MAST CELLS AND AUTONOMIC DYSFUNCTION

Mast cells are implicated in a wide array of disorders. At one extreme is mastocytosis with a true proliferation of mast cells. At the other end, and often all in between, are the mast cell activation disorders where there is episodic activation and degranulation of mast cells and release of their contents, mainly histamine, causing a variety of symptoms including headaches, rashes, dizziness, flushing, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, a feeling of shortness of breath, and even fainting. These disorders are becoming increasingly more common as we are exposed to more potential triggers of mast cell release.

The autonomic system is triggered as there is an exaggerated adrenergic response to stimuli. Many patients have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) as well due to the aberrant sympathetic activation. Neuropetpide Y is released with norepinephrine and this peptide can stimulate the degranulation of the mast cells, notably of the gastrointestinal tract. Mast cells also have receptors for catecholamines so the mechanism seems to be both receptor mediated and non-receptor mediated. Whether the primary event is the mast cell dysfunction or the dysautonomia is not clear, though likely can be either in an individual patient and a thorough evaluation is always warranted.

Many with this disorder do not know it, are often misdiagnosed, and suffer for years with symptoms of headaches, fatigue, and gastrointestinal dysfunction to the point of a severely restricted repertoire of foods they can tolerate which in turn can lead to nutrient depletion and deficiencies potentially causing other neurological symptoms. Many also cannot sleep well or have the energy to exercise.

The Center for Healing Neurology offers a thorough evaluation including full autonomic system testing and evaluation. Our AUTONOMIC DYSFUNCTION PROGRAM successfully treats and manages your symptoms. Why suffer needlessly? Life is hard enough.

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