What is Mast Cell Activation: How to recognize it
Do you have an array of unknown, unexplained symptoms ranging from neurological to skeletal? Perhaps you’ve had multiple tests done and you’re still not getting any answers as to why you feel so bad.
Mast cell activation is more common than people realize and can affect many areas of the body, including; the GI tract, ear/nose/respiratory symptoms, it can cause headaches, brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, joint pain, light-headedness, skin flushing, skin itching and irritation, rapid heart rate, chest pain, low blood pressure, high blood pressure, nausea, shortness of breath, flu like symptoms and a whole lot more.
Mast cell activation is a medical condition where the mast cells in our bodies release too much of a substance that causes allergic reactive symptoms. Many people don’t know that mast cells are actually part of our immune system and are found throughout our entire body, specifically in the bone marrow and around our blood vessels.
The mast cells release mediators and when too many mediators are released at once it can affect almost every area of the body.
The key is to recognize if you have Mast Cell Activation. Mast cell activation is usually due to an underlining disease, and acts as a reactive side affect to that disease. You might want to ask your doctor to test for the HLA-DR gene, as having this present in your body will make you hyper sensitive to your surroundings including strong smells and mold spores. Insect bites, smoke, perfume, mold exposure, stress and certain drugs can trigger a symptomatic episode and set your body off into hyper drive.
Unfortunately there is no cure for mast cell activation, you want to focus on finding and treating the underlining disease. However, there are many things that can help calm your symptoms and avoid a flare up episode. Living a normal life is possible with a little discipline and a good doctor.
Natural Remedies can include:
- Trying a low histamine diet.
- Avoiding leftover food, ready made meals, overripe foods, smoked meats, nuts pickled food, vinegar and fermented foods, coffee and alcohol. Try to avoid white refined sugars as much as possible.
- Take supplements such as Quercetin 500mg several times a day, working up to 4 per day as tolerable, Peremine 30 minutes before a meal which can help to break down histamine. Once tolerated well it could be upped to 2-3 before a meal. Other supplements include Milk thistle & charcoal to help support the liver and detoxification. Trace minerals are key to aiding healing in any part of the body, see our blog on trace minerals for more information about that. Black oxygen organics, Ashwaganda and Valerian can also be beneficial.
- Exercise can exasperate symptoms, so it’s recommended to speak with your doctor about what exercises may be ok for you. Swimming is very good and easy for the body, 20 minutes per day may be beneficial.
- H1 or H2 blockers.
- Avoid stress.
- Try to use natural home products, avoid perfumes, second hand smoke and of course, moldy environments.
- Aspirin may help decrease flushing.
If you think you may have mast cell activation please speak with your doctor and ask for further testing. Naturopathic doctors are also well versed in this area, coupling treatments alongside Mold illness. There is also a fantastic book called Toxic: Heal Your Body by Neil Nathan which goes into great detail about Mast Cell Activation.
† Please note this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease. Always consult with your doctor when seeking any medical advice.