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Treat Elevated Histamine, Naturally

Whole blood histamine levels are tested when determining cause of depression and other mood disorders.

Histamine is reduced or broken down by methyl compounds and so with high histamines the body may become depleted in the methyl groups. Because histamine depletes methyl compounds, it is easy to identify ones methylation status from their histamine levels. Elevated histamine depletes methyl compounds and the resulting undermethylation leads to depression and a host of other mood disorders.

Some common symptoms of undermethylation:
·    OCD obsessive compulsive tendencies
·    SAD Seasonal affective disorder
·    Competitive & perfectionist
·    SSRI medications usually effective
·    Calm exterior with inner tension
·    Strong willed
·    High libido
·    Seasonal allergies

Using the Walsh protocol to treat undermethylation I recommend supplements high in methyl compounds such as the amino acid methionine and SAMe (s-adenosyl methionine).

Diet is also an important factor. Foods that are high in methionine include lean meats, egg whites, poultry, halibut and other fish, soy beans, white beans and brazil nuts. SAMe and methionine help break down histamine by methylating it. Vegetarians and people with high histamine have a hard time getting sufficient methyl compounds in their diets and should be encouraged to take methionine supplements.

Histamine Intolerance:
Another approach to improving methylation status lies in reducing histamine levels in the first place. To this requires a study of one’s health condition and assessment of factors that raise histamine.

Histamine rich foods: Foods that are associated with high histamine levels include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, wine, yogurt, mature cheeses and fermented soy products. It also includes cured, smoked and fermented meats such as salami and sausage, etc. Tomato paste, spinach and canned fish products also have high histamine levels. Citrus foods are histamine liberators which increase histamine release and so should also be avoided.

Histamine is chemically known as a “biogenic amine”. Fermented foods have high levels of these biogenic amines. These are foods that are exposed to microbial decomposition as part of the fermentation or in storage. Lactic acid bacteria are the most problematic biogenic amine producers in fermentation. These bacteria break down amino acids into amine-containing compounds. Biogenic amines are commonly found in wines, cider, dairy, meat, fish, beer, spinach, tomatoes and yeast. Biogenic amines in the form of histamine are the product of bacteria breaking down amino acids. Control biogenic amines to treat elevated histamine

Diamine Oxidase DAO
This is an important enzyme that naturally lowers histamine levels in the body. DAO can be provided as a supplement to lower histamine levels. Symptoms of low DAO includes:
·    Skin irritations – hives, itching, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and acne
·    Headaches
·    Painful menstrual periods
·    Gastrointestinal symptoms
·    Intolerance to fermented foods and alcohol
·    Mucous in sinuses
·    Asthma

Supplements and OTC meds that increase DAO levels include:
·    Vitamin C
·    Vitamin B6
·    Pancreatic enzymes
·    Benadryl

Foods and meds that inhibit DAO
·    Alcohol
·    Curcumin (turmeric)
·    Cimetidine – an antihistamine

 

Histamine and Mast Cells
Histamine is released from “mast cells”. Mast cells are immune cells that line the mucous membranes of the sinuses, digestive tract, the skin, lungs, eyelids, and tissues surrounding blood vessels and nerves. Activation of mast cells plays a key role in asthma, rhinitis, eczema, itching, pain, autoimmunity and hives. Elevated mast cells are associated with female infertility and decreased sperm motility. Stabilize mast cells to treat elevated histamine.

Supplements that stabilize mast cells:
·    Quercitin
·    Curcumin (also decreases DAO)
·    Reishi mushrooms
·    Yohimbine
·    Adrenaline
·    Eleuthero
·    Rutin
·    Theanine
·    Astragalus

Cortisol and Corticotropic Releasing Hormone CRH
It is commonly believed that cortisol causes allergies. That’s only part of the picture. The fact is that cortisol itself lowers histamine levels. It is the hormone that stimulates the adrenal release of cortisol that causes histamine release from mast cells. Chronically elevated CRH is associated with stress, as the release of CRH causes cortisol release from the adrenal glands. Under chronic stress, cortisol levels are low as the adrenal glands become exhausted and cannot produce sufficient cortisol. Yet the CRH hormone is likely elevated in chronic stress because the  hypothalamus releases CRH via the HPA axis as the body is trying to induce more cortisol to address the stress perceived by the brain. Chronic stress is thereby a major cause of histamine release from mast cells due to the effect of corticotropic releasing hormone CRH. We can make assumptions about the level of CRH and cortisol by testing salivary cortisol levels. Because they have a circadian rhythm we test four salivary cortisol levels in a day to establish the overall performance and need for supplementation. Treating elevated cortisol or depressed cortisol levels requires a salivary cortisol test and understanding of the underlying condition.

Herbs and cortical extracts are used to down regulate or supplement the adrenal gland performance. This has the effect of lowering CRH and mast cell release of histamine.

Histamine and Lectins
Foods such as potatoes are high in lectins. Lectins can bind the lining of the intestinal wall and cause leaky gut syndrome. Undigested lectins then enter the blood system and lead to antibody formation and which releases histamine. Foods high in lectins include:

·    White potatoes and unmodified potato starch
·    Tomatoes
·    Soy
·    Gluten containing grains
·    Legumes

Histidine Decarboxylase HDC
The conversion of the amino acid histidine into histamine takes place with the help of HDC enzyme. It is possible to slow the conversion of histidine to histamine by inhibitors of HDC.

Inhibitors of HDC are:
·    Cortisol
·    Catechins – found in green tea, chocolate, kola nut, peaches, acai, apricots, apples, blackberries, raspberries, plums with skin and broad beans
·    SAMe
·    NAC N-acetyl cysteine
·    Homocysteine
·    Carnosine
·    Treat any underlying infection of H Pylori (very common with gastritis)

Histamine and Probiotics
Probiotics in the digestive tract are responsible for producing many compounds in the body. There are bacterial strains that increase histamine as well as intestinal microbes that reduce histamine.
Decreases histamine –  B infantis, B lognum and L plantarum
Increases histamine – L casei, L reuteri and L bulgaricus

Summary of supplements and recommendations to lower histamine while treating undermethylation:

·    Take methionine (500mg-1gm) and SAMe (200mg) supplements
·    DAO diamine oxidase enzymes 2-3 caps
·    Probiotics B infantis, B longum, L plantarum
·    Vitamin C 1000 mg
·    B6 (can also increase histamine carboxylase)
·    Avoid lectin in diet – potatoes and tomatoes
·    Avoid fermented foods
·    Increase proteins high in methionine
·    Use Cromolyn – OTC mast cell stabilizer
·    Bendryl
·    Bromelain and Quercitin
·    Chocamine 1-3 grams – mast cell stabilizer
·    Improve adrenals with herbal and glandular supplements
·    Curcumin (also decreases DAO)
·    NAC N-acetyl cysteine
·    Catechins (green tea etc)

Signs and Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders

An summary of characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Provided by helpguide.org

In both children and adults, the signs and symptoms of the autism spectrum disorders include problems with social skills, speech and language, and restricted activities and interests. However, there are enormous differences when it comes to the severity of the symptoms, their combinations, and the patterns of behavior.

Keep in mind that just because your child has a few autism-like symptoms, it doesn’t mean he or she has an autism spectrum disorder. The autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed based on the presence of multiple symptoms that disrupt your child’s ability to communicate, form relationships, explore, play, and learn.

Where does your child fall on the autism spectrum?

The three autism spectrum disorders share many of the same symptoms, but they differ in their severity and impact. Classic autism, or autistic disorder, is the most severe of the autism spectrum disorders.  Milder variants are Asperger’s Syndrome, sometimes called high-functioning autism, and PDD-NOS, or atypical autism. According to the Autism Spectrum Resource Center, only 20% of people on the autism spectrum have classic autism. The overwhelming majority fall somewhere on the milder range of the spectrum.

Since the autism spectrum disorders share many similar symptoms, it can be difficult to distinguish one from the other, particularly in the early stages. If your child is developmentally delayed or exhibits other autism-like behaviors, you will need to visit a medical professional for a thorough evaluation. Your doctor can help you figure out where, or even if, your child fits on the autistic spectrum.

Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders: Social skills

Basic social interaction can be difficult for children with autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:

  • Unusual or inappropriate body language, gestures, and facial expressions (e.g. avoiding eye contact or using facial expressions that don’t match what he or she is saying).
  • Lack of interest in other people or in sharing interests or achievements (e.g. showing you a drawing, pointing to a bird).
  • Unlikely to approach others or to pursue social interaction; comes across as aloof and detached; prefers to be alone.
  • Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings, reactions, and nonverbal cues.
  • Resistance to being touched.
  • Difficulty or failure to make friends with children the same age.

Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders: Speech and language

Problems with speech and language comprehension are a telltale sign of the autism spectrum disorders. Symptoms may include:

  • Delay in learning how to speak (after the age of 2) or doesn’t talk at all.
  • Speaking in an abnormal tone of voice, or with an odd rhythm or pitch.
  • Repeating words or phrases over and over without communicative intent.
  • Trouble starting a conversation or keeping it going.
  • Difficulty communicating needs or desires.
  • Doesn’t understand simple statements or questions.
  • Taking what is said too literally, missing humor, irony, and sarcasm.

Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders: Restricted behavior and play

Children with autism spectrum disorders are often restricted, rigid, and even obsessive in their behaviors, activities, and interests. Symptoms may include:

  • Repetitive body movements (hand flapping, rocking, spinning); moving constantly.
  • Obsessive attachment to unusual objects (rubber bands, keys, light switches).
  • Preoccupation with a specific topic of interest, often involving numbers or symbols (maps, license plates, sports statistics).
  • A strong need for sameness, order, and routines (e.g. lines up toys, follows a rigid schedule). Gets upset by change in their routine or environment.
  • Clumsiness, abnormal posture, or odd ways of moving.
  • Fascinated by spinning objects, moving pieces, or parts of toys (e.g. spinning the wheels on a race car, instead of playing with the whole car).

How children with autism spectrum disorders play

Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. Unlike a typical curious little kid pointing to things that catch his or her eye, autistic children often appear disinterested or unaware of what’s going on around them. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set.  They usually don’t “play make-believe,” engage in group games, imitate others, or use their toys in creative ways.

Related signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders

While not part of autism’s official diagnostic criteria, children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from one or more of the following problems:

  • Sensory problems – Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.
  • Emotional difficulties – Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, he or she may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior (breaking things, hitting others, or harming him or herself). The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that autistic kids may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.
  • Uneven cognitive abilities – The autism spectrum disorders occur at all intelligence levels. However, even kids with normal to high intelligence often have unevenly developed cognitive skills. Not surprisingly, verbal skills tend to be weaker than nonverbal skills. In addition, children with Autism spectrum disorders typically do well on tasks involving immediate memory or visual skills, while tasks involving symbolic or abstract thinking are more difficult.