What Is Mast Cell Activation Disorder?


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Mast cell activation disorders involve an unusual accumulation of mast cells that release histamine and other mediators for inappropriate or unknown reasons and cause inflammation, reports the Journal of Hematology & Oncology. Mast cell activation disorders play a part in such medical conditions as asthma and hives; auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis; and conditions such as anaphylaxis, endometriosis, low sperm count and leukemia, notes MastCellAware.

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Mast cell activation disorders can cause mast cells to release mediators almost anywhere in the body, including the brain, according to Mastocytosis Society Canada. Patients with mast cell disorders may have a variety of symptoms, each with one or more triggers, and should keep a log of possible triggers and symptoms. There are over 58 possible symptoms, such as vertigo, skin lesions, fatigue, sudden drops in blood pressure, vomiting, cognitive impairment, headaches, joint pain, hair loss, sensitivity to sunlight, eye pain, vision problems and shortness of breath.

As explained by the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association, mast cells are a type of white blood cell commonly known for causing allergic reactions because they release histamines. They also play a part in the growth of blood vessels and heal wounds and fight infections, states MastCellAware.

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