It was going to take several days to receive the enzymes, so that was enough time to delve further into the foods that can contribute to histamine overload. I’m just going to hit on the basics of what effected me, however, here’s a couple links if you wish to study more in depth:
(be sure to check out the infographs at the end of this article as well).
There’s a whole list of foods that increase histamine in the body. Like I said earlier, I’d already been keeping a loose record of what I ate and how it went through me, and had backed off the things that gave me the worst diarrhea. But the big one on this list– horror of horrors!– I can hardly say it– was…. CHOCOLATE. 😱
My husband and mother say I’m a choco-holic. And well…ahem…that might be true. While I don’t consume any sugary chocolate (can’t maintain my diabetes-free status and -120 lbs weight loss that way), I was doing a few pieces of dark chocolate almost every day in accordance with Trim Healthy Mama guidelines. Beyond dark choc, I did def have it in some form every single day, sometimes multiple times, be that THM chocolate cookies, cake, choc milk, in smoothies, etc. I can’t tell you the chagrin I felt as it swept over me that this was the likely culprit….
But sure enough, I took a deep breath and eliminated all sources of chocolate for a couple days and… yep.. the diarrhea improved. After those couple days, I ate it again, and it came back full force. That cinched it. My problem was definitely histamine-related, and chocolate was the main offender. Sorrow of sorrows. 😰
There were times during the 8 months that I wouldn’t have diarrhea as bad and, looking back, I connected that with likely not having chocolate those days (yes, I did take days off). But, it never once occurred to me that chocolate in itself was the source of the whole thing. I’ve just always eaten chocolate, you know, and never had a reaction to it in any way (other than bliss 🥰), so again, how could it be the problem?
It was a stretch giving up chocolate, but it was encouraging to think that the DAO enzyme would turn the tide of things–which it did. The REALLY encouraging thing was that now that I’m about 3-4 weeks in, I can and have been introducing chocolate back in with NO diarrhea. (Yay!) I will still be moderate, of course, (probably for the rest of my life), but hey, at least it’s not ruled out altogether.👏🏻
It was recommended to take the DAO enzyme only before eating histamine-rich foods, but since the diarrhea had been going on so long, I again, prayed about it, and felt led to take one pill at each meal for the length of the bottle (10 days). (I know that may sound superstitious, but I trust the Lord to lead me. However, if you have access to a doctor willing to work with you, you should definitely ask them). The diarrhea ceased almost immediately.
Now, this “Histamine Block” only has one enzyme: DAO–the enzyme one needs in order to regulate histamine in the body. But since aging decreases enzymatic activity in general and I knew I wasn’t digesting veggies (salads, etc. see Part 1) properly, I knew I probably needed other enzymes as well. For that I landed on “Doctor’s BEST Digestive Enzymes”. It has a full-spectrum of enzymes to address other intestinal needs, like for fats, proteins, and veggies, etc. I started taking that at each meal too. But now, I just take it morning and evening at this point and plan to drop down to one pill a day eventually and see what happens. I can say though that my bowels have returned to normal.🥳
Many people with histamine overload talk about having flare-ups. So again, I will likely have to be thoughtful and moderate for the rest of my life. The great thing is though, I don’t have to stay on the DAO enzyme continually. I can now, simply go back to it whenever there seems to be a flare up, or take a pill right before I know I’m going to be eating histamine-rich foods. I’ll likely stay on the digestive enzymes, while going down to the least amount I can. (Less is always best in natural healing modes. You want enough to help your body to what it can do on its own rather than forcing the body).
So that’s my deep doo-doo story. 💩 It feels supremely nice to be back to normal and to have landed on answers finally. Histamine overload (intolerance) can effect many health related areas, so if you have a “mystery” illness, this might be a good starting place for exploration.
The purpose of Jordan’s Crossing Herbal Connections is to promote the sharing of information about healthy, natural products and dietary supplements. JCHC’s views and opinions are INFORMATIONAL ONLY and are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you are sick, injured or pregnant, please consult a licensed health care professional.