A comprehensive approach to navigating the
Low Histamine Diet

Mast Cells are a part of the immune system and play a vital role in detecting and responding to foreign substances throughout the body. They help fight inflammation, help defend against pathogens, and are involved in wound healing and tissue repair. Mast Cells are prolific and are found in most tissues throughout the body, especially those close to the outside environment, including the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and skin. -

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a disorder characterized by an exaggerated histamine release by mast cells in response to certain triggers. Every time an individual encounters a trigger, they risk their mast cells multiplying in number, causing an increase in symptoms.

Different symptoms may have their own unique trigger, or cluster of triggers, depending on the individual. In the exhaustive list of potential triggers, as with symptoms, some people will have only a few triggers, some will have many, and others may unfortunately be susceptible to nearly all known triggers.

To compound the exaggerated histamine response, many of us have too little of the histamine-lowering enzyme diamine oxidase (DAO) that helps break down histamines naturally.

Mast cell activation syndrome is commonly associated with CIRS (Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome) which is a multi-system, multi-symptom illness caused by exposure to a biological agent (biotoxin) that your body cannot clear. These biotoxins can be mold from a water damaged building, Lyme and/or co-infections from a tick bite, inflammagens, and various other sources. Exposure to these sources can create acute illness, and in some individuals, who have long-term exposure or who are genetically unable to clear the biotoxins, can create a chronic illness. -


Mast Cell Activation Syndrome symptoms are typically multi-system, inflammatory, and allergic in nature. As with triggers, some patients will have only a few symptoms, and some patients will have many symptoms. The more common associated symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Skin rashes/hives

  • Swelling/edema

  • Flushing

  • Abdominal pain and discomfort

  • Nausea/vomiting

  • Diarrhea or Constipation

  • Wheezing

  • Nasal congestion

  • Cough following consumption of certain foods

  • Shortness of breath

  • Heart palpitations

  • Anxiety, difficulty concentrating

  • Headaches

  • Brain fog

  • Fatigue

  • Insomnia

  • Low blood pressure

  • More...


In addition to the histamine produced inside your body, there are also foods that naturally contain histamine, cause the release of histamine, or block the enzyme that breaks down histamine, diamine oxidase (DAO). One must decrease consumption of high histamine foods and those that release (liberate) histamines. Depending on the severity of one's MCAS, some will be able to follow the general rules with our basic "allowed/avoid" food list.

Some of the more important rules are as follows :

  • Food must be fresh or frozen, no leftovers

  • Avoid fermented and pickled foods and drink

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages

  • Avoid raw and cured sausage products such as salami

  • Avoid processed or smoked fish products. Use freshly caught or frozen seafood instead

  • Avoid products made with yeast and yeast extracts

  • Avoid soy sauce and fermented soy products

  • Avoid aged cheese

  • Avoid artificial food colorings & preservatives

  • Avoid stress

For those who are severely compromised by MCAS, or those who have exhibited histamine intolerance and are undergoing treatment for Lyme disease, coinfections, Mold Illness, and other health conditions, a more comprehensive approach to this diet is often recommended. For these individuals, it is often necessary to begin with no-histamine foods (to clear the histamine “bucket”), then gradually add higher histamine foods back in. This approach provides the body some time to heal and allows for proper rotation of foods so one doesn't become sensitized to the foods that are being consumed. In addition, research has shown that there are several foods that actually boost your body’s ability to create the much-needed DAO enzyme that breaks down histamines. For these individuals, and for those with multiple dietary restrictions such as Oxalates, Salicylates, AIP, and SIBO, I offer coaching with extended food lists to accommodate these conditions.


My ultimate goal is to educate and support you to optimize your success with the MCAS diet.

There are literally hundreds of conflicting food lists published on the internet, with almost as many different approaches to navigating the MCAS diet. The most important aspect that I have learned through my own experience and the experiences of my clients is that although there is a basic model to the diet, each and every one of us begins with a different set of health conditions, restrictions, and sensitivities.

With this in mind, my coaching sessions always begin with a review of your current health conditions, other dietary restrictions, and current treatment protocols so that I can best help you to find a “baseline” of how to begin and navigate the diet going forward. Sessions also include the following topics, as needed, with the overall goal of reducing the stress and confusion often associated with the diet:

  • An overview of MCAS, symptoms, and diet basics.

  • Clearing your histamine "bucket".

  • Extended food lists with hundreds of foods and their histamine levels, how to best utilize them. Custom, blended food lists for those with multiple intolerances: MCAS with Oxalates, AIP, Salycylates or SIBO.

  • Adding higher histamine foods back in.

  • Cooking, prepping, storing foods.

  • Meal planning guidance, snack ideas.

  • Answer client specific questions, overcoming obstacles.

Coaching sessions are available by phone, Facetime or Zoom with a minimum of 1 hour (most sessions take between 1 - 1 1/2 hours).


My passion for wellness originated from personal experience. After more than 30 years of mysterious symptoms that eventually escalated to a debilitating illness, I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, several co-infections, heavy metals, and Mold Illness.


After successfully recovering from Lyme and its “friends”, I continued to struggle with Mold Illness, meaning that each attempt at treatment seemed to work for a while, but my sensitivity to mold and other external toxins and fumes would eventually resurface. In addition, although I had strictly adhered to a gluten, sugar and dairy-free lifestyle for several years, a new sensitivity to many otherwise "healthy foods" crept in and started to spiral. Foods like tomatoes, avocados, spinach, yogurt, any type of grain, and many others, began to wreak havoc.

In 2017, my doctor - Dr. Raj Patel of Medical Options for Wellness - suggested Mast Cell Activation Syndrome as a possible cause. I moved forward, gathering and combining all of the lists, tips, and rules that I could get my hands on and embarked on the low histamine diet (blending with a long-time intolerance for Salicylates). To say that this diet was life-changing is an understatement. Within just a few weeks of no-histamine foods, I felt a significant lifting of some remaining general symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and chemical sensitivities. As time went on, many of the lingering digestive issues, extreme sensitivity to mold and chemical toxins resolved as well.

During this time, I continued to research, study and gather information on the levels of histamines in hundreds of foods and ingredients, histamine types and triggers, as well as foods that help boost the body's ability to create the DAO enzyme that breaks down histamines. I was fortunate enough to start coaching in 2017 and  have learned a lot from the experiences of my clients, as well as my own.

To date, I have coached hundreds of fellow patients on their own Mast Cell journeys, and have to say that it has been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences of my life. I would love to be a part of your healing journey!

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