Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & Perfectionism Revealed

We’re all familiar with histamine, especially as it relates to allergies.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, an estimated 50 million American’s suffer from all types of allergies, and it’s the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S.

But what if I told you there’s more to histamine than just allergies, asthma, and hives?

Histamine is a physiologically active amine that is found in plant and animal tissue and released from mast cells as part of an allergic reaction in humans. It stimulates gastric secretion, causes dilation of capillaries, constriction of bronchial smooth muscle, decreased blood pressure, and also functions as a neurotransmitter.1

Yep, that’s right. A neurotransmitter.

As a neurotransmitter, histamine influences mood, appetite, sleep and thought.

When elevated (called undermethylation), histamine causes depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and perfectionism.2

We now know there’s a biochemical reason we read our emails 12 times in a row and get really irritated when the Christmas tree leans over a 16th of an inch.

When histamine is too low (called overmethylation), there is a tendency for high anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and food and chemical sensitivities.

Overmethylation is correlated with Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder (OCPD), while undermethylation is correlated with traditional OCD. The latter usually only has one or two obsessions, while the former is generally obsessive compulsive in most areas of their lives.

Like gluten intolerance, merely staying away from high histamine foods does not address the underlying problem. In both scenarios, there is an imbalance of Metallothionine (MT), which are cysteine-rich proteins with powerful antioxidant capabilities. MT proteins also perform a wide variety of vital functions including but not limited to:

  • Detoxification of mercury and other toxic heavy metals
  • Development and functioning of the immune system
  • Delivery of zinc to cells throughout the body
  • Prevention of yeast overgrowth (SIBO and dysbiosis are both linked to over and undermethylation)
  • Regulation of stomach acid pH
  • Taste discrimination by the tongue
  • Protection of enzymes that break down casein and gluten
  • Enhanced efficiency of the intestinal and blood-brain barriers
  • Reduction of inflammation after injury or illness 3

This explains why I struggled for so many years with disordered eating and depression. With a blood histamine level of 130 (the functional range is 40-70), my biochemistry wouldn’t let me move forward until properly corrected.

Disordered eating typically has an undermethylated profile, and simple blood tests are all that’s required to determine methylation status.

Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or gambling. All addictions share a common theme: imbalanced biochemistry.

If you know of someone who struggles with addiction or depression, please share this post. If you struggle, please share your experience in the comments below. It is through sharing your story that we create community, eliminate guilt and shame, and bring about healing.

Love,
SamiSig

 

 

References:
[1] Walsh, William J. (2012). Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. (173).
New York, NY: Skyhorse.

[2] Mensah, Albert. Bowman, Judith. Retrieved from personal treatment protocol.
[3] Walsh, William J. (2012). Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. (190).
New York, NY: Skyhorse.

Comments 16

  1. Hi!
    Thank you for sharing such interesting facts!
    My daughter (20) is allergic to histamine and house dust. Her skin is often itchy, she has eczema on her legs and arms/hands and sometimes she has breathing problems. Also rapid heartbeat and sometimes (very rarely) a sudden strong heart beating that seems to be an arrhythmia. But her EKG is fine.
    What can she eat/not eat to improve this condition?
    We tried avoiding gluten with no effect, also tried avoiding wheat and red meats… she ended up loosing 10lbs in a month and still did not feel better, so she eats what she likes now.
    She hates everything that is cooked and green and loves pasta, meat and sweets.
    We do not live in USA so we cannot come to see you.
    Thank you
    Tanja

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Tanja,
      You are most welcome! I work with clients all over the world via Skype. It’s impossible to make dietary recommendations without an assessment. If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email my assistant Shannon at info@samanthagilbert.com.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mel,
      If you’re low in whole blood histamine, this indicates you are an overmethylator. Whole blood histamine has nothing to do with histamine intolerance though many of my patients also have these challenges. The best diet for an overmethylator is a vegetable-based, high folate diet with appropriate amounts of protein.

      1. How do you find out if your an overmethylater? I was verbally diagnosed with Mast Cell activations Disorder. Is this why I react to b12 and b12 methyl supplements. This disease has cost me a fortune!

  2. Hi! Thanks so much for the information here! It is very useful and give me hope.

    I read this line, “Disordered eating typically has an undermethylated profile, and simple blood tests are all that’s required to determine status.”

    What are the simple blood tests that I can perform to determine my status over under methylation or overmethylation?

    Thanks a lot!

    Jota

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jota,
      You are very welcome! I use whole blood histamine and/or SAM/SAH ratio to determine methylation status along with other labs that are determined after a comprehensive consultation.

  3. Hi Sami,

    I have OCD and have high homoceistein. My naturopath advised me not to stop the methyl folate because that will lower the high homoceistein. I am not sure how will I reduce my homoceistein if I do not take any form of folate?

    Are there accurate tests to find out if I am under methylated and if I have high histamine?

    Thanks!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Samuel,
      High homocysteine must be addressed first before embarking on a protocol to balance methylation. Please don’t assume you are undermethylated because you struggle with OCD, as there could be other imbalances at play. Keep in mind that overmethylators tend to exhibit Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), while undermethylators exhibit true OCD. You must be accurately tested with an assessment before determining methylation status with lab determination after the assessment.

  4. Hi Samantha,
    I was treated in December for Parasite/Bacterial Gut infection and treated with Bactrim(sulfur drug) and Paromycin followed by regimen of Flucozanole(anti fungal) During treatment I had horrific Herx reaction – anxiety, insomnia through the roof. To this day, I still suffer from anxiety and insomnia and believe that I have a Methylation issue. My arms have a burning sensation all day. Not sure if this is Histamine and I wake up every night at 12:00 sharp with stomach pain. that tells me that it is the Gallbladder! according to the Chinese wake cycle! What test should I run to see if I am under or over Methylating. I asked my doctor today to test my copper and homocystein. My zinc lab came in very low and my iron dropped significantly. I also have elevated B6 which might be a MTHFR issue. I haven’t been tested for that. I also was eating a lot of sulfur containing foods to detox and doing epsom salt baths(mag sulfate) and someone mentioned I could have a sulfur intolerance due to a possible MTHFRgene mutation.coupled with the Bactri sulfur drug! Not sure if that explains the burning sensation in my arms. There’s so many layers and my head is spinning. You mentioned whole blood histamine test. Is that a traditional lab or do I have to go see a FM doc.

  5. I fit the description of copper overload, overmethylation, pyroluria. Can tests confirmed exactly what I might have or is it also trial/error?

    I send you an email as well, would like to work with you!

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