Histamine intolerance is a term that is becoming more commonly known. It can explain things like headaches, menstrual irregularities, reactions to wine and chocolate, a runny nose or itchy tongue when eating bananas, pineapple and various skin issues.
What is histamine?
I am sure you have heard of antihistamine, the medication people take when they suffer from allergies. Histamine causes your blood vessels to swell so your white blood cells can quickly attack the foreign invader. So the role of histamine is to cause immediate inflammation in your body. Many people suffer from this constant inflammatory state and the histamine buildup can cause many unpleasant symptoms.
How can probiotics help?
Your gut affects every aspect of your health, we have talked about this before. Your body is like a bucket that overflows if you keep filling it up with toxins, unhealthy foods and poor lifestyle practices. You could also compare it to a bank account, and you don’t want to withdraw more than you deposit. Feeding your gut bacteria counts as putting money in your bank account. However, some strains are said to be detrimental to those with histamine issues. I found Lactobacillus casei mentioned in more than one place as a strain to avoid for those with histamine issues, but to be honest, I feel that this is debatable. Like the histamine food lists, sometimes the benefits are so important, avoiding them might not be worth it. Some people avoid tomatoes and eat white bread thinking they are doing the right thing by following these rules. I believe it is important to use your common sense and listen to your body. When it comes to conquering histamine, the Web site Healing Histamine is the most helpful resource. She explains that the focus should be on health as a whole rather than on avoiding histamine. Similarly, because of their histamine content, fermented foods should be avoided by some, but will help others. It is important to remember that the problem is not the histamine itself, but rather your body’s inability to break it down. Feeding your gut will improve your general health and your body’s functions.
For those struggling with symptoms caused by histamine, the strains most commonly recommended are bifidobacteria. It is the dominating strain in the gut of healthy breastfed infants. It accounts for more than 80% of microorganisms within the intestine. Bifidobacterium infants, bifidobacterium longum and bifidobacteriun bifidum not only help reduce allergy symptoms like itchy skin and sinus congestion, but they can also help with headaches, cramps and diarrhea. According to this study, lactobacillus as well as bifidobacterium help alleviate symptoms of allergy.
In conclusion, the world of probiotic strains can get a bit overwhelming and confusing. Some say to pick a probiotic that has at least seven strains and 5 billion CFUs and some recommend certain strains for certain issues. I think the body is an amazing complex machine and trying to put probiotic strains in neat little boxes may make for pretty and reassuring charts, but not for truly reliable information. I recommend you go and try reputable brands and see how it helps you.