4

votes

Seasonal allergies, histamine and food

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 25, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Hello,

I've been on paleo for about two months now - and everything is going smoothly, apart from the first weeks 'low-carb flu'. One of the reasons I was drawn to paleo was seasonal allergies, as I've heard some people saying their seasonal allergies improved a lot.

That being said, I've been having a hard time with my allergies right now - it's peak pollen season here in Portugal and I've had two nasty weeks of runny nose, itchy eyes and sneezing. It's not worse than before, I was just hoping it wouldn't be as bad as last year, before going paleo.

Now I know some might say this might even be related to some specific food, but I doubt it because I'm not eating anything I haven't eaten before. I've cut all dairy, legumes and grains. I usually have eggs and veggies (or dinner leftovers) for breakfast, I'm eating chicken, grass-fed beef, pork and some of fish (something I've always done, as it's quite common to have fish and seafood around here) for lunch and dinner, always with veggies. For fat, I use lard, olive oil (again, very common and popular here in Portugal) and clarified butter sometimes. For snacks I usually have berries or nuts (walnuts, mostly, and not in large quantities).

I don't really have one question, I'm just trying to figure it out why my seasonal allergies haven't improved and if I change anything on what I'm eating to see some improvements.

I've also read a blog post on high-histamine containing food and foods that increase histamine production (apparently, these are different things). Can "dietary histamine" be to blame? Should I try to reduce foods that stimulate histamine release? Any other suggestions?

Thanks a lot!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:52 PM

Allergies are the cause of an anitbody (IgE) reacting inappropriately due to a lack of exposure to tropical parasitic worms in childhood (aka anyone not around the equator in a clean environment). If you reduce overall body inflammation, allergies will be better but still present. Not as simple as fixing digestion ergo fixing allergies.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:50 PM

I find that changing to a different environment really affects me allergies too! Everyone said going from the west to east coast was going to make all my allergies go away ( I live in pollon and cotton wood central back home), but they actually got worst! Just reacted to different things instead.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Yeah, this doesn't work if your allergies are more ragweed/cottonwood/some grasses. Which is a lot of the main ones.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 19, 2012
at 04:20 PM

Here is more information on histamine intolerance: http://thatpaleoguy.com/2011/04/11/histamine-intolerance/ http://thatpaleoguy.com/2011/11/14/histamine-intolerance-update/ I am on a low histamine diet to avoid allergy symptoms. Here's hoping it'll help this spring.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:55 PM

I use local bee pollen and find it helps.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Link to the post by Jamie, That Paleo Guy: http://thatpaleoguy.blogspot.com/2011/04/histamine-intolerance.html

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:08 PM

What helped me : fish (selenium (!) and omega 3), anti-inflammatory vegetables, magnesium (!), vitamin D, vitamin C, coconut oil. Cutting out eggs made a BIG difference (less omega 6 I guess).

Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

(316)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:30 PM

Same here, it took me about 9 months before I stopped having cold/allergies every other month. Keep at it!

Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

(316)

on September 10, 2011
at 01:29 PM

Same here, it took me about 9 months before I stopped having cold/allergies every other months. Keep at it!

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on September 10, 2011
at 01:06 AM

my allergies are from plants the bees don't do business with, like mugwort which is horrendous right now - August/September. So nice hypothesis but no dice.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 28, 2011
at 08:55 PM

The food you eat combined with your body's ability to process it.

13f4ffd700358a716d1f4fc489deaa1a

on July 28, 2011
at 12:53 PM

by poor digestion do you mean the food you eat??

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:56 PM

My experience is that it took almost a year for my allergies to be quiet enough to go off daily meds. And pollen season still gets to me, but much less (unless I eat sugar/crap and then I'm really sorry!)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Nothing triggers my allergies faster than sugar.

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12 Answers

best answer

1
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on May 25, 2011
at 12:40 PM

Adding some local honey to your diet may help. Make sure it is Raw honey though. The theory is it contains bits of the pollens and things in your area so your body gets used to it.

I personally notice that if I eat more sugary foods then my allergies resurface more. If I stay very anti-inflammatory then things go better. I don't see any glaring problems with what you're eating though. It seems like you have it all really dialed in.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 25, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Nothing triggers my allergies faster than sugar.

218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on September 10, 2011
at 01:06 AM

my allergies are from plants the bees don't do business with, like mugwort which is horrendous right now - August/September. So nice hypothesis but no dice.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on October 27, 2011
at 04:55 PM

I use local bee pollen and find it helps.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:48 PM

Yeah, this doesn't work if your allergies are more ragweed/cottonwood/some grasses. Which is a lot of the main ones.

2
35a8b223ae5d863f17a8c9e3a8eed5eb

(571)

on May 30, 2011
at 07:40 AM

I'm on paleo for more than 2 years now, i eat some dairy though (i did some elimination months). My seasonal allergies haven't improved. At least they didn't get worse.

Don Matesz from Primal Wisdom noticed it got worse by eating high fat:

In addition, after years of keeping myself free of seasonal allergies with diet, this spring, after a prolonged period of eating much higher fat and lower plant food than typical of my previous 20 years, I had the worst seasonal allergies I have had in probably 30 years at least, indicating that my own body had gone from low inflammation and strong immunity to to high inflammation and challenged immunity.

1
3553bd360f64aad18bf1984c9714f1d6

on October 27, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Could be you'll have to tweak the diet a bit, at least during allergy season. Recommend checking out the "That paleo guy" blog, has some posts concerning histamine. Go to pubmed.com and search for "low histamine diet", that'll give you some papers to read through and get a picture of histamine and diet. Another thing to check out is the autoimmune protocol on robbwolf.com. Just by a glance at what you wrote in the post I see that eggs, pork, fish and nuts could be foods that contain/raise histamin and thus make you more prone to have a allergic reaction.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on October 27, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Link to the post by Jamie, That Paleo Guy: http://thatpaleoguy.blogspot.com/2011/04/histamine-intolerance.html

1
2455a8f83ccdd3263e7d07238538e45b

on September 10, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Since going paleo my seasonal allergies have completely disappeared. The same can be said for a friend of mind. The body is a complex thing and you still have some healing to do. I would recommend serving out a good herbalist and/or Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor to help identify the issue.

1
218f4d92627e4289cc81178fce5b4d00

on September 10, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Every year at this time (august/september) mugwort and rice pollen destroy me. I was hoping this year would be different a resolution now I have been paleo for 12 months, but sadly no, if anything it was worse. It triggered sinusitis last month and the allegra I had run out the other day and I went haywire, sneezing 11 times in a row yesterday, itchy eyes, itchy skin around my mouth, itchy throat. Just went back to the doc and got more meds, Screw it I would rather not but at the moment I am miserable and irritable. Because I didn't grow up in Japan, perhaps I never built up a tolerance/immunity to them? Japan in summer is hot and humid and weeds,grasses grow at unbelievable rates. Roll on winter please - no sneezing and I can ski.

next year in July I think I might try a 30 day strict paleo challenge, see if that does anything for the situation.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:50 PM

I find that changing to a different environment really affects me allergies too! Everyone said going from the west to east coast was going to make all my allergies go away ( I live in pollon and cotton wood central back home), but they actually got worst! Just reacted to different things instead.

1
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on July 03, 2011
at 07:43 PM

My allergies didn't really improve but at least they held steady since going Paleo and didn't actually worsen. Unfortunately there is still something out there that blooms and tries to take me down. I tried bee pollen local to the area that I'm in and that actually helped. Good luck!

1
61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 27, 2011
at 02:59 PM

I also suffer with allergies. I haven't noticed any change since switching to Paleo (although I really wanted it to help!).

I've been adding raw local honey to my diet, but so far it isn't making any difference at all. I take about a tablespoon every day. It has only been about a month so far.

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on May 30, 2011
at 03:10 AM

All allergies, including environmental allergies are traced back to poor digestion. Work on your digestion, and perhaps next season, you will find yourself suffering less!

13f4ffd700358a716d1f4fc489deaa1a

on July 28, 2011
at 12:53 PM

by poor digestion do you mean the food you eat??

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on July 28, 2011
at 08:55 PM

The food you eat combined with your body's ability to process it.

0
A7c1857ce53fb11a9351d05718c7070d

(283)

on January 03, 2014
at 06:20 PM

My seasonal allergies have improved a little since starting paleo, enough that I can live without antihistamine medications in the spring. I have tried multiple things from Soil Based probiotics and digestive enzymes to naturopathic herbal supplements. These steps have obviously been in search of curing my condition. Last season I was able to begin to control the symptoms with Quercetin, vitmain C, tumeric, and another herb I can't recall (this came in a homeopathic supplement product I bought). But again, this is just another way to control symptoms other than useing antihistamine drugs...not a cure. I have never fully cut out alcohol or done the autoimmune protocol. I was hoping to avoid this step, but it looks like it's what I have to do. We will see how this season goes with that.

I have written a few times on my blog about Seasonal allergies.

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/03/01/seasonal-allergies-are-probiotics-the-cure/

http://www.thebarefootgolfer.com/2013/06/24/seasonal-allergies-revisited-vitamin-d-to-cancer/

0
138119bfeee9a4a62c09b01cd9f3cd4f

on March 05, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Yes I too believe that allergies are cause of poor digestion. My mother had an allergy and when she took digestive peels, allergy problem is very less than before.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 05, 2012
at 03:52 PM

Allergies are the cause of an anitbody (IgE) reacting inappropriately due to a lack of exposure to tropical parasitic worms in childhood (aka anyone not around the equator in a clean environment). If you reduce overall body inflammation, allergies will be better but still present. Not as simple as fixing digestion ergo fixing allergies.

0
18c8e13d3a8c5c22f9b4fc4ecc01a298

on March 05, 2012
at 04:54 AM

I've been on a paleo diet for eight months now and I'm into week 3 of allergy season, with no sign of allergy symptoms at all. Normally, I would be miserable by now. My allergies had been particularly bad the previous three allergy seasons, but after going paleo -- nada. Very unexpected and a very nice surprise! I had many food allergies as well, so my diet is a bit stricter than standard paleo: I also eliminate eggs, red meat, nightshade vegetables, garlic & alcohol. I've also been eating a lot of coconut (coconut oil and coconut milk) as well as some seaweed for the iodine. I had assumed that the disappearance of my seasonal allergies was due to eliminating grains, legumes and/or dairy, but I suppose it might be due to one of the other things I eliminated, or possibly from consuming a lot of coconut or seaweed.

0
19fad2250daf78bd0379b1840ce03ef9

on February 19, 2012
at 04:14 PM

I too suffer from seasonal allergies. I've definitely noticed an improvement in my symptoms. I'm not 100% allergy free and still have to rely on OTC medication some days, but I think over time I'll be symptom free. It's important to be patient. Imagine what a lifetime of eating grains, dairy, and other processed food will do to your immune system. You can't expect to undo the damage so quickly. What I've noticed for myself is that as long as I eat strictly Paleo, I'm OK. Some stuffiness and occasional sneezing, but that's about the worst of it. However, if I slip up and have a piece of bread or some chocolate, my body lets me know very quickly that I ate something bad. Sugar seems to trigger the quickest reaction. Within 30 minutes, I'll be sneezing uncontrollably. Bread takes a little longer, usually a few hours. With alcohol, it depends on how much I have. Some people are lucky. Their bodies are pretty forgiving if they deviate from Primal eating once in a while. They can get away with a cheat meal or even a cheat day. During allergy season, I have no margin for error. If you're someone who's adopted the Paleo lifestyle, but have yet to see any improvement in your allergy symptoms, I suggest giving it more time and scrutinizing your diet. I was convinced I was eating 100% Paleo, but upon closer inspection, I realized that wasn't the case.

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