Over the past fifteen years I have been a dedicated gym goer. Not only did I go to the gym to keep healthy, but also to lose weight. Weight has always been a skeleton in my closet that kept rearing its nasty head every so often. By the time I turned 35, things started to change - drastically. I was going to the gym, and I did feel stronger, but there was this layer of fat on top of it that would not go away. I felt bloated. All. The. Time. I would wake up in the morning and feel pretty good, by the afternoon my skirt didn't fit anymore. I knew something was wrong.
I looked to my diet to see what was going on...I thought I had some bacterial infection. SIBO? Candida? Gluten sensitivity? I started a food journal for more investigation and nothing alarming came up. So what the hell was it?
I went to see a colleague of mine, whom had known a great deal about my past health conditions and what came out of it was histamines. In 2016, I did a 30-day anti-histamine protocol with great results. I didn't feel bloated all the time. I lost about 12 pounds, (all water) and I felt really good. I spoke to my mother about her health conditions and if any one else in the family had similar symptoms. I knew on my father's side seasonal allergies were rampant. I had severe allergic reactions to pet dander, fruits and nuts and tree pollen.
My two hands - see the difference?
A few months ago I noticed a flare of Rheumatoid Arthritis, (RA), an autoimmune disease where my body believes the fluid in my joints is foreign and is causing inflammation. It's challenging to make a fist right now as my hands are so inflamed. Doctors still don't know the actual cause of RA, but know that it is likely genetic, (my mom has it), that there are some common factors that can cause it, like: environment, stress, another autoimmune disease, (I have Graves' Disease), hormonal, amongst others.
So I have decided.
To change my life.
To adopt an anti-histamine lifestyle.
What the heck is it?
A histamine intolerance is not a sensitivity to histamine, but rather that you have too much of it in your system. Histamine is a chemical that has many functions in the body like:
Neurotransmitter: Sends messages to your brain
Digestion: Tells your stomach to make stomach acid
Immune response: releases it into your body to help with intruders
When histamine levels get too high or the body can't break it down, it interferes with normal body functions. Many of these symptoms can be similar to other disorders, so it is really important to consult with a Health Care Practitioner, (like me), to find the root cause.
The Healing Method
There are a few options to start the healing process.
Diamine oxidase is an enzyme that breaks down histamine. This is not widely available within Canada and is a little pricey. Here is one company that does sell and ship to Canada. But this is only a bandaid. It will help your symptoms when you eat high histamine foods, but it won't solve the problem.
Can I just take anti-histamines?
No. Over the counter anti-histamines don't resolve the root cause of what is happening in your body. They can reduce some signs and symptoms, like sneezing and air constriction but they won't ultimatelysolve the problem.
The BEST way to combat your histamine intolerance is to firstly do an elimination diet for at least three weeks. Removing all of the high histamine foods out of your diet will bring your body into a good balance and you will probably feel great and even lose a few pounds. IT WILL BE DIFFICULT! Then adding foods back into your diet, ONE AT A TIME, to see how severe any reaction is.
So what CAN I eat???
Here is a quick list of common foods that you CAN eat:
Just a few quick notes:
Meat - Should always be Organic, grass-fed is always the best! Fresh, not frozen! The longer meat sits, the more it grows bacteria and you want to avoid this at all costs possible. So do not buy meat freshest as possible and cook as soon as you buy it.
It's best to AVOID sugar and dairy during the elimination phase. Though you can add in young cheeses at a later stage. There are more approved foods, but this is the "quick" list.
I'll be posting more blogs as a learn more, so subscribe to not miss any posts! I'll be adding in recipes and easy meal plans as well.
I can't wait for this new journey, I hope you come along with me! Let me know if you have any questions or comments!
Until the next time,
Eat well. Work hard. Seize Wellness.