Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Water and Histamine

In further research of Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, I found an entry by Stephen Barrett, MD that basically claims that the claims by Batmanghelidj are nonsense and that there is no real research data produced by Batmanghelidj. However, Dr. Barrett also doesn't supply any research or citations that refute what Batmanghelidj claims. From personal experience and experience of friends, I do believe that water is essential to one's physical well-being and a lack of it causes a myriad of problems. Is it a cure for everything...... probably not, but proper hydration can ease many problems. I also looked at WebMD for hydration and a rather haughty article in there said, basically, that unless you have "cotton mouth" you don't need to drink water... which I think is very irresponsible advice. db

Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. Batmanghelidj, MD.

According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, Histamine is a regulator of water metabolism and distribution of it in the body. Asthma and allergies indicate that the body has increased its histamine production. Water is lost by evaporation through the lungs during breathing so the histamine causes bronchial constriction to lessen water evaporation.

When dehydrated, the histamine activity for water control becomes exaggerated and the immune producing cells release exaggerated amounts of histamine from its storage for other functions.

Histamine also has responsibilities in the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-foreign agents defense systems of the body. Histamine regulates the immune system. A long-term dehydration increases histamine production and suppresses the immune system at it’s bone marrow site.

During a water shortage in the body, salt is retained. Salt is a natural anti-histamine. Water is needed by the lungs to keep air passages moist. In dehydration, mucus secretion prevents the air passages from drying. In the first stages of asthma, mucus is secreted and too much mucus prevents the passage of air. Sodium is a natural mucus breaker and is secreted to make mucus disposable. (The phlegm is salty tasting).

Salt is needed to break up the mucus and make it watery for expulsion. The body needs both water and salt to relax the bronchial constriction and loosen up the mucus for expulsion. A pinch of salt on the tongue after drinking water, fools the brain into thinking a lot of salt is coming, the brain begins to relax the bronchioles.

While you are re-hydrating, if you are asthmatic or allergic, don’t over drink, gradually re-hydrate up to 6 - 8 glass of water per day. Also decrease orange juice consumption as it contains potassium which will increase your histamine production.

The website I took this information from (link is above), addresses more than just allergies and asthma. The website is a summary of the book named and is really very interesting. It also addresses pain, dyspepsia, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, AIDS, and many other topics that were very interesting. I would recommend you read the website for more information.

Some Foods Affect Histamine Production by Arlene Miles

Foods and Herbs for Treating Seasonal Allergies by Heather Schulte

At these websites, we can learn that allergies are an auto-immune disease where the body turns against itself, producing an over abundance of histamine. With all the extra histamine, you can end up with itchy/watery/burning eyes, sneezing, increased mucus production, itchy skin, congested sinuses, wheezing and coughing.

What many people, including me, don’t realize is that histamine is present in many foods. Some foods cause the body to release histamine when eaten. These foods are listed as histamine-rich and should be avoided:
Cheese (particularly Parmesan, Bleu, or Roquefort),
Alcohol (notably beer and wine),
dried fruit,
pickled and smoked meats,
processed meats and fish,
sour cream,
vinegar and foods containing vinegar like mayonnaise salad dressings.

Histamine-releasing foods include:
(NOTE: well, that is just dandy! So many things I like are on one or the other of these lists... I just had a serving of yogurt this morning and was planning on munching down some chocolate covered strawberries for my snack in a bit. Sigh)

Foods that will lessen your symptoms have vitamin C, a naturally-occurring anti-histamine. Foods rich in vitamin C include:
red and green bell peppers,
all citrus fruits and juices,
most lettuce,
sweet potatoes.
(NOTE: remember that in the Histamine information from Dr. Batmanghelidj, it says to decrease orange juice intake because the potassium will cause histamine production).

Other foods to choose would include those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Quercitin. Quercitin is a natural compound that helps stabilize mast cells and prevents the release of histamines and other inflammatory compounds that augment allergies.

In the Quercitin category you would want to choose:
stinging nettle,

Omega-3 fatty acid is found in flax seeds, cold-water fish, and walnuts.

Ms. Schulte and Ms Miles articles seem to contradict each other on the yogurt issue. Ms Miles says to avoid, Ms Schulte says that it works well for the treatment of allergies! Ms Schulte’s article says that the beneficial bacteria found in yogurt helps populate your digestive system with more good bacteria which will improve the overall function of your immune system and minimize your allergies. (NOTE: Okay, guess I’m safe now for devouring that yogurt for breakfast!)

At this website: Health.com it indicates that GERD is directly affected by over production of histamine. Another website, that I didn’t save the URL info of, makes a connection between over production of histamine and fluid in the inner ear.

Seems histamine is a very important part of how our bodies work and when it’s out of balance it really wreaks havoc with us. I hope this article and the links are helpful to you.

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