Can Too Much Histamine Cause Skin Problems?

Do you often find after a night of wining, dining and overindulging on chocolate, cheese and wine you end up breaking out in acne the next day or have a flare in your other inflammatory skin conditions?

It could be histamine intolerance.

Could histamine and your gut be the root of your inflammatory skin condition’s? 

Untitled design 5When most people hear the word histamine they think of hay fever or allergies. Histamine can actually reach far beyond this. Histamine is a chemical naturally found throughout our body with most of our histamine found in the skin, respiratory and digestive tract. 

Histamine in small amounts is healthy and is needed to keep immune inflammatory  responses at bay.  Yet the problem occurs when there is an excess in histamine produced that cannot be broken down properly Once histamine reaches beyond it tolerable limit, histamine intolerance can occur, causing a number of inflammatory symptoms in particular in the skin, respiratory and digestive tract. 

How Does Histamine Affect Our Skin? 

Too much histamine can  compromise our skin barrier, meaning it is less effective in being able to keep out harmful bacteria, allergens and irritants. This is where our immune system comes into play by causing an inflammatory response to help try and fight off these invaders. We now may see excess sensitivity and irritation in the skin with the occurrence of skin conditions like acne, eczema, dermatitis, hives, skin rashes, psoriasis and rosacea. 

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Histamine and The Gut: 

Histamine is closely connected with the health of your gut too. It is now well established that there is a link between skin and gut health. When our gut health is toxic and in an inflammatory state, as our skin is the biggest elimination organ, our skin is often the first place that these toxins show up. So what is happening in your gut is often a reflection of your skin. 

Much the same way our skin has a protective barrier for the sole purpose of keeping irritants, bacteria and allergens out,  our digestive system also has a protective lining. When the lining of our gut is damaged, often referred to as leaky gut, leaky gut diagramit now allows harmful toxins produced from undigested food particles and bad bacteria in our gut to leak out into our blood stream causing a whole host of inflammatory symptoms and conditions including in your skin. 

Sore tummyPeople with an imbalance of gut bacteria with more bad bacteria present out crowding the good guys, tend to produce more of a chemical called substance P. With a higher amount of substance P, your body releases more histamine. 

DAO the missing enzyme in histamine intolerance:

There are a few enzymes found in the gut responsible for breaking down histamine. The most well researched enzyme that is required in the process of breaking down histamine is the enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO). Many people with histamine issues do not have enough of this  enzyme present to be able to break down histamine properly. This may be due to impaired gut health, gastrointestinal diseases and genetics which predispose individuals to having a lack of the DAO enzyme present. There are also certain medications that may either block the production of DAO or release more histamine into the body.  

The DAO enzyme can be replaced by taking in a supplement form. While there are also many other nutrient cofactors required to be able to naturally produce DAO.  These include vitamin C,  B vitamins including vitamin B6, Quercetin, 

What are the other signs of histamine intolerance that could indicate you have histamine issues: 

  • headaches/migraines
  • sinus congestion, runny nose and water eyes
  • sneezing, hayfever
  • chronic cough, difficulty breathing
  • hives and itchy skin
  • Digestive issues in particular diarrhoea
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • heart palpitations
  • sudden excessive sweating 
  • difficulty regulating body temperature
  • flushing red skin 

Histamine in the Diet

While there are often many other common food triggers when it comes to skin conditions, if suffer from an inflammatory skin condition, you may like to look at trying out a low histamine diet to see if histamine is an issue. 

Histamine is present in most foods, yet its the foods high in histamine that are the issue for people with histamine related inflammatory conditions. Many of the foods are often foods that for the average person without histamine issues, are thought to be very healthy for us. The big one here is fermented foods. Untitled design 7We often hear about sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and yoghurt being great health foods for our gut but for someone with histamine issues, these can actually be problematic and may actually be making your skin condition worse. Its not actually the food itself the problem, it the bacteria in the food that produces excess histamine. 

Many anti inflammatory foods like fish and avocado are also under the high histamine category, so sadly may be off limits for those who have histamine issues. At least for a little while, while we start working on healing the gut. 

What to do if you think you have histamine issues: 

Not sure if histamine is an issue for you and if histamine intolerance may be the root of your skin issues, it may be best to book an appointment with your natural health care practitioner rather than trying to work it out on your own. Untitled design 8Low histamine diets are often hard to navigate so may be best experimented with the support of a healthcare practitioner. Low histamine diets are also not something that one would want to stay on long term either, but rather more of a short term elimination type diet that can be used while working on improving the health of the gut. While histamine issues are often a underestimated potential cause, this food group is not always the issue. While there are some common food triggers recognised for certain skin conditions, triggers can be very individualised.  

First and foremost it is also important to establish any food sensitivities that may be present and could be impacting your skin health. 

 If you are sick of the constant troubles you are having with your skin and want to get to the bottom of it, I would love to hear from you. 

For anyone living in Adelaide, South Australia, I currently have an amazing offer available for a limited time only.

Book a facial NOW and get 50% OFF your first 60min Skin Nutrition Consult. 

As a beauty/skin therapist as well as clinical nutritionist, I am well aware of treating the skin from both a topical and internal approach to get the absolute best results for your skin. 

Book a time now and learn about foods that are good for your skin, dietary triggers, nutrient deficiencies and underlying internal causes that are playing havoc on your stubborn skin conditions. 

We can also discuss and create a detailed plan that is individualised to you and your skin concerns. 

For more info and prices of my facial treatments you can click here. 

Healthy skin is a reflection of your overall wellness

Invest in your Skin this Spring. 

For enquires or to book an appointment  click here. 

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Here’s to good health and happiness x


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Nutritionist Seaford

My name is Sarah

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