LYME SCI: MCAS, when the immune system goes haywire
We’re hearing from increasing numbers of Lyme patients who have suddenly developed serious allergic reactions to foods they used to be able to eat with no problem whatsoever. Many have learned that this can be a sign of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). Sometimes, the condition is referred to as Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD).
So what exactly is MCAS, anyway? And what can be done about it?
Mast cells are part of the immune system and are present in nearly every tissue of the body. Their purpose is to signal when a toxin, infection or foreign invader has entered the body, so that the immune system can then launch the proper attack.
When operating properly, mast cells are our friends. But when the system goes haywire and too many mast cells are triggered at once, this can result in massive inflammation that brings all kinds of problems.
Symptoms of MCAS can include skin rashes or hives, lip swelling, extremity swelling, itching, flushing, abdominal pain, digestive issues, nausea, diarrhea, asthma, heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, low blood pressure, and fatigue.
In the following “Better Health Guy” video, Scott Forsgren interviews Dr. Jill Carnahan, who treats patients with MCAS in her functional medicine practice in Louisville, Colorado.