What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

In simple terms, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, or MCAS, happens when the mast cells in your body release too many chemical mediators at the wrong times.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Symptoms

When mediators are released in your body, many different reactions can occur throughout your body, making it easy for MCAS to be misdiagnosed. Some of the most common symptoms include :-

  • eyes - itchy, watering
  • nose - itchy, runny, sneezing
  • mouth and throat: itchy, tongue and/or lips swelling, swelling in your throat that blocks air from getting to your lungs
  • skin: itchy, flushing, hives, sweating
  • lungs: trouble breathing, wheezy
  • heart and blood vessels: rapid heart rate, low blood pressure
  • stomach and intestines: nausea, diarrhoea, abdominal pain/ cramps
  • nervous system: headache, dizziness, confusion, extreme tiredness

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Diagnosis

MCAS is difficult to diagnose due to symptoms being present in several other conditions, like CSU or CSA
To diagnose you effectively we would look at your medical history, give you a physical exam and order urine, blood tests and eventually stool tests.
We may also require you to keep a food diary and track your episodes. You may also be asked that you avoid certain foods or medication over a period of time so we can asses what might trigger the reactions.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Treatment

There is currently no cure for MCAS, but we can prescribe some very effective medication or lifestyle changes to successfully manage your MCAS symptoms, helping you lead a much better quality of life.
Medication needs to be individually tailored, so there is no "one size fits all" approach.

More info or a consultation?

For more information on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome please get in touch below.

About Dr José Costa

Dr José Costa (MD, FRCPCH, PGCert Allergy, PGCert Paed Allergy) is a Consultant Paediatrician and fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

He has over 14 years' experience in Paediatrics and over 7 years in Paediatric Allergy.