The surprising connection between spring allergies and tummy trouble
The Histamine Connection
If spring allergy season brings you a side dish of belly bloating, acid reflux, diarrhea or stomach pain, consider the histamine connection.
Each Spring, my most allergic patients arrive complaining that their digestive systems seem to be going haywire. These new digestive complaints are often accompanied by dizziness, racing heartbeat or headaches--and seem to follow certain meals moreso than others. If this sounds familiar, consider the possibility that your body's histamine cup runneth over, and that foods high in histamine are piling onto an already overloaded system. A temporary low histamine diet may help.
Histamine is a signaling molecule produced by various white blood cells in our bodies-- among them Mast Cells. One of its many jobs is to stimulate the release of stomach acid for normal digestion, but too much of it can send this process into overdrive, causing heartburn, acid indigestion or reflux. Histamine is also a key component of inflammatory and allergic reactions, causing swelling. When this swelling occurs in the intestines, it can cause bloating or changes in bowel function-- either urgent bowel movements OR constipation.