2015, ‘The Human histaminergic system in neuropsychiatric disorders’, Trends in Neurosciences, vol 38, no. 3, pp.167-177 PMID: 25575625

Rutherford K et al, 2008,  ‘The Histamine N-Methyltransferase T105I Polymorphism Affects Active Site Structure and Dynamics’, Biochemistry, vol. 22, no. 47, pp.893-901 PMID: 18154359

Hass HL, Sergeeva OA & Selbach O, 2008, ‘Histamine in the nervous system’ Physiological Reviews’, vol. 88, no 3, pp 1183-124Hu W & Chen Z, ‘The roles of histamine and its receptor ligands in central nervous system disorders: An update’, Pharmacology & Therapeutics, vol 175, pp.116-132 PMID: 28223162

Disclaimer:

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice.

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