mast cell activation syndrome

MCAD: What an activated mast cell looks like

Somebody was like, “Let’s get a mast cell — a type of white blood cell — from a bone marrow biopsy, magnify it 1,000 times, piss it off, and see what happens.”

The result? Ka-boom! It looks like a little firework went off when it released its histamine, tryptase, serotonin, superoxide, heparin, thromboxane, PGD2, PAF, and other granules.

That’s pretty much what it feels like, lol. I used to tell doctors that it felt like I had been drugged, and indeed, I was.

(Image from this research paper.)

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?”

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.”

“Rare disease makes woman allergic to everything, including her husband”

From a story about a woman who has a more severe form of the illness/disease I have:

“Johanna Watkins, 30, is allergic to almost everything and everyone, including her husband Scott, 29. She’s been diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, a rare and progressive immunological condition.”

“She has a list of 15 foods she can eat and that’s it. Even those foods make her feel ill, it’s just that they don’t kill her. She’s eaten the same two meals for two years.”

(The image is from the story.)

Cured meats bad for asthma

Writing as someone who likely has Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and who has also looked into histamine intolerance, it was surprising to see the headlines in this image being “news” in 2016. MCAS was officially designated as a disease in 2007, and for anyone who knows about it, there’s nothing new about this. Cured foods are well known to be a trigger for people with mast cell issues, meaning that eating cured foods is known to trigger mast cells to release histamine (i.e., to degranulate).