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How does histamine affect the heart?

Histamine and Cardiovascular Health

Why is your heart racing? It could be because of histamine.

Histamine and the circulatory system know each other very well (in fact, histamine is found in abundance in human heart tissue).

By triggering the body’s inflammatory response, histamine works to help blood vessels get your white blood cells to where they need to be to protect your body.

But histamine can also change your heart rate, making it beat too fast, too slow, or simply irregularly (arrhythmia).

Those with extreme histamine intolerance/DAO deficiency, likely know these uncomfortable symptoms all too well – they may even mistake them for anxiety or panic.

The difference between H1 and H2 receptors

The histamine receptors H1 and H2 are the bridge between histamine and its effect on the heart.

H1 receptors cause your blood vessels to narrow, which in turn increases your blood pressure.

When histamine binds to H2 receptors, your blood vessels widen, allowing white blood cells to get to and attack any foreign invaders in your system. It also increases permeability, or the movement of substances into and out of blood vessels.

But histamine binding to H2 receptors also causes:

  • your blood pressure to lower
  • your heart rate to increase (tachycardia)
  • the strength of your heart contractions to increase

Your body temperature rises, you feel flushed, anxious, and may feel like you’re having a panic attack.

Combatting histamine

There are ways that you can lower excess levels of histamine, though.

You can pinpoint and avoid foods that are either triggering the release of histamine or are rich in histamine through an elimination diet. You can also eat foods high in H1 and H2 histamine blockers, such as basil and ginger respectfully.

Taking an Umbrellux® DAO 15-20 minutes before a meal can supply your body with the DAO enzyme that it’s lacking and help the body break down histamine in histamine-rich foods.