Histadelia - A primer on Histamine, Folate and Methylation

When people think about histamine , they focus on its role in producing annoying allergy-like symptoms. However, histamine is also a major neurotransmitter with a very distinct profile. If the level of histamine is very high, you could suffer from histadelia.

How do you know if you have histadelia?

Histadelia is characterized by insomnia, gastric pain, nausea, and persistent headaches. There's a tendency towards depression, a state of chronic inner tension, and an obsessive-compulsive-like mood with a short temper and even phobias. If you’re lying in bed at night hoping for sleep, but your brain won't stop, this can be the chatter of histamine expressing itself.

Histamine is metabolized through methylation When histamine levels increase, the pool of available methyl donors can be depleted. Normally, we consume sufficient methyl donors from our foods. However, when the release of histamine is not matched by sufficient methyl donors then the level of histamine backs up and histadelia symptoms develop.

How can you reduce levels of histamine?

Reducing high levels of histamine is focused on supplying more methyl donors:

The essential amino acid L-Methionine is the best way to do this. A single 500 mg capsule at bedtime can begin to bring relief. -SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is also a good methyl donor.

There are other supplementary and dietary considerations as well. Orthomolecular psychiatrists worked out the diagnostic and treatments protocols for treating histamine and methylation disturbances decades ago. There is a lot of scientific and clinical literature available for those who want to pursue this.

Beware of excess folate in your diet, One thing to caution readers about concerns the role of folate - folic acid, in all of this chemistry. Nothing raises blood histamine surer, faster and higher than excess dietary folate. If a knowledgeable practitioner believes you are tending to histadelia the first thing they should recommend is that you immediately stop taking any multivitamins containing folic acid. In extreme cases, a physician may prescribe the prescription anti-folate Dilantin until things stabilize.

An interesting and illustrative anecdote on folate and histamine was observed by the late Carl Pfeiffer, M.D. who was a leader in this field. He reported that he and his colleagues were puzzled that so many histadelic patients relapsed in the summer months. Eventually, the reason was found to lie in the increase of dietary folate that was found in green , leafy salad vegetables that people ate throughout the summer months.

When this was corrected, his patients improved, but a new name was born "Summer Salad Syndrome". No kidding.