As clinicians, we all see patients who present with a wide array of confusing multi-system symptoms and frustrating intolerances, diagnostic challenges, and previous treatment failures. Symptoms can present as neurologic, neurovascular, mood, or stress related components, often in the setting of gut symptoms. Is there something that can tie many of these symptoms together? Mast cell activation syndrome or disorder is worth considering in these cases.
Recognizing excessive mast cell activation as a potential source of these distressing symptoms can help streamline the diagnostic and treatment approach and give much needed reassurance to the patient, as well as the clinician. Focus can then be placed on a system for identifying and eliminating triggers, while effectively reducing mast cell related symptoms.
Alternatively, more defined conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, and cognitive impairment, may also have involvement of mast cell activation, which is rarely recognized or addressed.
Mast cell activation syndrome in general is relatively unknown and therefore is often not thought of as part of the explanation or the solution of patient presentations. Though recognition of general mitochondrial dysfunction is increasing, it is not usually thought of in the context of how the mitochondria interact with mast cell activation.
We will review the literature and case studies, exploring mast cells in the context of:
– brain mast cells, microglia, and mood disorders
– neurologic, neurovascular, and neuroinflammation symptoms including migraine, stroke, cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and POTS
– stress conditions, PTSD and the HPA axis
– the brain-gut connection
– the mitochondria
Lastly, we will explore the current evidence for practical approaches to diagnosis and treatment options with an emphasis on lifestyle and natural restorative methods.
There is always a why, even if we don’t entirely understand it. We know that mast cells, the immune system, inflammation, the microglia, and the gut work together closely. Our knowledge is a work in progress. The relationship between mast cells and the mitochondria is also becoming more apparent. Participants will come away with a broad overview of the state of our knowledge and usable diagnostic and treatment plans.
- Participants will be able to identify neurologic, neurovascular, brain, and stress related symptoms which may potentially be mast cell activation symptoms.
- Participants will be able to explain how mast cell activation causes mood, neurologic, and stress related symptoms, and the relationship to the gut.
- Participants will be able to show how the mitochondria are involved with mast cells.
- Participants will be able to implement a diagnostic plan.
- Participants will be able to assemble the potential treatment options for mast cell activation syndrome.