Mast Cell Activation Syndrome

This condition has only recently been described and become an official diagnosis in Europe and the USA. This condition causes a wide range of symptoms – from respiratory, gut, skin, urinary to psychiatric. It is actually a fairly common diagnosis amongst my patients who present with ‘undiagnosable’ symptoms, since there is always a lag period between world research and mainstream medical teaching in Australia. The situation is also complicated by the fact that there is no diagnostic test currently available and is therefore largely a clinical diagnosis.

Mast cells secrete a number of inflammatory proteins such as histamine and prostaglandins, and these cause the various symptoms when they bind with receptors. The goal in treatment is to establish and modify triggers, stabilise the mast cells and block receptors in the short term to reduce symptoms.