I know - bathtub illustrations and science knowledge are lovely but they don't give you the practical answer to solving your histamine intolerance puzzle. And that's the challenge - because each of us is going to have a somewhat different solution because we all have different genetics, different life stories with different exposures and illnesses and we all have a different bunch of foods we eat most often.
Actually solving your histamine intolerance puzzle comes down to exploring three big things: your story, your genetics and your labs. Each one provides insights into your unique situation.
Your Story and Histamine Intolerance
In medicine, we talk a lot about getting someone's history. That's your story. Studies have shown history ALONE can provide the final diagnosis in 76% of medical cases. (Now you know why I get so frustrated when I hear about providers who don't or can't sit still long enough to listen to your story!) Your story is important. Period. If you have never heard me talk about writing out your story as a timeline, here is a video I did a while back. If nothing else, it helps you start to put together some of the pieces you may have never connected before.
I know you…you're reading everything you can find on the internet, diving down rabbit holes and watching all the videos on TikTok. You have amazing information at your fingertips. But the most important information gathering you can do is to know your story.
Your Genetics and Histamine Intolerance
We've talked through a bunch of genetics! The thing to understand about genetics is that they only tell part of the story. If everyone with a slow DAO gene truly had low levels of the enzyme in their gut, none of us would be able to get into the bathroom! There are other choices you make over the course of the day which impact how genetics actually play out - and that's called epigenetics. Ultimately, I look at epigenetics as the real reason we all need some self-care!
What are your individual genetics? A few resources for finding out are either Ancestry (I do prefer over 23andMe) with a Strategene Report, SmartDNA which is a private company out of Australia or even MaxGen. There are others…but I do recommend you research what results they provide and determine if those results will answer your questions. For instance, make sure they give you results of the genes we've discussed already - MTHFR, DAO (the gene is actually called AOC1), ALDH family, MAOA and HNMT. Questions? Just ask! Happy to tell you about my experiences with all of these companies.
Your Labs and Histamine Intolerance
And then your labs. The brain they gave me in medical school is pretty pragmatic about labs. Are they in range? If not, what is the most likely cause and how can we fix it? And "fixing it" frequently involves prescriptions of some sort…which are a bit like taking a sledgehammer to fine ceramics.
Labs, when you understand what the test is actually telling you, can be a huge tool in solving histamine intolerance. A Complete Blood Count can give you an idea of B12 and folate levels or even an indication of whether or not parasites or food allergies may be an issue.
Taking a look at a serum copper and a serum zinc can be a great start to supporting the histamine-related enzyme community in your body. DAO requires copper to do its job. ALDH and some of the neighbors of MTHFR require zinc to do their jobs. What if a little supplement here and there could replace some of the antihistamines?! It's possible! You just need someone who knows a bit more about this nutritional side of things than the average clinician.
Any one of these three topics of real interest to you? Just let me know and I'll do a few posts on the most popular!
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
The seasons are changing where I am and the outside world is becoming more and more welcoming. Have you ever noticed there are places out there that just feel like "home"? To be clear - I'm not talking about your yard and your space. But beyond that.
Maybe you've noticed a peaceful, calming sensation as you hiked a trail or visited a beach or sat and watched the stars on a quiet evening.
Nature is grounding...it helps to calm your nervous system without any apps or subscriptions. That calm sensation becomes a way to manage stress in your world. When things get a little crazy or you start feeling threatened by the situation around you, close your eyes and imagine yourself at that comfortable place. Or, if you can physically get to that space, all the better!
Remember - any way you can manage stress and feel safe, you're going to change your histamine load. Every part of you is connected to the other…even if it doesn't exactly make sense. Find what serves you the best!
And if you're just over the whole crazy puzzle of histamine intolerance and want someone to walk you through a proven step-by-step approach to solving your puzzle, sign up for the Food Sensitivity Code waitlist. Coming late summer!! (You might even consider ordering genetics NOW so you have your own information to use during Food Sensitivity Code!!)