Frequently Asked Questions
What is Histamine Intolerance?
Histamine Intolerance occurs when there is an increase in histamine levels beyond the body's capacity to metabolise it. This results in a build-up of histamine and is accompanied by associated symptoms. Measuring the level of diamine oxidase (DAO)in the blood - an enzyme that breaks down histamine - helps to give an indication if histamine intolerance may play a role in a person's symptoms.
How common is Histamine Intolerance?
The prevalence of Histamine Intolerance is not clearly defined. References vary from 1-8% of the population. Since it is not such a recognised condition, with more research the true numbers and extent of the condition will hopefully become clear.
If I have a positive result what should I do?
If you have been found to have a low level of the DAO enzyme you may benefit from following a low-histamine diet. Following such a diet can be quite complex and we strongly recommended that you seek advice from a suitably qualified nutritional therapist or healthcare professional. In addition to ensuring you are following a balanced diet, they should be able to provide you with additional support, e.g. how to support the digestive system and encourage natural DAO production or recommend specific supplements which may help to alleviate the symptoms associated with this condition.
I am taking medication, will this affect the results?
Certain medications can affect the results as they reduce the activity of DAO. If your enzyme level is low you may be able to discuss with your GP changing to a different medication which doesn't affect DAO production to see if this helps your symptoms.
Please note: anti-histamine medication, unless recommended by the GP, should be stopped 1 week before performing this test. If you are in any doubt, please consult your GP.
I'm pregnant can I still do the test?
DAO levels increase during pregnancy, so the test is not suitable for pregnant women.
Is taking the blood sample difficult?
The sample is very easy to take: it requires a finger-prick sample of blood to be spotted onto a special filtercard. Once complete the Blood Collection Card should then be sent to the CNS Laboratory in the pre-paid envelope provided in the kit.
When should I collect the sample?
A blood sample can be collected any time of day.