Saturday, December 21, 2013

when is a menopause symptom NOT a menopause symptom?

...when it's actually a histamine-intolerance issue!

Estrogen irregularities set off histamine problems.  Environmental chemicals set off histamine problems.  Tyramines and salicylates set off histamine problems.

Every time I get those nasty pseudo-feverish feelings these days, I review what I ate in the past half-dozen hours.  It doesn't happen ACUTELY very often anymore because I try to be cautious in my eating.  When we visit restaurants, though, we can never be sure of what kind of additives may be put into the hamburgers or rubbed on the steaks. 

A lot of people would advocate not eating out regularly, but for some of us it isn't practical to ALWAYS cook for ourselves.  And there's only so long one can snack one's meals with cheese, boiled eggs, nuts, and dried meats; to survive an airplane flight, yes, but more than a day is inclined to drive me to ANYTHING hot and savory!  Coping strategies are in order.

If, despite how careful you are to avoid foods to which you're sensitive, you get those uncomfortable feelings in the hours after a meal, your best friend could be benedryl.  It's an antihistamine available over-the-counter in the US, but alas other countries often require a prescription I hear.  :-(  The next best thing I've found is less intuitive -- NICOTINE GUM.  It has anti-inflammatory properties as well as antihistamine ones.  I have also tried the diamine-oxidase supplement DAOSIN (it's like Histame), but compared to diphenhydramine and nicotine, it's pretty wimpy.

I heard an interesting hypothesis recently -- someone observed that though smoking rates are low here, there is no diminution of teens STARTING, and opined that they're getting a vitamin-B boost from it that they need.  I might offer a counter-suggestion -- perhaps the hormonal storms of adolescence are causing histamine reactions which are tamed by the nicotine in cigarette smoke.  I DO know that the beneficial qualities of nicotine have long been known, but they've been downplayed.  To announce a GOOD side of cigarette smoking is not going to help when you're trying to get people to STOP.  By using the gum or patch, though, you avoid the admittedly-nasty tar and toxins you get when pulling smoke into your lungs intentionally.

So when I feel the suspicious weariness or downright SLEEPINESS, or the puffy hands/feet, or the hot-flash after consuming something questionable, I reach for the benedryl or gum.  It's AMAZING how fast it helps.


  1. Sorry this comment is a bit tardy, but I have just discovered histamine as well and am going through the process of finding out what triggers the worst of it in me. So true what you say about menopause symptoms that are actually histamine reactions!

    1. better late than never! :-) ...what seems worst for me are restaurant foods with mystery ingredients -- I rarely see a problem with home cooking. keep us posted on what YOU observe to be problematic!