A Tale of Three Trips

Hawaii October 2014 383I’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!!!

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Aloha!  🙂



4 thoughts on “A Tale of Three Trips

  1. ¨At the time I didn’t know about histamine intolerance; I just thought I wasn’t tolerating animal protein for some reason.¨

    Dear Tina, I got researched by some holistic dentist and the research said I could not digest meat well among others, which is also my experience; I find myself grasping for air at night after eating meat, especially red meat. But at the same time I am also histamine intolerant. Do you also experience hay fever?

    Thanks for this blog posting: it supplies me with good food for thought! The auto immune protocol is certainly not my thing either. It is nice to meet people like you with seemingly similar problems. There must be a way out of this nightmare where there is hardly anything I can eat, but which way?!

    For instance: buckwheat should be good for gluten intolerant people like me: except for me: since buckwheat gives me an itchy skin and also my ears start beeping / hurting. There seems to be something in buckwheat which gives some people like me this kind of reactions.

    I am not familiar with eating quinoa yet, but I read you can´t deal with quinoa: I suspect I might also be of the same kind. Oats: out of experience: certainly not my kind of grain either unfortunately, even if officially labeled as ¨gluten free¨. In another blog you talk about long grained basmati rice being better as relatively low glycemic: thanks for this tip! It is hardly understandable for non allergic people how we have to put every piece of food under the microscope!


  2. Hi Mai~
    I had to smile at your comment about putting every piece of food under the microscope! I so understand that! When I test a food I start with a very small amount, especially if I am suspicious that it might not work (as with the oats). Just a few days ago I ate 5 raspberries and did okay. The next day I ate 10….didn’t work. Got a headache that lasted most of the following day.

    Strawberries and blueberries do a similar thing to me so I think (sadly) I will just skip berries again this year.

    But there is much I can eat so I am grateful. And I hope that as my body heals, I will be able to eat more foods!

    I do get hay fever– seasonal allergies. I’ve had that all my life. It’s not terrible most of the time….and I rarely take any kind of antihistamine. Can’t remember the last time I did that, as I try to stay away from medications if possible.

    Wishing you all the best,

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