MAST CELL ACTIVATION DISORDER (MCAD)

Background Information on Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD)

Mast cells (MC) are immune system cells that live in the bone marrow and in body tissues. They can be found throughout the body, such as in , internal  the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and the airways. Everyone has mast cells in their body. They play an important role in keeping us healthy.

However, they when things go wrong we end up with things like allergic reactions and mast cell disorders.

Mast cells have small sacs within them, surrounded by membranes. These sacs hold many different kinds of substances called mediators, which participate in all of the roles above, including allergic response and anaphylaxis.

The mediators are selectively released when there is an allergic or mast cell based reaction. 

Mast cell diseases are caused by an increase in number of mast cells or  genetically altered mast cells which inappropriately release mast cell mediators, creating symptoms in multiple organ systems.

What is Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD)?

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is one type of mast cell activation disorder (MCAD), and is an immunological condition in which mast cells inappropriately and excessively release chemical mediators, resulting in a range of chronic symptoms, sometimes including anaphylaxis or near-anaphylaxis.

Mast cells (MC) are immune system cells that live in the bone marrow and in body tissues. They can be found throughout the body, such as in , internal  the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, and the airways. Everyone has mast cells in their body. They play an important role in keeping us healthy.

However, they when things go wrong we end up with things like allergic reactions and mast cell disorders.

Mast cells have small sacs within them, surrounded by membranes. These sacs hold many different kinds of substances called mediators, which participate in all of the roles above, including allergic response and anaphylaxis.

The mediators are selectively released when there is an allergic or mast cell based reaction. 

Mast cell diseases are caused by an increase in number of mast cells or  genetically altered mast cells which inappropriately release mast cell mediators, creating symptoms in multiple organ systems.

Before we start, we just have to say that we are not a doctors. This is our own interpretation of personal medical conditions and things we may have tried to alleviate some symptoms. We always strive for accuracy and truth, however there are times when we may well have some parts wrong or perhaps we are just not very thorough. Consult your doctor, and don’t take our word for it.

Common symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD)

  • Dermatological
    • flushing
    • hives
    • easy bruising
    • either a reddish or a pale complexion
    • itchiness
    • burning feeling
    • dermatographism
  • Cardiovascular
    • lightheadedness, dizziness, presyncope, syncope, arrhythmia, tachycardia
  • Gastrointestinal
    • diarrhea and/or constipation, cramping, intestinal discomfort
    • interstitial cystitis; burning in the bladder and urinary tract
    • nausea, vomiting
    • swallowing difficulty, throat tightness
  • Psychological & Neurological
    • brain fog, short term memory dysfunction, difficulty with recalling words
    • headaches, migraines
    • co-morbid psychiatric and behavioral symptoms as a result of mast cell mediators being released in the brain (i.e.: anxiety, depression, mood swings, etc.)
  • Respiratory
    • congestion, coughing, wheezing
    • Nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome (NARES)
    • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Vision/Eyes
    • ocular discomfort, conjunctivitis
    • redness
  • Constitutional
    • general fatigue and malaise
    • food, drug, and chemical allergies or intolerances (especially fragrances)
    • Cold and Heat Intolerance
  • Musculoskeletal
    • osteoporosis and osteopenia are not symptoms of mast cell activation disorders
  • Anaphylaxis
    • If too many mediators are split into a patient’s system, they may also experience anaphylaxis, which primarily includes: difficulty breathing, itchy hives, flushing or pale skin, feeling of warmth, weak and rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and fainting

Common triggers include:

  • specific foods and drinks (especially alcohol, high-histamine content foods, and histamine releasing additives such as sulfites)
  • temperature extremes
  • airborne smells including perfumes or smoke
  • exercise or exertion
  • emotional stress
  • hormonal changes, particularly during adolescence, pregnancy and menstruation.

Symptoms can be caused or worsened by triggers, which vary widely and are patient-specific.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO EXPLORE

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!