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Allergies, Sensitivities and Histamine

Allergies and sensitivities are caused by an inappropriate reaction to harmless substances.

The word “allergy” comes from the Greek allos, meaning “other”. It was first used in 1906 to refer to an “altered reaction” in the body’s immune system. The use of the word “allergy” has become a generic term used by the public to describe allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

A “true allergy” is a reaction triggered by the immune system, however there are a vast number of symptoms or conditions caused by sensitivities that may or may not involve the immune system. With reactions involving food, a large percentage of the population believes they have allergies, yet fewer than 2% actually have true allergies. In fact, many suffer from undiagnosed food sensitivities or intolerances. The majority of patients who seek the AAT treatment do not have true allergies; their symptoms are likely to be caused by sensitivities with no immune involvement.

Since there are few options for the treatment of sensitivities, other than avoidance, AAT provides a highly effective alternative. Symptoms caused by true allergies, however, also respond well to the treatment as the organs systems involved in the reaction are also addressed.

There are many approaches to allergies and sensitivities. AAT is often my first choice if it is a misperception of a benign substance that the body is having an inappropriate interpretation of and reaction to. When there is a high amount of histamine in the body, for various reasons, we must look deeper for those reasons. Dr. Garvey has dedicated her life to helping herself and others live their lives with true freedom and deeply studied the causes of allergies and sensitivities. As a kid and adult she has exhausted her options and found the many possible causes. Over the years Dr Garvey has implemented specialized questionnaires as a screen to these other causes. Often we can easily discover if they pertain to any individual case. In most initial assessments we can determine if any of these causes may be involved in a patient’s symptoms. Often we can easily address most of these often with just a few tweaks to help support overall health.


When you read the word histamine, you probably immediately associate it with antihistamines, which are drugs for allergy sufferers. However, histamine is not inherently bad. In fact, it’s your body’s way of letting you know you’re allergic to something in your environment or something you consumed.

Histamine is a chemical released by your mast cells when you encounter an allergen. Histamine becomes a problem when it’s constantly elevated which too often leads to a troublesome histamine reaction.

Are you experiencing a histamine reaction? You will likely experience some, if not all, of the following symptoms: itchy, puffy, red, or watery eyes; runny or swollen nasal passages; sneezing or coughing; and even swelling or rashes. This is an immediate histamine response to something you ate or something in the air or immediately surrounding you. STRICT AVOIDANCE OF ANAPHYLACTIC PRODUCING STIMULI IS ALWAYS ADVISED AND ALWAYS CARRY YOU EPI-PEN.


Histamine balance is a critical factor in patients with allergic and gastrointestinal symptoms. Histamine was first discovered for its role in anaphylactic allergy. IgE allergies release histamine where IgG allergies do not. IgE allergies are immediate responses to a foreign substance that has entered the body from food or from inhalation and produce symptoms immediately. These are often tested in blood and on skin prick test. 

IgE allergies are treated with medications to block the release of histamines

IgE allergies can cause very serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, swelling, and hives and more severe cases can lead to anaphylactic shock. Suppose someone has a peanut anaphylactic allergy, after they eat a peanut the B cells in the body are exposed to the peanut allergens. The B cells make IgE antibodies to fight a “peanut infection.” These IgE antibodies were made specifically for defending the body against peanuts. The IgE antibodies bind to peanut molecules or allergen in the body. 

After exposure to peanuts, IgE antibodies can also attach themselves to mast cells. There, the IgE antibodies wait until the next peanut exposure. When it occurs they signal the mast cells to release histamine and other compounds. Histamine and these other compounds are the cause of allergy symptoms like itching and inflammation. All of this happens within minutes of ingesting the allergen. When the gut barrier is weakened, a person is more vulnerable to food antigens, toxins, and unfriendly microbes. A leaky gut tears down the body’s defenses and opens up the system to increased inflammation.

The role of IgG antibodies is to provide long-term resistance to infections allergies. IgG antibodies have a much longer half-life than an IgE allergy. Symptoms range from headaches, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, ADHD, autism, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, epilepsy….As demonstrated in numerous studies. The degree and severity of symptoms vary because of someone’s genetic makeup and other factors of immune and digestive health. IgG antibodies do not release histamine and can cause symptoms that can be delayed by 72 hours! These also show no reaction in a traditional skin prick test or many traditional blood tests. But we can see these in muscle testing with AAT and on blood tests we offer at ABC. These IgG responses can be extremely useful clinically showing an immune &/or inflammatory response in the body. 

The main causes of IgG allergies and delayed food allergies are DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS! 

Some individuals have LEAKY GUTS (intestinal permeability) meaning that food particles, as well as, opportunistic bacteria, yeast, parasites, worms and pathogens are able to escape the gut lumen and enter the blood stream. When these particles are recognized by the immune system the body has an immune &/or inflammatory response. More antibodies are created to fight the PERCEIVED INFECTION of the foreign food particles. This can lead to weakening of the overload immune system.

Histamine balance is a critical factor in patients with allergic and gastrointestinal symptoms. Histamine was first discovered for its role in anaphylactic allergy. 

A specific allergen can trigger the degranulation of mast cells, subsequently releasing histamine. This can lead to severe, life-threatening symptoms.  Classic symptoms of high histamine are tachycardia, headache, flushing, urticaria, pruritus, hypotension, bronchospasm, and cardiac arrest. However histamine can have far-reaching impacts and lead to many atypical symptoms because it binds cells throughout the body-in the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, skin, cardiovascular system, and central nervous system, among others.

Gut permeability can also increase histamine. Leaky gut activates T cells and triggers degranulation of histamine-containing mast cells. In addition to histamine made in the body, we consume histamine in varying amounts in foods. 

After extreme histamine exposure, like in anaphylactic shock, levels of both diamine oxidase and histamine will be elevated. Low histamine levels may cause fatigue or depression. Alterations of histamine have been noted in sleep-wake disorders such as narcolepsy, as well as other neurological and psychiatric diseases. Brain levels of histamine are decreased in Alzheimer’s and low histamine has been seen in cases of convulsions and seizures.

Dr. Garvey can test to see if you have histamine dysregulation or intolerance. We can discover why this is happening and together we can actually do something about it, support its correction and get you back in balance. If needed we can order blood, urine, stool, saliva and breath testing if we need any additional testing; Dr. Garvey will order it. She knows what it is liked to be dismissed by allopathic doctors and told its stress because for years that’s exactly what she experienced. But now after 40+ years of suffering and finally enjoying her life with freedom, she is helping others live their lives. Freedom and function achieved with non-invasive, highly effective, easy and safe services she offers to families and every age group.

Common Symptoms of Histamine Dysregulation or Intolerance 

●  Headaches/migraines 

● Difficulty falling asleep 

● Hypertension 

● Vertigo or dizziness 

● Arrhythmia, or accelerated heart rate 

● Difficulty regulating body temperature 

● Anxiety 

● Nausea, vomiting 

● Abdominal cramps 

● Flushing 

● Nasal congestion, sneezing, difficulty breathing 

● Abnormal menstrual cycle 

● Hives 

● Fatigue 

● Tissue swelling