Mon, 03/18/2013

Physician at Martin Luther Hospital leads Study Group about Histamine Intolerance

Some people will acquire a histamine intolerance when getting older. Dr. Miriam Stengel, physician at the department of Internal Medicine at Martin Luther Hospital Berlin, which, as PGD International, is part of Paul Gerhard Diakonie describes in a report in the health show 'rbb PRAXIS' of the local TV-station rbb, the medical aspects of histamine intolerance and what it means for the ones who have it. Nevertheless it is still not clear how histamine intolerance is being acquired. The body somehow develops it. Dr. Miriam Stengel is the head of a study group at MLK which tries to find out how histamine intolerance is developed in order to find an antidote to it. At the moment one can only change ones diet to a histamine reduced or even histamine free diet.

Histamine intolerance is quite rare and therefore symptoms of it can easily mixed up with symptoms for other illnesses. Recurrent abdominal pain, diarrhea, skin rash are a sign for it, also headache, low blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders, breathing problems or abdominal pain.

Histamine intolerance occurs when the body is not being able anymore to reduce the histamine. This happens when the body does not have enough of the enzyme diamine oxidase. If the enzyme is not sufficiently available or not active enough, the histamine level in the blood will stay too high. To find out whether the patient suffers from a histamine intolerance a blood test will not be enough. The patient also has to go on a histamine reduced diet. This also is a way to find out whether one has histamine intolerance in a self test.

Histamine is in all those foods that spoil quickly or are subject to fast chemical processes (for example, by fermentation). Whenever possible, individuals should eat fresh. Caution is advised with canned (canned fish, soups, beans), overripe foods such as alcoholic beverages (red wine) and yeast-containing products (beer). Also smoked fish and meat products such as ham, smoked meat, beans, and soy products, yeast, black tea and chocolate can cause discomfort. In slow ripening cheese and sausages (eg Gruyere, Roquefort cheese, salami) higher concentrations are found because microorganisms are active over a longer period and are producing more histamine. The incompatibility can be reinforced with additional allergies or inflammatory bowel disease. Also alcohol or certain medicines (such as acetylcysteine, dipyrone, metoclopramide, and verapamil) may increase an enzyme inhibiting the histamine levels.

Further reading provides this article about Histamine and histamine intolerance published in May 2007 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The interview with Dr. Miriam Stengel on our YouTube Channel.