Pregnancy, migraine and DAO enzyme

During pregnancy, the production of the DAO enzyme in the placenta increases, in order to create a metabolic barrier and to prevent the entrance of excessive histamine to the fetus. Studies show that the activity of the enzyme is between 500 and 1000 higher during pregnancy. This fact occurs to any woman, whether she has or not DAO deficiency.

The difference lies in those women that suffer from migraine or other typical symptoms of histamine accumulation, given that they notice a very relevant change. They go through a glorious stage during pregnancy: they do not have to use any drugs, do not have migraine crises and they feel good. This increase of the DAO enzyme starts between the second and third month of gestation and many women say that up until lactation they do not have any symptoms again.

Besides this great advantage of not suffering from migraine crisis, they do not have to worry that much about diet, because it does not need to be very low in histamine. My recommendation is to be careful with those foods that are richer in histamine, like canned food, hard-cheese and obviously alcoholic beverages, but other than that, they can have a normal lifestyle. During pregnancy there is no need to take DAO supplements if the symptoms have disappeared.

It has been studied that when the activity of the DAO enzyme remains low, and therefore there is an accumulation of histamine, there may be gestational complications. It can lead to premature rupture of the membranes, uterine tumors, and other disorders like diabetes, abortion and premature birth, although this is not usual. At any rate, it is important to control the levels of the enzyme during pregnancy, as well as the levels of histamine in plasma and urine. These three markers may be added to the protocols in the following years.

14 thoughts on “Pregnancy, migraine and DAO enzyme

    1. Adriana Duelo Post author

      Hi Tamara,
      The most important is the Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme activity level. In addition, it would be interesting to see the histamine level in blood and its metabolites in urine 24h (N-metil imidazol acetic).
      Take care!

      Reply
  1. Bre

    I think your third paragraph and the last paragraph highly contradict each other. Stating the diet doesn’t need to be very low histamine and no DAO supplement is necessary during this period of time in pregnancy and then saying it’s important to control the enzyme levels during pregnancy is highly confusing. Could you clarify this?

    Reply
    1. Adriana Duelo Post author

      Hi Bre,

      What we say is that during pregnancy, in normal circumstances, DAO enzyme levels naturally increase making not necessary to follow a low histamine diet. However, in some cases, this enzyme growth never turns up, so this may partly explain complications of pregnancy in the future. For this reason it is important to control DAO levels (from the 3rd month).
      Once we know DAO activity level is high we can leave the diet during 6 months. On the other hand, if the enzyme level remains low it will be essential to take DAO pills and to follow the low histamine diet during all the period.
      I hope I have clarified the misunderstanding.

      Kind regards!

      Reply
        1. Adriana Duelo Post author

          Hi Bre,

          Sorry for the delay in replying your comment. You can find DAO pills at the pharmacy.

          Take care!

          Reply
  2. Julie Uwitonze

    Do we need to take DAO pills if we have a histamine problem? Is better to take DAO pills while we’re pregnant?

    Reply
    1. Adriana Duelo Post author

      Hi Julie,

      It’s been demonstrated that best treatment of histamine intolerance due to a DAO deficiency goes through a low histamine diet with DAO supplement from pig kidney.

      During the first pregnancy trimester yes, it’s better to take DAO pills. Just in case you DAO activity doesn’t increase.

      If you need any other information please, do not hesitate to contact us through our patient care email info@adrianaduelo.com.

      Kind regards!

      Reply
  3. Amy

    I take kidney supplement for DAO. I just found out I’m pregnant and histamine load is high now. Is it safe to take kidney still it should I buy DAO instead?

    Reply
    1. Adriana Duelo Post author

      Hi Amy,

      Do not worry about DAO kidney. It is save during all term of pregnancy.
      Our recommendation is to check your DAO activity level when you arrive to the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy. Just to make sure it improves.

      If you need any other information or if you need to schedule an online appointment please, do not hesitate to contact us through our patient care email info@adrianaduelo.com.

      Kind regards!

      Reply
  4. Leo

    Hello, how can you test whether or not the placenta is producing adequate amounts of the DAO enzyme? What tests should I ask of my doctor? And what is a general dosing guideline if someone needs to supplement with DAO for any reason?

    Reply
    1. Adriana Duelo Post author

      Hi Leo,

      Our recommendation is to check your DAO activity level through a blood test when you arrive to the 12th or 14th week of pregnancy. Just to make sure it improves.
      The general dosing, at least during the firsts months, is 1 mini tablet 15 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner (Daofood®).

      Take care!

      Reply
  5. Patricia Keller

    Hello Adriana,
    I am histamine intolerant since entering menopause. I was wondering if taking a placenta supplement (bovine) would help to increase my DAO levels. Since the placenta is so high in DAO, I thought it might help. Appreciate your input!

    Reply
  6. Kristin

    Can it hurt to take DAO pills in first trimester if you don’t know if your levels are actually low? Is it better to wait and see, or any symptoms to watch out for?

    Reply

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