Chronic histaminosis syndrome (CHS)
Histamine is a biogenic amine that plays a fundamental role in our body. It regulates an endless number of physiological functions by acting through the different histamine receptors present in all the organs and tissues in the body. It is also plays an important role in mediating the level of the immune system, and is involved in a wide variety of reactions when activated by different causes. In addition, it plays a major role in the central nervous system where it acts as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator, regulating many functions at that level. The cells that contain histamine are mainly mast cells and basophils, and to a lesser extent, but no less importantly, neurons and vascular endothelial cells.
Currently there are several types of receptors where histamine acts, the functioning of many of them being unknown for now. Among the functions it performs are:
- It regulates biological rhythms, body temperature, food intake, fluid management, the wake-sleep cycle, and stress.
- It intervenes at a cardiovascular level.
- It regulates thyroid and growth hormones and those involved in the menstrual cycle and reproduction.
- It regulates cognitive functions (learning and memory), emotional functions (depression, sadness and anxiety), motor functions (muscle activity and fatigue) and sensory functions (pain).
Therefore, histamine can act at the central level and at the level of different peripheral organs. For different reasons, some people have a sustained high level of this substance. This state is called Histaminosis. When chronic and sustained over time, it can lead to a condition known as Chronic Histaminosis Syndrome (CHS).
Affected patients often have a wide variety of symptoms such as:
- Muscle or joint pain
- Fatigue and intolerance to efforts
- Memory and sleep disorders
- Altered fluid management with dry skin and swelling
- Temperature regulation disorders with persistent cold or heat
- Digestive disorders ranging from constipation to diarrhoea, difficult digestions, abdominal distension, inability to lose weight, bad breath or drool
Histamine is a biogenic amine that is being widely studied in recent years, is currently being related to chronic processes and may play a key role in Central Sensitivity Syndrome.
CAUSES OF HISTAMINOSIS
Depending on its origin, histaminosis can be caused by
- Toxic histaminosis: An excess of histamine intake.
- Histaminosis due to a deficit in the metabolism: Deficiency or inhibition of Diamino Oxidase or DAO.
- Acute or allergic histaminosis An explosive and short-lived increase in the amount of secondary histamine in the immune response triggered by an allergic mechanism.
- Chronic histaminosis: Slow, gradual and long-lasting increase in the amount of secondary histamine in the immune response triggered by different stimuli.
Chronic histaminosis is undoubtedly the most frequent mechanism of histamine elevation. Patients affected by this mechanism are, in most cases, sensitive to different stimuli (food, odours, noises, pneumo-allergens, chemicals, etc.). When they come into contact with them, a non-antibody-mediated immune response is triggered, resulting in the activation of the cells involved and the subsequent release of histamine by them.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU ARE AFFECTED BY CHS
You may be the first to suspect if you are affected.
You should watch for 2 or more of the following symptoms:
- Headache (migraine, headache)
- Back pain or contractures.
- Dehydration of intervertebral discs.
- Pain caused by pressure.
- Dry skin and/or dermatitis or itchy skin
- Slow or difficult digestion.
- Abdominal or generalised swelling.
- Constipation and/or diarrhoea.
- Obesity not caused by eating habits.
- Changes to memory.
- Temperature changes.
Or if you have been diagnosed with Migraine or Chronic Headache, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and you also have any of the above symptoms (other than those of your illness).