MCAS is a type of mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) characterised by abnormal activation of mast cells resulting in chronic multisystem poly-morbidity of a general inflammatory nature, with or without an allergic nature.
Most people with MCAS have chronic and recurrent inflammation, with or without allergic symptoms.
This occurs when an aspect of the innate immune system becomes overactive and releases a flood of inflammatory chemicals, which may affect every organ in the body. The symptoms of MCAS will wax and wane over time.
Another way to think of this is the symptoms will flare up and go into remission, affecting different organs and body parts, over and over again throughout a person’s life, without a common unifying theme or established diagnoses to account for the patient’s presentation of symptoms.
MCAS symptoms can present subtly but may become more serious as an individual ages. If you were to chart the symptoms of MCAS on a timeline, beginning at birth you can often identify symptoms that began at a very young age.
For some, MCAS becomes a highly probable diagnosis when they notice that they have had various symptoms of an inflammatory nature over the years.
Treating Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a group of disorders with different causes, presenting with episodic (sporadic) multi-system symptoms.
MCAS is usually the result of mast cell mediator release, which often isn’t caught by routine lab tests.
These symptoms may include:
- Allergies as a toddler
- Various skin rashes that came and went
- Disturbed gut function (possibly diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO))
- Unexplained anxiety
- Poor wound healing
Any of these symptoms could indicate MCAS.