person experiencing mcas symptoms

Symptoms, Causes & Treatment of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Every person has a collection of mast cells. These are considered “allergy cells” and activate when an allergen enters the body, beginning an immediate allergic reaction. When mast cells become activated in response to an allergen, they release mediators – products either stored within the cell or produced by the cell. When mediators are released into the body, allergy symptoms develop.

While allergens are the first and foremost reason for the activation of mast cells, other things, such as medications, infections, or insect bites, can also affect the cell’s response. This type of reaction is known as secondary activation. In some cases, mast cells can release mediators in response to things that do not pose an allergy threat or are considered abnormal. This activation occurs when mast cells become defective and do not function properly.

When a mutation occurs within mast cells, clones are produced and go on to release the mediators even when they are not needed. When a person has repeated episodes of allergy symptoms because of defective mast cells, it is known as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). 

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tissues for allergic reaction

Is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) The Same As Mastocytosis?

Those who have severe allergies know all too well just how scary it can be to experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis. People at risk of this are constantly aware of their surroundings because just one thing can set off an attack. Although there are treatment options available for those who have both mild and severe allergies, it can still put a strain on daily living.

In some cases, anaphylaxis can happen to a person without them having an allergy at all. This type of condition is driven by the overaction of mast cells within the body. Mast cells are immune cells that release a substance called a mediator, which induces inflammation to help the body heal from an injury or infection. This condition is known as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). But what is MCAS, exactly? And is MCAS the same as mastocytosis?

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mRNA vaccines

Are mRNA Vaccines Safe For Those With Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)?

The COVID-19 virus began its sweep of the globe over a year ago, and people have been subject to its grave effects far and wide in the months that followed. At the time of writing, the virus has claimed over two and half million lives – and for the ~70 million people who have contracted the virus and survived, the negative health repercussions are still hitting hard.  

In December of 2020, some hope was given to people all over the world when the first person received the Pfizer vaccine in the UK. Since then, more vaccines have been developed and now, almost 100 million people are fully vaccinated against COVID. The vaccine rollout has been a huge relief for everyone who’s ready to return to normal life and reduce their COVID-19 risk. But is the first COVID-19 vaccine safe for everyone? More specifically, are mRNA vaccines safe for those with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)? Let’s find out.

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Infectolab - tick on leaf

Can Lyme Disease Cause Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)?

Mast cell activation syndrome, or MCAS for short, is a disorder that occurs when mast cells release too much of their mediator substances at incorrect times. Mast cells are part of the immune system and are found in blood vessels throughout the body and in bone marrow. The mechanism behind MCAS is largely unknown, which is why it is often referred to as an idiopathic condition. Some research has found that a large majority of those with MCAS also have a relative with the condition, so it’s postulated that it could be linked to genetics.

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