Histamine Intolerance: I see doctors misdiagnose this as eczema all the time.
Histamine is a chemical which occurs naturally in certain foods. This is also one of the chemicals that is released in the body when you have an allergic reaction. This causes the typical itching, sneezing, wheezing, puffy eyes and skin rash.
The enzyme “diamine oxidase” breaks down any histamine that we absorb from a histamine-containing food. So when we eat a food which contains histamine it does not affect us. However, some people have a low level of this enzyme. When they eat too many histamine-rich foods they may suffer ‘allergy-like’ symptoms such as headaches, rashes, itching, diarrhoea, and vomiting or abdominal pain. This is called histamine intolerance.
High histamine foods include:
Wine, champagne, cider, pickled foods like sauerkraut, mayonnaise, mustard, cheese, sausages and other processed meats, Quorn, fizzy drinks, nuts, seeds, tinned fruits & vegetables and yeast.
An allergy test will not flag anything up for these foods as it’s an intolerance, and not an allergic response. The only way to get to the bottom of it is controlled food testing.