Histamine is a chemical (neuro-transmitter) responsible for numerous symptoms of allergic reaction. The amount present in the blood or urine can help confirm or rule out the presence of an allergy.
Although there is always some histamine
in your body, a mosquito bite (for example) causes your body to release more histamine in the area of the bite, making your skin red and itchy. In extreme cases, histamine levels in someone who is allergic to a bee sting or a particular food like peanuts can be elevated so high that it causes anaphylactic shock
and possibly death.Adrenaline
) is the only chemical that can quickly eliminate histamine in a person. So called "antihistamines" like Benadryl only work to block some of your body's histamine receptors (relieving some histamine related symptoms), they do not remove histamine.
For three days prior to the test, avoid ingesting foods that increase histamine
levels (particularly cheeses and sauerkraut). A blood sample or urine sample will be taken and then analysed.
levels that are slightly elevated suggest that symptoms may be due to an allergic reaction, although the specific allergens
can not be identified through this test. Extremely high levels may indicate mastocytosis, or possibly cancer. Note that false-positive and false-negative results are possible.
Depending on the results, further testing may be recommended. Possibilities are: skin tests, RAST, or challenge tests; biopsy
and/or CT scan.