Merry Christmas! I got you a blog post…

25 Dec

For the (final!) guinea pig month of December, I have been following a tyramine restricted diet.

Like histamine, tyramine is a product of certain amino acids that make up specific proteins.  Small amounts are present in most foods, but higher amounts result from rotting and fermentation.  Large quantities cause symptoms of food poisoning in those who have an intolerance.  Tyramine sensitivity is most common in those taking (monoamine oxidase) MAO inhibiting drugs, people who suffer from migraines, and folks with chronic urticaria (hives).  A suppression or deficiency of the monoamine oxidase enzyme system means that undegraded tyramine is allowed to rise to high levels, resulting in symptoms.  Excessive tyramine can cause: high blood pressure, increased pulse, itchiness, clamminess, migraines/severe headaches, hot feeling, skin flushing, light-headedness, sweating, hives, chills, and even cardiac failure.  Similar to histamine (and most, if not all, intolerances for that matter), tyramine sensitivity is dose-dependent and unique to the individual.

Off the Menu:

Dairy: all cheeses other than ricotta or cream cheese, yogurt/kefir

Breads & Cereal: large amounts of yeast-risen breads

Vegetables: any over-ripe/pickled vegetables, avocado, broad beans, green peas, potato, sauerkraut, spinach, sweet potato, tomato

Fruit: any over-ripe fruit, banana, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries

Meats, Poultry, Fish: any leftover meat, poultry, or fish; dry fermented sausages: bologna, pepperoni, salami; smoked/pickled fish, fish eggs (shouldn’t be a problem!), oysters

Legumes: soy beans & other soy products (tofu, soy sauce, miso, etc.)

Nuts & Seeds: walnuts & pecans

Fun stuff: chocolate/cocoa 😦 , flavored gelatin, cola drinks, cider, beer/wine

Condiments/other: nutritional/brewer’s yeast

Just to warn you: I have done a lot of dietary sinning this month.  My willpower tank is barely surviving on vapors.  I will wait until the end of the project to confess them all.  Most of them have to do with being careless (not reading ingredient lists or failing to consult my “no” list) rather than intending to cheat.  I still haven’t had any chocolate, so that’s an enormous feat (for me!) to be proud of.  Although as a side effect, I’ve been shoveling in a bunch of other sugary garbage as a non-satisfying replacement. :-/ Sugar cookies and divinity have become more appealing with chocolate out of the equation.

For the last week of this month, I will add a few more restrictions in the form of a mini experiment: nightshade removal.

Nightshades are a class of plants that contain alkaloids or natural insecticides.  These alkaloids have been associated with inflammation, particularly of the joints, in sensitive individuals.  Some commonly eaten nightshades include: tomatoes, peppers (sweet & hot), eggplant, potatoes, paprika, & cayenne pepper.  Tobacco and belladonna are also nightshades.  In the holistic community, a common practice among practitioners is to recommend a nightshade elimination diet in the treatment of arthritis.  While no foods have been scientifically proven to cause or contribute to arthritis, some sufferers swear by the removal of these plants.  Even if only a small percentage finds relief through this method, you know I’m always on board with the concept of healing through dietary means.


Vickerstaff Joneja, J. (2003) Dealing with Food Allergies. pgs 233, 245-250.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: