My niece’s paediatrician recommends Zyrtec for hives. It supposedly calms the mast cells better. It seems to work for my niece. Your wife might want to give it a try.
Just a heads up, this is going to be quite the meandering post.
I tried DAO supplements, but one is supposed to take them 15-20 minutes before eating and I could never remember to do that.
I followed many of the directions on Dr. Georgia Eads website. i.e. freezing meat as soon as I brought it home, freezing leftovers in serving size portions, cutting back on high histamine food especially aged meats such as salami and fresh seafood. I don’t drink alcohol so I didn’t have to worry about cutting back on wine or other fermented drinks.
I found over time that if the meat sits in the refrigerator for a day or two before I cook it, I’m okay with that. If I eat leftovers within a few days of cooking the meal, I’m okay with that too. The biggies for me are too much processed meat like salami over the course of day (think charcuterie tray at a party), meat that sat in the frig more than a few days before I cooked it, canned seafood, fresh seafood. If I buy seafood that is frozen I seem to handle it better. Strangely, even now I have trouble with grass fed beef. My theory is that because grass fed beef tends to be tougher than the grocery store grain finished beef, it is hung longer before processing. That gives its more histamine before you even bring it home. This is a theory, I haven’t researched it to see if I’m correct.
For me, too much histamine results in heart palpitations or racing heart, a stuffed up nose, and something called air hunger. Luckily no hives. But even so, taking an antihistamine does help relieve those symptoms.
When I did my seven month carnivore trial several years ago my histamine intolerance became very bad, especially with red meat. Soon after eating beef I would get severe abdominal cramping and diarrhea along with the heart palpitations and terrible itching.
Turns out that vitamin C is an important component in the enzyme we use to break down histamine, diamine oxidase (DAO). I believe (and again I have no proof, just my own anecdote) that meat was not providing enough vitamin C for me to make enough DAO and that was why my histamine intolerance got so bad. Within a week or two of reintroducing some vitamin C containing foods, the histamine intolerance improved. My reactions to beef went away in about a month.
So, at this point for me,
I keep the food as fresh as possibly within reason. For example, I don’t freeze the chicken as soon as I get home if I am going to eat it the following day. If it is going to be longer than that it goes straight into the freezer.
Leftovers are eaten within a day or two or they go in the freezer.
I keep fermented foods or drinks to a minimum. I do have them on occasion but I try to keep it to no more than a serving in a day.
Make sure I have some vitamin C in my diet. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just whatever is found in a serving or two of a low carb fruit or vegetable seems to be enough for me.
If beef is problematic for your wife, she can try chicken, lamb, elk, veal pork. They are processed without hanging.
I’m not sure about menopause making histamine intolerance better since it seems to affect more women than men and tends to strike as we hit middle age.
“Nutrient deficiencies - A B6, vitamin C, zinc or copper deficiency, may put you at risk or contribute to a DAO deficiency.” Gluten intolerance can result in other B-vitamin deficiencies, and B6 is another vitamin we need to make DAO.
This study mentions how much DAO the participants were given with each meal. Maybe your wife wasn’t taking enough to notice a difference.
That’s about all I can think of for now. Let me know if you guys figure something out. I’ll be curious to hear what you do.
Thanks Paul. I use Zyrtec for pollen allergies, but she says it makes her too sleepy. About the only antihistamine she tolerates at all is Benadryl.
I think she has had all these symptoms - I recall her saying she caught herself gulping air. Right now on GAPS she is boiling chicken legs bought at Costco which are cold packed. She boils two packs at a time and the rest are frozen. If you ask me, that is a horribly boring life, but it seems to be helping her. So far the GAPS she is doing is practically Keto. I don’t understand GAPS too well, but it is supposed be a 4 stage diet which is supposed to allow the gut to heal. Thank you for your response. She does take vitamin C at times, but I don’t know how well she takes her supplements.
Your wife may want to listen to this podcast. Mary Ruddick had been a very unwell person when she was in her early 20s and ended up using the GAPS diet to heal herself. It does seem to work.