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Hashimoto's Disease and Histamine Intolerance: What's the Connection?

autoimmune thyroid hashimoto's histamine hypothyroidism thyroid issues
photo of man blowing his nose

Hashimoto’s Disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages its own thyroid gland...which is the master gland of the body. The thyroid gland provides the life-giving, happy-making, fat-burning thyroid hormone T3. 

Hashimoto's Disease is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. Antibodies attack the thyroid gland - leading to inflammation and gradual destruction of the thyroid.

Histamine intolerance, on the other hand, is a condition in which the body is unable to break down histamine properly. Histamine is a chemical that is produced by the body and is involved in important physiological processes, including allergy response, regulation of gut motility, and regulation of blood pressure.

Studies have shown that there may be a connection between Hashimoto's Disease and histamine intolerance and some research suggests that individuals with Hashimoto's Disease may have a higher likelihood of this due to their impaired ability to break down histamine.

The gut plays a crucial role in histamine metabolism, and the gut-thyroid axis can be disrupted in individuals with Hashimoto's Disease. Additionally, the inflammation that is present as a result of Hashimoto's can further impair the gut's ability to metabolize histamine.

Here are some foods high in histamines:

  • Fermented dairy products: cheese, yogurt, kefir
  • Fermented vegetables: sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi
  • Alcoholic beverages: wine, beer, champagne
  • Processed and cured meats: ham, salami, bacon
  • Smoked fish
  • Vinegar-based condiments: mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
  • Certain fruits: avocados, citrus, strawberries, bananas
  • Certain nuts: walnuts, cashews
  • Certain spices: cinnamon, cloves, anise
  • Some teas and coffee

How do you know if you have an issue? Below are some symptoms of histamine intolerance.

  • Skin reactions: small or large hives, itching, flushing
  • Digestive issues: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Respiratory symptoms: nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, shortness of breath
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety, agitation, or mood changes
  • Low blood pressure and heart palpitations
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)

If you have Hashimoto's hypothyroidism and suspect you have histamine intolerance - resolving it may involve changes to your diet, such as avoiding histamine-rich foods and trying the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. Speak with your healthcare provider about what is best for you.

About the author:  Elle Russ is the #1 bestselling author, world-renowned thyroid health expert, and master coach. Take her Thyroid Masterclass HERE


  1. "The gut-thyroid axis: a review of the literature."

  2. "The role of histamine in autoimmune thyroid diseases."

  3. "Histamine intolerance: a review of the literature."

  4. "The gut-liver-thyroid axis: role in metabolic regulation."

  5. "The gut-brain-thyroid axis: implications for autoimmunity and neuroendocrine dysfunction."

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