Who Should Avoid Foods That Contain Histamine?


Quick Answer

People with a histamine intolerance should not eat foods that contain histamine. Those whose bodies do not tolerate histamine, a neurotransmitter also produced by the body, may experience a number of adverse reactions to foods containing histamine, including panic attacks and even schizophrenia symptoms.

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Full Answer

The human body releases histamine during allergic reactions and times of stress to protect itself from bacterial and viral invaders. However, for those who are intolerant of histamine, the chemical causes more problems than it solves, contributing to excessive inflammation, runny nose, watery eyes and itching, among other negative symptoms.

Foods that contain high levels of histamine include fermented items such as vinegar, soy sauce and yogurt, cured meats, including bacon and salami, foods containing vinegar and alcohol in the form of beer, wine and liquor. Most fish is also high histamine.

People with high levels of histamine react to high-histamine foods in a variety of ways, with some experiencing depression, compulsions, suicidal urges, phobias, drug and alcohol addiction and obsessive thinking. Some experts in allergic reactions and histamine intolerance suggest Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland both suffered from histamine intolerance and may have lived long, healthy lives had they known to eat a low-histamine diet.

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