Increase in probiotic food consumption may help histamine intolerances

Doctor and dietitian Felicia Stoler said histamine intolerance is a growing problem.

"There are so many food allergies and sensitivities out there. It's often hard to pinpoint what that source of trouble is that our body experiences," she said.

Histamines are found in fermented and smoked foods. Many foods are popular with the probiotic trend, such as kefir, kombucha, yogurt, kimchee, sauerkraut, wine and dark chocolate.

"Everything that is fermented and has vinegar in it," Stoler said.

If intolerant, symptoms can run the gamut.

"From hives to getting flushed, rapid heart rate - all of the sudden feeling like you have anxiety," Stoler said.

There is also fatigue and gastrointestinal upset. Diamine oxidase is a naturally occurring enzyme that blocks histamines, and according to Stoler, common medications inhibit its production.

"Every anti-inflammatory, every pain med, anit-anxiety meds and anti-depressants," she said.

But Stoler said supplements can help the body fight back. She's on the advisory board for a company that makes a supplement called Umbrellux.

"You take it and you eat the food that might normally make you sick and then you can tolerate it and you'll know," she said.

She also added people might find some relief with a spot of tea.

"What you can do is drink black tea 20 minutes before. That's one option," she said.

Nutritionist Esther Schultz sees an increase in histamine intolerance in clients, but due to seasonal allergies, said food is only one puzzle piece.

"Unfortunately, the studies just aren't there yet. Science just isn't backing it yet. Umbrellux may not or may be effective - we just don't know," Schultz said.

Shultz added food is not the only place we get histamines, and our intolerance is dose dependent.

She has her clients keep a food journal to list symptoms and when they occur to help get them back on track.
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