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High Histamine & Mast Cell Activation Horrors

So I haven’t updated you guys on my healthy for the LONGEST time …. basically I was managing my Lyme Disease and Fibromyalgia really well using:

  • Journalling (to pace and manage my stress & emotions)
  • CBD oil (let me know if you want more info)
  • Healthy eating
  • Gentle Daily Exercise
  • My Lovely Naturopath and a few supplements

Then the sh*t hit the fan and my symptoms changed …. I started to have wafting pain flowing up my feet, through my legs, especially at night, a VERY upset tummy, very sore feet, and a hot/burning/itchy sensation in my feet.

Basically Mast Cell Activation Syndrome had hit ?

Now, I don’t think I am a naturally ‘histaminey’ type of person, so I don’t get hay fever or hives or skin issues.

So I think this was a perfect storm of ….

  • Terrible stress (business went into liquidation, business partner turned out to be a scam artist)
  • Locked in with the now soon to be ex-husband during covid
  • Less food deliveries – so food was less fresh
  • I’m a pescatarian – fish is high in histamine
  • Cooking one day and eating left overs the next – left overs are VERY high in histamine
  • Peri-menopause / Menopause hitting
  • ALL the healthy food I eat was high in histamine ??????
  • Swimming in the paddling pool every day – very cold

I’ll admit that I am not managing to get my head around it all, but here are a few pointers for you, that I don’t think are obvious (please note I am not a doctor, nurse, medical professional, nutritionist, naturopath etc – this is just my personal experience and you should always chat to a specialist, if you can find one):

  • There is a difference between inflammatory foods and high histamine – I was choosing inflammatory over histamine, as histamine produces pain for me (Inflammatory would be wheat, sugar and dairy).
  • There are 3 types of problematic histamine food can be (1) high in histamine, (2) stop the body dealing with histamine, or (3) encourage the body to release more histamine.
  • Anti-histamines: The first subtype is called H-1 receptor antagonists or H-1 blockers is used to treat allergy symptoms. The second subtype is called H-2 receptor antagonists or H-2 blockers and are used to treat gastrointestinal conditions, including gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD] (also called acid reflux), peptic ulcers, gastritis, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.

Histamine vs MAST Cells

  • There is a difference between high histamine and mast cell activation syndrome.
  • The Mast Cells ‘guard’ the body and can become over active – this is what happened to me
  • High Histamine means that your body can’t handle the amount of histamine in it ‘the load’
  • You can have both, or just High Histamine, but your mast cells are fine.
  • The body uses DAO and HNMT to handle histamine – which may not be as successful without a healthy gut, low zinc/B6/Copper/Vitamin C or if your methylation process isn’t working efficiently
  • I have MAST – I need to tackle more than just food (but there is a bit more to it) – it’s worth checking out the link below to see what you think is troubling you.
  • If you have just high histamine, you can probably managed it all with just food changes.

Causes of MAST

  • Mold
  • Gut Issues (Dysbiosis)
  • Chronic Inflammation
  • Viral Infections
  • Chronic Stress
  • Trauma & Abuse
  • You can even be genetically more prone to it

Things To Remember That Make It Worse

  • Exercise produces histamine
  • Extreme cold / heat e.g. ‘wild swimming’ or the ‘wim hof method’ or hot saunas
  • Stress makes histamine worse
  • Hormones make histamine worse

This is a ‘whole body approach’ or ‘histamine bucket’ approach, not just food:

  • Avoid chemicals in your cleaning products in order to lighten the load
  • Also avoid chemicals in your skin or hair care
  • Look out for mould in your house
  • Avoid broth, collagen, Kefir, Kambuchia or anything fermented
  • Avoid left overs (freeze and defrost instead)
  • Choose gentler exercise
  • Include rest time & meditation / relaxing hobbies
  • Avoid fish, unless caught and instantaneously frozen
  • Avoid citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocado, spinach & bananas (See full list below)
  • Be careful of vitamin / mineral mixes, as they may include ones you don’t want e.g Vitamin B9 / Folic Acid is considered bad for histamine
  • Vitamin C is often made from a citrus source (high histamine) and by growing mould on it (high histamine)
  • There is a wisdom in creating a schedule that you stick to every day, so that your body knows exactly what to expect
  • Prioritise sleep (but remember that you also need rest to heal, and that is different).


  • If you have always had histamine issues, this is likely to be a change that you make for life.
  • If you weren’t always, then you can probably focus on healing the things that kicked it off and seeing how you do after some healing time.
  • I strongly recommend looking at calming your nervous system as a help to reducing the amount of histamine in the body
  • But, whichever it is, focus on what you CAN eat and CAN do, (see my next blog post)
  • And consider it your body’s guidance system, instead of a restriction.

Now I haven’t spent a lot on supplements, because I found it too confusing, in fact, I dropped most of mine.

  • Quercetin – definitely helps me
  • CBD – definitely a priority for me and a good alternative to Vitamin C (See link below for more info)
  • DAO – should be good, doesn’t seem to help me
  • Vitamin C – I used to take, but only take now if my stomach is OK, don’t take the versions made from citrus
  • Magnesium – definitely good for my restless & painful legs
  • Probiotics – should help (I took a break from them)

Some More Information For You:

The Swiss Food List: This appears to be the best one:

Histamine vs Mast Cell Activation:

Really good overview site (I didn’t buy anything from here though):

And his food list:

How To Choose CBD oil

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My ‘What you can eat, that isn’t weird’ Blog post ??

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