Allergies and histamine issue relief with Christa Biegler

It starts with a sneeze or two.  

Then another round of sneezing happens, which triggers your eyes to water.

A little scratching here and there a few minutes after, and you don’t give it another thought.

The sneezing continues and your face feels warm.

If this bout of sneezing is not enough to alert you of an oncoming allergy attack, then perhaps, some more scratching here and there can be proof enough that something just triggered your allergies.

Allergic triggers can vary for different people. For example, some allergies are triggered by pet dander, dust, pollen, and a particular activity, while others get it from something they eat.

Knowing which ones trigger yours is crucial so you can make the proper adjustments in your lifestyle or with your environment. Frequently it’s not just one thing that starts that awful cycle of sneezing, itching, and watery eyes - it might be more than one irritant that you can’t help but get exposed to, especially if you already have a chronic illness like asthma.

We experience these symptoms - watery eyes, warm skin, skin irritation, and sneezing when our body fights with “foreign” substances. These symptoms or allergic reactions happen when our body overproduces histamine.  

Histamine is a natural neurotransmitter, a chemical that plays a role in inflammation, muscle contraction, and digestive processes.  

Having allergies means more time cleaning your surroundings, opting not to keep a pet, or avoiding certain kinds of food. 

However, suppose you’ve tried to minimize exposure to irritants but still experience the symptoms, even if you’ve also tried using  Antihistamines or the go-to medication when treating allergies. In that case, it might be time to re-examine your routine and environment to get to the root of the issue.

In this episode of the Less Stressed Life, I talk about allergies, histamines, and what you can do to minimize the frequency of “knocking on Histamine’s door” to make sure we don’t trigger any more allergic reactions.

Have a listen by following this link or scrolling down to check out the transcript of the episode!




This episode is sponsored by 88acres. I love stocking my pantry with the delicious thoughtfully crafted seed bars and seed butters from 88 acres. That just also happened to be free of common food allergens in their commitment to my ingredients, sourcing to get a discount on your order and a list of my favorite 88 acres products, head over to seeds dot 88 forward slash less stressed. And that link will be in the show notes as well.

It's allergy season again, and a lot of people have a love, hate relationship with histamines y'all know histamines because everyone has heard of anti-histamines, but what are they really let's back it up and talk about it so you can potentially improve or mitigate the symptoms.

This season symptoms of histamine overload or sensitivity could include headaches and migraines, difficulty falling asleep, hypertension, vertigo, or dizziness, heart arrhythmias, accelerated heart rate, difficulty regulating body temperature. So like feeling like you need to change the temperature up and down in the vehicle that temp all the time. Anxiety, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, flushing, nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulty breathing, variable, menstrual cycle, hives, fatigue, and tissue swelling.

So I always warn people that these symptoms overlap with other issues and problems in general, but that if you have enough of these symptoms or at least three-plus, and you struggle with foods like tomato, pineapple, dairy, cheeses, wine beers, kombucha, or bone broth, you might have a histamine issue.

Now, certainly, we know that histamines are a problem with seasonal allergies. Now what's happened in the environment is our allergy or our histamine bucket is filling up. But I was talking to a skin client this morning and she was explaining to me how now that she was home, she was seeing some spots pop up throughout the day. Whereas she was recently in a tropical location and she would only see a pop-up after certain foods. This really solidified for me that I was a histamine issue because the change of environment was changing. The seasonal allergens exposed like the exposure of her seasonal allergens at this time.

Now we know it's an issue in allergies. The histamine issues are a problem in a lot of skin cases because histamine symptoms look like flushing, hives and swelling of skin, or just tissue, which is skin, right? So bright reddish eczema is usually for sure, a histamine component thing. And it's not always a problem, but it's pretty common, which is why my eczema cookbook is a low histamine cookbook.

However, you don't just settle for histamine issues, which I totally wanted to try to include in the cookbook, but the publishers that I talked too much, I needed to cut words and that it's cookbook, not a, Hey, here's all the other stuff you need to do. Which by the way, when people say things like, can you give me a diet for hypothyroidism or how to raise my progesterone? I'm like, um, if it was that simple, you probably would have found the answer on Google. And it's not always that simple.

So I discouraged people from Googling histamine intolerance because it, it look like it's not good and that you're stuck with the histamine sensitivity. And I'm telling you, the premise of this discussion is don't settle for histamine issues, improve them, improve your baseline and continue to improve them. So people come to me and say they have histamine intolerances one.

I would like to say, it's not as common to have a full histamine intolerance as it is sensitivity. People who truly have emergency-like symptoms usually have something called mass cell activation syndrome or mass cell activation disorder, and might be experiencing frequent ER visits if they're having a real serious histamine intolerance.

So when people have a histamine sensitivity, it's more like making your life kind of miserable or less awesome, but it's not really threatening it the same way that the intolerance would be. That's kind of a, like a nuance, but it's a pretty big one, right? So sensitivity would be, you're just not really comfortable in life because you might have sneezing itchy eyes, runny nose, et cetera, or maybe some tissue swelling, or maybe some of those other interesting symptoms.

There are some enzymes on the market for histamine issues because histamine is supposed to be processed by enzymes in the body. And I rarely recommend them because I like to treat the root cause of the histamine issues, which I'll get to, to improve allergies and histamine. So we got to think about those seasonal allergies, which we know are an overload of histamine.

Remember, you can get histamine from food, the environment or activity. So if you're outside and you have an increase in allergy-type symptoms, it's because you're producing a response to histamine any environment. Now, if you add insult to injury, you might make your symptoms way worse. So let's say you're having a histamine smoothie every morning, which might look like almond milk and spinach and strawberries and pineapples and bananas.

So you're consuming a lot of histamine through your diet, and then you eat a meat and cheese or avocado for lunch and so on. You fill your dietary histamine bucket and then you're outside and you're getting exposed to a lot of seasonal histamine. So the bucket is getting really full. I recently had an episode where I talked about skin flares and hormones. And I think we mentioned in that episode where people with skin flares before their menstrual cycle or ovulation are usually also dealing with histamine issues because estrogen the spike before ovulation and before their menstrual cycle, but before provokes histamine, but just like estrogen, we need histamine.

We would never have something we don't need. It's just easy for it to get out of balance. It's the story of our lives. So let's review histamine is a natural neurotransmitter chemical messenger that communicates a messages from our brain to our body and creates response when it's needed. Like when our body needs help with an allergic response.

So histamine presenting an allergic response is needed to help kind of like help our body kind of manage it. It builds up mucus to help eliminate and pull that out. But it also sends a signal to digestion, for example, to help release stomach acid, to help with digestion. Okay. So if histamine helps create a response that looks like allergies to help us manage the allergens cause our body does not like that. It looks like poo a chew. I'm trying to get it out mucus. I'm trying to blow it out. I'm trying to like create this response to get it out, but it also has a positive helps us increase stomach acid, which we need for digestion to digest proteins and absorbing nutrients.

If histamine helps with that and we are decreasing histamine with anti-histamines, we are reducing our potential. That's not a great gut health thing. Long-term now gut health is not a one-size-fits-all. So there's like steps or an order. If someone had a gastric ulcer or a stomach ulcer along with reflux and whatnot, and anti-histamine because of its reduction of stomach acid might help with symptoms. Short-term.

Now this might be nice because we now know, I think it was 2018 that this came out. Maybe it was 2019 that the other things we use to reduce stomach acid that are not anti-histamines because anti-histamines are not marketed to reduce stomach acid, they're marketed to reduce histamines. We usually use proton pump inhibitors or things like Pepcid or things like that to reduce stomach acid. Now we now know that we should not be using those long-term makes perfect sense, but they can also lead to GI cancer. They're related to GI cancer and kidney disease. As of the research that came out a couple of years ago.

So I just wanted to mention in the short term, anti-histamines might help with some GI symptoms. If you have really mastery gastric ulcers, cause it's reducing stomach acid and the alternative, uh, long-term stomach acid reducers is not really a great thing either, but big picture. We need to be able to digest food well and histamine technically helps that. So here's an aha moment if you aren't tolerating histamines well, which helps with digestion, you aren't digesting well because histamines, when you have too many, your digestive processes, different enzymes, Dao, and HNMT should help process it and move it out.

But if you are not digesting well, those enzymes do not work well said in another way, the same things that mess up histamine processing. So let's say we throw a wrench in the way of a process. The same things that throw a wrench in the process of histamine are the same things that mess up digestive enzyme function, the same things that help you digest protein, carbs, and fats. So if you cannot process histamine, well, that means you're not digesting well.

The things that create or wrench or cause problems in this process include gut IM balances, insufficiency of certain bacteria, which will mess up enzymes in general, which is kind of like how everything works in your body. I talk about this all day, every day in practice, which is why I talk about histamines so much in one-on-one practice.

So let's summarize histamine is all around us. It's a charcuterie board of age, soured processed foods and a handful of different fruits and veggies. It's also stimulated by our also certain bad bacteria release histamine into our gut animal venom has histamine. And if you're stung by a bee, you release histamine because histamine is necessary.

It dispatches to an area to increase inflammation or an immune response to that area. In the short term, to help you cope. It sends resources to that area to help you cope. Mucus is your way body's way of helping you cope with something. Your body does not view as very friendly. It wants to create a thing around it so you can get it out. So histamine is our friend, but we don't always like the symptoms it produces.

So the answer is stop knocking on the door of histamine and asking for your body to produce more and more and more, and please help with an underlying help, help, help histamine, be able to be degraded, reduced, processed, and eliminated by supporting gut and liver health. I could like just tattoo this on my forehead. Here's how to relieve allergies and histamine sensitivities in the short term one, watch your histamine bucket. If your allergens are flaring in the outdoors and there's phone apps to tell you this, like, Hey, is this high at this time, don't dump histamine down your throat in your mouth.

You seed butters instead of nut butters, Oh rice or coconut milk instead of nut milk or dairy and swap out high histamine veggies like spinach for kale or chard and swap high histamine fruits like bananas and strawberries for cherries and peaches just short-term to reduce that histamine bucket you could, or you don't have to do this, but I'm just saying if it's really bad outside and you're dumping a bunch down your throat, it's just a lot for your body to handle.

Second more importantly, the root cause is to work on your gut and liver function. That's a big topic. Third is needed support histamine degradation with natural anti-histamines. I love course atten nettles, Aspera den, and sometimes Holy basil and herbs are always multi-functional. So if they're helping with histamines, they're a thousand percent helping with something else to keep in mind that with herbs, you often need a stronger dose and more duration than regular anti-histamines.

For example, I like four to 600 milligrams, of course, even in adults, but it varies depending on the person I need to build up in your system. And remember, I like to help the gut and liver process histamine first, before I go to natural anti-histamines if you need a little support in this area, feel free to book an intro call and we can discuss the steps needed to improve histamine and allergy symptoms.

Do you know what also works well for the majority of histamine, AKA allergy and skin cases. I see in practice seeds in place of nuts. And I only know of one company that is massively up to the game and seed butters and other seed based products like granola bars or seed bar salad, dressing and granola or seed NOLA. And that company is 88 acres.

Not only do they have delicious varieties of maple and vanilla sunflower seed butter, they also make the best pumpkin seed butter and hold the phone watermelon seed butter. I know I picked up my first 88 acres seed based granola bar and a Boston airport five years ago. And I'm still in love with them, especially their seasonal flavors like blueberry lemon.

88 acres is a woman-owned business created by Nicole ado inspired by the 88 acre farm. She grew up on in Massachusetts while the majority of food companies have a bigger manufacturer that makes and packages their products. 88 acres has their own small bakery in Boston. This gives them control over being completely free of the top eight most common food allergens plus SME producing zero food waste and allows them to create jobs in their community where their team feels like family. So what are you waiting for?

Check out seeds dot 88 forward slash less stress to get a discount and try some of my favorite snacks. And we'll put that link in the show notes as well. I don't think you'll be disappointed with their stuff until next time here's to upleveling your life, health and happiness.

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