Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is developed when mast cells release chemicals at an alarming rate, leading to long-lasting symptoms. Cells that live in the bone marrow and in body tissues are mast cells that are located in the immune system. Everyone has mast cells, and they are crucial to keeping our bodies healthy. But just as they are healthy, mast cells are also involved in several allergic reactions.
There are several symptoms of Mast Cell Syndrome, which may or may not include:
- Skin reactions such as rashes and hives
- Edema and/or swelling
- Experiencing itchiness
- Heart palpitations
- Concentration is difficult or experiencing anxiety
- Blood pressure is lower than usual
Causes of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
In the body’s immune system, mast cells play an important role. A type of blood cell, mast cells react to foreign bodies by releasing potent chemical mediators. These mediators can include histamine, but only when activated. Depending on your current health, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome will react differently towards your body. For a healthy person, chemicals will act normally with the task of protecting and healing your body. But in a person with poor health, the same chemicals are triggered and released and will instead have a negative effect on your body. There are several triggers, which include:
- A variety of different foods
Triggers are usually very difficult to find, which can lead to discovering new triggers years after diagnosis.
Treatments for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome may include:
- Inhibitors such as leukotriene and tyrosine kinase
- Stabilizers for mast cells
- Natural antihistamines
- Histamine production that is decreased from certain probiotics
- High histamine food consumption is decreased
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is unfortunately not curable but can be dealt with from the treatments listed above. A decreased lifespan is not a major impact, but life quality can dwindle from the effect of MCAS.