Managing Histamine Intolerance in Kids
As a parent, it can be difficult to navigate the world of supplements and enzymes. One enzyme that has been gaining attention lately is diamine oxidase (DAO). DAO aids in the breaking down of histamine in the body, which can be beneficial for kids with histamine intolerance or sensitivity.
In this article, we’ll explore what diamine oxidase is, how it works, and whether it’s safe for kids to take.
What is Diamine Oxidase?
DAO is an enzyme that is naturally produced by the body. Its main function is to break down histamine, a compound involved in a variety of physiological processes, including immune response, digestion, and sleep-wake regulation. However, some people fail to break down histamine efficiently, leading to symptoms of histamine intolerance.
How Does Diamine Oxidase Work?
When histamine is ingested or produced by the body, it is broken down by DAO in the small intestine. This prevents the histamine from entering the bloodstream and causing symptoms. However, without enough DAO present, histamine can build up in the body and lead to symptoms of histamine intolerance or sensitivity.
Testing for Histamine Intolerance
If you suspect that your child may have histamine intolerance, it is crucial to get them checked and undergo testing to confirm the diagnosis. There are several different tests that may be used to diagnose histamine intolerance, including:
|Type of Test||Description|
|Prick Test||The prick test involves placing a drop of histamine solution on the skin and then pricking the skin through the drop with a lancet to assess signs of slowed histamine degradation and/or symptoms of histamine intolerance.|
|Blood Test||Doctors can also take a blood sample to analyze if a person has a DAO deficiency.|
|Elimination Diet||Involves removing high-histamine foods from the diet for a period, then reintroducing them to see if symptoms return.|
Benefits of Diamine Oxidase for Kids
For kids who are struggling with histamine intolerance or sensitivity, taking a diamine oxidase supplement may provide relief from symptoms. Some potential benefits of DAO supplementation for kids include:
Reduced Allergy Symptoms
Histamine can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and swelling as part of the body’s immune response. By breaking down histamine in the gut, DAO may help reduce allergy symptoms in kids.
Histamine’s role in digestion can contribute to symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain. By breaking down histamine in the gut, DAO may help improve digestion in kids with histamine intolerance or sensitivity.
Histamine is involved in sleep-wake regulation and can contribute to wakefulness. Intolerance can lead to a range of symptoms, including fatigue, that may indirectly impact sleep quality. DAO supplements may alleviate certain symptoms associated with histamine intolerance, which may help improve sleep quality in kids with histamine intolerance or sensitivity.
Is Diamine Oxidase Safe for Kids?
While diamine oxidase supplements are generally considered safe for kids, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician before starting any new supplement regimen. There are some potential side effects of DAO supplementation, including:
|Nausea||Some kids may experience mild nausea or vomiting after taking a DAO supplement.|
|Headaches||Headaches are another potential side effect of DAO supplementation. Adjusting the dosage or trying a different supplement may help.|
|Allergic Reactions||In rare cases, kids may have an allergic reaction to a DAO supplement which may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.|
Other Treatments for Histamine Intolerance
While diamine oxidase (DAO) supplements can be helpful for some kids with histamine intolerance or sensitivity, there are other treatments that may also be effective. Here are a few examples:
Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamine in the body such as sneezing, itching, and swelling. Some of the most popular antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and fexofenadine (Allegra).
In a low-histamine diet, the kid should avoid foods that are high in histamine and those that trigger its release in the body. This can be an effective way to manage symptoms of histamine intolerance or sensitivity. Some common low-histamine foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat and poultry, and gluten-free grains.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. They can help improve digestion and reduce inflammation, which can be helpful for kids with histamine intolerance or sensitivity. Some probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis are especially helpful for histamine intolerance.
It’s important to talk to your child’s doctor before starting any new treatment regimen, to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for their individual needs. Remember that what works for one child may not work for another, so it may take some trial and error to find the best treatment approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What foods are high in histamine?
Some foods that are high in histamine include aged cheese, fermented foods, cured meats, and alcohol.
Q2: How do I know if my child has histamine intolerance?
Observe your child for symptoms such as headaches, nausea, skin rashes, and allergy-like activities such as sneezing and itching. If you suspect that your child may have histamine intolerance, talk to their doctor about getting tested.
Q3: Are there any medications that interact with DAO supplements?
There are no known drug interactions with DAO supplements. However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your child’s doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if your child is taking other medications.
Q4: Can my child take DAO supplements with other allergy medications?
It’s generally safe to take DAO supplements with other allergy medications, but it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor before combining supplements and medications.
Q5: How much DAO should my child take?
The recommended dosage of DAO supplements can vary depending on the brand and formulation. Talk to your child’s doctor or a qualified healthcare professional for guidance on dosing.