4 Strategies To Help Histamine Related Menstrual Headaches
Many of my clients report headaches that correlate with their menstrual cycle. These clients assume that their headaches are an indication of an underlying hormonal problem. This conclusion is logical and possible, but another common underlying cause is histamine intolerance.
I recently had a client say to me. “I have been getting headaches.” “Do the headaches correlate to any foods you are eating”, I replied. ” No,” she said. “But they do appear to relate to my menstrual cycle.” “In particular, they occur on day 13 of my cycle and occasionally a few days before my period begins.
Interestingly, the timing of the headaches coincides with two peaks of estrogen in the menstrual cycle.
The first peak is the highest and occurs towards the end of ovulation. The second peak occurs a few days before the start of menstruation.
Estrogen decreases the levels of Diamine Oxidase (DAO) the body. DAO is one of the main enzymes in the body that breaks down histamine.
Histamine is a compound that the body produces in the presence of allergens and gut and systemic infections such as Lyme disease.
Chronic or longstanding infections will lead to a buildup of histamine in the body. An excessive accumulation of histamine will lead to symptoms such as headaches.
Therefore if you have an underlying infection with a related high level of histamine, a peak in estrogen and an associated drop in DAO will lead to a spike in histamine.
If you think that you suffer from histamine related menstrual headaches, the following strategies may help.
Strategies to help lower histamine related menstrual headaches
For tackling histamine related menstrual headaches, there are two categories of treatment: symptom-reducing and root cause resolution.
1. Take a Diamine Oxidase (DAO) supplement
If you get histamine related menstrual headaches, try taking a DAO supplement a day or two before you expect your symptoms. I recommend Seeking Health Histamine Block.
2. Avoid high histamine foods
High histamine foods include fermented vegetables and dairy, processed meats and food additives. Avoiding high histamine foods a few days before and during the days you expect your headaches to occur may help reduce symptoms.
3. Take Vitamin C and Quercetin
Quercetin and Vitamin C both help to lower histamine in the body. Taking both nutrients a few days before and during days that you expect your symptoms may improve. I suggest taking Design for Health Stellar C, which contains both Quercetin and Vitamin C.
Root cause resolution
As we discussed above, the body produces histamine in the presence of allergens and infections such as gut infections and Lyme disease. Chronic or longstanding infections will lead to a buildup of histamine. Functional medicine practitioners can help identify and treat underlying infections. Gut infections that can cause excess histamine include Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) and parasites.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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