I am not a doctor, but I have Histamine intolerance

I heard the first time the expression histamine intolerance from a doctor. That day I was totally oblivious to how my life would have been improved by a diagnosis.

For 30 years I had lived with various types and degrees of symptoms getting used to be sick most of the time. I could not believe it when, after 5 days of diet, I started getting my life back. I cannot forget the first time I actually felt the air flowing through my nose. I had lived year after year with rhinitis without acknowledging it.

Rhinitis was only one of the histamine intolerance related symptoms I had lived so long with. I realize only now that getting used to symptoms made my daily life only partially enjoyable.

I spent the first 6 months after the diagnosis enjoying my new found blissful healthy state and searching and learn more about histamine. If you have histamine intolerance there are two things you have for sure already learnt: each person can react differently to any low histamine food; if you don’t put your creativity at work and play always safe your meals can be quite a boring routine. So this is how I decided to start testing all I had learned listening to my body.

Thanks to my experience with gluten, I reasoned that if an ingredient is in the safe list, but gives me a running nose, the problem must not be the ingredient, but an “additive” or a contamination. Most of the time, this assumption proved to be right. Let’s take here an example: cinnamon. I used to add cinnamon in my decaf latte when visiting a worldwide famous coffee place. Barely 5 minutes after the first sip, my rhinitis was back. I stopped adding the cinnamon and the rhinitis did not show again. Was cinnamon another ingredient to give up? Well, living without chocolate is alright, but a world without apple and cinnamon would have been depressing. Yes, I am guilty! I do love cinnamon. I know, I love as well tomatoes and strawberries, but come on!  Cinnamon is declared as a totally safe ingredient in the SIGHI list. I can understand that I have a low level of tolerance, nevertheless if cinnamon does not have histamine it should not give me a reaction. Since the reaction was minor, I tried various gluten free guaranteed cinnamon brands, but with no luck. Since one day, I realized that I had no symptom when using whole organic cinnamon in my ginger tea mix… at first I thought it was the antihistamine effect of ginger; then an acquaintance working in a spice production factory was the game changer. She explained how it is almost impossible that a fine ground ingredient does not get contaminated when processed. Full of hope, I remembered how my mother used to grind cinnamon at home with a small coffee grinder. So I bought one and ground my organic cinnamon. The first time I tried in my homemade cappuccino, I was ready for my nose to close and start running, but in fact it did not happen. Cinnamon is safe and I can have it 🙂

So my suggestion is: listen to your own body, but question the ingredient if you must to.

If you really love an ingredient and it is not supposed to give you reactions, but it is, try to find an explanation and test other sources or brands. If you see that I use it, don’t be worried and write me. Maybe I was lucky and I found the right source or an explanation to the “unexpected” reaction.

I am not a doctor, but I have histamine intolerance. I would never suggest anything that makes me sick and, unfortunately for me, my histamine threshold has proved to be quite low.

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