These symptoms can be used to identify histamine intolerance


Histamine is a tissue hormone and neurotransmitter. It is made in the human body, but it is also found in numerous foods.
In people with a histamine intolerance, i.e. an intolerance to histamine, an increased histamine intake can lead to numerous symptoms. The intolerance is probably due to the fact that one of the body's enzymes that are responsible for breaking down histamine is not sufficiently available. This leads to an excess of histamine which can cause various complaints.
Histamine intolerance is a rare disease that is difficult to diagnose. Presumably it is misdiagnosed far too often.

Also read: Histamine intolerance

Overview of the symptoms

  • Skin symptoms

    • itching

    • Eczematous rash

    • Hives (urticaria)

    • Itching (pruritus)

    • Sudden reddening of the skin (flush)

  • Symptoms related to the gastrointestinal tract

    • Diarrhea (diarrhea)

    • stomach pain

    • Constipation (constipation)

    • Nausea and vomiting

    • Wind (flatulence)

  • a headache

  • dizziness

  • Runny nose

  • to cough

  • bronchial asthma

  • Blood pressure that is too high or too low (hypertension / hypotension)

  • Racing heart (tachycardia)

  • Cardiac arrhythmias

  • Water retention (edema)

  • fatigue

  • depressions

  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)

More on this: How can you test for histamine intolerance?

Symptoms on the skin

skin rash

If you are histamine intolerant, excess histamine can lead to different types of rashes.
It can lead to eczematous rashes, but also to hives (urticaria). A sudden red coloration of the skin (flush) is also possible. The different types of rash can only last for a few minutes or for several hours.

Also read: Rash - What's Behind It?


The various skin rashes that can occur as part of a histamine intolerance are often associated with more or less pronounced itching. Itching occurs less often without a change in the skin.

Additional information at: Skin itches


A flush is a sudden red coloration of the skin.
This reddening occurs mainly in the area of ​​the face, neck and décolleté. The cause of the flush is a sudden dilation of blood vessels. Such a flush can occur in the context of a histamine intolerance. The symptoms usually last only seconds to minutes.

You can find important information at: Flush syndrome

More symptoms

Mental symptoms

In addition to the numerous physical symptoms that can cause histamine intolerance, a histamine breakdown disorder can also lead to mental disorders.
These include, for example, increased restlessness and nervousness, sleep disorders and depressive moods.

More on this: sleep disorders

Symptoms around the eyes

Histamine intolerance can have many different faces. It can also be associated with symptoms that look like an allergy.
These can include watery, itchy, and red eyes. However, it should be noted that such symptoms in the eyes occur much more frequently in the context of actual allergies such as hay fever, animal hair allergies or a house dust allergy. Histamine intolerance remains a controversial and rare condition that is probably too often made as a diagnosis of embarrassment.


In the case of histamine intolerance, symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract are common.
Diffuse abdominal pain and diarrhea often occur. Especially after consuming foods rich in histamine. The frequency of diarrhea is very different.

You might also be interested in:

  • Food allergy
  • Testing for a food allergy


Flatulence can also occur in the context of an excess of histamine with insufficient or delayed breakdown of histamine in the body.
They can be accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhea. Nausea and vomiting can also occur in the context of histamine intolerance.

Headaches and migraines

Histamine intolerance can lead to headaches both in patients with known migraines and in patients who do not otherwise suffer from headaches.
These occur when there is an excess supply of histamine, for example after eating foods containing histamine. The lack of breakdown of the histamine then triggers the headache. Many migraine sufferers have been shown to have reduced activity of the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down histamine. Therefore, numerous migraine sufferers report a triggering of the migraine symptoms after consuming histamine-rich foods such as cheese or red wine.

You may also be interested in this topic: Migraine attack

Racing heart

A racing heart is a possible symptom of histamine intolerance. Shortly after ingesting an increased amount of histamine with food, the heartbeat can accelerate up to a racing heart (tachycardia). Cardiac arrhythmias such as extrasystoles (heart stumbling) can also occur.

You can find more causes of palpitations here: Causes of palpitations

Weight gain

Weight gain is also a symptom that people who believe they may have histamine intolerance occasionally report.
In most cases, however, there does not seem to be a direct link between actual histamine intolerance and weight gain.


It is discussed that histamine intolerance can also trigger depression.
However, it should not go unmentioned that the clinical picture of histamine intolerance is generally not entirely undisputed among experts. One of the reasons for this is that the diagnosis is difficult to make. There is also hardly any reliable scientific data on histamine intolerance. So far there are no reliable data on depressive disorders caused by histamine intolerance.

Read more about this: Causes of depression

Hair loss

Occasionally you can read that histamine intolerance can also lead to hair loss. However, it is a rather unusual symptom that in most cases has other causes.

Further information on this: Causes of hair loss


Acne is not a typical symptom of histamine intolerance.
While the symptoms of histamine intolerance usually develop within a very short time and regress after minutes to hours, acne is a skin disease that has a long-term course. Acne is usually the result of excessive sebum production.

Muscle aches

Muscle pain is not a typical symptom of histamine intolerance.
Since the clinical picture of histamine intolerance is difficult to diagnose and there is so far little reliable scientific data, many people probably wrongly believe that they suffer from histamine intolerance. As a result, numerous symptoms are associated with the disease, but they actually have completely different causes. So does muscle pain.

You may also be interested in this topic: Muscle pain - what's behind it?

Muscle twitching

Muscle twitching is also not a typical symptom of histamine intolerance.
Muscle twitching can be triggered, for example, by a magnesium deficiency or psychological stress. There are numerous other possible causes.

Also read: Symptoms of an allergy

Duration of symptoms

Most people experience histamine intolerance symptoms within minutes or hours of consuming histamine-containing foods.
The duration of symptoms varies from person to person. Usually the symptoms do not last longer than a few hours. If there is again an excess of histamine within this phase, the duration of the symptoms can be extended.