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A histamine question

Discussion in 'Detox: Methylation; B12; Glutathione; Chelation' started by Johnmac, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    I largely fixed my chronic fatigue by mid-year with the B12 oils, after beginning them in Feb.

    After this process began I developed severe intolerances to FODMAP foods. At the same time I got a parasitic skin infection from my third world travel - cutaneous leishmaniasis – which was accompanied, as it often is, by boils.

    I began by going on the low-FODMAP diet – which was effectual for the gut.

    However after the recommended 2 months on the diet I couldn’t reintroduce FODMAP foods without gut consequences. I bought some Vaalia yogurt, which contains L. rhamnosus – the bacterial strain with the most studies relating to gut-fixing. I cultured some in coconut milk (I don’t do well with dairy), & also cultured a few other strains (either mixed together or separately) to get the needed bacterial diversity that the studies also point to. (For example L. paracasei shirota from Yakult, which has great studies behind it.)

    Ably helped by @Gondwanaland, I ate all the above quite small quantities, & was fairly quickly able to reintroduce FODMAPs – carefully at first, & now with some abandon. The skin problems stopped too.

    I’m also quite a lot calmer & less stress-prone, which fits with the theory that psychology begins in the gut.

    So far so good, but about a month ago the yogurts started giving me headaches, runny nose, severe fatigue, itching eyes, palps & more – histamines! I went down to 1 teaspoonful a day, & even that gave me symptoms sometimes.

    For the first time I also began to get bad histamine reactions to foods such as beans, alcohol, cold meat, pickled veg.

    I suspect I’ve had these reactions, mildly, for years. My question is why would they flare up into full-blown symptomatology now? My health in most other respects is much improved.

    I'm puzzled because histamine response is supposed to improve with improving methylation & gut function - not get worse.
     
    wonderoushope and Gondwanaland like this.
  2. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    Hi @Johnmac i experienced the same curve of improvement and worsening as you. The probx at first improve histamine metabolism and then overburden the system with all kinds of amines. I had to carefully supplement myself out of it with small amounts of B2, B6 and, more importantly, B5 since the downstream byproduct of amines is uric acid (so careful with B2). Magnesium is important to conter the acidity from urates, and the only non-acidifying form is magnesium oxide (the only one I tolerate).

    It seems that everytime I have to take abx, the worse it is to deal with probx.
     
  3. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Thanks (again!) @Gondwanaland! I assume this is the 'curve' you warned me about in the recent past.

    I'll begin the supps you suggest.

    Also, Dr Jeff Leach of the American Gut Project says that his gut flora are more healthy & diverse than his probiotic-consuming colleagues', & yet he never consumes probiotics. His approach is to feed the good flora with the right prebiotic foods. Do you think that approach is sound?

    Maybe I'll have to renounce probiotics & do that now, as these (hist?)amine attacks are pretty strong. You feel good at midday, then by 2pm:

    Dizzy when you stand
    Itching eyes
    Palps
    Headache
    Fatigue
    Brainfog
    Reflux
    Chest pain
    Runny nose

    I'm grateful in a way, as I think histamines have affected me more mildly for years, & these dramatic episodes have unmasked the cause - with your help.
     
  4. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    By the way, in the course of a month's probiotic research I've compiled three documents:

    1. Table of conditions; which probiotics help or fix them; food & supplement sources for these. (4 columns)

    2. The same info in list form, but with each strain being the first item. I.e. what each bacterial strain does for X, Y & Z conditions.

    3. List of yogurt brands & which strains they contain. (From writing to all the yogurt manufacturers.)

    pdf or Word - tho only the Word will allow you to click on the citations.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  5. roller

    roller wiggle jiggle

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    @Johnmac

    how was the leishmaniasis diagnosed?
    what treatment did you get?
     
  6. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    I was interested in what happened to you @Johnmac as I felt I had a big improvement energy and stamina wise this summer, some of which I put down to better methylation. However since then I also had a 'histamine' revelation. I have had food intolerance symptoms for years, (chronic upper gut pain), and evolved my own personal limited diet, but things got more severe in the late summer with what I now know to be increased histamine issues. I had Allergic Rhinitis for a while, and mine seemed to be triggered by the eye drops I was given for an eye operation in August, and maybe the stress from the op.

    I realised that my food restrictions were mostly to high histamine foods, and stopped the kefir I had been making for around 3 years due to the side effects. I had to also cut back on even more foods that I didn't know previously could be high in histamine.

    Thankfully now it's settled a lot, and I can put back some foods like live sheep yogurt in small amounts. Also I have bought some probiotics (Symprove) in for a short course as I am to have a colonoscopy tomorrow and felt that I needed them to help repopulate the colon. I already take a good B complex as Godwanaland mentions though I see it does not have Vit B5 in it. I checked the food list and eat some of those foods that it's in though.

    Unfortunately in my case, my stamina is not doing so well after 2 colds in 6 weeks, and I am getting my usual winter slump.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  7. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Hi Mermaid (actually I'm Johnmac).

    Gondwanaland kinda pioneered this - taking the probiotics to repopulate the gut, but then having them cause histamine issues. I got knocked flat by 1 teaspoon of yogurt yesterday, so I'll abandon the probiotics for a while till all that settles down; & try the American Gut Project approach of boosting gut bugs indirectly by eating tons of prebiotic foods.

    I just started taking the supps Gondwanaland suggests & have noticed a bit of an improvement histamine-wise.

    Why are you getting colds?
     
  8. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    how was the leishmaniasis diagnosed?

    It was Dr Greg at B12 Oils who first said that's what it sounded like, from my emailed descriptions. Then I looked up pics & symptom lists, & it seemed very likely that's what it was - especially as I've spent several years in Cambodia of late.

    what treatment did you get?

    I don't do doctors, so I figured out a mechanism for myself - gut dysbiosis whacking my immune system. So I improved the gut dysbiosis (low-FODMAP diet, probiotics, & now some prebiotic foods) & there have been no recurrences (touch wood).
     
    roller likes this.
  9. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I do. Next I will be working on taking digestive enzymes and reintroducing traditionally fermented rye bread. Being gluten free since 2013 didn't help my health, especially my hormone profile. Grains are a rich source of PABA and manganese, which are essential for hormonal help - PABA supports proper B5 functioning and manganese is important for estrogen, GABA etc., not to mention the abundance of FOS in those foods.

    Obviously eating refined grains in industrial products do nothing but harm people's health, esp. those who take abx.
     
  10. mermaid

    mermaid Senior Member

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    Apologies @Johnmac for the wrong tagging - I will see if I can edit the other post.

    Yes, I do think using prebiotics is probably the best idea long term. However I just looked at a list of them and do have some of them, but not others. We do eat a lot of leeks and I even grow them in my garden although I would struggle to eat them raw! As someone with IBS all my life (40+ years) I would tend to avoid these foods as being high FODMAP as they would make me feel very uncomfortable and windy I suspect. I do however take digestive enzymes and have for quite a while.

    Re the colds.... my immune system has been wonky ever since I had ME - the constant feeling of going down with something. It seemed much improved until recently though. Maybe it's less wonky if I am getting real colds now - have had 2 proper ones in 3 months and one this week that seemed like a mild cold. I am wondering if my thyroid meds having been lowered by the annoying endo I had to see, is not helping things though. I now suspect that my body needs a bit more for the immune system to work properly but he is of the view that I was overdosed as my TSH is below range.
     
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  11. alicec

    alicec Senior Member

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    FODMAP intolerance, histamine sensitivity etc suggest gut dysbiosis so yes this seems a very good idea.

    Be careful with concentrated fibre sources - start with small amounts. I found I couldn't tolerate any at one point so just concentrated on eating as wide a variety of vegetables in as big a quantity as possible (including some starchy vegetables). Eventually I did tolerate the prebiotics.

    I thought a variety of concentrated prebiotics of different types in moderate amounts would be more useful than large amounts of one or two (more like what happens when we eat food) and this does seem to helped my gut considerably.

    Also from what I have read of the prebiotic approach, including from Jeff Leach, it makes more sense to look for prebiotic sources that reflect whole foods (eg aloe vera inner leaf powder, acacia gum, larch extract, baobab powder, psyllium, seaweeds, mushrooms etc) rather than highly processed laboratory creations. Again it is more like what happens when we eat - we are just boosting the process a bit.

    I do use small amounts of the latter type (eg Benefibre) to help boost resistant starch type prebiotics plus some hybrid types - inulin/FOS, PGX, raw potato starch.
     
    Gondwanaland likes this.
  12. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    @mermaid, I had pretty terrible FODMAP symptoms earlier in the year The low-FODMAP diet kept symptoms at bay but I could never ramp up FODMAPs much after the two month withholding period. So I tried culturing up some yogurts (in coconut milk) from the cultures that the help gut (notably L. rhamnosus), & from numerous other cultures (because bacterial variety may help the gut most of all).

    That was the door-opener for me, enabling me to reintroduce FODMAPs. A few weeks later I can now much raw garlic & spring onions.

    (The yogurts have also apparently given me histamine problems, so I shall have to go off them now. But that's fine as they've done their job; I'm hopeful that FODMAP/prebiotic foods will now generate the needed gut flora - a better method anyway.)

    I was hypothyroid for a long time, & retired it without the help of doctors, whom I regard as rather dangerous.
     
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  13. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Thanks for some very good advice Alice. Variety & small amounts seem a great approach. I'm hopeful that careful ramping up of the prebiotic substances & the dietary FODMAPs will continue to improve my gut & thus the histamine problem.
     
  14. Jimbo39

    Jimbo39 Senior Member

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    @Johnmac My gut is doing much better since I quit eating histamine rich foods. Tomatoes and spinach seemed to be the worst offenders.

    Maybe there are those here who can explain why increasing B12 led to a histamine reaction?

    Am I right in assuming proper gut flora will keep histamine levels low? How does this work?

    I would like to supplement with coconut yogurt as I'm also dairy sensitive. Did you say you make it yourself? How? The only store bought one I could find has loads of sugar in it.

    When my gut is not doing well, I usually increase my colostrum intake. This usually pulls me out of it within a week.
     
    Demepivo likes this.
  15. Demepivo

    Demepivo Dolores Abernathy

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    @John Mac I have eczema & had a rather bad flare up over the summer. My sleep began to get disrupted and stress levels increased making everything worse. Throw in a hot spell which made me sweat, you had a nightmare mix for ezcema.

    Fortunately my GP was able to help with moisturising shower gels, an emollient (moisturising cream) & a strong steriod cream. Doctor also recommended Chlorphenamine aka Piroton, taking it at night to get over the drowsiness problem.

    I started noting what foodstuffs increased levels of histamine: alcohol, sugar, salty food, pickles & probiotic yoghurts. I also changed the anti-histamine.

    In the end I cut out all the salty & probiotic foodstuffs, the creams started working and the ezcema died down.

    Why the flare up? The immune system is up to something. :)
     
    Johnmac likes this.
  16. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I think it creates an unbalance and a higher need for the histamine-lowering vitamins B2, B5, B6 (snowball effect).
     
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  17. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    Jimbo, assuming you meant @Johnmac:

    Fixing the gut is supposed to repair the histamine problem, tho the problem is cyclic: Histamine intolerance > gut issues > failure to break down histamine > worse gut issues.

    Chris Kresser on histaminic foods: "Because in most cases, when you do address the underlying causes—like the gut dysbiosis and methylation—then most people are able to add some of these foods back in without any ill effects."

    I admittedly don't understand this well, & indeed I appear to have improved methylation a lot, & largely fixed my gut's problem with FODMAPs, yet I still get raging histamine symptoms. That might be because it hasn't been long enough since I reduced histaminic foods - the bucket hasn't emptied enough yet...?

    Maybe someone else has some clues?

    What I do know is that it seems a better approach (from a flora POV & a histamine POV) to eat fibrous foods like onions & asparagus stalks + prebiotic supplements from real foods - & keep the variety high in both cases - than to gulp down yogurt, which has brought me to grief.

    Paradoxically, I had to begin that path with L. rhamnosus & other yogurts: that 1. Allowed me to start eating FODMAPs again (& within 6 weeks I am eating raw garlic cloves without incident: this would have half-killed me a few months ago) and 2. Gave me big histamine reactions. I'm hoping the latter will settle down now I'm off fermented foods.

    If you look at this list of histamine levels in food...

    http://c7c.37f.myftpupload.com/histamine-in-foods-list/

    ...you can see that fruit & veg are not big risks - it's the ferments, unfresh meats, oily fish & milk that are much bigger problems. How much this translates to reality I don't know. Maybe @alicec has an idea.

    (BTW the above site, which @Gondwanaland put me onto, is a great resource on histamines.)

    I make coconut cream yogurt (the milk is too thin IMO). In Australia two only brands are thick enough to produce good yogurt, so it required some experimentation to find them. Just heat the cream till it steams (not boils, tho boiling doesn't seem to hurt it); let it cool till it's warm (maybe 38 degrees); tip it into a non metal vessel containing a tablespoon or two of store-bought yogurt; keep it warm for 24 hours; the refrigerate. I put mine in an esky with a jar or two with hot water in them, which I change every few hours. A yogurt-maker would be better: I'm getting one for Xmas. In Asia I just leave it on the shelf for 24 hours. But bear in mind that this approach (+ lots of prebiotic food) miraculously fixed my gut, but then gave me a horrible histamine meltdown.

    I have put together a doc tabulating which strains of yogurt fix which disorder; & which brands they come in, if you want it.
     
    Jimbo39 likes this.
  18. Johnmac

    Johnmac Senior Member

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    But I have questions too - if there are histamine experts out there:

    1. Is the pro-histamine part of fermented food simply the bacteria? Or is there something else that generates histamine? I ask because some coconut yogurt containing L. rhamnosus (supposedly anti-histamine) & B lactis (Bifido strains are normally anti-histamine) knocked me flat.

    2. Another thing I’m hazy about - as a newcomer to histamine problems - is the timelines of histamine build-up. All I know is that if I eat something high-histamine (usually fermented food) I get symptoms in about 2 hours; they take maybe 3 days to abate, on average. But I presume the yogurt was the final stage – the last inch of water that made the bucket overflow. How long do build-ups of histamine take? And how long does the degradation take - i.e. till you feel better?

    I ask because the Low Histamine Chef (a good source on this subject) talks in terms of months to get well, whereas for me it seems to be more like days, if I take care what I eat.

    3. Related to that: Once the big reactions have died down, how completely can one typically eventually begin eating histamine foods again? Do most people make a full or only partial recovery?

    4. As mentioned to Jimbo above, I get the impression from the lists of actual histamine content (mg/kg) in foods that fermented foods & preserved meats are the real things to worry about, & that fresh fruit & vegetables have, by comparison, pretty low histamine counts. That suggests that for someone with only mild histamine problems, there’d be no need to cut out any fruits & veges. That seems to work for me sometimes. I sometimes (not always) eat some banned veges like onion & leafy greens & - so long as I stay off ferments & unfresh meats – continue to improve.

    5. Here's one I've already asked @Gondwanaland:

    If I get a billion probiotic bacteria into my gut by eating yogurt, I get histamine symptoms.

    But if I eat prebiotic foods, & a billion of the same bacteria then breed up, I don't get histamine symptoms.

    Why the difference?


    Thanks!
     
  19. Jimbo39

    Jimbo39 Senior Member

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    When I increased B2 and B6 (and folate) it pulled me out of my flu like symptoms which I'm assuming we're caused by herxing/histamine reaction. Also, my mind is clearer than I don't know when. Unfortunately B2 and B6 caused more gut pain.

    I think this is unrelated to any histamine reaction. I just can't seem to tolerate oral B complexes. I wonder why?

    I ordered Source Naturals sublinguals. I want to try the oils but they're on Cristmas break until mid Jan.
     
  20. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    My husband gets that too. I suspect it is from low copper. I gave him copper once and it worked, but it's not something I want to play with.
     

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