Tummy pain on a healthy diet
Hi. I have serious tummy problems and believe I have a dairy intolerance. However my tummy ( and wheezing) gets worse when I eliminate dairy and eat a ‘healthy’ diet of lots of fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and avocados and dark chocolate. I don’t eat meat but do eat fish. I’m beginning to wonder whether I have a problem with amines? Could you suggest an elimination diet or any advice? Thank you x
When we eliminate some food we increase another. Your healthy diet may include various foods or factors that do not help. This can include acidy fruit, spices and others, as well as rich food [which included chocolate too]. You did not mention bloating but if you have bloating as well you can get help from a dietitian about all the sources of wind, and there are quite a few. See the article in the Section – Articles – onhttp://www.FoodIntolerancePro.com in the section Food Intolerance. The article is called Which elimination diet should you begin with? and you can see why it can be confusing but solvable –http://www.foodintolerancepro.com/category/food-intolerance/which-elimination-diet/
You can learn that you need to consider the suspect additives, and the natural chemicals that cause reactions as well. You can get even more detail by reading Are You Food Sensitive? because diets cannot be summed up by a couple of pages of do’s and dont’s. It really makes a difference if you can understand how to use information in your family to decide which whole foods to consider, especially to use the tricks whereby dairy may just need to be limited but not excluded. You can also learn about Target organ sensitivity [in your case both your tummy and your lungs ], and the Total Body Load idea of all the foods and things in your environment that build up to your personal threshold. I call the whole process diet detective work and within 3 months you can be on your very own diet that suits just you. I wish you well.
PS There is additional info in Tolerating Troublesome Foods to help you make your diet as slack as possible, while still reducing your symptoms.
Is diet response a placebo?
I reaction am currently testing myself for amine intolerance by using an amine elimination diet. I have been doing this for that past month. I am concerned about the placebo effect and am wondering how accurate this testing can be. I really want to remain objective but am finding is very confusing. How can I get an accurate result in testing this?
That is a very good question. I presume you have learnt much by using ALL the information on Amines on this site, and have been on the strict diet for four weeks. You can resolve your concern in a number of ways. The first is to blame anything besides diet for your symptoms when you begin challenges, making sure you use all the detail in ‘Are You Food Sensitive?’ testing only one food over 7 days in increasing amounts. So if you have had to deal with some change in the environment such as some strong smell, or increased stress, then blame that, and double the amount of the test food. If it was not the test food your symptoms will not get worse, but if it was the food they will. Of course it is best not to test a food when something else is changing but you cannot always plan for changes in the world around you! Kerri-Anne, it is complex and so I have gone to lots of trouble to write out the detail of all the factors that can change tolerance – in you, in the environment, and, importantly, in the food itself, in Tolerating Troublesome Foods. Seehttp://www.foodintolerancepro.com/tolerating-troublesome-foods/ I can assure you that other amine sensitive people, after a time, become extreamly good at knowing when they are having a diet reaction and when it is something else.
Chocolate surprising as not a pleasant experience
Whenever I eat chocolate I get a very dried out feeling. It takes away my feeling of vitality and wellbeing. Also if I eat dark chocolate its way worse. I will feel like I’m sucked dry of all dopamine. I will feel dull and won’t be able to feel pleasure feelings. I actually will not eat dark chocolate especially because it makes me feel so bad. I was wondering if this could be due to an amine sensitivity since chocolate is mentioned.
You certainly sound as if you are sensitive to chocolate. It contains only one type of amine [phenylethylamine] so the good news is that chocolate may be the only food you react to. However if you get similar symptoms after other foods – maybe rich foods that do not contain chocolate], then you can investigate them too.
You do sound clear about the connection to chocolate and it sounds like a reaction you want to avoid! If you get these symptoms when you have completely excluded all chocolate you can go to the Articles section on my site and look at the pages on Amines and you will see examples of foods that contain other types of amines and which foods contain them. You would not be alone if chocolate is the only food you react to, but that does not mean it is not important to you. Do tell your doctor and report to him or her if you get a similar reaction to any medicines. My best wishes in your increasing diet awareness. Kind regards
Waking at 4am wired, and later migraine began
Hi. I have been aware of my food sensitivities for about two years. I have eliminated gluten, dairy, leafy green vegetables, beans, oats, and limit my intake of peanuts. I’ve had brain fog for ages and have always assumed it had to do with sleep (because I frequently wake up at 4am wired and not able to go back to sleep). In the past 3 months I have started getting migraines and the brain fog has heavily increased, which has been more noticeable b/c I am a student and frequently having to concentrate! I recently had a meal of chicken, balsamic vinagrette (which I had not had in about 3-4 weeks), red wine, tomatoes and olives. The first night I woke up in the middle of the night and had a slight headache the next day. The next night (to which I added the red wine) I felt horrible, barely slept, and was extremely nasueaus the next day with heavy brain fog. That is when I began looking into sensitivity to histamines and different amines. I am looking into your book- but just wondering if you have any immediate advice. My diet is so limited already I am just a bit overwhelmed at where to start. Also, do you suggest any remedies for the day after a high amine diet (if I am still figuring out what I am sensitive to?) I find it quite hard to properly concentrate and go about the day. Thank you!
I could write a book on all you need to know! And I have! Yes you need to get Are You Food Sensitive? and also read most of the articles on the Article section on the site for lots of information. As well as investigating amines you also need to look at additives, and it is worth considering salicylates and MSG. Remember the brain fog is similar to the problems re thinking that I deal with in ADHD kids who also wake wired. The immediate advice is to read the book and do the Family Sensitivity History and use what you find, especially whether you need to completely exclude the foods you have excluded. There is no quick remedy for the day after, but do take action to treat your symptoms eg headache with painkillers your doctor is happy with [and have no additive colour or flavour, and best to avoid aspirin]. You could also discuss with your doctor use of urinary alkalisers for you as some report that helps. All the best as you work through the book to find the right diet for yourself.
Threshold, eating leftovers, and there damage from suspect foods
Hi. About seven years ago I went on an elimination diet to determine the cause of bad bone and joint pain and found I am gluten sensitive. That was my only food issue (other than difficulty chewing due to TMJ replacement) until about a year and a half ago. Around the time of some serious family stress I started reacting to a wide variety of foods including dairy, soy, rice (probably due to excess consumption after going gluten free), chocolate, pineapple, citrus sodas and port wine. My symptoms vary from slight cough, to violent coughing, congestion, itching, difficulty breathing, digestive upset, lethargy, etc. IGE testing showed no allergies, but IGG testing showed reactions to eggs, yeast and pecans. The difficult/frustrating thing is that some foods I may react to one day, but not the next so I am unsure which foods I really need to avoid. This inconsistency has made me wonder if there is something in foods that I’m reacting to once a certain threshold has been reached in my body – specifically thinking of salicylates and/or amines here. I tried doing a strict elimination diet, but got very discouraged when I had reactions after eating a supposedly safe meal of lamb, green beans and pears. This is why I began considering amines as I tend to prep a weeks worth of meals on the weekend, then eat leftovers all week. Anyway, I’ve gone through all that to ask this – if amines are the cause of my reactions am I doing damage to my body by continuing to eat amine containing foods?
Are you doing damage to your body by eating foods you suspect are causing reactions? This is a very interesting question. It appears that the only damage is the discomfort of whatever symptoms you get while they are happening. I know this as some people get very good results when they trial diet even though they have been putting up with symptoms all of their lives. So the amount of improvement diet can produce is more related to just how much improvement diet can give to that person, not to how long they have had the symptoms. If babies and children under age seven got great improvement and adults got much less we could worry that the suspect chemicals had caused some damage to the body. I have met people who once they know they are diet responders occasionally eat a food or foods that cause reactions because they really love some food and are prepared to put up with some symptoms knowing that the discomfort is all they have to cope with. Previously they may have worried they had a cancer or tumour and it is such a relief to know that symptoms only come when they relax their diet too much, or eat a particular high risk food. You can go to my Articles section and read the article “Is food intolerance and inborn error of metabolism?” You would probably also enjoy the chapters in Tolerating Troublesome Foods that provides information on how food tolerance can change for many reasons. These reasons can be in you and be constant, such as just how sensitive you are, they can be in you and vary, such as when you have an infection or are stressed, they can be in the environment, such as smells, or in the food itself. You can note all the tricks that help with tolerance on 300 different foods, in the Best Guess Food Guide that help increase the likelihood of the various foods being tolerated. I wish you all the best in your search for your best diet for your particular lifestyle.
Wanting to stop medication but cravings
Hi, I’ve recently been diagnosed as having an intolerance to Amines. If I stick to the allowable fruits, vegetables, nuts, limited dairy, and chicken or tuna I don’t seem to get any flare-ups (my skin goes red, dry, itchy, and swollen especially on my face). however, I am taking a daily antihistamine and most days a Prednisone tablet as well.
I really want to stop taking the medication but wonder what types of vitamins possibly mimic the tablets without the side effects?
I struggle with the bland diet and do occasionally cave and have high amines foods with terrible side effects!
Can you help???
Thank you kindly,
There are various lists of low amine foods so I suggest you look at different ones to see if you can expand what you can eat. My other idea is to use what others have found, particularly that there is individual variation in just which high amine foods are tolerated in you personally. This may not be the same as in other amine-sensitive people. For example one amine-sensitive person may react to chocolate, aged beef, brown sauces, but not react to just-ripe bananas or just ripe broccoli or mild avocado. Another may tolerate limited chocolate but not home-made gravy made in the pan.
I remember a patient who had migraines if she had milk one day after the milk carton had been opened and stored in the refrigerator. If she always had the milk only on the first day it was open she had no reaction.
It is worth reading my most recent book Tolerating Troublesome Foods which gives hints on how to use many foods so you have minimal reactions. [See the newly reduced prices for all books!] If you use all the information there you may be able to broaden your diet so you crave suspect foods less. You can learn tricks to make the diet more effective and so reduce your meds, but another way to look at it is that while taking the medication your system is better able to cope with some amines in the diet. Vitamin tablets do not replace antihistamines nor Prednisone [which should be reviewed by your doctor from time to time]. There is no reason why a low amine diet should be lacking in vitamins but do seek out a registered dietitian to check your overall nutrition if you are concerned. It takes a little time to enjoy your new way of eating, but you can become a gourmet of good quality foods that do not need sauces or marinades to make them palatable. Use the idea from Tolerating: “It’s got to be per-fect” to suit you!
Migraine symptoms so severe they are not believed
After years of suffering from debilitating migraines and severe nausea with vomiting, I have finally found some great information regarding migraines, cyclic vomiting syndrome and the link to tyramine. I wish I knew this 10 years ago. Only if you know me and have actually observed an “episode”, no one ever believed me. Not my doctors, employers or friends. I would wake up in the middle of the night with severe nausea and a bad “headache”. Vomiting always followed. The thing that is bad is that it would last for hours to days. The vomiting was so bad, that I would retch/vomit at least 10 times and hour. I would go in the shower and have to lay down and let the hot water just beat on me for at least 20 minutes. This is the only relief. After 12 hours, I usually end up in the emergency room because of the dehydration and non stop vomiting. The migraine would never go away until the vomiting stopped. Now that I look back, I can see the pattern. I love liverwurst, ham, pickles, everything that is on the list for foods to avoid. Thank you for this web site.
You are one of the people who have the worst type of migraines. Migraine is bad enough on its own and even worse with vomiting! The problem is that each migraine sufferer has their own cluster of symptoms. This means that doctors, employers and friends who have heard of migraines, but not your particular type, don’t believe you, as you say. Other migraine sufferers who become exquisitely sensitive to light, sound, or with any motion, or have a migraine after every plane flight, are believed to varying degrees. I am glad you realize you are amine sensitive. The food you used to love certainly would have added up to a migraine in an amine sensitive person. There is an important idea that goes with this thinking. It is that each amine sensitive person has their own sensitivities. Yes, all will get symptoms if the overall load of high amine foods is included, but when you go back to a low amine diet you can test low amine foods. I have met people who can have chocolate, but not aged rump, or home-made gravy. Some can have canned tuna but not ripe bananas. See Tolerating Troublesome Foods for hints on how to maximise your chances of tolerating foods.
Waking in a confused state after tyramines
I’ve found this site really interesting. I think I have a tyramine sensitivity, but I have never met anyone with the exact symptoms as me. After eating something high in Tyramines, I wake up in a confused state from sleeping. I am panicked, my heart is racing and it takes about 5-10 minutes for me to get back to reality. I’ve worked out that figs, aubergines, over ripe bananas, gravy powder are dangerous for me, and I am still learning what else is. It is very frightening waking up in this state. The hard thing is that Tyramine is in so many things, and yet some things don’t effect me, such as red wine. I also have suffered from migranes, but normally they are related to the “time of the month”
Thank you for sharing your unusual symptoms with other readers. Your symptoms are very unusual and special in a way you may not have thought of. They are probably a very good description of what we call “night terrors” in children, but children cannot describe what is happening to them nearly as well as well as you have done. Parents often say the child cannot be consoled for quite a while.
Your unusual symptoms, if considered separately have been reported by others. Occasionally some adults will tell me they wake up having a panic attack, others report their heart racing. Many report some degree of confusion, or use words like ‘fuzzy thinking’ or ‘brain fog’. Your severe confusion on waking combined with the others, does sound very frightening.
Tyramine and other amines are in many foods. It is important to realize that there are many different types of amines, and that each amine sensitive person can be sensitive to their own particular ones.
And to make it more complicated, people who are sensitive to amines are often sensitive to other chemicals in food, some natural such as tyramine, some as additive colours, flavours, some preservatives, and glutamates. Gravy powders can have some of these as well as the flavours that may have amines derived from the browning of meats.
These other suspect foods do not show up as separate problems but they can add up to “aggravating the underlying condition”. I call them “the layer underneath”.
See the revealing information on in the Article section on amines, and my book Are You Food Sensitive? to learn how to do diet detective work to manage your diet using all the tricks I have learnt about being able to get away with as many foods as possible.
Your idea of the migraines being related to the “time of the month” is important as it shows the importance of all the in-the-person and in-the-environment factors that affect just whether you will reach your threshold for symptoms to occur. You can read all about the idea of the “Total Body Load” in Chapter 2 of my book describing the detail of all the factors such as hormones, stress, or smells, which contribute to whether or not you will have a reaction.
Overall the best way to find out what you do and do not tolerate is to use the Diet Detective Method to cut out sufficient foods to start with [but not too many] and reintroduce them using all the tricks so you have the maximum chance of tolerance. All the information on how to do this is in Are You Food Sensitive?
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge of your amine sensitivity with others.
All the best with your own diet detective work!
I stumbled across your site while trying to help my 6 year old son. I read a lot on Tyramine and wondered if my son,s symptoms fit. For the past 4 years his symptoms are as follows. When he is active, he overheats. Headache comes on then vomiting. He will be lethargic until he cools down. It lasts for about an hour. It takes about 30 minutes of activity ( running, baseball, etc) to bring on the symptoms.
He has bad dreams. He also has constipation with hard stools. He has been to a neurologist, allergist, pulmonary specialist. They say he may have a histamine intolerance. With out specific blood work testing.
We have started the strict diet. He loves hot dogs, sausage,etc. They have been eliminated for the past 5 days. I was wondering if Tyramine fits.
Thank you, searching for answers
Scott 27 06 14
Thank you for your well thought out reply. Many doctors have said he does not have exercise induced allergy. Some days he can be active for hours with no symptoms. However I am not ruling anything out.
He drinks a good amount of water, of course we will give him more.
He is extremely athletic. We have cooling towels everywhere, including in school. He is old enough now to realize what his body is doing and he usually stops at the headache avoiding the vomiting., his early years were a lot of vomiting.
Our current doctor had him take Claritin and or Zyrtec daily then with a episode a quick Benadryl tablet. The Benadryl quickly relieved his headache, the effects were short lasting as soon as activity began. I felt he had doubled his episodes in previous years with that cocktail of antihistamines, so we began searching again, which led us to strict strict diet for answers. I would be grateful for feedback from others who may be dealing with something similar.
Scott 28 06 14
Your son’s pattern of reaction is very unusual.
Each food sensitive child or adult has his own set of symptoms, and your son’s set is unusual. I am glad you have had the important medical investigations. So I presume exercise induced allergy has been excluded.
The first thought is to wonder if he is generally a bit dehydrated, hence the hard stools. Then when he gets active he becomes hot, further dehydrated and the headache and vomiting follow and he is ‘flat’ until his system recovers. To minimize this happening it is important to offer little sips or small drinks often every day, including throughout any meal, as children often do not want to have full glasses at one time. This may also decrease the hard stools. With regard to the symptoms with exercise you could perhaps stress having a bit more water before any exercise that will last over 10 min and give water when he gets at all hot, and more if he gets hotter. Adding cold water outside his body may help too. I remember one food-sensitive older boy who, at school, used to fill his cap with water and pour it over his head to help him cool off!
The second thought relates to your wonder if he is food sensitive, and then we can wonder what he may be food sensitive to. Each of his symptoms occurs in food sensitive children; many parents report that their diet-responding children are often hot, may be more active than the average child, often have headaches, lethargy, and some also have bad dreams. Constipation can be due to food intolerance just as diarrhea is. So diet investigation may be a good idea.
That leads us to ask what might he be sensitive to? Tyramine is one suspect chemical, so are other amines, especially the one in chocolate, and histamine. As well, many children react to additives, and other suspect chemicals called salicylates [high in tomato sauce and many other foods], and monosodium glutamate.
This might sound complex but it is manageable. You can read all the information in the various articles in the Article section of my website www.FoodIntolerancePro.com
And if you want to investigate diet you will see I have written all that I have learnt into the book “Are You Food Sensitive?” which takes you through the steps. Seehttp://foodintolerancepro.com/food-sensitivity-advice/
This avoids you just investigating tyramine only and then wondering why the symptoms still happen with other foods or additives.
One important part is learning about various symptoms in the family, and their importance. This is explained in Chapter 4 and it will give you much to think about that is helpful. You will also learn about symptoms often getting worse during withdrawal, and about cravings that can happen. I wish you well in helping your child and would be very interested to hear what you find out.