Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

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Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby ashley72 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:11 pm

For many years I've know that my body has an allergic reaction to histamine that is contained in red wine and strongly fermented & aged cheeses. I get physically sick, itchy eyes, blocked nose and a feeling of nausea merely having a few mouthfuls of red wine.

However, something I didn't know was that histamine functions as a neurotransmitter and the brain actually counter-acts over production of histamine by creating adrenaline which helps de-activate histamine. Adrenaline (Epinephrine) is the neurotransmitter that also functions with the fear response, this is why drinking alcohol can lead to an increased anxiety response. Sometimes high levels of adrenaline can result in unwanted anxiety and panic attacks. This is because andrenaline activates the dorsal stream (focused thinking mode). You can then become locked in focused mode of thinking which is more ego-centric (self-centered) in nature because of the increase activation of adrenaline flow that is trying to counter-act the histamine production. This dorsal cycle creates more sequentially self-centered thinking of harm.... rather than the ventral diffused thinking mode which is more focused on other (allo-centric).

For someone who has been pre-conditioned to treating unpleasant or unwanted feelings like adrenaline production as danger, they will actually respond with more adrenaline production because of a positive feedback loop. This is where the sufferer actually treats the symptoms of fear (adrenaline production) as danger (a second order condition). It's a spiral that can actually lead to a panic-cycle within a few minutes.
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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby Onceler » Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:18 pm

Interesting, Ashley. I've been cutting back on drinks to almost nil for other reasons, but I can think of a time in my life when alcohol seemed to trigger an anxiety response. Right now I'm trying to cut back because I generally feel crappy after even one drink and don't sleep well. Alcohol also creates more estrogen.....something I don't really need as a middle aged man. Cheese also gives me that stuffy, histemic feel, not a fan, although I love cheese.

Is it just red wine or all alcohol?
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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby ashley72 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:30 am

It's all alcohol, but dark alcohol has more histamine generally than white alcohol.

I've also cut back on my drinking, however, I usually still drink excessively at social events a few times a year. This is where I've really noticed by adverse reaction to histamine intolerance during the hangover phase.
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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby viking55803 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:24 pm

Alcohol consumption always causes a certain level of "anxiety" but it usually not noticed because of the intoxication. It is however, suspected as the reason after a couple of drinks the desire for more arises. Alcohol is toxic and the extent of damage it causes is dose-dependent. Unlike opioid-like endorphins and cannabinoids there is no endogenous alcohol in the body.

Sorry - I've worked in the addiction field for 45 years. I am not and never was an alcoholic, but quit drinking alcohol soon after starting working with alcoholics. There are lots of very good reasons to abstain from alcohol, and before you tell me it's good for the heart you should check out the most recent research on this claim.
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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby Onceler » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:01 am

Thanks viking55803, this is in keeping with my experience and instincts. I quit drinking during the week....never drank much, I still drink a bit on weekends and feel better all around for the reduction. I read somewhere that age reduces the liver's effectiveness to process all drugs, not just alcohol, this certainly seems to be the case for me.

Thanks for the nudge.
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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby viking55803 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:34 pm

Lest I sound too judgmental, I should point out that tinkering with our own brain chemistry - particularly the limbic system - has been part of human culture and experience for tens of thousands of years. Whether it is alcohol, drugs, video games, computers, food, sex, gambling, even compulsive reading (my addiction) they all amount to something very similar in terms of the goal: to change the way we feel. Certainly, some addictions come with more serious psychological, social, and biomedical consequences than others, but the basic mechanism is the same.

ET points this out regularly: we simply don't want to be present when the present doesn't feel the way we want it to feel, and there are a multitude of ways to distract ourselves from the present moment. I don't drink, but that does not mean I am a "better person" than someone who does. Unfortunately, we also have genetic and other vulnerabilities to certain addictions and do not know that until we are exposed to the addictive substance or activity. A very aware person often has a sense that a particular drug or activity is likely to become an addiction and it is a whole lot easier in some ways to abstain than it is to control.

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Re: Alcohol and its reaction to histamine production

Postby jongibirdi1974 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:53 am

And your point is?
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