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The role of HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE in women's health

The role of histamine intolerance in women's health can't be under estimated. In my clinic I meet many women with undiagnosed histamine intolerance, who suffer with intense symptoms around ovulation and just before their period.



Allergies, congestion


Reflux, bloating, indigestion


histamine sinus allergies trusted naturopath sydney

What is histamine intolerance?

Most of us are familiar with histamine triggering sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and itchiness when we come into contact with pollens or animals. The immune response is to try to expel the allergen from our respiratory system. 

When our immune system is triggered, histamine is released from mast cells and travels through the blood stream.

Histamine intolerance occurs when there is a build up of histamines in the blood stream and the body is no longer able to break it all down sufficiently.

Common foods containing or triggering histamine:

aged foods e.g. aged cheeses and leftovers

fermented foods e.g. wine, miso and kombucha

ripe foods e.g. avocado and banana

cured meats

products made from tomatoes

some fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds 

chocolate :(


COMMON SYMPTOMS that may be due to histamine:

Brain fog, sleepiness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, dizziness, vertigo, irritability

Menstrual changes, fluid retention, PMS with mood changes, migraines with a period  

Urinary burning, painful bladder, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, BURNING AND ITCHING VAGINA  

Heart palpitations, hypertension, racing heart, arrhythmia's, joint pain


Nasal congestion, sinus congestion, sneezing, runny nose, difficulty breathing

Abdominal pain after eating, reflux, gluten sensitivity, bowel changes

It is important to understand that all of these symptoms could be caused by something other than histamine intolerance.

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If you regularly experience several of these symptoms, then I would suspect you have histamine intolerance.

ESTROGEN and histamine intolerance

Histamine intolerance is more often experienced by women than men.

One of the clues that you have histamine intolerance is that your symptoms of anxiety, migraines, interstitial cystitis, or digestive issues are worse before a period, just before ovulation, or during perimenopause.


These are times in your cycle and in your life that relatively higher levels of estrogen naturally occur. It's the high estrogen levels that trigger histamine symptoms.

If you suspect that your symptoms are triggered by histamine, then please keep a track of when they occur to see if they line up with your menstrual cycle.

Read more about the curious connection between estrogen and histamine.

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I meet many women whose otherwise healthy diets contain high histamine foods at every meal.

Naturopath's tips for histamine intolerance

The most reliable test is an elimination diet to remove high histamine foods from your diet from 1 to 4 weeks. Especially leading up to the times when you are expecting to experience symptoms.

It is usually possible to notice an improvement after only one week if histamine intolerance is present. If symptoms improve, then these foods should be avoided for a longer period before careful reintroduction.

Histamine intolerance is usually an underlying symptom of a deeper issue related to your digestive health. It is important to address the root cause of the histamine intolerance so that you reintroduce these foods to your diet and lifestyle.

In my clinic, I support the digestive system and the immune system with herbal medicine, nutrients and probiotics during this period of elimination and reintroduction.


histamine estrogen SIFO  naturopath experineced

Histamine intolerance might be the result of:

~  diet choices 

~  high levels of stress

~  imbalances in gut bacteria (gut dysbiosis) 

~  SIFO (small intestine fungal overgrowth)


~  enzyme deficiencies

~  leaky gut  

~  high estrogen levels

Client feedback

recommended naturopath histamine migraines insomnia

I highly recommend Simone and her caring, compassionate and integrative approach to women's health and wellbeing. 

I realise now that histamine intolerance had been having an impact on my quality of life for a long while and it's wonderful to be not living with these impacts.

Within a week of trying Simone's suggestions I noticed a huge change - no bloating, feeling lighter, less irritable and less hot flushes.

6 weeks later I have no headaches, no migraines, no hot flushes or night sweats and a better nights sleep. I also have less brain fog, more energy and I've lost a few kilos.

My heartfelt thanks are with Simone for her care and listening and gentle guidance. I would strongly recommend Simone.

Tracy C, Doonside, 2021



Start tracking your menstrual cycle, trial a low histamine diet and get some help to heal underlying digestive imbalances so that you no longer have to struggle with symptoms.


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