Could your medications be contributing to your histamine intolerance?
There are over 50 medications that could be culprits, so if you have symptoms of histamine intolerance and you are on any medications, tune in to this episode to find out if the ones you’re taking could be a problem.
Make sure to discuss any problems with your medication or changes to be made with your doctor! Please don’t change your medications on the basis of this episode alone!
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Read the Transcript
Could your medication be causing your histamine intolerance?
Hi. I’m Dr. Chris Masterjohn of chrismasterjohnphd.com. And this is Chris Masterjohn Lite, where the name of the game is “Details? Shmeetails. Just tell me what works!”
And today we’re going to talk about medications that can contribute to histamine intolerance.
Now, if you’re not histamine intolerant, or you’re not on any medications at all, then you might want to skip over this video. But if you, or someone you know, or someone you take care of, or particularly if you’re a healthcare practitioner, listen in or watch on so that you can see the many medications that can contribute to histamine intolerance.
Once again, histamine intolerance is symptoms such as headache, diarrhea, or anything resembling an allergy in response to foods that are high in histamine. I’ll link to the episodes that are most introductory about histamine intolerance in the description of this episode in case you’re just joining in now.
Now, let’s take a look at this paper. The list of medications I’m about to show you is from the paper “Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance” from 2015.
In this paper there is a very long list of medications that can decrease DAO activity, which prevents you from clearing histamine, drugs that can liberate histamine causing you to produce more histamine, and then some drugs that interfere with vitamin B6, which is an important cofactor for diamine oxidase, again, the enzyme that helps you clear the histamine.
So here we have several of the antiarrhythmics. We have a number of antibiotics. We have one of the painkillers, metamizole. We have antidepressants, psychiatric medications, listing them here. We have antiemetics, antihistamines, antihypertensive drugs, antimalarials, bronchodilators, diuretics, mucolytics, muscle relaxants, and antiseptics. This is a long list, so what I would recommend is that you pause the video, check out each of the names of these medications, and then look at the Wikipedia page or google them to see what names they might go by.
If you’re on any of these—if you’re on any medications, check them against what you might be taking to see if any of them are the same. Then there’s a number of painkillers, antiflogistics, antibiotics, anti-hypotensives, anti-hypertensives, so basically drugs that can increase or decrease your blood pressure, antitussives, cytostatics, diuretics, iodine-containing contrast medium, local anesthetics, muscle relaxants, narcotics, anesthetics.
Again, pause the video and look at the list, double-check the names to see if it corresponds to anything that you’re on. These are the histamine liberators, and then there’s a much smaller list of drugs that can inactivate vitamin B6.
These are the anti—one of the antihypertensive drugs, a couple of the antibiotics, and hormonal contraceptives that contain estrogen. As I noted in the last episode, estrogen down regulates diamine oxidase activity, meaning it lowers the amount of diamine oxidase you have. Whether that’s only from interfering with vitamin B6 or whether it also is independently decreasing DAO doesn’t really matter. Point being, hormonal contraceptives are another way to get more estrogen into your system as would happen in estrogen spikes according to your menstrual cycle like I discussed in the last episode. And so hormonal contraception should be regarded as one of the contributors to histamine intolerance.
All right, so if you’re watching the video, I recommend going back and pausing it where you see that list. And if you’re listening to the podcast, I recommend going to my website chrismasterjohnphd.com, where you can find the link—where you can find the video embedded or find the link to the YouTube or Facebook video. Go to the video, pause the list, pause it where you see the list, and see if any of those categories of drugs might be something you’re taking. If you are, double-check the specific names against the commercial names they go by through Wikipedia or just googling it and see if that corresponds to anything you’re taking.
If it does, then depending on why you’re taking it and how much you need to be taking it and what the alternatives are, you may be able to just getting off the medication or switching to something else that can fulfill the same role without interfering with histamine metabolism. And if that’s the case, that might be one of the important steps to improving your ability to tolerate dietary histamine.