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Mastocytosis & Mast Cell Disorders Definition Signs & Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Symptom Management Related Conditions FAQ
Symptom Management & Mast Cell Degranulation Triggers

It is extremely important for patients to respect their illness, learn their individual symptoms and try to identify what triggers each symptom for them. Mast cell disorders are neoplastic disorders, which means the mast cells multiply continuously over the patient's lifetime. As with cancer cells, mast cells do not die, disappear, or cease to function, on their own. Unlike cancer cells, mast cells are normally good cells. But it's a case of having too much of a good thing. That can be just as damaging and life threatening as a malignancy. Every time a patient encounters a trigger, they risk their mast cells mutliplying in number. Too many mast cells will increase their suffering and eventually could potentially shorten their life span. So it is vitally important for patients to avoid triggering mast cell degranulation to both lessen their suffering, and preserve their quality and length of life.

In addition, when mast cells degranulate, they dump a host of chemicals at once, triggering the patient's symptoms. These chemicals include histamine, heparin, prostaglandins, neutral proteases, acid hydrolases, chemokines and cytokines, just to name a few.1

Different symptoms may each have a unique trigger, or a cluster of triggers, per patient. In the exhaustive list of potential triggers, as with symptoms, some patients will have only a few triggers, some will have many triggers, some may unfortunately be susceptible to nearly all the known triggers. The best way to identify and remember their symptoms and triggers is for patients to maintain an ongoing record, updating it as needed. Download this Activity Log form to help you record your daily health.

When the symptoms occur, it is common for patients to have difficulty thinking clearly, which restricts their ability to help themselves. Mast cells are in every organ including the brain. When symptoms occur, many patients experience problems speaking or articulating their needs, or even understanding what exactly is happening to them and what they need to do about it. A personal symptom and trigger record will help the patient as well as caregivers, physicians and emergency medical professionals.

Visit our Patients section of this website for information on how to live with these disorders.

We have listed 58 signs and symptoms of these disorders already. Listed below are the medically researched and identified triggers which cause symptom and disease progression. We recommend sharing these lists of triggers with every physician (family and all specialists), dentist, optometrist/opthalmologist, nuclear medicine and x-ray technicians (BEFORE undergoing any tests), paramedics and other medical or natural health professionals you consult.

Download our food guideline, The Histamine & Tyramine Restricted Diet.

For more information about the diet, please visit HistamineReducingDiet.com.

Nonimmunologic Histamine Releasers - and - Other Degranulation Triggers2
Polymers
Dextran
Compound 48/80
Calcium ionophore A23187
Bacterial Toxins
Snake venoms
Biologic polypeptides
Ascaris species
Jellyfish
Portuguese man-of-war
Spines & hairs of Caterpillars
Nettles
Moths
Foods
Shellfish, Any fish not fresh
Strawberries
Egg Whites
Tomatoe
Nuts (peanuts, walnuts etc.)
**Download our diet guideline.
Chemicals & Drugs
Aspirin
Alcohol
Opiates (Codeine,Morphine,Percocet/Oxy etc)
NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories: Advil,Motrin,etc)
Polymyxin B sulfate
Colistin sulfate
Thiamine hydrochloride
Tyramine
Trimethaphan and Trimetaphan
Tubocurarine chloride
Quinine sulfate
Papaverine
Dipyridamole (Persantine)
Iodine based radiographic dyes
Scopolamine hydrochloride
Gallamine triethiodide
Neuromuscular blocking agents (all):eg.,
  • Dexamethonium
  • Gallamine triethiodide
Dextromethorphan (cough suppressant)
Stilbamadine isethionate
Chlortetracycline bisulfate
Amphetamines
Hydralazine hydrochloride
Tolazoline hydrochloride
Cinnamaldehyde
Cinnamic acid
Benzoic acid
Sodium benzoate
Fungal infection drugs
Local anesthestics: lidocaine,etc.(any amino amide-type)
Physical Agents
Dermatographia (Darier's Sign)
Pressure
Cold
Heat
Cholinergic agents
  • Exercise, hot baths/showers, fever, occlusive dressings,
    eating spicy foods, emotional stress
Solar light waves
Water
Vibration
Insect bites (Wasp, Hornet, Bee, Mosquito)
Infections
Inhalants
Scents/Odors, Smoke (wood burning, cigarette, marijuana)
  • Perfume, Man-made materials, Scented products, Chemicals
Latex
Foods (**Download our diet guideline.)
  • High in Histamine or Tyramine, Gluten, Soy, Salicylates
Cosmetics/Creams containing salicylates
Preservatives, Additives, Dyes, Artificial flavours/colouring
Vasculitis
Internal diseases

Contact Agent Triggers of Skin Reactions2
Acrylic monomer
Aminothiazole
Ammonia
Animal Dander
Cat and Dog Saliva
Arthropods
Benzophenone
Benzoyl peroxide
Carrots
Castor beans
Cephalosporins
Cetyl alcohol
Chlorpromazine
Cobalt chloride
Cod liver oil
Diethyltoluamide
Estrogenic creams
Exotic woods
Flour
Formaldehyde
Hair sprays
Horse serum
Lindane
Monoamylamine
Nail polish
Penicillin
Perfumes
Phenylmercuric propionate
Platinum salts
Potatoes
Silk
Sodium sulfide
Spices
Stearyl alcohol
Streptomycin
Sulfur dioxide
Taliphatic polyamide
Tetanus antitoxin
Wheat
Wool

REFERENCES:-
  1. Sever,A; Sibbald,G; D'Arville,C:  Thousand Faces of Mastocytosis: Mistaken Medical Diagnoses, Patient Suffering & Gender Implications University of Toronto Press: 7. 2009. [Open Access]
  2. Burrall,B; Halpern,G.M; Huntley,A:  Medical Progress: Chronic Urticaria West J Med March 1990;152:268-276

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