Histamine-Driven Anxiety Attacks Reversed Naturally and Holistically

by Steven Wright

Eric M Pic

Still unsure how the gut-brain axis relates to real-world issues?  

After reading this courageous account of perseverance, I think you’ll understand much deeper how other people experience gut-brain symptoms. Also, there’s an unexpected benefit of reading a true account of health struggle and success.

As you read and relate to Eric, you’ll learn to do so more with your own body. The deep caring and curiosity you have for another will unlock things in your own journey. That’s why sharing stories and listening to them is so powerful.

Eric is removing the mask today.  

And it’s going to feel so good.

Many of his closest people to him have no idea what he’s been through. And now hopefully, through this detailed and amazing revelation, they’ll connect with him better, understand him better and even be motivated to change their health.

Whether you have anxiety, histamine intolerance, hypoglycemia or have seen less than stellar results on a FODMAPs diet, low-histamine diet or others…

This piece might give you a new insight about the downward spiral of disease… as well as the upward spiral of health.

[Enter Eric]

My Story Is a Bit Different Than Most Stories on This Site…

Because my major troubles were mental and with only a few physical symptoms. I did have occasional constipation, diarrhea and hemorrhoids but for the most part I had normal bowel movements one to two times a day. My struggles were with anxiety attacks and terrible insomnia. I’ve had anxiety attacks and insomnia since I was 16 that would come and go for months at a time. When they returned this past year (for the first time in a three years), I was determined to find out the cause and get rid of them for good.

My anxiety attacks usually happened around times of great emotional stress. However, this past year I experienced crippling anxiety attacks and insomnia that had no significant emotional stress attached. It was also the first time I made a connection with food as a cause. Over the past year, I had developed chronic bleeding hemorrhoids. In an attempt to alter my diet to try to fix my hemorrhoid problems, I added white rice to my diet, which I had been avoiding for the last 2 years.

Within the first two weeks, I developed terrible anxiety attacks after visiting my wife’s family for a family reunion. I’m a very introverted person and spending large amounts of time with large crowds is difficult. After three hours of socializing, I had a surge of panic as we were getting ready to leave.

I Was Sure I Was Going to Pass Out

We hurried and said our goodbyes and left. I was devastated that after nearly three years with no panic attacks they had returned. (At the time, I didn’t know that I would spend nearly all of the next year refusing to socialize and spend all my time indoors with my wife, or alone.) 

I spent any free time I had researching the internet trying to find a reason for my anxiety attacks returning and how to stop them. Since I felt the attacks started after adding rice to my diet, I started there.

About 10 years earlier, I had been diagnosed with hypoglycemia (severe increases and decreases in blood sugar) after seeing a doctor for my panic attacks (though I was never given a proper blood test to check for hypoglycemia, my doctor made the diagnoses on symptoms alone). I tried to eat a low-carb diet to stop the effects of hypoglycemia. I didn’t last on the diet at that time because no matter how much I dieted low-carb and low-sugar I never saw any improvement. 

However, I decided I would stick to a strict, low-carb diet and beat this hypoglycemia, once and for all. But after two weeks, my anxiety was worse and I was now developing insomnia – sleeping only 3 hours a night. Other terrible symptoms occurred such as low blood pressure, which caused dizziness and awful vertigo. The vertigo made it nearly impossible to go for a walk to the store without feeling like I was going to pass out or lose balance and fall over.

My Wife and I Decided it Was Time to See a Doctor

I saw my wife’s doctor as I was new to the area and they did several blood tests and found nothing. The doctor told me that all their tests came back normal and there was nothing wrong with me. He continued to tell me that the symptoms were in my head and asked if I had a history of anxiety. I was frustrated and humiliated but still focused on figuring out what was wrong with me, with or without the doctor’s help. He asked if I wanted anti-anxiety medication… which I refused.

My symptoms continued to get worse and I was losing a lot of weight from being afraid to eat anything but low carb. I wasn’t sleeping and my anxiety and vertigo were out of control. It was also nearly impossible for me to socialize with many of my friends and family. 

Luckily, I work from home and was able to keep my work unaffected. However, work was the only thing that was not affected and I was very fearful the damaging effects my anxiety would have on my marriage and relationships. I spent every waking minute outside of work and time with my wife reading and researching diet and anxiety.

One big breakthrough was when I ate a hard-boiled egg before bed and experienced terrible insomnia and other symptoms such as hives, frequent urination and joint pain. One of the things my doctor told me to eat when I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia was to eat eggs for protein. However, I remembered the severe reaction I had after eating them 20 years before (terrible insomnia, anxiety and frequent urination). Having made this connection, I researched eggs and insomnia online and luckily found some answers on Dr. Judy Tsafrir’s blog on histamine intolerance.

Histamine Intolerance: A Phrase I Had Never Heard Before…

But one that would come to drastically improve my life. I read that the body needs histamine but can only handle a certain amount. If the body takes on too much histamine (specifically through food), it cannot break down/digest histamine properly and you can develop severe symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety attacks, rash, vertigo, low blood pressure and frequent urination. I had experienced nearly every symptom on the list over the past year (and off and on for most of my life).

So I made another drastic change to my diet and started eating fresh, low-histamine foods as well as a low-carb hypoglycemic diet (a wonderful list of histamine foods and levels list can be found here. Though my diet was very limited and I was still losing weight (I was down to 165 lbs at 6’5 tall which was becoming dangerously low), I was having a major breakthrough. I was now sleeping nearly every night. I was also experiencing less anxiety and able to leave the house more often, though I was still unclear on how histamine intolerance started for me and why it seemed to come and go.

While I was excited about my new path, I continued to struggle with my chronic hemorrhoids and was now experiencing heavy gas. Through my searches online and reading, I discovered the FODMAPs diet and started to follow a list of foods for that while staying low histamine. I had pretty dramatic improvements and had less hemorrhoid flare ups and almost no gas. I was thrilled and moved away from a hypoglycemic diet that didn’t do anything for my symptoms (and I’m fairly convinced I never had hypoglycemia but did have severe histamine intolerance and was misdiagnosed).

I was making great progress and became more confident in the foods I could eat. Since sugar and grains (and milk on the histamine food list) were okay on both histamine and FODMAPs food lists, I decided it was safe for me to introduce these things back into my diet. With my insomnia mostly gone, my anxiety improved, blood pressure normalized and vertigo was disappearing, I thought I had found my cure. However, this was only the start to more problems.

We Had Pizza, Homemade Chocolate and Ice Cream (For My Birthday)

I felt I had been starving myself and now I was celebrating not only my birthday but my new found health. Adding all this sugar and lactose into my diet instantly caused major problems. Two days after this meal, I experienced the worst constipation of my life.

I had the tremendous urge to go while being completely inflamed and unable to pass my bowel. I struggled for nearly 20 mins before I thought I needed to go to the hospital. Eventually, I was able to pass the movement but not without major pain and what felt like tearing in my stomach and right side. 

The following day my, wife made an appointment for me to see a gastroenterologist. After being inspected, I was told that I had an anal fissure and given suppositories to use in the evening and morning. A day or two later, I developed what I felt was a bladder or prostate infection. The doctor gave me a prescription for Cipro.  

Almost instantly, the Cipro gave me terrible side effects. The first day I took it, I had a terrible swelling feeling and pain in my right side. I thought the pain was from the infection and never thought it was a symptom of Cipro. 

I stayed on Cipro for a week; the prostate pain was gone but now I was having terrible pain in my right side. I stopped the Cipro and thought the effects would go away on their own. But over the next few weeks the pain got worse and I developed terrible new symptoms.

Once a Week, I Had Watery Diarrhea…

Mostly after eating fruit. The pain in my right side was so bad I had to sleep on my left side and I was developing nausea. Nearly every week, the pain, diarrhea and nausea got worse. 

I went to see a different doctor who took stool samples to test for C. difficile or other bacterial infections, blood tests and a CAT scan. All his tests came back normal and they never found anything abnormal in the CAT scan. He never gave me any advice on diet, no medication, but instead suggested I see the gastroenterologist again. I was very frustrated.

The pain in my side seemed urgent, I had diarrhea 5 to 6 times a day and couldn’t go anywhere without a trash can nearby, for fear I would throw up. Even with all the mental trouble I experienced, nothing compared to not being able to get a minute’s relief from all my physical symptoms. 

I was truly in hell.

I made an appointment with the gastroenterologist who ordered new blood tests and scheduled me for a colonoscopy and endoscopy. Again, all his blood work came back normal and the colonoscopy was two weeks away. I was terrified my symptoms would rapidly get out of control and I seriously wondered if I would make it to the colonoscopy without having to go to the hospital first. 

As with the other doctor, I was never given a diet to eat, medication to take or any advice on what I should do. The only thing the doctor mentioned was that I may have Colitis or Crohn’s, so I spent the next two weeks searching online again. And while I was on a forum someone suggested that I could maybe have SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) caused by the antibiotics.

The first information I found on SIBO was on Dr. Allison Siebecker’s site. I also came to learn about the great SCD Lifestyle website (Jordan Reasoner and Steve Wright) and listened to Podcast #25 with Dr. Siebecker and Jordan called How to Tell if You Have Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and What to Do About It. Both sites also underlined the importance of finding and reading Elaine Gottschall’s book, Breaking the Vicious Cycle, on the SCD diet.  

I Read and Listened to As Much About SCD and SIBO As Possible

I felt that the Cipro must have given me some kind of infection by wiping out my already weak gut health. I started taking Dr. Siebecker’s herbal antibiotic treatment with garlic, oregano oil and Oregon grape supplements three times a day. 

I was very frustrated that every doctor that I had visited failed to mention any type of diet or herbal supplement. Most of the contact with my gastroenterologist was through a nurse (who wasn’t able to give me any answers). However, with Dr. Siebecker’s SIBO herbal treatment, my bowels had returned to semi-normal, my pain was greatly reduced and my nausea was reduced all within 48 hours.

I also started a strict SCD diet with no milk, grain, or sugar – with recipes from Elaine’s book and Jordan and Steve’s website. 

Eventually, I had my colonoscopy and endoscopy and all that was found was a small inflammation in my cecum at the start of my small intestines. The biopsy came back normal and I was told I simply had a flare up of IBS and that no other appointments were needed. Again, I was never told about supplements, or why the supplements I took were working or even what diet I should be eating. With nothing else to go on, I stuck with the SCD diet and the herbal treatment for one month and then one month of all three supplements once a day.

I’ve Made a Huge Amount of Recovery…

After just three months on the SCD diet and herbal supplements. I have mild to no pain in my side, rare cases of diarrhea and minimal trouble with constipation and hemorrhoids. I put back nearly all the healthy weight that I lost (and a little more with a variation I made with the AMAZING SCD ice cream recipe from Steve and Jordan’s blog. I no longer take any supplements and my insomnia, anxiety attacks, blood pressure and vertigo are gone. 

This past weekend, my wife and I made the 5-hour trip to NY for a four-day wedding celebration with nearly 100 of her family members. I spent the day of the wedding – nearly all 8 hours – on my own since my wife was in the wedding party and I never had one hesitation of a panic attack. This would have never been possible a year before – when I struggled to be driven 20 mins down the road to see a small group of family for an hour. It was that difficult for me to leave the house. Now, I’m taking 5-hour road trips.

SCD Fixes Histamine Intolerance?  

I have a theory on why the SCD diet worked for me. I believe that my previous diet that was high in sugar, milk and grains caused a severe gut bacteria imbalance. Without proper gut health and balance, I was unable to break down the histamine that was building up to dangerous levels in my body. Once the histamine levels were out of control, I started experiencing horrible symptoms of histamine intolerance, such as sudden severe drops in blood pressure that gave me terrible insomnia, vertigo and panic attacks. 

During my many hours of research online, I came across this amazing podcast conversation with Dr. Janice Joneja and the “Low Histamine Chef,” Yasmina Ykelenstam, that gives so much insight into what I was going through. (This is a must-listen for anyone going through the symptoms that I had.)

“Histamine has many functions in the body. One of the functions it performs is that it is a vasodilator, which means it widens blood vessels. With the widening of the blood vessel, what happens then is that there is less resistance to the heart pumping blood through the body – it’s like widening a hose and you get less resistance to the water as it’s pumped through, so the heart speeds up in order to get the same volume of blood through these widened channels. So you get a tachycardia, but first of all you get a drop in blood pressure, so that’s first in the histamine response, a drop in blood pressure, increase in heart rate, and then as the blood courses through the body, you get flushing and a rise in body heat and so on and so forth, reddening, and, of course, this triggers that panic attack feeling in a person and I’ve had people go to the emergency room thinking they are having an anaphylactic reaction, thinking they’re having a heart attack – all sorts of things. And actually, it’s excess histamine because of the widening of the blood vessels and the increase in the heart rate – and on a low histamine diet, the panic attacks have gone away.” ~Dr. Janice Joneja

I’ve Been Able to Eat Much Higher Levels of Histamine

With the SCD diet, I’ve also been able to eat much higher levels of histamine with little trouble and my tolerance for histamine gets better and better every day. My custom SCD diet has streamlined my digestion and gut health so much that my body has transformed into a histamine burning machine. 

I hope my story can be shared and it will give others the piece of information they need to make a change. With a huge amount of the US population on anti-anxiety/depression medication and antibiotics, I wonder how many of them are simply struggling from a histamine intolerance caused by an imbalance of healthy gut flora? How many lives can be helped by simply switching to the SCD diet and making overall digestion on the body easier? I may not be able to get back the past 20 years of my life, lost to pain and suffering, but if I can help even one other person save years of struggle in their life then it will be just as good!

My Life Has Positively and Dramatically Changed…

Because a special group of people took the time to help others around them: my amazing wife Kristina, who gave me her constant love, support and patience; Dr. Allison Siebecker, who took the time to create an amazing herbal antibiotic for treating gut infection; Elaine Gottschall and her amazing SCD diet and book Breaking the Vicious Cycle; Dr. Janice Joneja and the “Low Histamine Chef” Yasmina Ykelenstam, for an incredibly helpful explanation of the damaging effects of histamine intolerance. 

Most of all, I’d like to thank everyone at SCD Lifestyle for their informative podcasts, amazing free recipes (SCD ice cream literally saved my life!), other personal success stories. Through all of this and their incredibly supportive emails and blog replies, I’ve been able to gain much needed hope in my long, difficult journey.  

I’m so grateful to be living normally and confident again, thank you! 

-Eric M.

Thanks Eric for going there, for revealing so much, for helping us.

And now you, the reader, it’s your turn. Cheer Eric on in the comments below – let him know what insights you had or thoughts this turned up for you.  



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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet Works

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Monique November 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this!!
I will start to investigate where some of my symptoms come from.


Donovan November 3, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Thank you Eric. I have similar issues and I suspect a serious gut flora imbalance at the root of it. Your story gives me hope and faith that im on the right track! And I always love hearing about what worked for someone.
Thank you


Shana November 3, 2015 at 4:21 pm

What an inspiration you are. It shows that the human spirit is strong and can be quite determined. I too think Steve and Jordan are brilliant “health engineers”! They changed my life. I started the SCD lifestyle with help from their website and Elaine’s book three years ago. I am a different woman today because of it. I am forever grateful for their work and so happy to hear of your success. Keep shinin’ the light….


Mariel Heiss November 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm

Thanks for commenting Shana 🙂

We are grateful for you, Eric, and everyone else in the community!


Wendy November 3, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Well this was very helpful information. I have been going through this exact same thing with the histamine problems


Anne November 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Eric, you are a real life superhero! First for your courage to bear the pain of the physical battle, secondly for committing to figuring out the rooted cause, and lastly for being so brave to share your story in hope of helping others. I have suffered histamine intolerance as well and have an immense amount of respect for all you have gone through. You will surely help more people than you may ever realize. Thanks for being you. And thanks also to your amazing wife for being with you every step. She rocks!


Tracey November 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Eric your story sounds so similar to mine except another symptom I have is asthma. i am curious if when you started SCD if you also stuck to a low histamine diet? I am pretty sure I am histamine intolerant and have been doing fermented foods and bone broth on GAPS thinking I was healing my gut but now realize I’ve been exasperating my symptoms. How does the gut heal without ferments and bone broth and how does one introduce probiotics with histamine intolerance?


Mariel Heiss November 4, 2015 at 10:56 am

Hi Tracey – these are really great questions.

We recommend this podcast with Steve and Chris Kresser on histamine intolerance: http://chriskresser.com/what-you-should-know-about-histamine-intolerance/ where they address what to avoid and what to eat

Hope this helps!


Janet November 3, 2015 at 7:14 pm

Wow, what a story, and good for you for forging ahead to find your own solution. I had a similar “recovery” (though from a less severe illness) after becoming frustrated with doctors. Long story short, finding the scd guys online was a lifesaver! They are amazing.


Tee November 3, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Eric thank you so much for sharing. I have a friend with panic attacks and hopefully this will help!


Eric November 3, 2015 at 8:38 pm

Thank you so much to everyone who posted encouraging comments! And another HUGE thank you to everyone on this site for helping me share my story. The entire SCDlifstyle team does an amazing job!

I’m sorry if I cannot answer specific questions about histamine intolerance or how the SCD diet worked for me. I’m still learning a lot and I’m obviously not comfortable giving health advice, haha. Besides I couldn’t do a better job than the help you will receive by getting in touch with someone on the SCDlifestyle site!

I wish you all the best on your personal journey! Hard work pays off!


MiKe November 4, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Hi Eric,

Congrats for your success! 🙂 Your story is just like mine… I would have only one question regarding your sugar restriction. Did you quit from fruits as well; or you consumed the SCD legal once. Thanks!


Josh November 4, 2015 at 1:58 am

I’m really pleased that you are feeling better, Eric – this is the only thing that truly matters. However, i would like to offer you a different opinion on your condition.

You suffered from intense anxiety and sleeplessness and constipation. These are conditions associated with adrenal fatigue. Going on a low carb diet can worsen adrenal fatigue as it leads to hypoglycaemia and increased need for cortisol/adrenaline to raise blood sugar.

The foods on an SCD diet are usually higher in fructose that starch and therefore lead to smaller blood sugar rises, for instance, white rice would. I have seen it time and time again where people think they have a gut issue, they go on a gut healing diet and feel better. This is great – but lab tests often confirm that their real issue was an issue with their adrenals/HPA axis that just happened to benefit from the blood sugar balancing diet.

All the best


Sally November 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Read about histamine intolerance and adrenal fatigue, Josh. Very linked. Fixing histamine intolerance will certainly help the adrenals and vice versa.

Nice story Eric, certainly food for thought and opened my eyes to why I may not be healing as quickly as I should, thank for you sharing.


Josh November 13, 2015 at 8:44 am

Hi Sally, yes this was my point. Adrenal fatigue is often the cause of histamine intolerance i.e. not enough cortisol to balance out histamines inflammation. You will rarely fix adrenal fatigue by going on a low histamine diet but solving histamine intolerance by normalising the hpa axis is entirely possible.


Beatrix Willius November 4, 2015 at 2:21 am

Great story! Histamine intolerance is tricky. For me the biggest problem is warmed up food. Makes me totally hyper at 2 o’clock in the night.


Phil November 4, 2015 at 4:07 am

What an Incredible story! I’m also suffering histamine intolerance and this gives me hope it can get better. I’ve long believed a bacterial imbalance is at the root of it. I’ve made gains and had many relapses along the way. Eating low carb has helped a ton but I still feel there’s more to it.


Tracey November 4, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Hi again. So it appears that how one ferments their food can increase or decrease the histamine. Apparently anaerobic fermentation ferments the histamine out and histamine intolerance folks may be able to have fermented products if it’s anaerobically fermented which as far as I know can only be done with the right equipment. Pickl-it jars anaerobically ferment. Here is a blog on it http://www.lovingourguts.com/anaerobic-fermentation-our-gaps-missing-piece/
I can’t wait to try it!


Nancy November 5, 2015 at 10:47 am

Hi Eric, thanks for sharing your story! You may have just helped me find the source of my anxiety (aside from severe Crohn’s for almos 20 years!). Since no meds work for my Crohn’s, they have been keeping me on antibiotics for years… yes years (8 I think!!!)… I want to stop them because I know they are contributing to the health problems but every time we try, I end up in the hospital 3 to 5 days after with an abcess or high fever!… I think I am reacting because my fistulas are not healed (althought I have started to see improvements with L-Glutamine!!).
I think using the herbal antibiotics for a while and then trying to get off the real one might work and I would like to try but I could not find Dr. Siebecker’s herbal antibiotic treatment! Did you buy yourself garlic supplements, oregano oil and Oregon grape supplements?? And if so, could you please share the details with us (posology, quantity, brand…).
Thanks again!!
PLEASE HELP anyone with any other suggestions!!!


Mariel Heiss November 5, 2015 at 11:22 am

Hi Nancy – thanks for commenting!

You might want to check out this page from Dr. Siebecker’s site: http://www.siboinfo.com/herbal-antibiotics.html

We recommend you use herbal antibiotics in conjunction with a healing diet like SCD – they need to go hand-in-hand to be most effective. If you need support getting started on SCD let us know.

Hopefully other people in the community will have some great suggestions for you, as well. And hopefully you’ll be feeling a lot better really soon Nancy!


Nancy November 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm

Thanks Mariel for your answer! I will give SCD a try again combined with the herbal antibiotics! If anyone has other suggestions please let me know … I already had 6 major surgeries and don’t want another one!! Trying to get my health back naturally!
BTW, from the 18 years of Crohn’s, I have found and tested a few things that might help others so I am sharing with you guys!!
ANAL ABCESS: The first time I had one I went in surgery and they drained it… took a long time to heal and was very painful… and after a while of being better, another one showed up right beside the hole they had left so it would drain itself if it came back!!!… I had a Global Medecine Dr who told me to take a bath with green clay (about 1 cup in the bath water).. once or twice a week, not more!! Well, 4 hours after my 1st bath, the abcess drained completly!!… It comes back from time to time and I take a bath with green clay right away… sometimes it takes a second one during the week but they go away without surgery!!! … Also, Castor oil applied locally before going to bed does a similar effet! And both product are very cheap!!

FISTULAS: Had 2 to 3 fistulas for almost 10 years… even on biologic Humira they did not want to heal! I tried L-Glutamine every day for 2 months and for the 1st time my MRI showed the fistulas was closing up!! I had another one a couple of years later and tried L-Glutamine again but this time I took 2 scoops every day in a glass of juice and water and again the MRI showed scaring of half of the fistula’s trajectory!!

I hope that helps people with abcesses and fistulas … they sure can be a pain in the … ;o))


Christine November 5, 2015 at 11:49 am

Thank for sharing your story. you give others hope. the body is truly amazing in its ability to heal itself.


Anita November 17, 2015 at 8:56 am

Wow…I am so glad that I scrolled down my emails and read this one that I saved last week! I have been experiencing very similar symptoms the last 3 1/2 years and it has been hell. The severe hypoglycemia, anxiety, insomnia, sibo, intolerance to bacon, coffee, wine, chocolate (all high histamine foods). Thank you for sharing. I have gained thirty pounds due to feeling hungry all the time. Although my sleep has improved lately, I still take a prescription Benadryl for sleep if my heart is pounding and I’m unable to get to sleep. Where should I start? The SCD diet or low histamine/fodmaps? It sounds so daunting. I have three little children.


Mariel Heiss November 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Hi Anita – we’re so sorry to hear you’re going through this, but we’re so glad you found Eric’s story!

We recommend you use SCD as the foundation of your diet and incorporate low-FODMAP and low-histamine modifications.

The best place to start is with our eBook here: http://scdlifestylebook.com

This article touche on how to incorporate low-fodmaop: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/09/dr-siebecker-explains-the-art-and-science-of-the-fodmap-diet-podcast-45/

This is about histamine intolerance, from Chris Kresser’s site: http://chriskresser.com/what-you-should-know-about-histamine-intolerance/

These are great jumping-off points, but anytime you have questions or need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected]


Trudy November 19, 2015 at 9:31 am

Would just like to know how on earth you can possibly combine the SCD diet with the low histamine diet??!!! What can you eat to actually make meals and make sure you are nutritionally balanced especially being almost vegetarian. Fish, cheese and eggs are excluded on the low histamine diet!!! Doesn’t leave much does it? Also I know that HCL and pepsin are strongly recommended on this site for heartburn and indigestion but does that still apply if you have histamine intolerence please? I have read with HIT that it causes too much acid production and that’s why you get those symptoms not because of too little acid production, so I wonder if you could confirm this for me please? I don’t know how Eric managed to combine these two diets unless he was a big meat eater but even then you have to be careful with that! This all seems so daunting and overwhelming especially when you feel so ill and yet still somehow have to stand and prepare healthy meals. HELP please, I don’t know how or where to begin and it feels like I have no one to turn to for accurate, solid advice for meal plans. I am in the UK. Thank you SO much and well done Eric you are awsome I admire you greatly. Love and light Trudy


Mariel Heiss November 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Hi trudy – thanks for reaching out!

Combining low-histamine with SCD is definitely tricky but can be done! We do recommend the use of HCL/digestive enzymes if needed, as well as the supplement DAOsin, which helps those with histamine intolerance.

Many vegetables and fruits, as well as fresh meat, are low-histamine. Please check out the resources linked in this article – they helped Eric and can help you too!

Hope you’re feeling better soon Trudy 🙂


Lia November 19, 2015 at 5:09 pm

So how long did it take to notice changes in anxiety and panic attack levels? Also, did you ever take DAOsin?


Trudy November 20, 2015 at 9:27 am

Thank you SO much for responding Mariel I am so very grateful? I already take digestive enzymes and digestive bitters but they have not helped at all. I tried taking HCL tablets but at 14 tabs with my meal I was having to take in so much water I was then just so uncomfortable and bloated I could hardly eat anything and I was still not getting any burning sensation. On top of that I have trouble swallowing pills!!! So you can see my dilemma. I had to give up. If it was available in the UK in liquid form I would have done that but could not find any. I understood it to be that if high histamine is an issue then the digestive symptoms are because the histamine is causing your stomach to make too much acid in which case I assumed you would not want to be taking HCL anyway??!! Are you telling me that is wrong information and stand by your suggestion that taking it for HIT is a good idea. If so do you think vitamin U may be an alternative option for me to naturally raise my stomach acid levels. I ask because I understand you only have to take these morning and evening at 3 tablets each time and I could probably manage that? I have been to all the links in the article and read them all but still can’t see how combining these two diets is possible for me to do,being basically vegetarian, but not allowed the cheese and eggs which are allowed on SCD. It is completely overwhelming. If you are able to answer my questions again and offer me further advice on them I would be incredibly appreciative. Thank you again – so much- for taking the time to respond. Love and light Trudy x


Mariel Heiss November 20, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Hi Trudy – sorry I didn’t recognize the first time that you were close to being a vegetarian. While we respect vegetarianism as a life choice for religious or personal beliefs, our research shows that for optimum health, humans needs nutrients that only animal products can provide. If you don’t eat meat because it doesn’t make you feel well, we suspect that is a digestive issue that needs to be addressed with supplementation.

You may consider trying beans, prepared according to the Weston A. Price Foundation specifications. Beans are legal in the later stages of SCD and are low histamine.

Steve and Jordan aren’t experts on low-histamine but they aren’t familiar with the theory that histamine drives an over-abundance of stomach acid. However, if you have a drink a lot of water to take 14 HCL caps, you’ll wind up diluting your stomach acid. You should also know that not everyone gets the burning sensation – the bloating and discomfort you felt were likely signs you took too much HCL at once, as it should provide symptom relief at the right dose!

If you haven’t tried the supplement DAOsin, that is what we recommend for anyone wit histamine intolerance. It helps a lot of people and is different from digestive enzymes.

Secondly, you may consider working with a practitioner for one-on-one support. IT sounds ike you could have some underlying issues – like gut infections – that could be causing your symptoms. We have two awesome recommended practitioners you can connect with here: http://scdlifestyle.com/practitioners/

Hope this extra info is useful!


Trudy November 21, 2015 at 7:22 am

Thank you again Mariel I am so grateful for you taking the time to reply to me. I have tried to not be vegetarian I manage chicken but nothing else other than prawns with a salad but of course they are not allowed on the HIT list of foods. It’s not so much a lifestyle ‘choice’ I just can’t abide the taste and texture of meat – it actually makes me gag. I have persevered and kept trying, for the sake of my health, but other than chicken, I just can’t do it. Then of course Dr Fuhrman completely disagrees with that point of view and thinks a plant based diet is the healthiest and has many studies to quote like everyone else!!
So if not everyone gets the burning sensation when taking HCL how do you know if you are at the right dose? I have read many replies on this site regarding the ‘non’ burning sensation and have never read before from Steve or Jordan that not everyone gets it. They just say to keep going and increase the dose until you do feel it as obviously you have not yet reached the correct dose for you – so I am very confused? The bloating and discomfort I felt was definately due to the amount of water needed to swallow down 14 tablets in one go as it was instant discomfort!! I thank you again Mariel, so very much, for all your help and advice. I have paid out so much money already on ‘therapists’ and dieticians and got nowhere I can’t just keep on so self help is my option. If you are just able to offer me one further piece of advice re the vitamin U tablets as a substitute for HCL I would appreciate it so much. Love and light to you Mariel and all the SCD team – Trudy x


Mariel Heiss November 23, 2015 at 1:56 pm

Hi Trudy! Glad to help 🙂 Steve says if you’re not getting the burning feeling, you have to look for other symptoms of change like less bloating, less gas, less discomfort, better stool. These symptoms can be more subtle and it might just take you a little longer to find the right dose. Start with 1 pill and stay there for an entire day. If you don’t notice any change, try two the next day, and go on from there.

I asked Steve and Jordan directly about the Vitamin U, but they said they haven’t researched it and aren’t familiar with using it, so we can’t give any advice on that. I’m sorry!

Hope you’re feeling better! I know there is a lot of contradictory diet info out there -you just have to find what makes you feel best!


Trudy November 29, 2015 at 8:22 am

Hi again Mariel and thank you again for taking the time and trouble to reply to me, so much appreciated, as always. I already followed the advice from Steve starting at one tablet etc and that’s how I got up to 14 with still no burning and having to drink so much water just to take that amount. I saw no improvements in my symptoms at 14 just very uncomfortable after ingesting all that water at the start of my meals and then not being able to eat much due to the discomfort. But thank you anyway. Just for your own info and to enable you toperhaps help other people further I contacted the low histamine chef, who was linked by Eric in his article, to ask about the stomach acid issue and histamine intolerance. She told me that Zantac , which is the most commonly prescribed acid reflux drug/medication in the world, is an H2 receptor antihistamine!!! So maybe you might like to look in to that! she does make a point of stating though that it’s not always the case for all high histamine people and some do indeed find they have low stomach acid and not high, but very interesting about the Zantac. I hope that may be of benefit to know. I would love to know if Eric took HCL?? Thank you again Mariel.
Love and Light
Trudy x


Mariel Heiss November 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm

Wow, thanks Trudy for all your contributions! We love to see this kind of interaction in the comments – this is how we all learn and grow! We are so grateful to have you here. Thank you Trudy 🙂


Trudy December 2, 2015 at 8:12 am

Thank you Mariel!! You are very welcome and I am so glad it has been of some benefit and interest to you. I totally agree that this is how we all learn and I am very grateful for you and your team too?
Love and light
Trudy x


Kelly December 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm

Eric, it must be divine intervention that I stumbled on your story today. Last night marked the beginning of my third episode of severe insomnia/anxiety in the past two years. I’ve been to countless doctors and have spent hundreds of hours on the Internet. Like you, the one mystery to my problems is how they come and go. Sometimes I’m fine for several months, even more, then a stressful event will trigger the insomnia, followed by anxiety, and frequent urination. This time there was no stressor. People must think I’m crazy! I made the mistake of going the anti-anxiety/anti-depressant route. Awful. Thankfully I’ve almost weaned off them all and feel better. Anyway…thank you!! Maybe I have histamine intolerance? Bless you for sharing. First story I’ve ever heard that sounds so much like mine!


Elisabeth35372 January 28, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Hello All,
I have been following you for quite some time and thought I would add a comment. I was especially drawn to Trudy’s post (I can’t find Eric’s). I have been very ill for quite a few years. My body and brain almost seem to be dead at this point and I am bedridden much of the time. I have tried SO many things and realized I was histamine intolerant two years ago and have been on the low-histamine diet and just keep getting worse. I have considered going on Dr. Fuhrman’s health plan as well as it is recommended by the Low Histamine Chef and the Reluctant Raw Foodist. At this point, I cannot eat any food without a major reaction, even low-histamine foods, which makes me not want to eat anything and I have lost so much weight and have malnutrition. I also have SIBO. I have tried digestive bitters and enzymes and they make the SIBO/Histamine worse–or maybe they’re actually starting a die-off situation. I am reluctant to try HCl because I have taken Motrin for many, many years and it may be dangerous to do so. Unfortunately, it seems like EVERY category of food gives me problems–either major gas or acid indigestion, not only affecting my body, by my head as well. So, I’m thinking of taking the Heidelberg Test. If I am low in stomach acid, that may explain why I cannot digest meats. I know that carbohydrates activates the SIBO. At the beginning of my histamine journey, I actually could digest meat, but as the years have gone by, I cannot anymore, so I have no food categories to eat. My question to you all: Has anyone taken the Heidelberg test? How was it? What were the results? Does this show if you have high stomach acid, too? Is it possible to correspond directly with people on this site? If so, how can I go about this? I’m particularly interested in hearing how you are doing, Trudy. Here is my e-mail if anyone wants to get in touch. Elisabeth: [email protected] Thank you!


Mariel Heiss January 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Hi Elisabeth – thanks for commenting!

You can read more about the Heidelberg test here: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-tests-for-low-stomach-acid/

Please also read the comments on that article – they contain a ton of great info!


Elisabeth35372 January 28, 2016 at 7:17 pm

I have one more quick question for you all. When this situation first started, I mainly had histamine intolerance and gas, but not acid reflux. However, I have SO MUCH gas that I am burping ALL THE TIME. I can barely sleep and have to get up every few hours to let it out. I do not eat any gas-producing foods; it’s just that ANY food causes huge amounts of gas, probably because of the SIBO. With burping so much, is it possible that since there’s so much pressure going up that my ileocecal valve is constantly open, thereby leaving a direct pathway for acid no matter what I eat? I have read that this can happen in bulimia. I get acid from every single food (even water!) and gas from most, even all vitamins and minerals and nutritional drinks. I would also like to note that this situation has given me TREMENDOUS anxiety, especially when I have a gas build up that can’t seem to get out. I take a lot of Gas-X and can that cause acid reflux? How would one know if the ileocecal valve is stuck open? I have rubbed that area and there is no tenderness. Any thoughts? I am thinking of becoming a vegetarian. Would this help at all even though I react to all foods? Even though meat is on the low-histamine list, I really think it has a higher amount than I can tolerate (even when eaten fresh). And, if I have low stomach acid, that would be adding to the problem digesting it. However, since I already suffer from malnutrition (determined by blood tests), I’m reluctant to remove any food categories at this time. Thank you so much for any advice. It looks like we’re all in this together!


Mariel Heiss January 29, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Elisabeth – have you tried the supplement DAOsin by Swanson? Steve an Jordan recommend it for people who react to everything – especially histamines. I encourage you to give it a try!


Elisabeth35372 January 30, 2016 at 1:24 am

Thank you for your response! I’ll be taking the Heidelberg test on Monday and will let everyone know how it was and the results. Also, I did try DAO although it’s been a long time ago (probably a year and a half), so it’s time to try it again as everything has gotten much worse. At the time, it didn’t seem to do much, but it’s possible that I gave up too soon because I was getting a small negative reaction (could it cause SIBO or Candida die-off? At this point, I think I have Candida, too) and maybe that was what I was feeling. It wasn’t Swanson brand; I believe it was Histame. So, after Monday I’ll report on the Heidelberg test and if I decide to try DAO again, I’ll let everyone know. Thank you SO much for this wonderful site and your quick response. Truly, Elisabeth


Joan February 22, 2016 at 8:36 am

Do you work with people on diet?


Mariel Heiss February 24, 2016 at 9:04 pm

Joan – please see this age for one-on-one help: http://scdlifestyle.com/practitioners/


Marsha March 10, 2016 at 6:10 am

Great story but can we all PLEASE remember to define the AAA (another annoying anacronym) used? Took many searches to discover what SCD stood gor!


Mariel Heiss March 10, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Hi Marsha! Sorry to hear that 🙂 Our site is called SCD Lifestyle so we bet you were pretty confused!

SCD stands for Specific Carbohydrate Diet and you can learn more here: http://scdlifestyle.com/about-the-scd-diet/


Alex September 8, 2016 at 11:19 am

What are the herbal supplements used ? Could be Candibactin ( Ar & Br ) of metagenics ?


Mariel Heiss September 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Hi Alex – you can learn about the supplements we recommend our free webinar: http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/internal-autoimmune/


Erika September 26, 2016 at 10:41 am

My question is, did Eric eventually be able to eat eggs? Doing the scd diet, was he able to incorporate the 24 hr yogurt? Have you been able to have any ferments? I’m starting the diet. I also have gut critters like blasto and h pylori and another one I can’t remember but starts with an e. I am working with a inter graded Doctor. I have had high histamines for a while. I have tried histamine degrading probiotics but cannot tolerate then at all. I get really bad anxiety, racing heartbeat for 3 hours but then I get this amazing relaxed feeling afterward. It feels great. But not worth it! I cannot tolerate a lot of supplements right now. I’m taking histamaid at each meal. I have been off dairy, grains and nuts and soy for quit some time. I’ve also tried prescript assist, megaspore and lacto plantation and bifido. Why would I react to these? I’m feeling better being off a lot of stuff. Eating meats, winter squashes and some veggies to get this bacteria load down. It’s not the first time that I have had to do this. I have been eating more fruits, sprouted seeds and have had some sprouts grains like Oats, quinoa and Millet. I have tested for neurotransmitters and adrenals. Started protocol for that. That’s when the crap hit the ceiling. They have a lot of b vitamins and niacin in them. Which I know irritates histamines. Plus I was eatin more carbs because I was told that my adrenals need them. Long talk but my question is, will scd diet heal the gut so I can be healed from histamines and be able to eat ferments again? Or will I be able to take probiotics again? I’ve been on a antibiotic for 17 years for intercyctital cystitis and they kept the pain away then one day I started food intolerances. Then pain in bladder. So I stopped taking them three years ago to heal. Also realizing I have Lyme disease too. Candida most likely. Crazy stuff!!! So I know my gut is screaming for good bacteria but I can’t eat any of it. Is there hope to be able to take probiotics or ferments one day? I also read in the scd book to wait at least a month before trying the yogurt. Would I wait longer? Thanks so much for this post. It gives me hope.


Mariel Heiss September 26, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Hi Erika – thanks for reaching out to us! No one can tell you for certain what will happen when you start SCD – but we don’t believe anyone is “too far gone” – we’ve seen some incredible transformations! As your gut heals, you’ll likely be able to tolerate probiotics and fermented foods again. If you don’t tolerate fermented foods now, only introduce the yogurt (in really small amounts – like a teaspoon per day) if you’re feeling good at 30 days and your symptoms have improved. Otherwise, we suggest waiting until your symptoms have improved to introduce the yogurt.


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