Headaches. Anxiety. Insomnia. Brain fog. Hives. Nasal congestion. These are just a few of the symptoms of histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome.
Histamine problems are more common in women, and are often worse at ovulation and just before the period. Why? Because that’s when estrogen is high compared to progesterone, and estrogen increases histamine.
Estrogen stimulates mast cells to release histamine and estrogen down-regulates the DAO enzyme that clears histamine. At the same time, histamine stimulates the ovaries to make more estrogen. The net result is a vicious cycle of estrogen → histamine → estrogen → histamine.
Symptoms of “estrogen dominance” (such as PMS and heavy periods) can actually be symptoms of histamine or “mast cell activation.”
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