Eggs and Pumpkin

Are eggs and pumpkin permitted on a low histamine diet?

Eggs – yes (cooked)

Yes, eggs are fine as long as they are cooked.  People with HIT can safely eat egg yolks, and egg white is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state. Histamine intolerance expert Dr Janice Joneja writes: “Eggs in themselves don’t contain histamine, but egg whites are known to be a histamine-releaser.” These facts are supported on the Histamine Intolerance UK website and the Mast Cell Blog. However, if you prefer to go ultra-low-histamine, eliminate egg whites from your diet entirely – even cooked egg whites.

It is important not to confuse food allergies with histamine intolerance. Again, like gluten sensitivity, egg allergies are a different and separate issue. Eggs are a valuable source of nutrients, and just because raw egg whites contain histamine liberators, that is no reason to avoid cooked eggs.

 

Pumpkin – no

Pumpkin’s close relative is winter squash, so the two can be considered jointly. The book ‘Is Food Making You Sick? The Strictly Low Histamine Diet” recommends avoiding pumpkin.

Pumpkin is listed by the Food Intolerance Network as being safe for people with histamine intolerance. They write as follows:
“Foods that have lower histamine levels: Fresh vegetables: lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, pumpkin, onion, radishes, lamb’s lettuce, paprika, carrot, broccoli, potato, cucumber, leek, zucchini (courgettes), sweet corn, asparagus, garlic. Please be aware that, because of any other food intolerances or cross-allergies that may also be present, the low-histamine level of a particular foodstuff alone says nothing definite about whether or not the patient can tolerate it.”

Dr Judy Tsafrir writes, “I believe that many reactions are very individualized. In many cases it is worth eliminating a food that you have reason to view as problematic, and then retrying it and monitoring your symptoms. I did not think that zucchini or yellow squash were problematic for most people. It seems from my research on line that pumpkin is controversial as to whether or not it needs to be avoided on a low histamine diet.”

And Allergy UK states: “Certain foods (even food that is low in histamine) can stimulate the release of histamine from mast cells in your body (a type of immune cell). These foods include: pumpkin.”

In conclusion, we would suggest that if you are battling serious histamine intolerance you should avoid pumpkin.

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Boosting your DAO

boosting your daoAntihistamines

If you find that taking certain antihistamines significantly improves your health, then it’s likely you suffer from HIT (Histamine Intolerance). Some common antihistamine trade names include:

Zyrtec = cetirizine, an antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (H-1) receptors.
Zantac – ranitidine, an antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (H-2) receptors.

Both of these – like any medications – can have unwanted side effects. However, these are generally outweighed by their benefits, at least in the short term. Taking them is a good way to hit your symptoms hard and really get them to settle down. If you wish to follow up the potential side-effects of Zyrtec and Zantac, click on these links: Zantac   Zyrtec

That said, taking Zantac and Zyrtec is not a long-term solution. It’s like putting a bandage over an infected wound – it looks okay from the outside but the problem remains. Besides, over time the body can develop resistance to the meds. Then they gradually lose their efficacy and you go back to ‘square one’.

About Boosting Your DAO

We suggest that HIT sufferers:

  • Make sure none of your other medications (if any) are DAO (diamine oxidase) blockers, which might have brought on your symptoms in the first place. If possible – and under medical supervision – try to wean off them.
  • Stick to the Strictly Low Histamine Diet and its associated dietary supplements. A low histamine diet with safe, natural supplements has no unwanted side effects and for many people it has provided that ‘miraculous’ relief they have been seeking. It doesn’t take months and months to get a result – only a few weeks.
  • Another essential is dietary fiber. Consuming abundant fiber has been proven, in numerous studies, to decrease inflammation in the body (and the reverse is true of a high fat diet). It can actually improve the binding ability of the histamine H-1 receptor.
  • Stress can be a powerful trigger for Histamine Intolerance too, so it’s important for people with HIT to treat themselves kindly and allow themselves time to relax. For anyone with HIT who is reading this post, we recommend visiting the Helpguide website and looking at their excellent Stress Management Guide.
  • Protect and heal your intestinal mucosa. The body produces DAO in the small intestine, the upper part of the large intestine, and the kidneys. To help protect and heal the mucosal lining of your intestines, include the spice turmeric and brassica vegetables (e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, )in your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics, too, play an essential role in the healing of the gut.
  • Protect and heal your kidneys. Your kidneys may be perfectly healthy, but there are still things you can do to make sure they stay that way – and to boost their DAO producing capabilities. The Kidney Foundation of Canada recommends that people with kidney disease should ‘control your salt intake and avoid foods with a high sodium content. These include processed foods like “deli” meats, canned foods, convenience and “fast” foods, salty snacks and salty seasonings.’ They also say, ‘Phosphorus is a mineral which normally keeps your bones strong and healthy. However, too much phosphorus may cause itchy skin or painful joints. When the kidneys start to fail, your blood phosphate level will rise. Therefore, you may need to limit certain foods which contain even a moderate amount of phosphorus. These include milk, cheese and other milk products, and protein foods such as meat, fish and poultry.’
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