Surfing the crimson wave make you crazy? Could be histamine…

A little insulting but still pretty funny…

Tired of your man attributing every nuance of behavior to your menstrual cycle? Well, he could have a point, but you’d die before admitting it (yup that’s me I’m talking about).

Well here’s a little nugget to wave under his nose. It’s not the menstrual cycle, it’s the histamine stupid!

Japanese researchers have (re)confirmed that the histamine lowering diamine oxidase enzyme (DAO) is influenced by the menstrual cycle.

“Serum DAO levels were influenced by the menstrual cycle. Furthermore, our findings suggest that serum DAO levels should be interpreted cautiously in premenopausal women.”

This could explain why an allergy to food or environment seems to affect you differently each time, depending on where you are in your cycle and how much histamine-lowering diamine oxidase is available to you.

We know from Maintz and Novak’s seminal histamine study, that DAO is at its highest during pregnancy (500% – 1000% higher) so it’s a not unreasonable to conclude that lower hormones = lower diamine oxidase? BUT, that’s not right…

“estrogen can influence histamine action. A significant increase in weal and flare size in response to histamine has been observed to correspond to ovulation and peak estrogen concentrations (118).” Maintz and Novak.

This would seem to point to diamine oxidase being lower during ovulation – though we’re now not taking the potential involvement of monoamine oxidase and HNMT (the other enzymes involved in histamine metabolism) into account. Phew, I’ve confused myself. What is certain is that high histamine mimics the symptoms of anxiety so if you have a histamine-related disorder, certain times of the month are going to be tougher than others.

So, where does this leave your average diamine oxidase impaired lass?

That depends where you are in life and what you make of these studies. I certainly noticed that my symptoms wax and wane, seemingly in tune with the lunar cycle. Yeah, ok, I went a little too far there. Yes, there was a correlation, but it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m not so desperate for a chocolate bar that I’ll track my daily temperature and howl at the moon.

Low histamine = happy me and productive life, despite histamine intolerance/histaminosis.

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Check out these other Healing Histamine blog posts


Yasmina was an award-winning broadcast journalist with a decade of experience covering war zones for CNN and the BBC. She devoted her journalism skills to researching and writing about histamine. Click here to learn about her. Each post is carefully and fully referenced with the latest scientific research. Not sure where to start? Here’s a four week meal plan and overall Histamine Reset.

4 Week Histamine Reset

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