Significance of High Histamine

You may be thinking that histamine isn’t a hormone, and you’d be partially right. Histamine is kind of a cross between a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It is released by the immune system during times of alarm.

So I’m going to be straight with you—this is a HUGE red flag! It’s one of the most serious imbalances. Your body is really struggling! There are 2 main causes of elevated histamine:

  • Allergies
  • Environmental toxic exposures (especially mold exposure)


If you have significant seasonal or food allergies, you need to do something to get them under control. Believe it or not, healing your gut by eliminating corn, wheat, dairy and processed foods can make a HUGE difference in your allergies.

Environmental Toxic Exposures

If it’s not allergies then I’m concerned that your immune system has been knocked out of whack by toxins. This is something that traditional medicine calls Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) but they don’t really have an explanation for what causes it. I’ve seen it frequently in people exposed to toxic mold.

In addition to the miserable symptoms of unexplained rashes, swelling, hives, raging intestinal upset at the drop of a hat, headaches and anxiety, elevated histamine is worrisome because of its significance of immune system dysfunction.

You need your immune system primed and ready, but on stand-by, to fight viruses, bacteria and cancer. If your immune system is so alarmed that the mast cells are irritated and ready to dump histamine at any moment, then it’s not available to do the above important tasks. That’s why it’s a serious imbalance.

I urge you to take an inventory of your surroundings. Do you see visible mold anywhere? Is there a musty smell? Where there is a musty smell there IS mold nearby—guaranteed! If so, get a professional to come inspect and remediate. This will make a huge difference in your health for the rest of your life!

Digestive Issues with High Histamine

Do you ever notice that sometimes you are very sensitive to foods and other times you can eat them without an issue? I see this a lot in people with elevated histamine.

I explain this with my Histamine Bucket Analogy:

You have a bucket that holds histamine. If the bucket overflows you get miserable symptoms like unexplained rashes, swelling, hives, raging intestinal upset at the drop of a hat, headaches and anxiety

If you are exposed to things in the environment that stimulate immune system alarm, like allergens or toxins (like mold) then the immune system will trigger a release of histamine, maybe it’s just a small amount, so then if don’t have other sources of histamine you won’t have significant symptoms.

However, if you eat red meat, aged cheese, nuts or drink red wine these all contain histamine. Some days they may cause symptoms and other days you may tolerate them. On days when the rest of your immune system is calm and on stand-by, instead of irritated and ready to dump histamine at the drop of a hat, you may tolerate these foods. Then you have an exposure to a toxin (possibly one you are not aware of) and all of a sudden these foods cause horrible symptoms.

I actually see this a lot in my practice. It definitely causes frustration. And confusion in people who don’t realize the connection between histamine in the diet and histamine from toxic exposures…

If you are really struggling then you should consider a low histamine diet until things calm down. Here’s a link to a blog post I wrote that has information on low and high histamine foods.

If You Need Help We’re Here for You!

If you have high histamine from environmental toxicity, you really should work with an expert. If you want to try it “on your own” then here’s a good book to read. If you want to tackle this with the help of a guide, then reach out to my team and we’ll explore if we’re a good fit to work together. Here’s the link to request a call.