What is a Histamine Bucket?

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As you are navigating the world of histamine intolerance and mast cell activation disorder, you will come across the term “histamine bucket” or “histamine cup” often. What do these terms reference?

From Chris Kresser:

“Histamine intolerance is unlike other food allergies or sensitivities in that the response is cumulative, not immediate. Imagine it like a cup of water. When the cup is very full (high amounts of histamine in the diet), even a drop of additional water will cause the cup to overflow (symptoms activated). But when the cup is less full, it would take more water (histamine) to cause a response. This makes histamine intolerance tricky to recognise.”

Food, hormones, environment, weather, medications, and stress all serve to fill up the histamine bucket.

So how knowing this useful? If you know your histamine bucket is going to be overflowing, perhaps from a range of factors such as weather (allergy season), timing of your cycle, stress or exposure to other triggers (such as chemicals or scents), you may want to steer clear of foods rich in histamine.  Other methods that people often use to empty their histamine bucket (though this may not work for all) include intermittent fasting, low-histamine juice cleanses, and water only fasting.