This is part two in an article series on A Food Reaction to Amines. Before you read the information below, I suggest you visit this link: Food Reaction to Amines – Part One and read part one.
Why Did I Have a Food Reaction to Amines?
We all have a threshold when it comes to naturally occurring chemicals in food.
The closer you get to your own natural threshold, the higher the likelihood you will experience food intolerance symptoms if your body is not functioning the way it should.
A food reaction to amines or salicylates ( Salicylate Intolerance and the Healthier I Ate the Sicker I Got ) becomes more evident for those suffering from food intolerance symptoms.
We may not be aware of a reaction to naturally occurring chemicals in foods if we consume amine rich foods over an extended period, until there is a build up in the body and you are tipped over that threshold. Then, it can be hard to identify where the food problems are if you do have a the delayed reaction.
For more information on this you can consult the book Friendly Food and I have provided a link at the end of this paragraph so you can purchase this book. We used Friendly Food in our house when conducting a food elimination diet. We wanted to find out if there was an problem with amines and/or salicylates. This is an excellent resource that also has charts on the range of naturally occurring chemicals in various food. Friendly Food: The Essential Guide to Avoiding Allergies, Additives and Problem Chemicals
People who suffer from food intolerance symptoms, food problems or leaky gut syndrome will most likely find they have an amine problem.
In addition to this, people who do have a reaction to amines; being tyramine, phenylethylamine and/or tryptamine are also most likely to have a problem with salicylates and possibly mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) too.
Food colors and additives, including preservatives should also be avoided by consumers in general, but especially by those people suffering from food intolerance symptoms.
Symptoms of a Food Reaction to Amines
One of my children suffered badly from food intolerance symptoms. When we conducted a food elimination diet we found out that he was highly sensitive to amines and only moderately sensitive to salicylates.
His symptoms, which are not uncommon in children, were aggression, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), emotionally sensitive and unable to sit still (low level hyperactivity).
These are just some of the food intolerance symptoms.
There can be varying degrees of these food intolerance symptoms and again, it may depend on how far you have been tipped over your natural threshold.
What to do about Amines
The first step to get yourself well is to conduct a food elimination diet. This will assist you to determine if you do have an amine problem or if there is something else that is causing food intolerance symptoms.
Then, once you know what your threshold is to amines and salicylates, you need to restrict your diet and get your body well.
Start by going through your pantry or food cupboards and removing foods that contain colors, preservatives or any form of additives. Keep in mind that some natural additives such as MSG, HVP or annatto can cause problems for some people.
Then, increase your raw food. I also chose to remove meat from my diet and that of my children and I do believe this had a positive impact on my bowel and my son’s leaky gut syndrome.
I’d like to hear what your symptoms have been or if you have had a food reaction to amines. Please leave a comment below and if you like what you read here, I’d love for you to submit my article to Digg.Your News On Food brought to you by Eileen Baudinette Food and Health Commentator. © 2009 – 2010 ———————–
I’m no medical expert and information contained on this blog is written through my own experience with the aim of furthering your education on health. It is your responsibility as to how you use this information and I cannot be held liable for any misinterpretation or misuse of the information provided.
Sandy Lollback says
I have been suffering from sudden onset coughing/chocking fits for the last 16yrs. At their worst I feel like I’m chocking on my own secretions until i suddenly vomit and then the symptoms subside. This may happen at any time and can be incredibly embarrassing. Finally after much reluctance I decided to attend the RPAH Allergy clinic and see Dr Loblay and Anne Swain (the pioneers of the Elimination Diet).
I have been on the diet now for 6mths with a 75-80% reduction in my symptoms but it is definitely pointing towards amines as being the villain. I am finding it very difficult to avoid them especially because if you just happen to brown your meat to much this will increase the amine levels and set me off.
This has made socialising virtually impossible and even cooking the family meal is a drama. I’m about to embark on the blind challenge of tablet over the next 10wks to get a definite diagnosis and hopefully I may be able to add in some more food but at the moment i am very, very limited. I have also found that I am definitely Lactose intolerant.
You mentioned that you have been able to heal through meditation. Is this true?? How long did it take and are you able to eat anything you want now??
I would like any help you can offer
Eileen Baudinette says
You must feel so relieved to see your food intolerance symptoms reduce through changing what you eat. Yes, I went through a phase where I was cooking 2 meals a night and it was stressful wondering what I would cook especially for my young son at the time.
At this point I do not have any information on a blind challenge. What do you need to do for that Sandy?
Depending on your age, I would recommend looking at a water fast as I feel this would improve your situation dramatically and then you could re-introduce, very slowly, foods you have a problem with. You may need to work up to an extended fast though and it is good to have support around you when you do it.
Ultimately you don’t want to be on a restricted diet for the rest of your life so the idea is to heal your body and improve your health. Once you have fasted, move toward raw food and wholefoods as this will assist you in maintaining your health.
The meditation was more on an emotional level than a food one and I find, even now, that it has a dramatic calming affect.
I hope that has helped you in some way.
This is fascinating to me I have the exact same thing and have had since I was about 12 years old. I would eat feel as though I couldn’t breathe and then cough so much I would be sick at which times as you say the symptoms pretty much went away. Amazingly after a zillion tests and many trips to the dietician mine was also put down to amines which I believe to be correct. My problem is I can tolerate different amounts depending on things like stress levels. For instance I was pretty much below my threshold eating mainly low amine food and moderate amine level foods occasionally then I was given a nosal spray of all things that was full of it and it put me right back to square one so now I’m back on a no amine diet until it gets out of the system. There is a great book called friendly food its also going to be annoying but it has a lot of great recipes including family meals. I wish you luck I know it can be really awful and as you say very embarrassing.
Eileen Baudinette says
Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it helps others in their understanding of food intolerance symptoms and how food impacts our bodies.
Stay well, Eileen.
Hi again Eileen!
Great to read Part Two of your amines information. I left some messages last year after discovering your very helpful blog. My son and I have had some good (but not total) improvement in our health after seeing a naturopath but there is still the question of how sustainable it is to take supplements all our lives. I would much rather get what we need through our foods.
I have a few very specific questions for you:
* What do you think is a recommended period of time to avoid your problem foods before introducing healing foods (I think you mentioned several months for yourselves)?
* Can you tolerate all fruits and veges now? What about your son? What about other high sal. & amine foods? (After initially seeing our naturopath and starting her supplements I avoided dairy, gluten and sugar and ate all the other healthy foods I wanted. I had very bad amine reactions including a pretty scary panic attack!)
* Do you guys have dairy and gluten/wheat now? I know for sure dairy is a problem for me but I am still not sure about wheat/gluten.
Sorry for another long list of questions! Thanks so much and have a great day,
Eileen Baudinette says
So great to hear from you and please do not apologize for contacting me. It is my pleasure to help people get educated and get well. 🙂
Glad to hear you and your son have experienced some improvement. The same thing happened for us but what we were doing just felt wrong and ridiculous; aside from the fact that it was costing me a fortune. I am not a believer in supplements on an ongoing basis so the sooner you can get off them the better.
I only stayed on a restricted diet for a short time after conducted our food elimination diet Once you know what the food problems are I’d then look at treating it with wholefood healing immediately. Sometimes you need to introduce foods slowly though.
Yes, we both eat all fruits and vegetables. In my opinion, I did a great in-service to my son by not giving him certain foods for an extended period as he is now more fussy about certain vegetables than he used to be. The good thing is that he does keep trying them and he will eat other raw foods that I guess other kids would not. Bananas used to be a big problem for me but now I can add them to my healthy smoothies or even just have one at breakfast without any food intolerance symptoms showing up at all. Introducing more raw foods into my diet also meant that my taste buds changed too and I went from hating blueberries to now enjoying eating them raw. I now see what all the fuss was about and what I was missing out on. 🙂
It sounds to me like your reactions to amines and the panic attacks are able to be reduced if not make them go away forever. This would be a very good time for you to look at my favourite resource called The FDR. These books are packed with information surrounding wholefood healing and also talks about panic attacks.
We have limited dairy and I buy aged cheese that has vegetable rennet, yoghurt (usually goat), raw cows milk (you need A2 type milk produced by certain cows). We have VERY limited processed wheat and I personally buy Kamut bread or spelt flour for baking. If dairy is a problem then change the type you get or remove it all together and get your nutrients in other ways (FDR again will help with this). I personally do not consume much dairy and I buy a coconut ice-cream for the kids. My “treats” for the kids are very different to what other parents would give their kids and my kids do not ask for junk lollies, etc. My 8 year old is even aware that she gets cranky from junk.
I hope that has helped. 🙂
One more question (in parts!):
How does water fasting help, have you done it, is it a one-off thing or something to do regularly and how long do you fast for?
Eileen Baudinette says
I have part written an article on water fasting but yet to finish it. Water fasting would absolutely help you. Some believe that water fasting on a regular basis is a great way to cleanse; I am of that belief. I have done a few water fasts but only a day or two and I have done a few Cabala juice fasts. I do believe that you need to prepare your body for an extended fast. You can do this by drinking 1 liter of water per 22 kilo body weight per day and start to cut back your food. Ease into it. Start with one day fasts and then extend it when you feel ready. Otherwise, you can end up quite sick and unable to function which is difficult if you have a family to care for. The FDR has a great amount of information on Water Fasting and gives you a good understanding of what happens to the body when you fast.
If you can Suse then yes, do a water fast.
Keep in touch as I’d love to hear how you are getting on.
Stay well, Eileen.
Hey Eileen! Thanks for your help and encouragement. I have just completed a 3-day water fast and my last remaining problem (eye floaters) has reduced but not quite gone away. I am wondering whether to do another fast next week and if that will help. I bought a copy of the FDR last year after you recommended it and have read some of it but not in depth.
I’m pretty sure the eye floaters are linked to amines. I know they went away last year after being on the elimination diet for perhaps 2 months. Wondering if it is a length of time thing for them or if it is because it is so easy to make mistakes with amines. Did you take meat from your diet for a while to help take the load of your digestive system or to help reduce amines?
Also wondering if you are now able to use herbs and spices and herbal/Rooibos/green teas? I love herbs, spices and teas but they are SO high in salicylates that I am wondering if I can ever return them to my diet!
A final question. Do you think kefir is one of the keys to your good health? I believe it has probiotics, enzymes and something that supports and lines the digestive tract. Is that right? If so, it would replace all of the supplements I have been taking. I still feel a bit nervous about using it regularly (and for my son) because of the amine issues but it sounds like it worked for you?!
Finally, what did you do for your son? I am assuming he did not fast. Was it a case of baseline diet, introduce kefir, then re-introduce foods?
Eileen Baudinette says
Fantastic news on the water fast. See if you can do a 7 day water fast in the coming weeks.
The body has a threshold when it comes to naturally occurring chemicals such as amines and salicylates and food intolerance symptoms start to appear more obvious once your body hits that threshold. Hence, the eye floaters may re-appear if your body is not completely healed and you eat foods that are likely to send you toward your body’s threshold.
We removed meat to give my son’s digestive tract a break although we had been very careful about meat prior to that. By that I mean, we bought fresh meat, not aged meat and we used more white meat than red. Also being aware that the amine content increased the longer meat was cooked or frozen. Given my understanding and research about meat, I am glad to have moved to a vegetarian diet and my body loves me for it. You can get all the nutrients your body needs from raw food. The FDR has some great information in Volume 1 on the detrimental impact of meat on our bodies.
Kefir is more powerful than yoghurt. We used kefir in a dairy product that was not completely raw so I stopped using it. We changed diet at the same time. We had done the food elimination diet then a restricted diet based on that until my son and I decided that enough was enough. I no longer restrict his diet in any way and my kids eat healthy foods. I highly recommend kefir and you can make your own with raw milk. Try to get raw goats milk or raw cows milk from cows that produce A2 milk.
My son was too young to fast so we just used a lot of ferments ( as we still do) and eat healthy. I also give him Yacon Syrup as a pre-biotic and it is a raw product. I use pure apple cider vinegar in smoothies and icy pops.
I have never used Rooibos tea but we use herbs and spices without impact but you can always introduce these slowly. Also, we only use good salt.
Do not be scared to go off the supplements and if you are concerned about the re-inrtroduction of any food then just do it slowly and one at a time while healing the body.
Does that help? Did I cover everything? If not, please let me know. 🙂
Look forward to hearing further results. I am very excited for you Suse.
Take care, Eileen.
Hi Eileen, everyone,
I have recently discovered I am pretty sensitive to amines. I think I’ve always been a bit sensitive, but it’s gotten far worse in the last year or so, to the point where it’s a big problem. I’ve always been a pretty healthy eater and don’t have any obvious signs of digestive problems, so this is a frustration for me.
In your comment section, it sounds like you’ve gotten your situation under control through a variety of methods. Is there a book or any resources I can use to help with my situation? Most of the books I’ve found are only for sale in Australia (I live in the US). Any help would be appreciated!
Eileen Baudinette says
Thanks for your comment and I’m always happy to help where I can. Healthy eating doesn’t mean you won’t have a reaction to the naturally occurring chemicals in foods (amines, salicylates and MSG). In fact, sometimes the healthier you eat the more it exacerbates the problem if you are suffering from food intolerance symptoms. We all have a threshold and it will depend on the foods you eat, the qualtity you eat and the amount of naturally occurring chemicals in that food as to how bad your symptoms become.
Firstly, can you tell me what your symptoms are and are you sure it is amines?
Do you know what foods are setting you off?
Did you read my article on doing a food elimination diet?
The books you get may depending on where you are “at”. You can source some here:
The Failsafe Cookbook Or you can read this book instantly through their Epublication:
Failsafe Cookbook , The [EPub]
If you want a list of common foods and their levels of naturally occurring chemicals then I recommend a book that we used and was produced by The Royal Alfred Allergy Unit here in Australia. It is called Friendly Food. Click here for this book.
If you can get back to me with answers to my above questions, I’ll be happy to direct you further.
Love your blog btw…..Very nice and obviously you know your stuff. 😉
Stay well, Eileen.