Histamean and The Seven Symptoms

and hive*

The ‘Seven Symptoms’ were not the way I wanted to wake up on my day off, especially because they hadn’t hit me that hard in over a year–and intensely wheezing for hours is wearing; and I get dizzy when my eyes dart around uncontrollably {awkweird video}. I was frustrated and worn, so I called a nurse about making an appointment — she was concerned (the wheezing can sound pretty bad) and encouraged me to go to the ER if things got worse.  Admittedly, with the stress of life and holidays, I’d become a glutton for gluten and sugar, and sugar-coated gluten…and sugar makes me sneeze and get a hive, or so I thought.

My doctor prescribed an H1 (Allegra) and H2 (Zantac) antihistamine and I was surprisingly, incredibly better–couldn’t believe how easily I could breathe (my nasal passages and lungs close down too). Though the effects of the antihistamines didn’t last the purported 24 hours, if my muscles started randomly twitching, I’d pop an H1 and my body’s reactions settled down in minutes (H2 was for the tummy troubles – AKA=flushy).  

It was then that I stumbled on ‘Histamine Intolerance‘, turns out that histamines are a normal part of immune responses, and in some people there’s an inability to breakdown the histamines (by DAO and HNMT enzymes). DAO is produced in the intestine, so with my ‘stiff stomach syndrome’, there’s probably not be enough DAO to degrade the histamine (which increases with fermentation). When histamine levels get too high, there are allergy-like symptoms. 

I was stymied…after years (decades) of the seven symptoms and numerous negative allergy tests, it all came down to histamine breakdown.  Since I’m gastroparesisesque, and I wanted to be a bit pro-active, I’m taking enzymes to help with the breakdown of histamines (DAO and quercitin).

*Yes…it’s just one hive–in the same spot every single time–I’ve thought of naming it.
*Yes…there are more than seven symptoms, but I’m a sucker for rhyming.


  1. It's been such a loooong road. I've had incredibly thorough allergy testing done that all came back negative, but it seems that for HIT you have to have a DAO test of some type. Once it was determined that my stomach doesn't expand properly so much more is making sense and falling into place. My hope is that what I've gone through will help other people.


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