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Histamine Intolerance and Migraines

I have very severe Hemiplegic that cause paralysis down the left side and brain stem migraines that make my scalp hurts (the scalp is the pain sensory for brain stem migraines). For several years I have been on amitryptyline and sumatriptan salons with injections.

I have also suddenly become allergic and reactive to just about every medication (including topomax and other migraine drugs) and after unsuccessful allergy shots (I had severe reactions to the lowest dose) my allergist alerted me to a couple of possible conditions – Histamine intolerance and Mast Cell disorder (mast cells aid in DAO the enzyme in the stomach that controls histamine). The probable cause: 6 years on amitryptyline which inhibits DAO production. The result is the bodies constant state of histamine overload and migraine.

Things I was eating all the time to be healthy such as spinach and tomatoes are actually huge histamine triggers. You can’t have salmon or tuna, cinnamon or olives, olive oil or that low cal vinaigrette I love. Probably the most restrictive diet ever.

So my doctor stopped amitryptyline which was hard because I was on it for years but it felt like my head and nose were just draining and my belly fat dropped sharply. Next is DAO supplements before eating and following this very restrictive histamine intolerance diet.

I’m not out of the woods yet as more treatment may be needed if my mast cells are damaged, but I feel I am on the right track.

If you are eating healthy and following the book on migraines with no improvement you may want to consider histamine intolerance as a possible trigger. Some of the healthiest foods are on the list and I am shocked by how different I feel already-on the way to better-but I miss my salmon and spinach!

I thought I would share this especially if you, like me, are eating healthy and following the rules on migraines but still feeling sick, it might be something you might want to discuss with your doctor.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jojiieme
    3 years ago

    🙂 isn’t it scary when we discover foods aren’t comforting but are land mines???
    I was taught a very easy mantra back in the ’80s when we first discovered my salicylates and histamines problem (which then spread to many other food chemical, and many many medications). “If you crave it, it’s bad for you” if you find something is very hard to stop eating, or you suddenly can’t stop thinking about it, you shouldn’t have it in the first place.
    My partner just can’t stop dairy. He should, it pays him out every day. But he has to stuff himself full of cheese and yoghurt. Then wonders why he’s sick.
    If I eat too much broccoli, I wheeze (yes, really). Cheese makes me want to slit my wrists. The taurine in fish brings on my gout. But after all these years, I can allow myself teeny treats once in a blue moon because now I know my limits, what to watch for, and also what my rescues are.
    I also carry an epipen for nuts, because that’s just got more restrictive over time. Yet the standard RAST now says I don’t react to anything.
    (Seeing new allergist next week)

  • Jojiieme
    3 years ago

    Oh dear!
    I thought I should report back. I’ve seen my new allergist and I’m incredibly fortunate because it turns out she’s one of the original team who wrote the books back when I was first diagnosed. And since then everything has changed!
    A lot of what I knew was safe no longer is. For example, way back peeled delicious apples were the same as peeled pears -now they’re equivalent to 10 pears. An olive is equivalent to 20 pears. A peeled carrot used to be safe, now it’s not, a peeled golden sweet potato (yam) isn’t any more, etc. and my animal proteins have to be sashimi grade I.e no more than 4 hours from living, or flash frozen.
    I also got a wonderful mini lecture on posture: neck position bring critical for a lot of reasons (I’m sure we have fact sheets here). And another on BMI and very recent research on immune & pain chemicals rushing through our bodies when it’s actually the fat cells triggering & releasing them, not any ‘real’ invader. And yet another fascinating discussion on a January paper on glutamates and brain messaging! 🙂
    I’m back on the basic Elimination/low sal/low amines for 3 months (down a dress size since Thursday, in bloat! That’s almost a kilo, and I’ve started a period today, Sunday). I’m back to sleeping without a pillow. The day Dr Zs’s RASTs was horrid but everything else is fine.
    Look out for Friendly Foods the cookbook, and it’s companion elimination/shopping guides. (On Amazon etc)

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi JOJ – Thank you greatly for sharing your update!! It’s always so beneficial when a member takes the time to spread any new knowledge they may have received. You are clearly well versed regarding food triggers, but in case you missed them, here are just a few of the articles we’ve shared along the way: and
    Additionally, another interesting read on posture as you mentioned:
    All great advice JOJ and thanks again for sharing!!! We appreciate and love that you are such an active and positive member our community. Have a great day! Joanna ( Team)

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi dregelsey,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. We have information on histamne in this article you may be interested in;


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