Evidence Based

Is Histamine Wreaking Havoc in Your Body?

Written by Tessa Sawyers, BS (Communications and New Media) | Last updated:

You may have heard that we’ve been hard at work here at Genius Labs, cooking up new features for SelfDecode, our sister company.

Recently, we announced that we have a brand NEW Personalized Genetics Blog

Anyone can read the blog, but only SelfDecode members with DNA files can see their personalized DNA analysis and recommendations based on the blog topic. We publish new topics regularly!

Today, we’re focusing on histamine levels related to the AOC1 and the HNMT gene. 

If you suffer from allergy-like reactions after you eat, this is typically due to an inflammatory response. For me, amines in food, including histamines, can cause issues.

Too much histamine in your system can cause allergy-like reactions even when you don’t have an allergic response to anything you’ve eaten. This is called histamine intolerance.

So, if you have too much histamine in your system already and you eat food with histamine in it, your body can’t process it, resulting in symptoms that resemble an allergic reaction.

The diamine oxidase enzyme helps to regulate your histamine levels by breaking down histamine in the gut. Your DAO gene determines how much of the enzyme your body makes naturally.

If you have one of the gene variations which results in lower DAO, you are more likely to have a surplus of histamine and histamine intolerance.



If you are at risk for histamine intolerance, you should examine your diet and try to eliminate some foods that are high in histamine.

Some of those include:

  • Legumes
  • Aged cheese
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Canned foods

The simplest solution for reduced DAO activity is also the easiest: taking diamine oxidase, which is available as a supplement.

Before you start implementing solutions, it is important to find out if your symptoms are stemming from histamine or other issues (such as lectin sensitivity) so that you can effectively manage your allergy-like symptoms and start to feel better!

However if you have more migraine-like symptoms and it is not directly tied to your food, you may have a variation of the HNMT gene that results in low HNMT activity. HNMT is responsible for breaking down histamine and is most important in the brain.

This could mean that you have higher brain histamine than usual which can induce headaches or other issues such as hives or eczema. 

In those who have ADHD, an excess of histamine can worsen symptoms of children with ADHD. Therefore, increasing the HNMT gene is beneficial

brain histamine button

If you aren’t a member of SelfDecode, you won’t be able to find out which variation of the gene you have.

What are you waiting for?

For only $59 a year, you can unlock more of what your genes can tell you about how to improve your health.

We’re publishing exciting new articles regularly! Don’t miss out on new information about your genetic health.

SelfHacked Posts on Histamine Intolerance:

About the Author

Tessa Sawyers

BS (Communications and New Media)
Before joining SelfHacked, Tessa was a writer for a well-known general health website and a digital marketer.
She has experience in copywriting, digital marketing and social media strategy. Her passion lies in powerlifting, fitness and overall wellness in the body and mind.

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