Should you skip breakfast? Intermittent Fasting for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
I don’t eat breakfast anymore, because I find I feel so much better doing intermittent fasting. It has really helped my symptoms from Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.
In case you don’t know what intermittent fasting is, I’ll give you a quick run-down. Intermittent fasting is where you take breaks from eating. The benefits are huge. It gives your liver, pancreas, and intestines a rest. It also dramatically lowers histamine levels.
This is because just the act of digesting releases histamine in your gut and triggers mast cell activation. And if you have any kind of gut imbalance (think bacterial overgrowth, candida, etc.), every time you eat you are feeding those bugs.
Intermittent Fasting is a great option if you have Histamine Intolerance or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I notice a huge decrease in my inflammation.
I used to actually see my fingers swell when I eat. Sometimes my hands and feet would get really hot and red with eating as well. Even if I was eating low histamine foods.
As I’ve healed my gut, this happens way less often. But I still feel much better when I do intermittent fasting.
Research has shown that fasting reduces mast cell degranulation and histamine release. Lower carb diets also help reduce mast cell over-activity.  Intermittent fasting also reduces risk of heart disease and cancer. 
How to do Intermittent Fasting when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
There are different ways to do intermittent fasting. The way I do it is I don’t eat breakfast, and I eat during an 8 to 12 hour window. Then I fast for 12 to 16 hours. Meaning I don’t eat any food during that time. I do still drink plenty of water and herbal tea.
This works well for me. I’m not really hungry for breakfast these days, so that makes this easier. Some people, though, find that they do better eating breakfast and eating a very early dinner. You just want to find the eating and fasting time windows that work best for your body.
I’m not real strict about how I do intermittent fasting. Some days I eat my first meal at noon. Other days if I’m really busy and not very hungry, I may not eat until 4 or 5 pm. I just listen to my body. And I usually take a break on weekends and at the start of my cycle.
I wasn’t able to just start doing intermittent fasting, though. I had to ease into it. I had such bad hypoglycemia that I used to have to eat every 3 to 4 hours or I’d get lightheaded and tunnel vision. It actually took me almost a year to transition my body into intermittent fasting.
I started with reducing my carbs to balance my blood sugar. I worked on pancreas healing. I then started to very gradually space out snacks and meals. It took a while, but I was very, very sick. If you try intermittent fasting, it may be easier for you to start than it was for me.
Precautions to Intermittent Fasting when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
There is one thing I don’t recommend for people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance – the Fasting Mimicking Diet.
This uses specific prepared and packaged foods that are high in histamine. I’ve had a couple clients with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance who did this on their doctor’s recommendation.
While the research supports intermittent fasting, the packaged foods used in the Fasting Mimicking Diet are just way to processed and high histamine. Both my clients who tried it got really sick.
If you have blood sugar issues and or any form of Diabetes, make sure you work with your health care practitioner if you are going to try intermittent fasting.
It can really help Diabetes and blood sugar balance, but you want to make sure you stay safe. If you have heartburn or acid reflux when you don’t eat – make sure you address that first before trying intermittent fasting.
Also, if you are still recovering your adrenals or have any kind of chronic fatigue, you want to go slow with Intermittent Fasting or wait until your energy is recovered.
And of course, don’t do Intermittent Fasting if you are pregnant, recovering from a major injury or acute illness, or have recently had surgery.
Most importantly, listen to your body and be sure to get guidance if you need help.
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It’s important you know that this blog post is for informational and educational purposes. It’s not meant to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner.
Before you change your diet on your own, please make sure you’re working with a healthcare practitioner who can help you with this.
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Why do people say they skip breakfast… and say “I have my first meal at noon”. You’re still consuming BREAKFAST regardless of what time it is, your first meal of the day is BREAKFAST. 😊
I think we now often associate the term breakfast with an early morning meal, but I suppose you are correct! Whenever we eat upon waking from the night before, we are breaking the fast.
I did 6 weeks of intermittent fasting and gained a good 5-6lbs of fat. I didn’t change my diet (which was already healthy, whole-foods-based) and I actually ended up eating less while IF because I totally lost my hunger signals. I’d be utterly famished in the early-to-mid-morning, but by the time I got to my first meal around 12-1pm, I’d get full very fast and not hungry the rest of the day. I’ve not been able to lose the weight I gained from IF. I know you an many others recommend IF for mast cell issues, but I am really reluctant to do it again. I’m pretty sure it messed up my metabolism.
Thanks for sharing your experience. If you have a history of issues with fasting, then this may not be the right course for you to pursue. Everyone is different, and it is generally a good idea to work with a professional when working with these kinds of changes. This is one suggestion which may help some people, but may not be the right choice for everyone.
Before I was fully diagnosed with (likely) MCAS, mold in my apartment, candida overgrowth, etc., I was gradually deteriorating, nothing worked, healthy behaviors made me worse, the usual. So I decided to do a medically-supervised water-only fast. I did 12 days but didn’t improve much. Everyone says you’re supposed to feel amazing and revitalized, but it sucked for me. On day 13, I started getting a horrible gout flare, so I ended the fast.
The theory is that long-term water-only fasting is supposed to increase autophagy and promote healing. Seems like everyone I talked to about it had a story of how amazing it was and how revitalized they felt. But my experience sucked.
So my question is this: Is long-term water-only fasting even a good idea for someone with these or similar issues? I’m wondering if I gave up too early.
If the swelling was a Herx reaction or the result of candida die-off, biofilms breaking up, etc., I obviously want that to continue. Like, if I’m flushing the excess uric acid and other waste products/toxins I have stored in tissues, I’d rather just get it over with, even if it hurts. But if water fasting is too harsh a thing to do and I should stick to short fasts or intermittent fasting, that would be good to know. This recovery is taking sooooooooo long; I’m looking for anything to accelerate the process.
If you’re familiar with how longer-term water fasting impacts MCAS and similar issues, could you write a post about it? Thank you for your time. This site is a tremendous resource.
Thanks for your interest in Mast Cell 360. Because each person is unique and we don’t know your case, we can’t advise on if long-term water fasting would be right for you. I see that you said you were exposed to mold and your recovery process is taking a long time. You might want to look more into mold toxicity first, if you haven’t already. Beth sees this in about 90% + of her clients. And when someone is dealing with this, if it isn’t addressed, it can make other health issues harder to combat. There is a way to properly detox mold and it’s often important to address this first. Beth will have a blog article up on this soon and will have her mold course available later this summer, too.