Mast Cell Activation

Posted by danmlee @danmlee, Jan 17, 2017

Is there anyone that has MCA?,I live in Duluth and have just begun all types of testing for this nightmare (I.e. Blood test and bone marrow and 24hr Urinalysis)and they always come back negative in the since of trying to diagnose but I have been dealing with this since last year but didn’t know what the heck was going on in my body.It started with just a skin rash at first but since last year till now I have developed allergies to foods I never had and now my body is so sensitive to heat change because within seconds my feet start tingling then swelling starts then my hands start swelling and the full breakout begins (niacin flush type feeling begins and doesn’t stop)little scab like rash (like what fibromyalgia patients get)then the felling of vomiting begins.So I am so frustrated because all test keep coming back negative to get “DIAGNOSED”for MAST CELL to see how to treat it,even though I know that it is even the Oncologists and Allergist believes it is MCA so having to be my own advocate and research I have begun the “Low Histamine Paleo Food Change” But trying to cope day to day and for the most part living in my bedroom because I don’t want to freeze out my wife or just feeling like my life is being robbed and my personality and to make things worse Dr.Afrin is booked out till 2018 and someone told me here in Duluth that is who you must see,so there goes that idea.I just sometimes want to give up because sometimes this Mast Cell makes you feel like you are loosing your mind.And I have no one to talk to that can relate to this,so there is my ramblings is there anyone who I can talk to that has this “CRAP”.

Liked by dolan

@smbryce1

Finding what helps people with mast cell disorders either with mastocytosis or mcas or the newly discovered familial Tryptasemia or Hereditary Alpha Tryptasemia Syndrome, can take a lot of time and trial and error because mast cells release or control chemicals that can cause hundreds of symptoms. And because, as One mastocytosis patient told me, we are each like our own portable chemistry set.

For me the things that helped improve my quality of life most were eliminating triggers, staying hydrated, and finding a daily antihistamines (h1/h2 inhibitor combo) that I could tolerate and help, a leukotirine inhibitor, Which is like Singulair or Zyflo or One other I’ve never tried, and a mast cell calling medication which for me means Ketotifin tho some use Gastrochrom or some version of it.

Gradually raising the dose of Ketotifin till I was at a good for me level (most people don’t see improvement on it till they reach the right dosage for them which for me is 10mg three times a day) it has a 12 house half life so most people take it twice a day, but some of us find more improvement with three times a day. and most I’ve spoken with seem to find improvement with 2 to 6 mg doses.

For me staying hydrated has been elusive. I have reacted to the oral rehydration drinks I have tried. Next on my list is somethint called Nuun if I can find some without citrus. Currently I recieve iv hydration as needed.

I found and eliminated triggers to the best of my ability by keeping a symptom and possible trigger log (I use the app called “mysymptoms” available on both Apple and Android last I checked, and there’s are others like it.

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Great information and definitely worth pursuing. Thank you for taking the time to share.

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@jbhmaine

I have had serious abdominal pain since childhood, urticarias, cough problems, and other symptoms that match the new international criteria for MCAS. I had to do my own online research to basically self-diagnosis. Over a life-time I have received about a half dozen or more misdiagnoses, including childhood abdominal pain so severe I fainted and had my appendix taken out only to learn it was normal. I had dozens of x-rays of abdomen, and nothing could be found, all negative so lived for another twenty plus years with diagnosis and treatment for a duodenal ulcer, though that never appeared in any x-ray. Then I got diagnosis of IBS, which seems to be correct but researchers now know that IBS and MCAS often are comorbid syndromes. I’ve been prescribed various medications for IBS none of which did much. Finally a gastroenterologist tested me a new diagnosis Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which came back positive. That explained the IBS symptoms. The gastroenterologist recommended a Xifaxin trial. It is a very expensive drug with no evidence of effectiveness as far as I could find any studies. So I use probiotics and Ultimate Meal green food for every breakfast, and this helps the IBS symptoms. But not the MCAS symptoms. At least I got four boxes of free samples of Xifaxin, which I can use for international travel if I get traveler’s ‘revenge’. For the newly emerging chronic cough problem I went to an ENT and allergist and all tests came back negative. Four different doctors and specialists could not figure out a diagnosis. A couple years ago I managed to convince my Medicare family practice doc to get me one of the genetic tests for mastocytosis. (My grandfather died of what my father reported was an ‘odd’ form of leukemia; my guess is it was mastocytosis leukemia.) That came back negative. But that test is not one for MCAS. There seems to be no good test yet available for MCAS. Finally last summer when I was in Canada my allergy-like symptoms got much worse, the cough kept me from going public. I went to the local drop-in family health clinic, and the doctor suggested, as I described my symptoms and research findings that I do two trials – a powdered inhaler and if that failed, a generic of Singulair. The inhaler only caused my chronic cough to get extremely worse. The Singulair reduced the cough symptom about 60% in a few days. I read a 2014 medical research article on MCAS symptoms and positive response to an antileukotriene is now one of the diagnostic criteria for MCAS. I take a low dose daily and it has seemed to continue to help. Osteopathic neck manipulation has also helped with chronic cough reduction, as there seems to also be a structural problem in part may be due to my mild scoliosis.

Here is my own short summary of diagnostic criteria based on my reading of medical research articles, Akin, Valent and Metcalf (2010) revised with Petra et al (2014):
Table II. Criteria for the diagnosis of mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).
Idiopathic MCAS.
After primary and secondary rule out: no detectable clonal MC, no reactive disease, and no allergen-specific IgE Episodic symptoms consistent with mast cell mediator release affecting two or more organ systems evidenced as follows:
• Skin: flushing, urticaria pigmentosa, pruritus (itching), angioedema, dermatographism; rashes, hives
• Respiratory: wheezing, sore throat, stridor; [cough]
[Idiopathic anaphylaxis, with urticaria (during anaphylaxis, unlike SM) and high IgE.]
• Cardiovascular: chest pain, hypotensive syncope or near syncope, tachycardia
• Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain (cramping, bloating), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malabsorption, esophagitis; gastroesophageal reflux
• Naso-ocular: pruritus, nasal stuffiness; conjunctival injection
• Neurologic: headache, memory and concentration difficulties/brain fog, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy
• Musculoskeletal bone/muscle pain, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis/osteopenia
• Systemic: anaphylaxis, fatigue, faintness
Documentation of an increase of a validated urinary or serum marker for MC activation: esp. increased tryptase
Response to anti-mediator therapy (decr in frequency or severity or resolution of symptoms: e.g., H1, H2, antileukotriene meds

I have or have had 15 of these symptoms. Response to the antileukotriene seems fairly definitive to me.
Wishing everyone in this thread best of luck in getting good diagnosis and finding optimal medication and diet.

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Thank you for posting that. I have a bunch of auto-immune disorders already (Type 1 Diabetes-on insulin pump; Celiac Disease, Necrobiosis Lipoidica Diabeticorum, Hypothyroidism, Reynaud's Sundrome, and SICCA Syndrome) and recently and more frequently I am having episodes of what an allergist believes is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I wake up at night between 3 and 5 am violently ill. I am awakened from sleep with gas pain and nausea; I start sweating and ?flushing I guess? I have vomiting or diarrhea or both, terrible abdominal pain; fainting or inability to keep my head up and eyes seeing what's in front of me; and then shaking/my whole body shakes for several hours. Some bouts are not this bad and I take Zofran and Ativan and extra antihistamines and gas X and eventually stop shaking and go back to bed. These episodes are life threatening because of my diabetes and if my blood sugar drops while I am in an episode there is nothing I can do if vomiting. I have to take my pump off sometimes. I seem better on Ranitidine and Zyrtec and Ativan and Zofran, but a lot of nights I am fearful of getting sick and very often wake up nauseous and sweating, only to then take the Zofran and Ativan and return to sleep. I feel crazy, like this is all in my head, because they happen MORE when I am stressed (traveling for work and at a hotel by myself/or when my husband is away/or when I am in a hospital for another reason entirely/or I just climbed a mountain and there is no medical care nearby) but these bouts of illness wake me from sleep so I can't be thinking my way into these, as I am truly sleeping until I wake up ill. I have chest pain sometimes, a vague heavy feeling in the center of my chest, I have irregular heart beats all the time, my memory is terrible and often I can't complete my sentences, I have a chronic cough, I have osteopenia from malabsorption d/t undiagnosed celiac for 30 years (I am now Gluten free and low carb all the time); I sometimes cannot swallow or I choke, even on my own saliva; I have intermittent chronic bladder pain.I am light-headed at work often and sometimes have fainted. I see specialists for everything (Diabetes, Celiac etc) but I don't have anyone who knows what else to do to help me with MAST CELL. I live in MA and can get to Boston but the specialist at Brigham and Womens will NOT schedule me and will NOT EVER CALL ME BACK. I have been trying for months to get an apt with SOMEONE who understand MAst Cell and can help me. Would MAYO CLINIC be a good idea? I have SO much wrong and I am not feeling well. I work full time and then some, and I have a family, and I am unbelievably fatigued all the time. I feel like I need to learn so much more but I cannot find the time or energy. I had negative SIBO and negative Tryptase but an elevated Chromogranin a level, and my Gastroenterologist said we would recheck that in a year, but could be a sign or a neuroendocrine tumor. I also read it could indicate Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I am taking a bunch of supplements for digestion (enzymes and Diamine Oxidase and sporebiotics) and that seems to help with eating a meal. I mostly avoid meals and eat snacks all the time because I am at the point where I HATE eating. Foods can bother me one day and not the next. I can't do gluten, and I am allergic to Vanilla and to Kidney Beans, and I have food sensitivities that also seem to come and go. The allergist said I will build up antibodies to anything I eat. I tested sensitive to Mackeral but I've never eaten mackerel in my entire life. I start thinking no one know what they are talking about. I read that tryptase levels are a marker but unless in an acute episode then its not that useful for diagnosis. What about the Chromogranin a level? Does anyone have advice for me? I think of myself as strong and resilient but part of me thinks I am dying of something. I can't continue like this. My PCP is useless; has never even spoken to my endocrinologist. No one communicates with any other providers. I'm so frustrated and so tired of all of it. Looking for advice, support, some reassurance? I have a nutritionist and am working with her on antihistamine diet, but I'm already a clean eater and I just stopped eating leftovers. Help?

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Hello! I have just come across your post and I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one! About three years ago i randomly developed a dairy allergy that had progressively gotten much worse and over time i have become allergic to many more foods (the most recent being coffee). I told my doctor that even though I was avoiding the foods I was allergic to and being really careful I was still having allergic reaction with no cause, even when I didn’t eat anything which made him suspicious that I had mast cell activation syndrome. I did the 24 histamine as well as a tryptase year during my consultation and they tested for the kit mutation, all of which came back normal. Because of this, he determined that I did not have MCAS. However, my symptoms have been getting worse, starting in around late December I started having an allergic reaction pretty much every day (mine always present themselves in shortness of breath or worse) as opposed to my normal once a week and just this Friday I had to use my epipen because of a reaction to who knows what. I was on the bus back to my apartment when I started feeling chest tightness and shortness of breath, I thought it was just another minor reaction but then I got to the lobby and started coughing and I almost didn’t make it to my apartment because I was so dizzy and lightheaded. Finally when I started flushing I decided to use my epi which stopped my reaction. My PCP decided to put me on medication despite the test results to see what would happen, I am on H1, H2 and leukotriene blockers, they’ve helped make my reactions less severe but haven’t decreased the amount. I’m just super frustrated because my PCP doesn’t know what’s going on and I feel like my allergist has given up on trying to find out what’s wrong. I’ve had to use 7 epipens in less than a year- and that’s despite the fact that I only use them when I have no other choice (which I know is bad) because I’m terrified of needles. I’m started to get really scared that I’m never going to get a diagnosis or start getting better and that my symptoms will just continue getting worse… I don’t want to keep living like this, always scared of when my next reaction will hit.

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@thenerdybunch

Hello! I have just come across your post and I’m so happy to know I’m not the only one! About three years ago i randomly developed a dairy allergy that had progressively gotten much worse and over time i have become allergic to many more foods (the most recent being coffee). I told my doctor that even though I was avoiding the foods I was allergic to and being really careful I was still having allergic reaction with no cause, even when I didn’t eat anything which made him suspicious that I had mast cell activation syndrome. I did the 24 histamine as well as a tryptase year during my consultation and they tested for the kit mutation, all of which came back normal. Because of this, he determined that I did not have MCAS. However, my symptoms have been getting worse, starting in around late December I started having an allergic reaction pretty much every day (mine always present themselves in shortness of breath or worse) as opposed to my normal once a week and just this Friday I had to use my epipen because of a reaction to who knows what. I was on the bus back to my apartment when I started feeling chest tightness and shortness of breath, I thought it was just another minor reaction but then I got to the lobby and started coughing and I almost didn’t make it to my apartment because I was so dizzy and lightheaded. Finally when I started flushing I decided to use my epi which stopped my reaction. My PCP decided to put me on medication despite the test results to see what would happen, I am on H1, H2 and leukotriene blockers, they’ve helped make my reactions less severe but haven’t decreased the amount. I’m just super frustrated because my PCP doesn’t know what’s going on and I feel like my allergist has given up on trying to find out what’s wrong. I’ve had to use 7 epipens in less than a year- and that’s despite the fact that I only use them when I have no other choice (which I know is bad) because I’m terrified of needles. I’m started to get really scared that I’m never going to get a diagnosis or start getting better and that my symptoms will just continue getting worse… I don’t want to keep living like this, always scared of when my next reaction will hit.

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I can understand how you feel about not wanting to live with your symptoms and not feeling like it's getting better. There are times when i don't want to live and think about ending my life. I work part-time and see doctors part-time. I was diagnosed with MCAS about a year ago after living with my shortness of breath, chronic muscle and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, tremors, reflux, etc. I also have fibromyalgia (which is a real disease, acknowledged by rheumatologists. And i treat many patients with FM as I am an aquatic physical therapist.) and really bad osteoarthritis mostly in my spine. My symptoms, the worst one being shortness of breath, started in Aug 2012. I have a rheumatologist that has worked with me from the beginning of all this. Initially they thought it was asthma, but i have never had any history of asthma and never smoked. So i tried all kinds of inhalers and was put on prednisone and given a rescue inhaler for the breathing issues. The ran allergy tests and i am allergic to walnut and olive trees. I don't have food allergies that i am aware of. I do have very high IgE, which is antibody produced by the immune system in response to an allergen, and means i am a very allergic person. I had been working with an allergy pulmonologist to control my severe and persistent asthma, who thought i might have MCAS. I never thought i truly had asthma because my symptoms were not typical of asthma. I get chest tightness and pain in my ribs and intercostal muscles that make it difficult to breathe. I actually have to take pain meds so it doesn't hurt so much to breathe. You are the first person that has posted with the same breathing symptoms that I have. Fortunately, I have not had an episode of anaphylaxis. I can imagine how scary that is, not being able to breath is the worst feeling in the world. The allergy pulmonologist has put me on high doses of H1, H2 antihistamines, two inhalers both with steroids, oral prednisone and i have been on Xolair since 2013. We have talked about trying ketotifen, which is a mast cell stabilizer but I am hesitant because I already on 18 other medications. I am so tired of taking meds; i am on first name basis with everyone at CVS and they greet me by name before i get to the counter, which surprises all the other customers in line. I carry epipens with me at all times since anaphylaxis is a symptom of MCAS and can be triggered by Xolair. I am currently in a flare up because I am having a lot of difficulty breathing deeply and feel short of breath most of the time. I recommend you find an allergy pulmonologist, who should definitely be on your team of doctors. I also see a cardiologist twice a year to monitor my heart as I also have chest pains, tachycardia (fast heart rate), and high blood pressure. The heart can also be affected by MCAS. I hope you find a pulmonologist that can help you with your breathing issues. You are the first person that seems to have similar symptoms to mine. Let me know how are doing.

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@leilanis

I can understand how you feel about not wanting to live with your symptoms and not feeling like it's getting better. There are times when i don't want to live and think about ending my life. I work part-time and see doctors part-time. I was diagnosed with MCAS about a year ago after living with my shortness of breath, chronic muscle and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, tremors, reflux, etc. I also have fibromyalgia (which is a real disease, acknowledged by rheumatologists. And i treat many patients with FM as I am an aquatic physical therapist.) and really bad osteoarthritis mostly in my spine. My symptoms, the worst one being shortness of breath, started in Aug 2012. I have a rheumatologist that has worked with me from the beginning of all this. Initially they thought it was asthma, but i have never had any history of asthma and never smoked. So i tried all kinds of inhalers and was put on prednisone and given a rescue inhaler for the breathing issues. The ran allergy tests and i am allergic to walnut and olive trees. I don't have food allergies that i am aware of. I do have very high IgE, which is antibody produced by the immune system in response to an allergen, and means i am a very allergic person. I had been working with an allergy pulmonologist to control my severe and persistent asthma, who thought i might have MCAS. I never thought i truly had asthma because my symptoms were not typical of asthma. I get chest tightness and pain in my ribs and intercostal muscles that make it difficult to breathe. I actually have to take pain meds so it doesn't hurt so much to breathe. You are the first person that has posted with the same breathing symptoms that I have. Fortunately, I have not had an episode of anaphylaxis. I can imagine how scary that is, not being able to breath is the worst feeling in the world. The allergy pulmonologist has put me on high doses of H1, H2 antihistamines, two inhalers both with steroids, oral prednisone and i have been on Xolair since 2013. We have talked about trying ketotifen, which is a mast cell stabilizer but I am hesitant because I already on 18 other medications. I am so tired of taking meds; i am on first name basis with everyone at CVS and they greet me by name before i get to the counter, which surprises all the other customers in line. I carry epipens with me at all times since anaphylaxis is a symptom of MCAS and can be triggered by Xolair. I am currently in a flare up because I am having a lot of difficulty breathing deeply and feel short of breath most of the time. I recommend you find an allergy pulmonologist, who should definitely be on your team of doctors. I also see a cardiologist twice a year to monitor my heart as I also have chest pains, tachycardia (fast heart rate), and high blood pressure. The heart can also be affected by MCAS. I hope you find a pulmonologist that can help you with your breathing issues. You are the first person that seems to have similar symptoms to mine. Let me know how are doing.

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Hi, I am having different but similar struggles also. I have MCAS which I only recently figured out in the past year with an allergist and GI doctor. I have type 1 diabetes and celiac and some other more minor auto immune issues- hypo thyroid, Reynayds, etc. The MCAS for me is bouts of 3 or 4 am (always around this time) severe bloating nausea diarrhea vomiting, low blood pressure where I can’t keep my head up, sweating, flushing, shaking. I can’t stand these episodes. I started a low histamine diet but now with celiac there are so few things I’m able to eat between low histamine and gluten free. And I’ve been taking antihistamines but still getting these attacks, so just started Chromolyn Sodium and it’s now giving me really bad headaches. I don’t feel like my allergist knows enough about MCAS and there’s no one who can take me as a new mast cell patient. I’m having times of feeing hopeless and scared this won’t get better. I need to find someone who has figured out how to live with MCAS and how to deal w the headaches so I can take the chromolyn. I have skin symptoms too, but no breathing issues… it’s my gut and skin affected. Not sure what to do at this point. I work in a full time professional position and then do other part time work. Struggling…

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@leilanis

I can understand how you feel about not wanting to live with your symptoms and not feeling like it's getting better. There are times when i don't want to live and think about ending my life. I work part-time and see doctors part-time. I was diagnosed with MCAS about a year ago after living with my shortness of breath, chronic muscle and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, tremors, reflux, etc. I also have fibromyalgia (which is a real disease, acknowledged by rheumatologists. And i treat many patients with FM as I am an aquatic physical therapist.) and really bad osteoarthritis mostly in my spine. My symptoms, the worst one being shortness of breath, started in Aug 2012. I have a rheumatologist that has worked with me from the beginning of all this. Initially they thought it was asthma, but i have never had any history of asthma and never smoked. So i tried all kinds of inhalers and was put on prednisone and given a rescue inhaler for the breathing issues. The ran allergy tests and i am allergic to walnut and olive trees. I don't have food allergies that i am aware of. I do have very high IgE, which is antibody produced by the immune system in response to an allergen, and means i am a very allergic person. I had been working with an allergy pulmonologist to control my severe and persistent asthma, who thought i might have MCAS. I never thought i truly had asthma because my symptoms were not typical of asthma. I get chest tightness and pain in my ribs and intercostal muscles that make it difficult to breathe. I actually have to take pain meds so it doesn't hurt so much to breathe. You are the first person that has posted with the same breathing symptoms that I have. Fortunately, I have not had an episode of anaphylaxis. I can imagine how scary that is, not being able to breath is the worst feeling in the world. The allergy pulmonologist has put me on high doses of H1, H2 antihistamines, two inhalers both with steroids, oral prednisone and i have been on Xolair since 2013. We have talked about trying ketotifen, which is a mast cell stabilizer but I am hesitant because I already on 18 other medications. I am so tired of taking meds; i am on first name basis with everyone at CVS and they greet me by name before i get to the counter, which surprises all the other customers in line. I carry epipens with me at all times since anaphylaxis is a symptom of MCAS and can be triggered by Xolair. I am currently in a flare up because I am having a lot of difficulty breathing deeply and feel short of breath most of the time. I recommend you find an allergy pulmonologist, who should definitely be on your team of doctors. I also see a cardiologist twice a year to monitor my heart as I also have chest pains, tachycardia (fast heart rate), and high blood pressure. The heart can also be affected by MCAS. I hope you find a pulmonologist that can help you with your breathing issues. You are the first person that seems to have similar symptoms to mine. Let me know how are doing.

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So happy to know theres someone else with breathing issues too! I was starting to think it was all in my head since I dont get hives which is like, the number one sign you are having an allergic reaction. I was tested for asthma early this year because of my breathing symptoms, but I was found to actually have better than average breathing capacity (Im a tuba player), I think Im currently in a flare as well and Im just waiting for that to pass. I guess Im on a low histamine diet, simply because Im allergic to the foods that are high in histamine (dairy, egg, gluten, peanut, tree nuts, sesame seeds, soy, shell fish, coffee and anything with cinnamon makes me feel really sick) and I dont buy any prepackaged meals simply because I cant (although I wish I could because I absolutely hate cooking). Im really just hoping to get a diagnosis soon because I found that some people have started training dogs to alert when their mediator levels are rising and theyre about to have an allergic reaction. I currently have a service dog to help me avoid my dairy and gluten allergy and if I had that diagnosis I could start teaching her to alert to that. The dogs that have been trained to do this are able to give their handlers a 15-20 min warning, which hopefully is enough time to take benadryl in order to lessen the reaction (since thats how long it usually takes for benadryl to take effect). I will look into finding an allergy pulmonologist in my area, I did not even know those existed, thank you!

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@thenerdybunch

So happy to know theres someone else with breathing issues too! I was starting to think it was all in my head since I dont get hives which is like, the number one sign you are having an allergic reaction. I was tested for asthma early this year because of my breathing symptoms, but I was found to actually have better than average breathing capacity (Im a tuba player), I think Im currently in a flare as well and Im just waiting for that to pass. I guess Im on a low histamine diet, simply because Im allergic to the foods that are high in histamine (dairy, egg, gluten, peanut, tree nuts, sesame seeds, soy, shell fish, coffee and anything with cinnamon makes me feel really sick) and I dont buy any prepackaged meals simply because I cant (although I wish I could because I absolutely hate cooking). Im really just hoping to get a diagnosis soon because I found that some people have started training dogs to alert when their mediator levels are rising and theyre about to have an allergic reaction. I currently have a service dog to help me avoid my dairy and gluten allergy and if I had that diagnosis I could start teaching her to alert to that. The dogs that have been trained to do this are able to give their handlers a 15-20 min warning, which hopefully is enough time to take benadryl in order to lessen the reaction (since thats how long it usually takes for benadryl to take effect). I will look into finding an allergy pulmonologist in my area, I did not even know those existed, thank you!

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My allergy pulmonologist is at a large university setting. There is a data base of physicians that treat Mass cell disorders at http://www.tmsforacure.org. It’s the website called The Mastocytosis Society. If you can’t find a specialist in your area, maybe you can call one of the physicians closest to you and they can refer you to a someone in your area. Every doctor has different training experiences, just like I am a physical therapist and I know how to treat certain diagnoses that another PT may not simply because my internships were different than theirs and I may have come across a patient with an uncommon problem, but my experience taught me how to treat them. Please keep looking for a doctor that can help you. I know it’s frustrating. It took me 6 years to get a maybe diagnosis. I was an addicted runner who ran 6 days a week, 9-10 miles. Having that taken away from me sent me into a major depression. Don’t give up even though this is the suckiest (yes, that’s professional jargon 🙂 ) disease.

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@toomuchforone

Hi, I am having different but similar struggles also. I have MCAS which I only recently figured out in the past year with an allergist and GI doctor. I have type 1 diabetes and celiac and some other more minor auto immune issues- hypo thyroid, Reynayds, etc. The MCAS for me is bouts of 3 or 4 am (always around this time) severe bloating nausea diarrhea vomiting, low blood pressure where I can’t keep my head up, sweating, flushing, shaking. I can’t stand these episodes. I started a low histamine diet but now with celiac there are so few things I’m able to eat between low histamine and gluten free. And I’ve been taking antihistamines but still getting these attacks, so just started Chromolyn Sodium and it’s now giving me really bad headaches. I don’t feel like my allergist knows enough about MCAS and there’s no one who can take me as a new mast cell patient. I’m having times of feeing hopeless and scared this won’t get better. I need to find someone who has figured out how to live with MCAS and how to deal w the headaches so I can take the chromolyn. I have skin symptoms too, but no breathing issues… it’s my gut and skin affected. Not sure what to do at this point. I work in a full time professional position and then do other part time work. Struggling…

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Did you ask your doctor about pain meds for your headaches? I have meds specifically for pain

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@toomuchforone

Hi, I am having different but similar struggles also. I have MCAS which I only recently figured out in the past year with an allergist and GI doctor. I have type 1 diabetes and celiac and some other more minor auto immune issues- hypo thyroid, Reynayds, etc. The MCAS for me is bouts of 3 or 4 am (always around this time) severe bloating nausea diarrhea vomiting, low blood pressure where I can’t keep my head up, sweating, flushing, shaking. I can’t stand these episodes. I started a low histamine diet but now with celiac there are so few things I’m able to eat between low histamine and gluten free. And I’ve been taking antihistamines but still getting these attacks, so just started Chromolyn Sodium and it’s now giving me really bad headaches. I don’t feel like my allergist knows enough about MCAS and there’s no one who can take me as a new mast cell patient. I’m having times of feeing hopeless and scared this won’t get better. I need to find someone who has figured out how to live with MCAS and how to deal w the headaches so I can take the chromolyn. I have skin symptoms too, but no breathing issues… it’s my gut and skin affected. Not sure what to do at this point. I work in a full time professional position and then do other part time work. Struggling…

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Ketotifen is another mass cell stabilizer, like cromolyn. Have you tried it? Maybe that one won’t give the same side effects.

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@leilanis

Did you ask your doctor about pain meds for your headaches? I have meds specifically for pain

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No…. just taking ibuprofen… which then hurts my stomach… I should ask…

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@danmlee

Thank you so much,I just wonder if there is anyone that lives in Duluth that has been to Mayo for this insidious disease,I feel like I am alone in this except for my wife but she is at the point where she doesn’t know what to say or do she feels helpless to,just to be able to talk to someone and they could say “Oh man I get ya or here is why that happens”,I just don’t know what to do or not do,I know my triggers (temperature changes are huge and stress and it is this food allergies thing I don’t get)I like being active and am ADHD and have a mild TBI so just trying to trudge thru this mud is not working.

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I have had a rash for about 6 or 7 months and the doctors can’t figure out what’s going on. This year I have started almost having constant asthma like symptoms. I’ve also experienced headaches, diziniss and occasionally episodes of random diarrhea. The drs told me it is anxiety. I am now thinking I’m losing my mind because I know these symptoms are real. My symptoms seem to get worse with stress. I scheduled an appointment with an immunologist. I also had a biopsy come back as a drug rash so that makes me wonder if something more is going on. My symptoms seemed to get worse after drs kept prescribing me antidepressants which I reacted horribly to. This situation sucks. I’ve also been having episodes of numbness in my face, tongue and hands and feet. I am over this nightmare.

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Hi @jpearo. I also have asthma like symptoms that have gotten progressively worse over 6 years. Then I started getting the flushing on the face and I’ve have reflux for years. All symptoms of MCAS, although tested negative for blood tryptase and histamine and prostaglandins in the 24 hour urine, probably because I take NSAIDS. Anyway, I just read a research article by researchers at Harvard on diagnosis and symptomology of MCAS. All the symptoms you describe were listed in the article. Go http://www.tmsforacure.org for more info. I lived the nightmare for years and continue to have breathing problems even though I have a diagnosis. We are working towards getting them under control so
I am hopeful that day will come. It sucks not being able to breathe especially since I am distance runner and tennis player. I keep going though, one day at a time. I have a great psychologist who has helped me through major depression episodes and continues to support me emotionally. An immunologist should be able to help you and I hope the one that sees you knows about MCAS, which they are finding is not that uncommon. But doctors need to rule out other diseases as the WHO criteria for MCAS is very specific. I don’t fit their criteria but I responded to the treatment. I hope you get some answers soon so you can begin living a better life again.

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@leilanis

Hi @jpearo. I also have asthma like symptoms that have gotten progressively worse over 6 years. Then I started getting the flushing on the face and I’ve have reflux for years. All symptoms of MCAS, although tested negative for blood tryptase and histamine and prostaglandins in the 24 hour urine, probably because I take NSAIDS. Anyway, I just read a research article by researchers at Harvard on diagnosis and symptomology of MCAS. All the symptoms you describe were listed in the article. Go http://www.tmsforacure.org for more info. I lived the nightmare for years and continue to have breathing problems even though I have a diagnosis. We are working towards getting them under control so
I am hopeful that day will come. It sucks not being able to breathe especially since I am distance runner and tennis player. I keep going though, one day at a time. I have a great psychologist who has helped me through major depression episodes and continues to support me emotionally. An immunologist should be able to help you and I hope the one that sees you knows about MCAS, which they are finding is not that uncommon. But doctors need to rule out other diseases as the WHO criteria for MCAS is very specific. I don’t fit their criteria but I responded to the treatment. I hope you get some answers soon so you can begin living a better life again.

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Yeah I have really been struggling. I am an avid weightlifter so the breathing thing is hard. I just did a hard workout a couple of weeks ago and I could barely breathe at the end of it. I’ve never had that reaction to a workout before. I’m freaking out that this could be full blown madtocytosis or mast cell leukemia.

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@jpearo

Yeah I have really been struggling. I am an avid weightlifter so the breathing thing is hard. I just did a hard workout a couple of weeks ago and I could barely breathe at the end of it. I’ve never had that reaction to a workout before. I’m freaking out that this could be full blown madtocytosis or mast cell leukemia.

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@jpearo you can ask an allergist to check your tryptase level, that would rule out mastocytosis.jpearo you can ask an allergist to check your tryptase level, that would rule out mastocytosis.

@leilanis How were you able to get a diagnosis? My family and I have been trying to find a diagnosis for the past three years, especially because every flare is worse than the last one. I have developed six new food allergies since july and my environmental allergies have gotten worse as well. We've eliminated every other disease that could be causing my symptoms but my allergist doesnt want to give me a diagnosis since my 24 hr histamine level came back normal as did the kit mutation even though I have responded to medication (It doesnt reduce the amount of reactions during flares but it does increase the amount of time I can be around my triggers and makes my reactions less severe).

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@jpearo

Yeah I have really been struggling. I am an avid weightlifter so the breathing thing is hard. I just did a hard workout a couple of weeks ago and I could barely breathe at the end of it. I’ve never had that reaction to a workout before. I’m freaking out that this could be full blown madtocytosis or mast cell leukemia.

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The good news, mast cell leukemia is very rare according to the research I’ve read. My breathing gets bad to the point that I am sitting in he ground trying to get a breath in during my tennis lessons. I’m good for a few months then I will get a “flare” and I would have to use my rescue inhaler 3-4 times in a one hour lesson. I haven’t let it stop me. However I just partially tore my Achilles’ tendon, most likely secondary to side effects of meds I’ve been on, like prednisone, Celebrex and Cipro. So it’s always one thing after another but I am not willing to let it stop me from doing things that were and are really a part of me — we are a really active family. I learned to snowboard two years ago even though cold often makes my breathing worse. I have doctors that understand that sports are a huge part of who I am and they help me stay as active as possible. I think it’s part of stubbornness (I like to call strong will 🙂 ) that keeps me going. Although sometimes i pay the price, but every athlete does. Ours is just diffferent.

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