Why am I always sick? (or, “Why are you always sick?”)

“Why am I always sick?” That’s a question I used to ask myself a lot. Other people asked it as well: “Al, why are you always sick?”

“You get sick a lot”

I remember one time I was in the same room as my wife while she was on the phone. She was taking to her sister, who was talking about her husband (my brother-in-law), and their conversation went on for quite some time. Afterwards I said, “Wow, I hope you guys don’t talk about me all the time like that.” My wife said, “No, we just say that you seem to get sick a lot.”

Fast-forward a few years, and those days I know that I have a disease/illness that’s a variation of the “Bubble Boy” disease that goes by the name “Mast Cell Activation Disease” (MCAD) — also known as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). MCAD/MCAS is similar to another disease known as Systemic Mastocytosis (SM), but where in SM you have an unusually large number of mast cells that act weird, in MCAD/MCAS you have a relatively normal number of mast cells that act weird.

I’ll write more about this over time, but for the time being, if you’re sick all the time and don’t know why, MCAS or SM might be the problem.

For more information right now, search this website for mast cell disease, and see the book, Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and Chronic Illness.

You might also want to check out The Mastocytosis Society page on Facebook.

One word of caution of for now: It’s easy to test for SM, doctors just look for a high tryptase level; it’s not so easy to test for MCAS. You have to find a doctor who really knows what they’re doing, the tests need to be run when you’re sick, and they need to be run properly.

P.S. - Radically changing your diet and environment can help. These days I mostly eat only organic vegetables, I wash my clothes and be sheets with special detergent, and I feel better than I have in over ten years. Turns out the American diet of GMOs and non-organic food was partially responsible for trying to kill me.

P.S. - I don’t think my wife and her sister always talk about my brother-in-law like that. I think it was just one of those days where being married is a bit more work than the other days. :)