Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance

The symptoms of histamine intolerance will normally be felt between a few minutes to a couple of hours after the intake of food high in histamine or foods that cause the release of histamine. However, it is not always so that the same symptoms appear.

Several organs can be affected by histamine intolerance:

  • the skin
  • the gastro-intestinal tract
  • the cardiovascular system
  • the genital tract
  • ...

Histamine intolerance can lead to life-threatening situations, in contrast to most other food intolerances!

The following symptoms can appear:

  • headache_Mark_Piercemigraine / severe head ache
  • red blotches, "flush"
  • abdominal pain / Stomach ache / abdominal cramps
  • diarrhoea / chronic constipation
  • bloating
  • nausea, vomiting
  • runny nose
  • tachycardia (racing heartbeat)
  • low blood pressure, drop in blood pressure going as far as fainting
  • eczema
  • itching, wheals on skin
  • angioedema (quincke's edema): Rapid swelling of e.g. lips. This can cause respiratory distress!
  • itchy, red eyes
  • sleep disorders
  • feeling hot
  • asthma attacks
  • circulation problems
  • severe period pains

The administration of antihistamines can alleviate symptoms. You should always consult with your doctor and keep an emergency kit with you at all times!

The following symptoms have frequently been reported by sufferers, although it is not possible to justify them completely on a medical basis:

  • sneezing fits
  • pressure in the head
  • pains in the neck area
  • severe pain in the sinuses
  • sore throat, feeling of swollen tonsils
  • tinnitus, buzzing in the ears
  • tooth ache and pain in the jaw
  • rough and furry feeling on the tongue
  • aphthous ulcers in the mouth and other infections in the mouth
  • cramps in the stomach and/or gut
  • burning sensation in bladder, similar to bladder infection 
  • side stitch
  • tingling in arms and legs, muscle twitching in arms and legs 
  • increased acne
  • dizziness
  • lack of motivation
  • difficulties concentrating
  • mood swings/tearfulness/aggressiveness 
  • raised temperature

Schmutz Helmut (Autor); Abbot, G.; Lieners C.; Mayer, I.;; "Nahrungsmittelunverträglichkeit (Histamin Intoleranz)", Sachbuch, Wien 2006
Jarisch, R. "Histaminunverträglichkeit", Thieme Verlag TB 2. Auflage
Jarisch, R. "Nahrungsmittel-Intoleranz", medmix 4/2008, pp 49-52
Masterman, G. "Histamine Intolerance"


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The information provided on the Food Intolerance Network website is no substitute for a visit to a registered dietician, nutritionist or a doctor. The information that you will find here may not be used as a substitute for professional advice and treatment by a medical professional or approved and registered dieticians. The content of the Food Intolerance Network website may not be used as a basis or means for any form of self-diagnosis.

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