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The Girlfriend Doctor w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca

Nov 10, 2019

Histamine intolerance can mimic or mask other diseases and illnesses in your body. And histamine is more than just your response to allergies! Dr. Brooke Kalanick is here to talk about what histamine intolerance is and how you can combat it in your own body.

Dr. Brooke is a naturopathic doctor who focuses on women’s health, hypothyroidism, and autoimmunity, especially when it relates to histamine intolerance. She’s the co-author of Hangry and co-host of Better Everyday. She explains in this episode what role histamine has in our bodies, from allergy responses to everyday chemical reactions.

Many women have histamine intolerance and don’t have any idea. Dr. Brooke explains what some of the symptoms of histamine intolerance are and how you can spot them. A big one is if you feel like you might have another illness but your blood tests come back normal each time you test for it - histamine could actually be masking those symptoms.

Dr. Brooke shares how she has had many patients who have histamine intolerance but feel like they can eat certain foods okay one day, but on another day they can’t tolerate it. It’s related to how full your histamine cup already is - if you’ve been eating a lot of intolerance causing foods already, your cup is already full, so that extra few bites of, for example, avocado could push you over the histamine ledge, and you’ll break out in hives or have an allergic reaction.

So what do you do when you have too much histamine in your body? Dr. Brooke says a lot of it comes down to identifying the histamine foods you’re eating on a regular basis and cutting those out. She also explains that leftover food can also have an increased level of histamine, especially if it’s been sitting longer than a day. This might sound like bad news for batch cookers, but the key is to freeze your leftovers as soon as you can to prevent histamine growth.

Another key aspect of histamine intolerance is related to your stress levels. Elevated stress levels have a drastic impact on how your body stores and tolerates histamine, so keeping your stress under control will help lower your body’s reaction.

Have you had blood tests come back totally normal when you think you might have an illness? How do you handle your stress levels? Do you eat a lot of leftovers?

In This Episode:

  • What role histamine has in our bodies
  • What the symptoms of histamine intolerance are
  • Why you might have a reaction to a certain food one day, but other days it’s fine to eat
  • What you should do if you do have too much histamine in your body
  • Why you shouldn’t eat leftovers when you’re dealing with too much histamine
  • Why you should eat, or foods you should swap, when you’re reducing your histamine level
  • How your stress levels impact your inflammation levels



“Can you figure out if you have any causes for your histamine intolerance. To ease your immediate suffering you can decrease your histamine intake.” (16:12)

“My advice if you’re going to look at this diet and feel really overwhelmed: find a couple of things that work, try to think of food as just fuel, just make sure you’re nourishing yourself, and don’t overthink it.” (27:57)

“It’s hard to sometimes acknowledge inflammation because we can’t see it. It is stressful. It is your body having an inflammatory reaction so that is going to put the heat on your adrenals and your stress response and that, of course, is going to make us hangry.” (30:01)


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