Histamine, zinc and copper

Update — histamine issues are highly significant but the doctor referred to in the below post did not appreciate the true depth of the significance at all. Dietary changes (which ultimately allowed for better detoxification) were far more important than anything any one supplement could do at the juncture in which she met me. Needs evolve as health does. Please see: Histamine intolerance roundup

So awhile ago I mentioned that I had seen a nutritional psychiatrist. I didn’t go into detail at that time because there wasn’t too much to say. She did order some blood work, which I’ve now gotten back with interesting results. I also took a “sensitivity” questionnaire which I mailed back to her. I’ve yet to hear what she has to say about that. She also wanted me to take my temperature for 5 days in a row upon first waking to determine if I have an thyroid problems. I’ve had numerous thyroid tests of all kinds, but sometimes she says they don’t show up in blood work. A fluctuating morning basal body temperature apparently suggests something about thyroid that can be missed in blood work. I still haven’t done that. She also suggested two books on mindfulness and told me I had done a great job in figuring out what supplements I should be taking with available information on the web and she was impressed with how my withdrawals were going.

So, why am I writing this now? I’ve gotten the results of a urinalysis and some blood work back. My pyroluria test came back normal. That website is the lab where they tested the urine.

I also had my histamine level checked, and my copper and zinc levels checked. All these tests came back abnormal, or sub-optimal.

I have high histamine (also called histadelia) which means I’m under-methylated. As seen on the first site there are various nutrients that help with this condition. My doctor recommended SAMe which is a combination of a couple of amino acids. SAMe is popularly used as an anti-depressant as well and it is not in general recommended for people with bipolar disorder for the same reason caution is exercised with any anti-depressant in bipolar disorder–(the chance for mania.) SAMe is used to lower hystamine, in my case, which has a variety of symptoms as seen in the symptom chart I link to above. If I don’t tolerate it there are alternatives to getting the histamine level down.  (update: SAMe proved to give me a radically bad reaction…I much later discovered it’s not a safe supplement for most people withdrawing from psych meds…please use very cautiously if at all)

My copper level is high and my zinc level is low. The zinc to copper ratio is important and mine is completely out of whack.

So I’ve added a high dose of zinc to get the ratio back in order. High copper can cause high estrogen which in turn causes severe PMS!! I certainly hope this works–my psychiatrist is convinced that my PMS is history.

I just started the supplementation with zinc a few days ago and I started the SAMe today. I will probably use a natural progesterone cream the second half of my cycle to further help with the estrogen dominance. I will made a report once I can tell you more.

You may notice if you do more research there is not a ton of information available on any of what this blood work indicates. I am choosing to go down this path because I’ve been a member of mental health groups of whom many members have treated these imbalances and gotten really good results. My doctor uses the Pfeiffer Clinic’s protocols. I know of a lot of people who have used the Pfeiffer Clinic for themselves and their children and had great success.

I can do nothing here but be one more anecdotal story pro or con to these protocols. I’ll let you know how I feel in the next month or two as my body reacts to the supplementation.

Addendum: another interesting article on SAMe.

2nd Addendum: SAMe proved to be terrible. It triggered awful energy and I have since learned it has caused mania in some. I do not recommend it be used by anyone with any history of what gets labeled manic.

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10 thoughts on “Histamine, zinc and copper

  1. Hi Gianna, I was just googling histamine and bipolar myself, and lo and behold, up your name popped… I was looking because I’ve noticed that I can get dreadful hives and skin itches when zooming up… anyway, I remembered some of the atypical antipsychs also have a strong anti-histamine effect, and was wondering “Why!” (Probably to send us all to sleep….) Oh well, interesting stuff… I must look further into some of this. Thanks, David


  2. Hi there,

    I was just thinking, is it possible to have histadelia (high histamine) and high copper at the same time?

    I know copper destroys histamine, then if you have high copper, chances are you have low histamine.

    just a thought


  3. j,
    thanks so much. I unfortunately don’t know a whole lot about histamine and how it effects mental health except that it does…

    I link to the little info I can get online…some books like Joan Larson’s Depression Free Naturally, or even Michael Lessers The Brain Chemistry Diet might be sources of more info…look on my About page for further book recommendations.

    I’m sorry…my brain doesn’t work so hot and I really don’t know a lot of stuff when it comes to the more scientific explanations of how things like histamine can be fundamental…

    good luck in your research.


  4. Hi Giannakali,
    ‘Found your really good website while researching histamine response and bipolar. I’m so very with you on your approach, BEYOND MEDS, and I wish you and your readers well on your journey, Giannakali. (I Like the new name!!) I am wondering and trying to understand the relationship between allergic responses and mental illness, with particular interest in the role of mast cells which release histamine. Since you mentioned that your histame is normal “for now, ” I thought you might be knowledgable about what affects that histamine level’s ability to quickly return to normal, and that you might be able to add to my understanding, as your time permits. (I’m going to guess you already have an article on it, and I apologize–I’m new to your blog and haven’t read everything.) Mast cells seem to “pop” in reponse to an allergen/stressor and release histamine. (And I am sure they serve a protective role we are just beginning to understand). We all have mast cells (groups of white blood cells) in many of our main organs, while some of us have an abundant supply…(I found out that red apples, broccoli, and red grapes have “quercitin” which strengthens the cell membranes of mast cells, so they don’t “pop” so easily–i’m thinking this would be a very good thing to know for people who tend toward high histamine and for some reason, don’t clear it from their systems as well as others.)…anyway, thanks for your blog..I’ll keep reading and wishing you well.


  5. yes, SAMe made me worse…and it turns out my histamine is normal now…not sure how it got normal, but I guess other stuff I did helped it…

    I’m not familiar with ZMA.


  6. I had the same symptoms. I was wondering how SAMe worked on you. Those methylation products TMG, DMG, SAMe makes me worse usually.

    on the other hand ZMA helps me.


  7. Interesting Michael. The whole zinc, copper thing needs to be revisited for me–I know that.

    How did you react negatively to zinc? would like to know because it’s possible I had a reaction too.


  8. Hi,

    Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis is one of the more reliable ways of testing for copper. Blood tests can be a bit misleading as they are only short term measures of your copper status.

    I also have the high copper and low zinc…

    I’ve been removing the copper with soluble sodium ascorbate and antagonising it with zinc, molybdenum and manganese. About 6 months ago I switched to using CaNa2EDTA (a chellator) orally a few times a week. Also tried a short dose of DMSA and Alpha Lipoic Acid (general chellators).

    My HTMA’s are showing between ~4 and 10x normal excretion of copper… so the various methods seem to be working… but it’s also a long process as I first picked this up about 2 years ago… and I’ve just had my highest Cu level yet… suggesting I’ve still got more to go.

    I have tried supplementing Zinc, Manganese and Molybdenum but found it made me very unwell (only moderate levels)… so I had to stop. Switched to high zinc foods like eggs, shell fish and added colloidal minerals.

    Taking a bit of MSM or eat some peas or lentils if I feel the methyl donors are a bit low.

    Interestingly one side effect is that a mild lisp I used to have disappeared… but comes back if my level of anti-oxidants drops too far. I’ve used that as a method of determining how much vitamin C in particular I should be taking (Vit C has the greatest effect).

    I suspect Fluoride also has a role to play as it is a general enzyme poison… as it will interfere with many pathways. Fluoride unfortunately is not easily tested for (it tends to deposit in bones)… still investigating this hypothesis.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.



  9. actually–I didn’t really get what a basal body thermometer is. I simply got a glass thermometer as I know the digital are not sensitive enough. When I asked at the pharmacy for a basal body therm. they didn’t know what I was talking about. Is it simply a glass one? I guess I should call my doctor!
    thanks for the input.


  10. Regarding basal body temperature, you might want to take it for more than 5 days, depending on where you are in your cycle, because basal body temperature shifts dramatically (up) at ovulation. If you happen to pick the 5 days at ovulation, it might look really unstable even though it isn’t. Also, make sure you take the temperature using a basal body temp thermometer, not a regular one; they are sensitive in the proper range. Sorry to barage you with stuff you already know if your doc told you this! Can you tell we tracked temps around here in an attempt to have a baby? The baby is now one, if that lends any credibility to my “advice” 😉 Good luck with the supplements.


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