I am a chemical produced by the body that acts as a neurotransmitter.
I help regulate stomach acid and boost libido, support the brain and help fight off infection.
Oestrogen increases my production.
Too much of me can result in nausea, headaches, vertigo, flushing, rapid heartbeat, stomach aches, diarrhoea, nose congestion and asthma.
I am also present in food and drinks and can also cause the body to produce more of me. Some foods and drinks can cause a strong reaction in some people because of me.
The body produces me to ward off allergies but I can also cause an over-reaction. I have an important role in making you itch.
Have you guessed who I am?
I am Histamine....
Histamine is a protein produced by mast cells, a type of white blood cell. Too much histamine can be due to mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) where excess histamine is released. Excess histamine can also be caused by poor gut function.
Oestrogen can increase histamine levels in the body by stimulating mast cells and at the same time, reduce the body's ability to clear excess histamine from the body. This combination can also cause heavy periods and period pain.
If you need help assessing whether or not you have a possible issue with histamine, you can contact me here.
Photo credit: Nicole de Khors
Samira Manners - registered naturopath, medical herbalist and nutritionist.