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4 Resolutions to Manage Food Intolerance

Tips to Get Food Intolerance Under Control 

Every new year brings different types of resolutions. Some are successful, others not. One thing many resolutions have in common is being healthier. For people suffering from food intolerance, life can be challenging without the proper management. Here are a few resolutions from to help get this year off to a healthy start:

Resolution #1: Understand the Difference Between Food Intolerance and a Food Allergy
Today, “food allergy” and “food intolerance” are often used as buzz words interchangeably. In fact, while the symptoms may appear similar, what occurs in the body is quite different. A food allergy is an allergic reaction that triggers a dramatic response from the body’s immune system when a perceived invader enters the body.

Food intolerance, on the other hand, does not involve the immune system. It is usually associated with an enzyme deficiency that is responsible for the degradation of that specific food component, whether it is an enzyme needed for lactose, gluten or histamine in the body.

In other cases, it can be sensitivity to something in the food. High levels of histamine can trigger intolerance. While avoidance of the food culprit is the best way to prevent a reaction in both an allergy and intolerance, they are very different physiological responses to food.

Resolution #2: Keep a Food Diary
Unlike food allergies that have both skin and blood tests, which can be performed to determine the presence of an allergy, food intolerances do not have definitive tests to diagnose them. The only way for consumers to truly know what might be causing a reaction is to determine what the offending food is and eliminate it.

For people who suspect they have a food intolerance, one of the best ways to track food intake is through a food diary. This is a detailed account of everything eaten during a predetermined course of time. The diary also documents symptoms, which occur immediately following ingestion or even hours later. Over a period of weeks, certain trends may begin to emerge and shed light on possible food intolerance.

Resolution #3: Eliminate Suspected Food Culprits
Once a food intolerance is suspected, eliminate the suspected food. The best gauge of how long to eliminate the food is when and if the troublesome symptoms disappear.  After the symptoms disappear, small amounts of the possible offending food can be introduced back into the diet with any negative effects documented.

Resolution #4: Have a Plan
When a food intolerance is present, it’s important for consumers to have a plan of how to avoid this food, particularly while away from home. Sometimes it may be as simple as checking with the cook or restaurant before arriving. Other times, it may be necessary for people to bring their own food when a safe alternative is not available.

For consumers with a sensitivity to high levels of histamine in food, as is found in wine, cheese, processed meats and more, supplementation with the diamine oxidase enzyme found in the product Histame is an option. Also known as the histamine-degrading enzyme, diamine oxidase is shown to reduce the histamine levels that can cause discomfort.