What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?


In caring for mold toxic patients, we can’t get over focused on just the toxin removal process.  Mold has too many “friends” including a syndrome called MCAS, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.  Without addressing the “friends” of mold, recovery is difficult and detox may not be possible.

Mast cells are immune cells which help coordinate other immune responses through releasing over 200 different chemical mediators including serotonin, histamine, and tryptase.  Under normal circumstances, they would only release any alarm bell type chemicals when danger is present.   In this activation syndrome they may respond excessively to Lyme and Bartonella or some viruses.  They may also overreact to normal stimuli like foods, temperature changes, even skin pressure.

Depending on where they are located in the body, their release of chemical messengers will trigger different symptoms:

GI tract:  bloating, diarrhea, pain, nausea, tongue swelling, and vomiting.  If the messengers reach systemic circulation even flushing, palpitations, sweating and diffuse itching can occur.

Lungs:  wheezing, shortness of breath, and bronchitis symptoms.

Skin: all types of rashes usually itchy and often with hives and flushing.

Mouth:  throat itching, tongue swelling, nasal congestion, sinusitis, and more.

Vascular:  dizzy, vertigo, palpitations, POTS symptoms, heart arrhythmias, light headed, and chest pain.

Pelvic:  Pain, bladder spasms, UTI like symptoms, prostatitis.

Muscle:  pain.

Neurologic:  numbness, tingling, headaches, tremors, seizures, autonomic changes, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, and insomnia.

While the condition is not recognized widely by conventional medicine, some of its top-level researchers argue that up to 10% of the population has at least mild degrees of MCAS.  As a functional MD treating mold, we see a lot of it in mold detox.  Sometimes, it puts up quite an obstacle to mold therapy as the MCAS patient is highly sensitive to the very therapies which should help them.  We work with those patients in baby steps to build up to effective dosages but it takes time to restore them to a healthier more abundant life after MCAS.

For more information on MCAS, watch my Facebook Live recording on the topic on our site.  To learn more about the immune system join me for Immune Prepper 101 on the SFMEmpower.com website.


Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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    How can I aside from diet calm down a MCAS response and getting out of the mold right now is not possible?? Truly desperate for answer

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