What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Mast cells are immune cells that release histamine and are involved in allergic reactions. MCAS (a much milder variation of mastocytosis) involves an exaggerated histamine release characterized by a variety of symptoms such as nasal congestion, headaches/head pressure, hives, skin itching, and gastrointestinal symptoms (including abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, nausea and vomiting.) This response is typically triggered by fermented foods, foods containing high histamine levels, and leftovers.

While we don't currently know what causes MCAS, there are very effective ways of controlling it. Reducing and aggressively managing the inflammation involved in MCAS is a critical first step in treating patients with Lyme and tick borne infections who also suffer from MCAS. Dietary intervention is the first essential step in reducing the inflammatory chaos typically seen in MCAS. After several weeks of dietary management one may add one or more of several mast cell stabilizers that are available including antihistamines, cromolyn sodium, ketotifen, quercetin and other compounds.

Mast Cell Diet Guidelines

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