Histamines are produced by the body’s own tissues but are frequently ingested with our food.
Long storage periods and ripening increases the histamine content of foodstuffs.
Histamines are proteins which are found in both animal and plant products and which are therefore contained in numerous foodstuffs. However, they are also added intentionally to certain foodstuffs to ripen or even produce them. This is the case (for example) with smoked sausages, certain cheeses, sauerkraut and alcoholic beverages. The level of histamines also increases with the length of storage.
Foods and beverages that are known to provoke allergic reactions to histamines
- Alcoholic beverages – especially red wine, prosecco and champagne, but also wheat beer
- Cheese – particularly hard cheese, semi-hard cheese, parmesan, fondue cheese, mature gouda and mould cheeses such as brie, camembert or blue/smear-ripened cheese
- Meat – cured-, marinated-, and smoked meat, salami, “kantwurst”, raw sausages, “Knabbernossi” snack sausages and raw ham such as prosciutto
- Fish – tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies
- Shellfish and molluscs – mussels, crab, prawns, shrimps
- Fish conserves – especially canned tunafish and conserved seafood, fish sauces, herring salad, fish products
- Sweets – cocoa, milk and dark chocolate, marzipan, nougat, peanut butter
- Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts, nut spread, and especially peanuts and peanut spread
– tomatoes, especially tomato puree and ketchup, as well as processed products like pizza and red pasta
– soy, soy germs, bean sprouts and soy products such as tofu, sauerkraut, spinach, aubergines, avocado, olives, lentils and beans
– pickled vegetables, boletus mushrooms, morel mushrooms, other mushrooms
- Fruit – strawberries, raspberries, citrus fruits, bananas, pineapples, kiwis, pears, especially overripe fruits and fruit conserves
- Vinegar and products containing vinegar – balsamic vinegar, mustard
Histamine intolerance is not always easy to diagnose
Histamine allergies often go undetected for a long time. The fact that a histamine intolerance can result in a vast array of different responses in the body leads us to think of various other illnesses first. Only a histamine intolerance test will show the true cause of the complaints.
In Austria, approx. 1-2% of the population are affected by this food intolerance – 80% are women.
Common symptoms of histamine intolerance
- Severe fatigue after eating
- Reddening of the skin
- Breathing difficulties up to and including bronchial asthma
- Stomach complaints, diarrhea, loose stools
- Mild nausea
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Menstrual disorders
- Blocked or runny nose
Sensitivity to histamines can be tested by analysing the stools. A suitable diet can then be worked out as part of a consultation. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a histamine-free or low-histamine diet can be sufficient therapy.
Mo-Fr 7am – 4:30pm
Call +43 1 402 22 31 80
Collection of blood- and stool samples:
Mon-Fri 7am – 2pm, Sa 8am – 10am
EUR 37 for histamines in stools
The costs are generally reimbursed under private insurance.
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