Mast cells are an important part of the immune system. Each mast cell contains secretory granules containing powerful chemical molecules that can be secreted when mast cells are triggered, leading to allergic and inflammatory diseases.
Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is one type of mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) in which mast cells inappropriately and excessively release their chemical molecules, resulting in a range of symptoms, sometimes including anaphylaxis or near-anaphylaxis attacks.
Mast cells can be activated by multiple triggers, including foods, medications, and other environmental exposures. Any patient with a mast cell disorder can potentially react to any trigger at any time, and triggers can change over the course of the disease, including ones that were tolerated previously.
The integrative approach to mast cell disorders at Optimal Health Spectrums involves trying to identify underlying irritants to the immune system (such as mold, metals, and chronic infections) that may be making it over-react to common exposures. Then we may prescribe special types of medications such as LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone), certain safe and natural nutrients such as Quercitin, and special types of helminthic probiotics to help calm down the immune system. Even learning how to calm and reprogram the brain can help with mast cell disorders, since mast cells are intimately involved in brain function. With the right combination of treatments, many patients with mast cell disorders are able to live with a much better quality of life.