PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What do histamines do?

ANSWER

They're part of a chain reaction your immune system launches in response to an attack.

First, it sends a chemical signal to "mast cells" in your skin, lungs, nose, mouth, gut, and blood: "Release histamines," which are stored in the mast cells.

Histamines boost blood flow in the affected area. This causes inflammation, which lets other chemicals from your immune system step in to do repair work.

For example, if your nose is affected by pollen, histamines prompt membranes to make more mucus. You can get a runny or stuffy nose. And you'll sneeze. The mucus can also bother your throat and make you cough. Histamines can make your eyes and nose itch.

From: What Are Histamines? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Histamine."

KidsHealth: "Histamine."

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Allergies."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Allergic Rhinitis, Sinusitis, and Rhinosinusitis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Pollen Allergy."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Rhinitis (Nasal Allergies)."

Health Direct Australia: "Antihistamines."

Royal Society of Chemistry: "Chemistry in its element: compounds -- Histamine."

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: "Histamine."

Maintz, L. , May 2007. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on June 16, 2018

SOURCES

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Histamine."

KidsHealth: "Histamine."

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Allergies."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Allergic Rhinitis, Sinusitis, and Rhinosinusitis."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Pollen Allergy."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Rhinitis (Nasal Allergies)."

Health Direct Australia: "Antihistamines."

Royal Society of Chemistry: "Chemistry in its element: compounds -- Histamine."

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: "Histamine."

Maintz, L. , May 2007. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on June 16, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

Are there foods with histamines?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: