Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia (PoTS), and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
Written By: Hannah Chapeskie
Dietetic Intern, Acadia University
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia (PoTS), and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) are three conditions that commonly occur together and affect women more often than men. These rare conditions can go mis- or undiagnosed as their symptoms can overlap with other conditions and many physicians are unaware of their existence. Keep reading to learn about these conditions.
Have you been diagnosed with one of these conditions and are seeking dietary guidance? Book with one of our dietitians today!
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (or MCAS) is a rare condition that involves repeated episodes of allergy symptoms or anaphylaxis, often without a known trigger. Mast cells are cells that are a part of our immune systems and are responsible for allergy symptoms. When a person encounters their allergy trigger(s), these cells release chemicals (called mediators) that cause inflammation and allergy symptoms. In MCAS, a person’s mast cells produce these chemicals in excess or in response to unharmful triggers such as foods, emotions, pain, fatigue, heat, smells, hormonal changes, and even the sun. A person with MCAS can have multiple triggers that change over time making it very difficult to identify exactly what is causing their symptoms.
The symptoms of MCAS can be different for every person. Symptoms can range from mild to anaphylaxis and can change over time. MCAS symptoms can affect many parts of the body including:
It is unknown what causes MCAS, but it is thought to be genetic. 74% of patients have at least one first degree relative who also suffers from this condition.