Have you ever considered that the foods you are sensitive to might just be part of the solution to your thyroid issues?
I know. I know.
What a crazy idea, right?
Actually, it’s not.
This trend has been growing for more than a decade.
We all want to eat healthy.
Yet, most thyroid sufferers are being misled into believing that they need to avoid many foods they suspect they are sensitive to.
In most cases, it’s not the food that’s the problem. The true problem is the underlying dysfunction within your body.
A perfect example is hypothyroidism and histamine intolerance.
Immune Function, Histamine, and Foods
Like everything in your body, histamine plays an important role in maintaining your health.
It serves a number of important functions, particularly for your immune system.
Histamine is released by your mast cells in response to an immune trigger. It dilates your blood vessels allowing easier access for your immune system to clean up the mess.
The problem, however, is that it creates inflammation in the process.
When immune function is stable and histamine is released in small amounts, the resulting inflammation is low.
The problem occurs when excessive histamine is produced or accumulates, which can result in a large amount of inflammation.
This can lead to histamine intolerance.
Common symptoms of histamine intolerance include:
- Red and/or Itchy Eyes
- Nasal Congestion
- Runny Nose
- Elevated Heart Rate
- Hives or Skin Rash
Histamine can also come from other sources, such as foods.
For example, aged and fermented foods contain higher amounts of histamine. These include:
- Fermented Alcoholic Beverages
- Fermented Foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, kefir, yogurt
- Aged and Cured Meats
- Aged Cheeses
Even healthy thyroid-supportive foods like shellfish, citrus fruits, and chocolate contain histamine.
Many who are histamine intolerant believe they must avoid all foods higher in histamine.
But remember, it’s not the histamines in the food that are the problem. The problem is the overabundance of histamine in your body and your increased sensitivity to it.
This has much to do with your thyroid and estrogen dominance, which I’ll explain in just a minute.
Yet, avoiding healthy thyroid-supportive foods that contain histamine can actually prevent you from overcoming your histamine intolerance.
Take oranges for example.
Sure, oranges contain some histamine, but they can also profoundly help to decrease histamine release within your body.
They can help correct the underlying dysfunction, which you’re about to see.
Hypothyroidism and Histamine Intolerance
Many believe histamine intolerance to be a result of an enzyme deficiency, specifically DAO (diamine oxidase).
The DAO enzyme is responsible for breaking down and clearing histamine from your body.
Sure, this can be a contributing factor, but there’s a lot more to it than that.
I talk a lot about hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance, and the thyroid-suppressive effects of estrogen.
Hypothyroidism causes estrogen dominance, while estrogen dominance further suppresses your thyroid function.
This creates what we refer to as a thyroid-suppressive feedback cycle that traps you in a hypothyroid state and very high levels of estrogen.
Estrogen also drives serotonin production.
This is why we commonly see elevated estrogen and serotonin levels in our thyroid clients.
But here are the important things to know…
Both estrogen and serotonin increase histamine production and the release of estrogen from your mast cells.
Effect of oestradiol on mast cell number and histamine level in the mammary glands of rat.
“More mast cell number and higher histamine concentrations were observed in the oestrous stage than that in the prooestrous and dioestrous stages. Ovariectomy decreased the mast cell number and histamine concentration, which were reconstituted by exogenous oestradiol.”
Estrogen also prevents the clearing of histamine, which further allows the buildup of histamine.
Diamine oxidase (DAO) and female sex hormones.
“Estradiol pretreatment elicited significant fall in DAO activity in the liver and specific increase in the uterus.”
But it gets even worse.
Histamine further increases estrogen levels, creating yet another thyroid-suppressive feedback cycle.
The effect of histamine on progesterone and estradiol secretion of human granulosa cells in serum-free culture.
“Histamine stimulated a dose-related increase in estradiol secretion with a maximal stimulatory effect at 10(-3) mol/l.”
In other words, estrogen causes histamine intolerance in three ways…
- Estrogen increases histamine levels.
- Estrogen inhibits histamine removal.
- The resulting histamine increases estrogen, resulting in the cyclic production of more histamine.
Are you beginning to see the real problem?
This estrogen-histamine cycle has little to do with the foods you’re eating.
Yet, breaking this cycle is essential to overcoming your histamine intolerance.
Remember the oranges (containing histamine) I mentioned previously?
If an orange can help your liver detoxify estrogen, thus helping to break this estrogen-histamine cycle, why would you want to avoid it?
Using this 3 Food Triple-Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol along with the 2-Step Approach I’m about to share with you is a simple way to get started.
You can download this daily protocol here.
Yes, you can use histamine containing foods to help fix the hypothyroidism and histamine problem.
We do it with our clients all the time.
How to Break the Estrogen-Histamine Cycle – The 2-Step Fix
Sure, suffering from hypothyroidism and histamine intolerance isn’t fun.
We need to fix the problem, but preferably without making you feel even more miserable in the process.
That’s why we use this two-step approach to break the hypothyroidism and histamine intolerance cycle.
Step 1: Down-Regulate Histamine Driving Estrogen
If estrogen is the culprit driving your histamine intolerance and making your feel horrible, then of course we want to stop it.
This involves addressing estrogen from all angles:
- Stop the overproduction of estrogen.
- Block estrogen’s actions.
- Support estrogen detoxification to remove it from your body.
Improving your liver health is essential, which is responsible for detoxifying estrogen.
(NOTE: Want to learn more about improving your thyroid by supporting your liver? Read this article on “How to Heal Your Thyroid By Healing Your Liver”.)
We also lower estrogen through the proper use of:
Progesterone not only helps to fix the estrogen problem, it also inhibits the secretion of mast cells to help lower histamine and inflammation.
Progesterone inhibits mast cell secretion.
“These results suggest that mast cell secretion may be regulated by progesterone and may explain the reduced symptoms of certain inflammatory conditions during pregnancy.”
Step 2: Block Histamine with Safe Anti-Histamines
Addressing the estrogen solves half the problem.
But remember, histamine increases estrogen production too.
So, protecting yourself from the harmful effects of histamine is still important.
Preventing the release of histamine and blocking histamine’s actions not only help to relieve your symptoms, they also help fix the problem.
There are many safe and effective anti-histamines you can use, including:
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is a safe first-generation anti-histamine that doesn’t harm the liver and safely blocks the effects of histamine. (Note: The study linking the use of Benadryl to dementia has been debunked.)
There are also amino acids that effectively lower histamine by stabilizing your mast cells and inhibiting histamine’s release.
The amino acid theanine, for example, has been shown to do just that.
Theanine is a candidate amino acid for pharmacological stabilization of mast cells.
“Histamine release from mast cells was decreased with the treatment of theanine.”
So, there you have it.
If you suspect that hypothyroidism and histamine intolerance is a problem for you, don’t whittle your food list down to nothing.
The foods are not the real the problem.
Instead, use this 2-Step Approach to break the estrogen-histamine cycle and start fixing the real problem.
You can use it together with our 3 Food Triple Thyroid-Boosting Daily Protocol to start getting your liver healthy and lowering your histamine driving estrogen levels.
This protocol is used by each and every one of our clients.