Mast Cell Activation
Certain cell types create immediate allergic reactions; these are called mast cells. When triggered, they release a substance called a mediator, which is stored inside them or manufactured by them.
During a mast cell allergic reaction, the antibody IgE, also known as immunoglobin, triggers cells that release chemicals and cause an allergic reaction, which normally takes place in the nose, lungs, throat, or on the skin. Each type of IgE has a specific response for each type of possible allergen, which is why some people can be allergic to cat dander and others may be allergic to dog fur. It’s an individualized response based on the type of antibody in your DNA.
Some mast cells sit at the ready, while others must be activated by substances like medications, infections, insect or reptile venom. These are normal mast cell reactions although due to secondary activation because external stimuli are to blame for them.
Occasionally mast cells become defective and release mediators due to internal signals that are crossed. These mutations produce more and more mast cells called clones and can grow out of control rather quickly leading, to a condition known as mastocytosis, which is basically a benign tumor of sorts.
Idiopathic mast cell activation is a condition in which a patient suffers repeated episodes with symptoms of anaphylaxis, like hives, heart-related symptoms like rapid pulse, lowered blood pressure, and passing out.
There are skin-related symptoms where itchy rashes form, the skin swells and turns red. It can also affect the lungs with wheezing, a noise when breathing from the swelling shut of the throat. It also messes with a person’s gut health. They may experience cramping, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Mastocytosis can cause a wide range of very unpleasant symptoms some can be quite debilitating and affecting multiple systems of the body at once, making a person feel quite ill, and doing it very suddenly. It can present in familial groups including adults and children and manifesting a wide range of symptoms leaving doctors mystified at the far-reaching symptoms that seem to tie together with little to no reason.
Triggers of Mast Cell Activation and Mitochondrial Disorders
By all means these are not certain triggers, however, they are thought to be potential MAST triggers: Heat, cold or sudden temperature changes, stress both emotional and physical, exercise, fatigue, food and beverages, especially alcohol, certain drugs and medications, odors, venoms from snakes, fire ants, spiders, mosquitos, irritation or friction, and even sunlight all have the potential to cause a MAST cell to activate and start all the symptoms over.
Because these can absolutely ruin a person’s day, just right out of the blue, the musculoskeletal system, multiple organ systems, pulmonary problems, cardiovascular, dermatologic, neurologic and more systems can all be affected on any day if something triggers the right MAST cell. It is a tough illness to diagnose and a tougher one to live with, but the right team of doctors can help make life enjoyable again.
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On behalf of the Natural Balance team, we hope you have found this information helpful and we look forward to working with you.
For a personalized assessment and treatment plan unique to you and your needs, call Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center at (734) 929-2696 or book an appointment online.