Seasonal Allergies Got You Down? Try Lowering Histamine Levels With These Tips
Updated: May 28, 2021
Over 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year, and symptoms can be intense for many, with relief remedies strongly sought after.
Allergies are notorious for reminding us each spring that with the return of verdant plant life also comes pollen, and for some, that means allergies. Think sneezing, runny nose, hives, and itchy throat that occurs in response to grasses, pollens, and molds.
What causes us to respond so intensely to such as seemingly harmless entity like pollen? And what can be done to lessen the severity of allergies brought on by histamine responses in the body?
First, let me explain histamines. Histamines are chemicals located within mast cells of the immune system. They are released in response to a trigger (allergen) and increase inflammation in the bloodstream. Interestingly, this process also influences estrogen levels as there are estrogen sites located within mast cells. This response produces all the symptoms associated with allergies and, when expressed chronically, can cause a great deal of discomfort.
What Lowers Histamine Responses?
· Flavonoids- These compounds called phytochemicals are found in several foods. Two specific flavonoids are quercetin and luteolin.
1. Quercetin- found in onions, berries, and apples helps to inhibit the release of histamines
2. Luteolin- Celery, thyme, and bell peppers also act as an antihistamine by preventing inflammatory cytokine release in the lungs
· Vitamin C- aids in preventing histamine release by altering the structure of the histamine particle.
· DIM- decreases histamine by balancing hormone levels.
· Progesterone - lowers histamine responses by balancing out excess estrogen levels known to increase systemic inflammation and histamine response.
· Stinging Nettle - blocks the release of histamines.
· Butterbur - Was used to help treat symptoms of the plague
-this powerful herb contains two phytochemicals known as petasin and isopetasin, which lower inflammation.
· Some practices that can help relieve symptoms include staying hydrated and utilizing a Netti pot or saline rinse.
Foods and Lifestyle Factors Increase Histamine Release
· Certain medications and foods block the release of DOA (an enzyme that helps break down histamines).
· G.I. issues such as IBS and histamine rich foods
Some foods high in histamine include eggplants, bell peppers, smoked meats and cheeses, and fermented foods. Most foods and life have histamines, and when the body is in balance, this has no effect on homeostasis. It is only when histamine overload occurs that foods will cause triggers.
Allergies are inevitable, but our responses to them are not. With diet and lifestyle changes, the experience and severity can be significantly minimized and eventually removed.
Shade, Christopher. (2019). Addressing Seasonal Allergies Sponsored by Quicksilver Scientific. Retrieved from https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/blog/addressing-seasonal-allergies-sponsored-quicksilver-scientific
Urology of Virginia. (2019). 8 Natural Ways to Lower Histamine. Retrieved from https://www.urologyofva.net/articles/category/healthy-living/3673013/8-natural-ways-to-lower-histamine#:~:text=Vitamin%20C%20is%20a%20natural,broccoli%20and%20cauliflower%2C%20and%20berries.
Bhendari, Payal Dr. (n.d.) 7 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies. Retrieved from https://www.sfadvancedhealth.com/blog/7-natural-remedies-for-seasonal-allergies
Anthony, Kiara. (2019). WebMD. Histamine Intolerance. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/histamine-intolerance#causes