I’ve taken three trips to Hawaii in the last year and a half. In October 2013 and April 2014 I experienced a wicked (I have to lie down) headache, followed by severe left hip pain and other very unpleasant symptoms. I believe the problems in October were because of fish I had eaten and the problems in the spring were from chicken I had consumed. At the time I didn’t know about histamine intolerance; I just thought I wasn’t tolerating animal protein for some reason.
Looking back (isn’t hindsight wonderful?) I realized that the fish I had eaten was likely high in histamine, as was the chicken. I wasn’t paying attention to sell by dates on the packages at the store, I was eating leftovers, and I wasn’t using any diamine oxidase supplements. All of these things worked against me.
I wondered if I could avoid significant health problems during my next trip to Hawaii. I realized in May 2014 that I might have a histamine intolerance. I also knew (because of lots of food challenges) that most of the forbidden foods on the Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diet gave me problems. So I decided for this trip to (1) avoid all high histamine foods. If I ate animal protein (the only food I eat that has the potential to be high in histamine) it had to be very fresh and I would take two diamine oxidase supplements with it. (2) I would also avoid all the forbidden foods on the Autoimmune Paleo diet. (See here and here for info.) (Note: I can’t eat some of the allowed foods on the AIP diet because they are high in histamine, eg: fermented foods, many fruits and some vegetables.)
It worked! I did not suffer any major health setbacks! I found this to be a major victory in light of what happened to me the last two times I was there.
Yes, it is uncomfortable to ask the waiters about how fresh the fish is but it is necessary for me. If I eat animal protein food that isn’t fresh I have major problems even if I take a diamine oxidase supplement. (See here and here for examples.) Yes, it is uncomfortable (and weird) to ask for a salad without tomatoes, croutons, spinach and salad dressing, but it is what I need. Yes, I take the seeds out of the green beans before I eat them because if I don’t they give me trouble. Yes, I buy most of my food at the grocery store and cook it myself even when I’m on vacation. Yes, it’s odd and uncomfortable and awkward to do these things, and I wish I didn’t have to do them, but it worked. I didn’t fall apart. And so I will continue to ask waiters for what I need food wise and I will continue to do what I need to do to prevent major problems. Here’s to celebrating a vacation without having to be horizontal!!!