Do you think you have a histamine migraine?
I have struggled with migraines for as long as I can remember, even as a child.
It wasn’t until recently I realized that high histamine levels were causing my migraines and if I could reduce my histamine levels I could stop my migraines as well as hives, brain fog and a slew of other symptoms.
A histamine migraine is different from a headache. By a migraine, I am talking debilitating pain that causes confusion and even vomiting.
A huge clue to the cause of my migraines came when I got pregnant and realized my histamine migraines would disappear. Little did I know that in pregnancy your placenta produces enzymes that eat away at extra histamine which is why I wasn’t getting headaches after the first month.
After pregnancy, my migraines would come back with a vengeance. After keeping track of my migraines in a journal I realized there was a connection between my gut health and eating high histamine foods.
Histamine is a neurotransmitter that is important in fighting infections and a number of other things. Histamine’s job is to dilate the blood vessels to increase blood flow and fight infection.
When your histamine levels are very high it expands your blood vessels and causes head pain.
Histamine Migraine Symptoms
- Stiff neck
- Head and facial pressure
- Sharp head pain
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Heightened hearing and smell
- Irritable/bad mood
- Irritated bladder
- Frequent Urination
For me personally, I can feel my neck thicken up, I start to get confused and crabby. I also feel my sense of smell heightened and I can feel my blood vessels enlarge in my sinuses.
If I don’t do something fast I get a full blown migraine within a few hours. The migraine pain can last a few days with nausea and vomiting.
High histamine levels are also linked to
- Rapid heartbeat
- Panic attacks
- Air hunger
- Adrenaline rushes
- Weight problems
Remember histamine is an important neurotransmitter and isn’t the bad guy. It is connected to every aspect of our bodies.
Histamine Receptor 1 (H1) We can see symptoms such as rash, hives, eczema, itching, breathing problems
Histamine Receptor 2 (H2) Gastro-intestinal tract, acid reflux, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bowel disorders
Histamine Receptor 3 (H3) Central nervous system, sleep, memory, mood problems
Histamine Receptor 4 (H4) Stimulates mast cells in bones causing inflammation
When histamine levels are high, people can be allergic to anything and everything. Even the sun can trigger rashes and hives. It becomes a battle of fighting against foods, pollen, soaps, and lotions and even smells.
Fixing Histamine Migraines
In order to start reducing my histamine migraines, I had to deal with a few things.
First, I had to cut out foods and chemicals that were causing me to have an allergic reaction and release histamine. This list will vary from person to person. I cut out leftover food and a whole list of high histamine foods. I also cut out perfumes, air fresheners, and strong cleaners.
Next, I had to deal with a gut infection that was causing extra histamine to be produced. Candida and bad gut bacteria can produce histamine in the gut causing your overall levels to rise and overflow so to speak.
If you think of histamine overload like a bucket when your histamine overflows you get a slew of symptoms including a histamine migraine.
Working on keeping the bucket low will not only reduce your migraines but will give you a clear head as well.
I went full force into killing off candida and bad gut bacteria which cut my migraines in half.
Histamine migraine hacks
If you feel a migraine even slightly coming on, chug water! Histamine is water soluble and I have averted migraines by drinking tons of water if I felt one coming on and diluted the histamine enough to stop the dilation of blood vessels.
Avoid smells as much as possible. Perfumes, lotions, hair products or anything with fragrance. I have had to get up and move seats if someone came up to me and sat down wearing perfume. I’m not going to spend the next few days hovering over the toilet because someone took a bath in fragrance.
I don’t eat leftover food, ever. After food is done cooking it starts growing bacteria soon after. This includes meats that sit under a warmer like a buffet. I only eat freshly cooked food.
I do think it’s important to get sunshine on your skin every day but if I sit in the sun for a long period of time, it releases histamine and gives me a headache. If I am outside which I preach is so important, I take breaks from the sun.
I wear sunglasses in the car if we are going to be driving for a while and there are flickering lights, like the sun shining through the trees. It may sound stupid but it can trigger a migraine.
I avoid vinegar at all costs. I know some say vinegar is healthy but it’s not for me. Eating fermented foods and vinegar gives me a histamine migraine every time. This includes lots of vinegar salad dressings.
I do use essential oils except for a few such as lavender. I know that seems to be everyone’s favorite oil but it gives me a migraine. Some of the flowery top note essential oils really bother me. I do better with the low notes and earthy smells.
Reducing histamine levels
By working on reducing histamine levels and taking note of personal triggers for yourself, you should be able to stop your migraines.
I had to deal with my gut infections before I saw a huge difference because that was the main source of histamine overload for me. Simply using the Candida Diet helped me kill off candida and bad gut bacteria enough to see a huge difference.
Let me know what histamine migraine hacks you use when you get a migraine?
If we work together we can put a stop to these histamine migraines for good and have a clear head.