Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a condition in which mast cells, a type of immune cell, become overly active and release an excessive amount of chemical mediators, such as histamine. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including skin rashes, gastrointestinal issues, respiratory problems, and more.
Since any organ can be affected by mast cell activation, there can be multiple symptoms, often involving multiple organ systems and there is no typical pattern. With such diverse symptoms, patients may be maligned or labelled as hypochondriac, psychosomatic, or “all in your head”. They are often misdiagnosed. Most common organs affected, and the corresponding symptoms are listed below:
- Stuffy nose or nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Nasal itching
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest tightness
- Abdominal pain
- Poor memory/poor concentration
- Mood swings
- Inability to focus
- Mental fatigue
- Chronic fatigue
- Feeling excessively cold
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Skin rashes
- Muscle aches
- Joint pains/stiffness
- Muscle cramping/spasms
There are many triggers. The most common triggers include:
- Inhalants like dust, molds, pollens, or animal dander
- Food and beverages
- Bacterial or fungal infections
- * Sudden changes in temperature, extreme heat, or extreme cold
- Weather changes, humidity, weather front moving in.
- Strong smells/odors/fragrances
- Friction on the skin (e.g., massage)
- EMF (electromagnetic frequency)
- Exposure to sunlight, artificial light, noise
- Hormonal changes in women
- Venom from insect stings (most notably from Hymenoptera stings or the numerous species of insects that include wasps, bees, hornets, and ants)
- Heavy metals
- Nutritional deficiencies
Traditional Approach Depends upon symptoms.
- For sinuses: Antihistamines like Zyrtec, Claritin, Clarinex, Allegra, Chlorpheniramine, and Benadryl, Decongestants like Sudafed, Nasal steroids like Flonase, Nasacort AQ, Nasarel, Nasonex, or Rhino Cort.
- For asthma and respiratory symptoms: Bronchial inhalers, like Albuterol, Serevent, Flovent, Montelukast, etc.
- For depressions/anxiety antidepressants, antianxiety medicines
- For headaches or pain: analgesics
- For digestive symptoms antacids like Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid etc.
EHC Approach Depends on the triggers:
- Inhalant allergy testing and injections for dust, molds, pollens allergens
- For hidden food allergy: Food allergy testing and injections
- Appropriate antifungal medicines for fungal infections
- Hidden pathogens: look for the hidden pathogens and treat like Epstein Barr, CMV, Lymes, parasites, etc.
- For Anti-fungal Medicines and vaccines
- Hormonal triggers: Bio-identical hormonal replacement in women and men
- Find and treat appropriate nutritional deficiencies.
- Various medicines can trigger mast cells. Find the reason why you are taking those medicines and treat the cause. This will eliminate the need for those medicines.