Warning about vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is often mentioned as help to be relieved from high histamine levels, due to it’s important role in the breakdown of histamine by DAO.

But I’d like to warn everybody, it is well-known that high dosages of vitamin B6 can lead to neurotoxicity, meaning that it kills of your nerves. What is less well-known is that even in lower dosages in can have detrimental effects on certain people. Which I experienced myself.  I started taking about 25 mg a day, within a view days my limbs would often get numb, just like you get a sleepy leg or arm every now and then, but this was worse. They’d fall asleep constantly whatever position I took, I started to get tired and dizzy. And before I knew it, I was laying in my bed trying to find a comfortable enough place not to be bothered by the constant tingling and sleepiness of my body, while trying to remain conscious. Didn’t really help that deadlines and exams were coming up.

Luckily for me, the effect didn’t last very long, as opposed to those people who get problems after taking high dosages  for a long time, but it was still very uncomfortable and highly disruptive of my life. During the time I was able to stay awake, I googled like crazy, trying to find out what was happening to me this time. I soon found out about the toxic effects of B6, and that it can also have nasty effects in lower dosages in certain people.  This can be due to a certain sensitivity in those people, but it can also come from a deficiency of other vitamin B’s and magnesium. Magnesium shouldn’t have been an issue, since I already supplement with magnesium. Maybe it was due to the lack of other vitamin’s, since well, I’ve stopped taking complete vitamins and complete vitamin b supplements. As these contain minerals and vitamins that can lead to a higher level of histamine and should be avoided in case of a histamine intolerance. Yes folic acid(B9), vitamin b12 and niacin(B3) I’m looking at you.

So instead I’ve started to eat more foods that contain high levels of vitamin B6, the daily dosage is only about 1 to 2 mg, and the melatonin I often take also contains a view mg, so does the energy drink I often indulge in. And yeah I know caffeine is bad, the weird chemicals in it are also bad. But I need my caffeine dose and sugar dose, and I just love to drink them. When I don’t drink too many too fast it doesn’t affect me all that much. Though coffee and green tea, which both contain caffeine can make me feel very sick.

So if you’ve started taking vitamin B6 and notice any side effects like numbness, dizziness and fatigue. Stop taking it!

The start of it all

Since information about histamine intolerance and the troubles histamine can cause in one’s body is scarce, I started this blog.

The first step

Summer 2009 I had a little operation done by me GP,  for which I got a local anaesthetic. Afterwards I got terrible allergic reactions, a runny nose so bad I stuck tissues in my nose, eyes that were tearing up, and I was constantly sneezing, which feels exceptionally wonderful if you just got your head stitched up. To be short I  was feeling really awful. And I noticed a lot of these problems got worse or started whenever I was outside.

Hay fever?

I had suspected I had hay fever for quite a while but never bothered to get tested,  I was a healthy girl who loved being outside and studied biology, so of course I couldn’t have hay fever. But after that horrid reaction I started to pay more attention to when and where my reactions started.

I had been suffering from strange reactions and illnesses for quite some years, and it once again had gotten worse that spring. One of those were terrible headaches that had plagued me for years, and that year they had gotten even worse, some days I could only lay down keeping my body very still,  as every movement of my head hurt like crazy.  I was deliberating if I should check myself into a mental hospital since the medical world thought I was either just making it up, as they couldn’t find any prove for my symptoms and thought they were psychosomatic, or just kill myself off or something. Those weird reactions of my body were driving me insane and withholding me from living my life the way I wanted to.

No hayfever?

So finally I got my blood tested for allergies, but I didn’t have any. Weird, since I was pretty sure I reacted badly to the outside air which pointed to a reaction to pollen. And the anti-histamines I squeezed out of my doctor, were really good with keeping certain symptoms in check. An acquaintance said I should visit an allergy specialist, she thought I could suffer from pseudo allergies, which weren’t widely recognized by most doctors but an allergy specialist should know more about this.
So I went. I got my arms splashed with droplets of all kinds of different possible allergens,  some kind of solution as control test as well, and a scratch test which consisted of just scratching my skin with some kind of pencil. Once again I didn’t test positive for any kind of allergy. Though I got quite an oversensitive reaction to control test  and the scratch that had been made on my back.
Once again I thought it was all for naught, and I would just be told it was all in my head, I was oversensitive and should learn to deal with it. Much to my surprise the first thing the doctor asked was if I needed more anti-histamines to help me. She explained I probably had an intolerance for histamine, which could give me bad reactions to even the slightest things like a breeze of fresh air. But also reactions to pollen, since those could lead to a histamine reaction in normal people as well, and with a high histamine load present those reactions could get quite severe and mimic hayfever She also directed me to a nutritionist to help me with a diet to control my intake of histamines.

Realisation

I was happy to get some recognition, but was very suspicion about the truth of it all. Was this really it? Just like that? As I’m a biology student with an interest in the molecular and neurosciences I read about every paper and site I could find on the internet and the university library. And still do. A world opened up for me, as I found out I wasn’t crazy at all, it wasn’t just in my head. I was suffering from something real.
The diet and anti-histamines turned my life upside down, had I always been feeling tired, sick, depressed and just right out awful I soon started to feel great. So great. I started to be afraid that I was suffering from some kind of manic episode. Luckily I didn’t. 😉

Since there are many misconceptions about histamine and the problems it can cause, or things that can help I decided to start this blog, to keep myself informed by storing all useful information in one place, but also to inform others.

Published in: on February 16, 2010 at 7:15 pm  Comments (7)  
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