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Is Histamine Behind Your Family's Frustration This Spring?

As parents, we're the first to notice when something's not quite right with our children—especially in the unpredictable weather of spring. If you or your child has ADHD, or even if they don't- you may have noticed that something feels a little “off” right now.  


And, it's more than just chasing your kids around with a tissue.


This isn't just your imagination at work; there's a scientific explanation behind it.


One lesser-known but significant player in how we experience seasonal variations is histamine. While we typically associate it with allergies, its role actually goes much deeper, especially for those of us navigating ADHD or other mental health challenges like anxiety or depression. 

Allergy season with plants and a mask

So, what is histamine, anyway?


Histamine is a real multitasker beyond just kicking off allergic reactions—it plays a key role in many vital functions in our bodies.


It helps break down the food we eat by stimulating the release of gastric acid, which is essential for digestion. Beyond that, histamine helps keep our blood pressure in check and boosts our immune system by fighting off harmful bacteria and pathogens.


And - it doesn't end there. Histamine actually works as a neurotransmitter in our brains (a chemical messenger) that can affect our energy and even influencing our moods


This is so important for those managing ADHD, as changes in histamine levels - often more pronounced spring when allergens are everywhere - can make everyday tasks a lot more challenging

Girl sneezing plant allergy season

When you just want to make histamine, history…


As plants bloom and pollen is released into the air, histamine levels in our bodies can surge. This increase is a natural response to allergens, but for some people, it can lead to an overload known as histamine intolerance.


In our house, spring is otherwise known as “Snotty Tissue Season.” 


Actually, let's be real: It's probably more like “Snotty Shirt Sleeve Season.”


Gross, I know. 🙄


Histamine intolerance occurs when the body can't break down histamine efficiently. 


This leads to histamine accumulating in the body faster than it can be metabolized, causing symptoms that go beyond typical allergy responses - like those extra-fun symptoms you may be noticing like like headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue.


For those managing ADHD and mental health, this rise can lead to increased neuroinflammation (brain inflammation), which we know can have widespread affect on our mental health.


Histamine disrupts the functioning of the HPA axis, an integral part of our nervous system that helps us handle stress and control our mood


When this system gets thrown off, it can make symptoms like anxiety and trouble concentrating even more noticeable for those with ADHD.

tissues allergy season allergy plants

Spotting the Signs: 

Here's a few of a the symptoms of histamine intolerance you and your family may recognize:

  • Headaches or Migraines: Sudden or severe headaches that seem linked to dietary or environmental triggers.

  • Fatigue, Irritability, or Mood Swings: Unexplained changes in energy and mood which may fluctuate throughout the day.

  • Digestive Issues: Frequent upset stomach, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal discomforts.

  • Skin Reactions: Occurrences of eczema, hives, or other skin rashes that are hard to explain.

  • Respiratory Issues: Increased asthma symptoms or other breathing difficulties that aren't related to a cold or other obvious causes.

  • Neurological Effects: Experiencing brain fog, heightened anxiety, or disruptions in sleep patterns. DO we make histamine, history?

I've put together a few straightforward strategies that can help balance histamine levels. From tweaking what's on your plate to optimizing your living space, these practical steps are designed to provide relief and support this time of year.

Of course, there's a lot more that can be done beyond these basics. A tailored plan, created with the guidance of a holistic nutritionist, can address your family's unique needs and provide even more effective strategies.


Here are my top 6 tips for supporting histamine balance for the entire family:

Limit High-Histamine Foods
Focus on Low-Histamine Foods
Seasonal Allergy Supplements Histamine
Sleep for Seasonal Allergies
Exercise for Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Purifying Plants Seasonal Allergies

Understanding how histamine impacts our bodies can really be an eye-opener for us as parents, especially as we navigate the ADHD journey. 


Making small, manageable shifts in our diet, our living environments, and even the supplements we use can make a big impact on the whole family. 


Have you noticed any connections between our lovely new spring season and an increase in ADHD or mental health challenges for your family?

Post a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think!


Now, go outside and take in some sunshine. ☀️


If you are looking for support with your family’s health goals regarding mental health, ADHD or fostering a healthy relationship with food, feel free to book in a FREE assessment call so we can chat to see if holistic nutrition is a good fit for your family!


Amy Jones

BA Hons, B Ed, RHN, CNE, OCT

Care-Informed & HAES® Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Certified ADHD Coach Candidate (iACT)

Canadian School of Natural Nutrition Instructor

Metabolic Balance® Coach


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