Histamine, Fermenting, and Sinus Headaches

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 09, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Is it possible to consume so much fermented foods as to cause a histamine reaction? I'm already sensitive to citrus fruit, vinegars, and wine (they all have the potential to cause a sinus headache--especially the citrus as I beleive I'm allergic to them). I've been on a fermentation craze lately, and my constant sinus problems have returned--dry, tight, pressure, pain.

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2 Answers



on February 09, 2013
at 04:41 PM

It might be possible, especially if your ferments have acetic acid-creating bacteria or yeasts in them. Acetobacters are responsible for turning wine into vinegars, and they are carried everywhere by fruit flies (which, strangely enough, don't carry the same kind of bad bacteria that house flies do). Yeast is also part of the production of both wine and vinegar, and traces of yeast can be present in lactofermentation (and it can take over in ferments with fruits).

You might try backing off on the ferments for a while...reduce them for a week, and back off all the way if that doesn't help, then reintroduce after a few weeks. Maybe just too much of a good thing?

If you are doing "wild" fermentation, not using a starter culture, you might also try culturing with a starter culture (which also lets you reduce your salt.) This would give your ferments a boost of healthy bacteria to start them fermenting faster and outgrow anything undesirable.

But at this time of year cold dry air outside can be a problem, as can dry air in heated rooms can be a problem, or molds in rooms where moisture can accumulate, and in warmer areas like the southwest, spring pollens already starting up. Late winter and spring are terrible for me for envitonmental allergy symptoms of all kinds.


on February 12, 2013
at 11:34 AM

Definitely possible... We can see this in cases where milk, gluten and sugars have been over consumed and in return inflammation occurs in the sinuses.

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