Histamine Intolerance and Menopause: Does it go Away Naturally?

Last updated 12.07.2023 | by Sabrina Johnson | 8 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Have you heard of histamine before, or does it sound like jargon to you? It’s an essential chemical that helps the body’s overall functioning – your immune system, gut, nervous system, and brain. Adequate amounts of histamine are needed to lead a healthy life.

However, trouble strikes when there is an overproduction of histamine. A doctor once told me that there are umpteen reasons why a woman can overproduce histamine, menopause being one of them.

Histamine intolerance affects women more than men, mainly when they are in mid-life. However, it’s rare, seen in 1 of 100 individuals.

Are you nearing menopause? Have you been diagnosed with histamine intolerance of late? Would you want to know more of the same? Do give this article a read. I have included important information like what histamine intolerance is, its connection with menopause, and ways to control it. Here we go.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Before we get into histamine intolerance, it’s important to understand what histamine is and the role it plays in the human body.

Histamine is a chemical released by the immune system as a response to an allergic reaction or injury. It sends messages to the brain and helps in digestion by triggering the release of stomach acid.

The body usually keeps the levels of histamine in check. It is produced by the cells as required before being released into your bloodstream. Histamine becomes an issue only when there is too much of it, and the body can’t break down the excess histamine, which causes a buildup of it.

Histamine intolerance doesn’t refer to sensitivity to histamine but is rather a sign that a person has developed too much of it. It affects the entire body, and the symptoms show themselves in different ways in different people.

There are similarities between the symptoms of menopause and histamine intolerance, but we will come to that connection in a bit. Let us first list out the signs of histamine intolerance that you should know about:

  • Rashes, hives, and itching
  • Sleep issues
  • Low mood
  • Tiredness
  • Palpitations
  • Asthma or runny or blocked nose
  • Abdominal symptoms, including bloating, constipation, pain, or diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Digestive issues

How is Histamine Intolerance Connected to Menopause?

Most of the symptoms or physical changes women go through in menopause are because of hormonal imbalances. The reason behind histamine intolerance is also the same. Let us look at the following points to understand the connection between histamine intolerance and menopause.

  • A woman’s estrogen spikes several times in their life. For instance, when their menses begin, when they are ovulating, and even when they are transitioning into menopause.

If we were to speak about perimenopause specifically, the estrogen levels would become erratic. They sometimes rise steadily, while at times, there is a drastic decline. When the estrogen levels peak, the histamine levels are also on the rise.

  • Now, let’s look at the next step. When your body releases more histamine due to high estrogen levels, it pushes the ovaries to release increased estrogen. It is a cycle that goes on.
  • In this context, the DAO enzyme needs special mention. DAO or diamine oxidase is functional in breaking down foods rich in histamine. In this way, it helps to lessen the histamine intolerance symptoms. Now, for women already with DAO deficiency, the condition may trigger when they are transitioning into menopause.

I guess it is understandable how histamine levels are affected in the perimenopause phase, especially during times when estrogen levels are on the rise.

How to Control Histamine Intolerance During Menopause?

How to Control Histamine Intolerance During Menopause

Menopause is a natural part of every woman’s life. So, if you’re experiencing histamine intolerance as a menopausal woman, there is no reason to feel disheartened because there are ways to manage it.

Yes, you heard us right. Now let’s explore the solution to this problem and talk about how you can mend your health through simple yet effective methods:

Stay Away from Xenoestrogens

You can think of xenoestrogens as foreign estrogens that have estrogen-like effects despite being different from the estrogen that naturally occurs in the human body. These can often lead to estrogen dominance and histamine intolerance.

Xenoestrogens are usually present in beauty and cleaning products. Therefore, stay away from these and reach for organic and natural products instead.

Develop a Low-Histamine and Anti-Inflammatory Diet

You have to keep a watch on what you eat. You must opt for fresh and unprocessed foods since the fermented or processed ones are high in histamine.

When your dietician plans a low histamine diet for you, she will prefer an anti-inflammatory diet with a high omega-3 content. However, vitamin C is also beneficial in lessening the body’s production of histamine without blocking the histamine receptors.

So, from all that has been discussed, we can get an idea of the foods you need to control your histamine levels.

  • Leafy greens and vegetables (sweet potato, squash, broccoli, asparagus, beet, cucumber, onion)
  • Fruits (Apricots, cranberries, blueberries, peaches, mangos)
  • Herbs (Oregano, mint, basil, thyme)
  • Organic meat (freshly cooked)
  • Healthy fats

Avoid inflammatory foods, such as:

  • Junk food
  • Refined oils
  • Processed and canned meat
  • Refined sugar
  • Food that is highly processed

Manage Sleep and Stress Levels

We can’t overstate the importance of proper sleep and low stress levels when it comes to dealing with menopausal symptoms, and the same goes for histamine intolerance. When one is increasingly stressed, the histamine levels also go high.

Every woman has a different way of dealing with stress. So, do whatever it takes to stay calm and get the required amount of sleep. Simple things can help, such as:

  • Yoga and meditation
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Drawing a bath to relax your muscles before bedtime
  • Repeating positive affirmations to yourself
  • Listening to calming music before falling asleep
  • Keeping all electronic devices aside before going to bed, indulge in doing something creative instead like reading a book or listening to music

Keep Moving Your Body

Did you know that chronic stress could contribute to hormonal imbalance and histamine intolerance? An effective way to deal with this is by moving your body as much as possible. This helps in reducing your stress, boosting your mood, and improving your overall health.

We do realize that working women and moms don’t always have enough time during the day to opt for physical activities, but even small steps in this direction can bring about a huge difference, such as:

  •  Exercising for about 20 to 30 minutes five days every week
  • Playing with your pets or kids at the park
  • Stretching your body regularly
  • Taking a brisk walk
  • Dancing happily to your favorite tunes
  • Trying out cardiovascular exercises, such as cycling and swimming

Avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormonal medicines and hormone replacement therapy can increase the estrogen levels in your body and even aggravate histamine intolerance in some, if not all. Talk to your doctor and get their opinion about either reducing or getting off hormone replacement therapy and avoiding hormone-based medicines.

Conclusion

Menopause and its different stages come with multiple unpleasant symptoms as it is. We can only imagine how stressful it must be for women to keep it all together while also grappling with the various physical and emotional changes.

In between juggling work, family, and menopausal symptoms, it’s extremely natural to feel exhausted and almost lost. When something like histamine intolerance tops it up, you could be left wondering how to deal with the symptoms.

It’s for this very purpose that we aim to provide you with the best possible suggestions and solutions to make your life a little easier. Go through the methods listed above, and don’t let the symptoms get you down.

Do consult your doctor when the allergy symptoms settle in so they can recommend the necessary steps.

Believe us when we say that you’ve got this!

FAQs

Does histamine intolerance indicate sensitivity to histamine?

No, histamine intolerance doesn’t indicate sensitivity to histamine. Rather, it indicates that too much histamine has got into your system. If you are suffering from constant bouts of allergies after having certain foods high in histamine, then you need to consult the doctor. He may ask you to eliminate those trigger foods that may worsen your symptoms.

Does histamine intolerance go away after menopause?

Menopause isn’t single-handedly responsible for histamine intolerance. At least there isn’t any research to confirm the same. During menopause, the histamine levels in your body may shoot up. You can significantly manage the levels when you take adequate measures and alter your diet accordingly.

References:

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.