Optimum Nutrition

The secret: high nutrient low histamine diet

2 Comments 15 April 2013

low histamine green smoothies

My last post addressed the need to get off the histamine-merry-go round, in addition to featuring a quote from my nutritional hero Dr Fuhrman:

You can’t put this problem in a vacuum. Such as avoiding histamine containing foods, on a standard deficient and toxic diet. The body works in conjunction with thousands of complicated chemical reactions, and only with superior nutrition can the histamine sensitivity be better controlled. So exposure to thousands of phytochemicals and even to a low dose of histamine in their diet is good, not bad and can offer hope of getting better over the years to come.

Since then I’ve received a number of emails asking me how I transitioned from an unhealthy low histamine standard diet (SAD) to a nutrient dense anti-inflammatory and antihistamine diet, without losing my mind, or will to live.

I understand – it’s hard. Luckily I had Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live diet to guide me – but while healthy, it wasn’t low histamine. And of course, I’m human. There was cheating, setbacks and a lack of faith in my ever getting better. The three long years of giving up foods hand over fist, nearly passing out with envy at the sight of friends and family digging in to a creamy tub of ice cream, definitely took its toll. A mere cartoon-like tendril of freshly baked bread weaving its way to my nostrils was enough to set off paroxysms of anguish over life I had left behind.

And so, like a spurned lover, I became jaded; turning down invites to fabulous dinners and trips, because I couldn’t bear to see what I couldn’t have.

Then, the epiphany: rather than feel deprived, why not use this illness as an opportunity to be the healthiest I’ve ever been? I mean really truly commit and give it everything I’ve got, even if I die trying. Because at that point, I realised that I wasn’t really living. I was going through the motions: working, talking, eating, but taking pleasure in nothing. The weight of my illness was crushing me and I had to get out from under it. I immediately resolved to place my focus on eating as nutritiously as possible, rather than low histamine.

But the first step was hard: I had to understand what I was hiding from. It was ugly, painful and soul destroying – but I unleashed the histamine kraken on my body. Antihistamines flushed down the toilet, followed by my saviour – xanax.

There was no longer anywhere to hide. The fits of itching and full body spasms were no picnic. I hadn’t had them in a long time, but they were definitely worth it. Once my body was meds free I began to understand how food, stress and inflammation affected my histamine condition.

The fruit of my labours? Less cookies, ice cream and sugar meant that I could stop stressing the histamine rating of most fish, fruits and nuts that I so badly missed, plus less symptoms, more life, and…I’m now OFFICIALLY in the best health of my life! My recent full body work up showed that for the first time ever, all my results (other than low B12 because there’s no salmon in Kenya!) are well within normal range. All my inflammatory markers are low low low and my WBC is normal for the first time in my adult life. Well, normal for a nutritarian following Fuhrman’s diet. Mine has dropped to 3.7 (normal being 4.5 – 11), which according to the doc means that I have less inflammation in my body! Score. Gaining perfect nutrition rather than stressing and being miserable on a low histamine SAD has my skin glowing, hair flowing, and hopefully not looking my 37 years of age.

 The Low Histamine Chef

WHAT FOLKS ARE SAYING …

(For those with histamine related conditions) “I recommend avoiding foods with high histamine. A good site with useful information is (The Low Histamine Chef).”Mast Cell Master Dr. Theoharides (Tufts Boston)

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