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Histamine intolerance explained simply: Scientist explains

In the previous blog posts we have already informed you about the types of lactose and fructose intolerance. Most people have probably read or heard something about this in passing. But what about histamine intolerance? Although the topic is not uncommon in sports, I first had to get some clarification from our scientist Simone Kumhofer.

Histamine intolerance – what’s behind it?

Histamine is a messenger substance that is produced by the body to, among other things, drive inflammatory reactions - so it can be said that histamine is very useful and positive for the body.
Inflammation is an important process in our body that ensures that tissue structures are restored. If a structure in our body is broken, an inflammatory reaction must occur there in order to be able to rebuild it.
But as with so many things, the saying 'the dose makes the poison' also applies here. If there is too much histamine in the body, histamine intolerance occurs. However, because it brings with it so many symptoms, a correct diagnosis is often difficult to make and often goes undiagnosed by doctors.

Causes and symptoms

Histamine intolerance is also one of the 'chameleons' among the clinical pictures. The symptoms and causes could not be more different. A wide variety of factors and stressors can be decisive. The problems can even improve or worsen depending on the season.
The cause of the seasonal symptoms can, for example, be traced back to seasonal histamine-containing or histamine-producing fruits and vegetables. But allergy sufferers whose immune systems are weakened at certain times due to the pollen count can also have problems with a reduced histamine breakdown rate.
As with many other diseases, in this case too, an inflamed intestinal mucosa can be the trigger, which is the result of an overloaded system. A healthy intestinal mucosa is crucial for driving enzymatic production and breaking down histamine. If there is an imbalance in the intestinal mucosa, the histamine degradation rate suffers.
Particularly in athletes, intolerance is usually preceded by other factors, regardless of the form. Examples would be an enormous amount of training, oxidative and psychological stress or a poor diet, to name just a few stressors.
For athletes, the risk of histamine intolerance increases during tough training, competition or travel phases.
Certain medications, such as the pill or painkillers, can also inhibit the formation of enzymes. The reduced enzymatic activity in turn results in a reduced histamine degradation rate.
The symptoms range from symptoms such as nausea, cramping abdominal pain and diarrhea to itching and circulatory problems.

Therapeutic approaches to histamine intolerance

Due to the different causes, which can all lead to histamine intolerance, it is not possible to stupidly follow a specific therapeutic approach.
Are there too few enzymes that are responsible for breaking down histamine, or are there too many histamine-producing bacteria in the body? Perhaps the body's histamine capacity is simply being strained by too many foods containing histamine. But no matter what factors trigger the problem, the cause must be found before a form of therapy can be selected.
The therapist consulted plays an important role here. At best, this person should be able to recognize the direction and initiate diagnostic measures accordingly.

Histamine intolerance and exercise – a no-go?

In order to improve the problem of histamine intolerance, the crucial stressor must be found and excluded. Since our everyday lives contain many negative influences, it usually doesn't just stick to one factor.
For athletes, the main stressor is often the amount of training they do. In order to improve histamine intolerance, hard, strenuous units should actually be eliminated from the training plan. Only loose basic units may be installed from time to time.

Prevention instead of rehabilitation

As with the intolerances already discussed, intestinal health is also the focus of histamine intolerance! The better I protect and strengthen my intestines, the more effectively I can avoid problems such as histamine intolerance.
This includes basic but important factors, such as a balanced basic diet and avoiding any stressors. In this case, minimizing histamine-rich foods is also included.
Especially as an athlete, I should take preventive measures 365 days a year and actively support my body in regeneration. Due to increased sales, the need for vitamins, minerals and trace elements, for example, can hardly be covered by the basic diet and should be supplemented additionally
Our multispecies probiotics, such as the OMNi-BiOTiC® SR-9 or the OMNi-BiOTiC® POWER, can also make an important contribution to the topic of intestinal health and prevention. But bitter substances and amino acids, which support the liver in its detoxification work, can also contribute to intestinal health.

Our experts

about the author

Julia Skala in Magenta OMNi-BiOTiC Power Team Anzug läuft Triathlon

Julia skala

Professional triathlete
Content Creator OMNi-POWER®