Casual Talk about Histamines and Allergies

agyI was at work the other day when I happen to chance upon a good friend of mine. He was in the middle of filling up some form at the bank where I worked at, probably paying off his credit card or some other thing. What made me notice him was his persistent coughing, it was neither a hard nor serious kind of cough, but when you are in a quiet place like a bank, your constant coughing is enough noise to attract some form of attention. I approached him carrying a glass of water to somehow help him with his situation, and after the exchange of the usual pleasantries, he proceeded to finish up what he was doing. It was almost lunch that time and I invited him out to a local cafeteria, hoping to catch up on things.

Eating was a bit of a labor for him due to his constant coughing, but we managed to finish, and also had some bubblies for the road. You see we both share a love for things fizzy and have spirits, as he was also a member of a wine tasting club that I regularly hang out with. I remembered that he also was coughing up a storm during our club’s last meeting, and out of concern, I asked him what he is down with and what’s up with his cough.

He said it was his allergy to dust that is causing him this trouble. Intrigued, I asked him to tell me more about it, and was obliged with a very detailed explanation.

Histamines are compounds found in some human cells and are primarily responsible for the symptoms of allergic reactions exhibited by a person. Histamine’s particular function is that it makes the blood vessels porous enough to enable the body’s defenses to reach the pathogens from affected tissues. The human body releases histamines into the bloodstream if a person becomes exposed to an allergen, and its particular destinations are a person’s eyes, nose, throat, skin and lungs causing different types of reactions. You may have watery eyes, stuffed nose, and even fluid in lungs as the histamines job is to make your capillaries permeable enough, that excess fluids sometimes flood the affected areas, causing congestion and also, in his case, chronic coughing.

He also said that for medication, he is through with prescription anti-histamines, which are strong medicines, as they cause severe dryness in his mouth and throat, chest tightness and also finds it difficult to urinate most of the time when he is taking the drug. And up until now, the commercial antihistamines that he took seem to never work on him. Instead, he is now trying to go with natural antihistamine.

Plants, herbs and also some food are often used as natural antihistamines for different kind of allergies; examples of which are basil leaves, Vitamin C in high doses, wild oregano, Echinacea, ginger, thyme among many other things, as each one has particular qualities that helps fight allergic reactions. My friend said that he makes it a point to religiously include many of them in his diet, and is somewhat working on him as his bouts with coughing has decreased noticeably.

Unfortunately not today, being a particularly dusty day because of the wind, it was no help to him.

I suggested he get himself a mask to wear, and to always have a hanky available whenever he goes out for long stretches, also to get some exercise to build up his natural resistance. He said I sounded like his doctor. With a hearty laugh, we again raised our glass for a toast.