Histamine and anorexia

As this article grabbed my attention a while back, due to my own interest in histamine but also since one of my friends suffers from anorexia nervosa.
It describes the case of a 20 year old girl, who suffered from gastrointestinal problems, headaches/migraine and asthma, she got through several medical examinations and therapies in the past years and had been diagnosed with atypical anorexia nervosa. After being put on the elimination diet she soon started to feel better, and gain weight.

While looking further I came across some other articles talking about histamine and it’s receptors in relation to anorexia. Histamine has four different receptors, and depending on the receptor and locations of the receptor it can have different effects. Research on H1 receptor blockers (antihistamines) lead to the discovery that these play a role in suppressing food intake, as suppressing these receptors lead to an increased food intake. Whereas the blocking of H3 receptors lead to less eating, as H3 receptors often regulate histamine and it effects, working against the actions of the other H-receptors and also influences other neurotransmitter. As such H3 blocking antihistamines have been proposed to be used in the fight against obesity.
These receptors can be found within certain regions of the brain like two of the important satiety centers. As well as around our food consumptions organs. Mastification, chewing, leads to activation of the histaminergic pathways but so does the oral intake of l-histidine (one of the precursors of histamine). In the article it is also mentioned that chewing alone leads to loss of fat tissue.
But they can also be found and play an important role in the reward centers in the brain. In general it is assumed that it has a negative effect on rewarding systems. It also has negative influence on the excretion of dopamine and its neurologic pathways. To complement this all, it also affects punishment systems. So often disturbances within these systems can lead to abnormal appetitive and aversive behavior.

There are also an article I found that mentioned an increase of brain histamine H1 receptor binding in patients with anorexia nervosa and females. And another mentioned an increased effect of histidine consumption in the female brain as opposed to the effect in the male brain. The former proposes that the larger occurrence of anorexia in females may be due to the increased histamine binding.

I’s amazing how I’ve noticed some of these effects, I hardly ever felt hungry and a lot of the time I just ate, because I had to, and felt satisfied with only a few bites. During the worst times, I’d lose a lot of weight, making my friends very worried about me. Especially with one of us, and many other in our surroundings having anorexia. They still keep a close eye on my weight, making compliments whenever I see them, about any suspected weight gain.

Gaining weight isn’t that hard anymore, since after I started the diet, I became very very very hungry, I felt starved all the time. I’m often a big eater, but I’ve started eating immense amounts of food from that time on.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lots of information on histamine and what high levels can cause but are there any solutions yet to any of the health categories listed?
    I evidently have a builup of histamine presenting in my left shoulder, and usually around the same time of night. It is a maddening itch. I know people who have some of the other symptoms and it is causing much difficulty in their lives.

  2. Hi there
    Just found out that a lot of my “blessings” are due to a histamine intolerance…. i like a lot of things that i probably shouldn’t do…… or consume… and living a quiet and stressless life on a far from yummie diet ( and no alcohol ) …. well…… farewell to my Spirits….. ( that’s not a life…..was my first thought)
    But this site cheered me up….. off course there is fun in life ( whisky helps) …. and a life without pain is a very good reason to leave some food behind…..
    Thank you for the information, the cynicism ( love it!!!!) and a warm feeling ( liking the same music binds people…. having the same intolerance does it as well !
    With a smile…..Anki

    (I’ve learned a lot from this site already!)

  3. And……a question…..
    Anybody out there with collitis ulcerosa ? ( family of Crohn’s disease )
    In combination with histamine intolerance makes it difficult to find info on how the diet influences this. I would really like to read other people’s stories……and learn from them….

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