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Histamine intolerance in children with chronic abdominal pain
  1. K Martin Hoffmann,
  2. Elisabeth Gruber,
  3. Andrea Deutschmann,
  4. Jörg Jahnel,
  5. Almuthe C Hauer
  1. Department of General Pediatrics, University Clinic of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Medical University Graz, Graz, Styria, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karl Martin Hoffmann, Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Medical University Graz, Austria; hoffmaka{at}mac.com

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The term histamine intolerance (HIT) describes a proposed disease in which patients develop a variety of symptoms following the ingestion of foods rich in histamine.1 ,2 Due to an assumed reduced activity of intestinal diamine oxidase (DAO), histamine-rich foods (eg, aged cheese, cured meat or sausages, fish) cause above-normal serum histamine levels.3 These elevated histamine levels cause various histamine receptor–mediated symptoms such as flush, headache or urticaria, and with respect to the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. In adults, measuring low DAO levels (<10 U/mL) in combination with improvement to a histamine-free diet has been suggested to be diagnostic for HIT.1 Chronic abdominal pain is a common problem in paediatric gastroenterology. In children, there is no study that addresses the question if HIT can be identified as the cause for chronic abdominal pain.

Within 26 months, 394 children presented with chronic abdominal …

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