Ever wonder why your allergies, histamine intolerance or mast cell condition are worse around the beginning of your cycle? Most of us put down the uptick in our symptoms to plain old PMS (or at least are told that’s what it is). I definitely noticed it. And I was right – it seems we have another important mast cell degranulation/histamine release trigger to add to the list…
According to this study: “Mast cells commonly degranulate around the onset of menstruation, releasing tryptase, chymase and several other molecules.”
For those of you not yet familiar with why I keep talking about mast cell degranulation – there’s already plenty of histamine in our bodies naturally. Histamine is released through mast cell degranulation (and sometimes basophils). So without even adding the histamine that we eat or drink, there’s plenty to go around. That’s because histamine is needed to run most of our bodily functions.
So why the incessant focus on potential histamine triggers?
It’s not because I personally spend every minute of my life tracking them, but rather that for the first two years on the low histamine diet, I was all too ready to throw in the towel every time my health broke down, despite sticking to the eating plan like glue. I don’t want others to be similarly discouraged. Truly unwavering commitment to a low histamine diet helped me (literally) get back on my feet once I realised that there were factors beyond what I ate. Rather than obsessively researching what else could be wrong with me, I came to accept that histamine is involved in every condition that I suspected I might suffer from. Once I understood the connection I just decided the only way forward was to go low histamine, gonzo style.
And I’ve never looked back. Nowadays if I’m good (and I know when I’m bad!) and I still feel like the doggy poop on the bottom of my shoe, I’ll have a little think (and usually run some searches) to figure it out. There’s usually an explanation. And now that I have them, I don’t sweat them. Information is power. It’s helped loosen histamine’s kung fu grip on my life to the point where I am able to just live, and be, rather than stress over the why. My body is a histamine glutton, no matter whether I help it along with hazelnut frosted cupcakes. The best I can do is help it through the rough patches, ease the stress on it, and give it the love and support it needs. My days of hating my body for what it’s doing to me are way over.
So, now that we have this info, what are we gonna do about it? Knowing that things are going to get rocky around that time of the month means that I’m not indulging in any naughtiness for at least a week running up to that joyous time. Why a week? It takes a while for histamine to properly go up (at least when your overall histamine is low like mine) and (seemingly) even longer to come down. I’m extra good to myself – adding a even more green smoothies/juices to the mix. I add more fluids in general as I know that the act of digestion itself causes histamine release, and Dr Fuhrman says that liquids use less enzymes (i.e. less histamine lowering diamine oxidase required).
Need some inspiration on the low histamine diet? Want to know how I went from bed bound washed up medical mystery to running two companies? Here’s how…