Holistic Mast Cell Activation Treatment in Scottsdale, Arizona
Mast cells are a part of the human immune system and protect against foreign invaders. Mast cells are concentrated in areas where the external environment comes into contact with the human body, such as the skin, the lungs, the mucous membranes inside the nose, and the gastrointestinal tract. In normal circumstances, mast cells release various compounds called mediators in response to foreign substances to keep us safe.
In mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), there is an inappropriate release of the chemical mediators that can cause inflammatory symptoms anywhere in the body. Many people (including physicians) mistakenly refer to these symptoms as histamine intolerance, when MCAS is the cause.
Mast cells are types of white blood cells that release up to 200 signaling chemicals, or mast cell mediators, into the body as part of an immune system stabilizing defense response against foreign invaders (parasites, fungi, bacteria, or viruses), allergens, and environmental toxins.
We need mast cells to protect us from infection, heal wounds, create new blood cells, and develop immune tolerance. However, in conditions in which these cells are dysfunctional or overactive, they can cause serious issues.
Mast cells are found in most tissues throughout your body. In particular, they are found in tissues that are in close contact with the environment such as your skin, airways, and gastrointestinal tract. Mast cells are also found in your cardiovascular, nervous, and reproductive systems.
What Causes Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
For some people, mast cells are more prone to release the mediator contents. However, for many, there is an underlying cause (or causes) that increases the risk of developing mast cell activation syndrome. Common causes of mast cell activation syndrome are:
- Bacterial infections
- Viral infections
- Fungal infections
- Heavy metals
- Mold illness
- Allergens – food and environmental
- Genetically predisposed
Common Triggers of Mast Cell Activation Are:
- Physical trauma
- Hormonal changes
- Insect stings
Mast Cells Release Chemical Mediators
Inside of each mast cell, there are tiny sacs called granules. Granules contain up to a couple of hundred chemical mediators that get released when a trigger such as an allergen or toxin binds to a mast cell. Histamine is the most common mediator released from mast cells in response to an allergen such as pollen. Other mediators include tryptase, heparin, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and cytokines. Different mediators can cause a unique physiological reaction to surrounding tissue. For example, tryptase is a proteolytic enzyme and can break down nerve endings.
Who Is At Risk for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
Since mast cells are present in all humans, there is the potential for anyone can develop mast cell activation syndrome. People who have developed immune dysfunction from chronic infections, toxin exposure, repeated allergen exposure, and individuals with genetic variations are at an increased risk of developing MCAS.
One study reported on over 400 patients with MCAS and identified the prevalence of specific characteristics. Women made up 69% of patients with mast cell activation syndrome, and 75% were Caucasian. The most frequent age at onset of symptoms was nine years old, and in most patients, it took 30 years to get a diagnosis of MCAS. This implies people with MCAS may spend a good portion of their life without a proper diagnosis. Other surveys have confirmed females have an increased incidence of MCAS.
Symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome
After receiving a diagnosis of mast cell activation syndrome in adulthood, many people realize the symptoms they have experienced since childhood were related to MCAS. It is common for children (and their parents) to be told by their pediatrician they will “outgrow” their symptoms. Because mast cells are located throughout the body and contain over a hundred inflammatory compounds, symptoms can occur in every organ system. This multi-symptom, multi-system involvement, and because mast cell activation syndrome is not well-recognized, creates an extreme challenge for physicians to diagnose.
The most common symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome are:
- Systemic – fatigue, sensitivity to food and medication
- Respiratory – nasal congestion, shortness of breath, throat swelling
- Neurological – headaches, migraines
- Mental/emotional – decreased concentration, memory; anxiety, depression
- Musculoskeletal – aches, bone pain, osteoporosis
- Digestive – nausea, vomiting, heartburn (GERD), diarrhea, abdominal cramps
- Skin – flushing, itching, hives, temperature dysregulation
- Cardiovascular –high and low blood pressure, lightheadedness, racing heart, hypercoagulation
- Respiratory – shortness of breath, asthma
- Genitourinary – irritable bladder, interstitial cystitis
Lyme Disease is Associated with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
Pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can contribute to mast cell activation syndrome. The mast cell reaction is an immune response in an attempt to protect the human from the pathogen.
When Lyme disease – or other infections – and mast cell activation syndrome are present, MCAS is part of the immune dysregulation and contributing to symptoms. A research study confirmed the bacteria that causes Lyme disease triggers mast cell degranulation.
Mold Exposure can Cause Mast Cell Activation
Human exposure to environmental molds and their toxins (mycotoxins) causes immune dysfunction and immune suppression. Mold and mycotoxins are also involved in mast cell activation syndrome. Suppose someone is experiencing any MCAS symptoms and has been exposed to a water-damaged building or environmental mold. In that case, it is critical to test for mold illness properly. Addressing mold toxicity helps to improve the outcome of mast cell activation syndrome.
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome Diagnosis
The clinical symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome should clue the physician in to order laboratory tests to confirm this suspicion. Multiple diagnostic criteria for mast cell activation syndrome have been proposed by mast cell researchers, physicians, and organizations.
The greatest challenge in diagnosing MCAS with laboratory testing is the proper handling of blood and urine samples. The samples require constant chilling to maintain stability. A 24-hour urine sample is collected at home before the blood draw. It is kept in the refrigerator and transported in a cooler to the lab. The laboratory phlebotomist also needs to be aware of keeping the samples chilled at the time of the blood draw. Proton pump inhibitors (Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.) and NSAIDs (Advil, Tylenol, etc.) need to be avoided five days before testing.
Even if the specimens are handled properly, it can be challenging to see even one mediator elevated due to the timing of mast cell degranulation. One approach is to collect the samples during a flare of MCAS symptoms.
The diagnostic workup for MCAS includes:
- Tryptase, serum (chilled)
- Chromogranin A, serum (chilled)
- Prostaglandin D, plasma (chilled)
- Histamine, plasma (chilled)
- Leukotriene E4, random and 24-hour urine (chilled)
- N-methylhistamine, random and 24-hour urine (chilled)
- Prostaglandin DR, random and 24-hour urine (chilled)
Is It Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?
Mast cells are located throughout our bodies and are an essential part of our immune system. There has been an increased awareness and – likely incidence – of mast cell activation syndrome in the past decade. If you have symptoms consistent with MCAS, it is necessary to get properly tested for the above mediators. There may be underlying causes of mast cell activation syndrome for many people, including toxins, mold exposure, infections, and other environmental exposures. It is important to identify the potential causes with proper testing to improve symptoms and improve the outcome of treating mast cell activation syndrome.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know how difficult it can be when you’re deciding which doctor to finding answers for your health If you have any additional questions or would like more information about our services and natural treatment options, give us a call at 1-866-379-8381 and speak directly with a patient care coordinator to learn more about your treatment options at Brio Medical.
Brio Medical is located in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona, just 15 minutes away from Downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix International Airport (PHX).
Brio-Medical treats all forms of cancer, Lyme Disease, environmental disease, autoimmune, and chronic degenerative diseases such as chronic infections, auto-immune disease, and fine-tuning the body to slow the aging and degenerative process of the body.
We have a proven track record of successful diagnosis and treatment of numerous diseases, dysfunctions, and traumas. We offer a specific preventative wellness program to fight early signs of disease and aging for those individuals who strive for healthy living and improved longevity.
To view all the conditions we treat, visit the Conditions We Treat page or click on one of the links below:
- Integrative Oncology
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- Tick-borne Coinfections
- Environmental Disease
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- Autoimmune Diseases
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME)
As the premier integrative wellness center in Arizona, Brio Medical specializes in offering a hybrid of both conventional and alternative treatments to provide patients with a variety of non-toxic and science-based treatments leveraging research from around the world.
Most typical cancer, Lyme Disease, and environmental disease protocols attack other aspects of the patient’s health and cause multiple complications, some of which are very serious and debilitating, it is our philosophy that in order to strengthen the body, enhance the immune system, and the natural disease-fighting aspects of the patient while starving cancer and creating a host environment that is not conducive to the growth of reproduction of the cancer cells, spirochetes, or other biological threats. We stress the concept of “biochemical individuality”, where no two patients are treated identically.
At Brio Medical we are proud to offer the most comprehensive options for treatment at the most competitive prices in the integrative medical industry:
- IV Therapy
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Call us today at 1-866-379-8381 or sign up for a free case evaluation to speak with a patient care coordinator to review your treatment options and learn if you qualify for the Brio Medical insurance deposit program, where you only pay a deposit for the full treatment protocol sign up for a free consultation.
Brio Medical is an outpatient facility. If you choose to do treatment with us, you will come into our clinic to receive your treatment and then leave. If you do not live in the area, we work with preferred hotel partners near our clinic where you may stay during your treatment, as well as provide transportation to and from the clinic for your convenience.
Brio Medical works with patients and their families receive discounted rates and many provide shuttle service to and from our center. To learn more please visit the Lodging and Accommodations page to help plan your journey to healing in Scottsdale, Arizona.
At Brio-Medical, we realize that not everyone has the financial means readily available for a long-term treatment plan. We also know that most insurance companies don’t cover healthcare costs for integrative treatments received from non-participating medical providers.
We want you to know that there is plenty of financial help for patients seeking treatment. You still have the option to choose the treatment that resonates with you.
To view all of the financial resources, visit our dedicated FINANCIAL RESOURCES page.
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Brio-Medical uses an integrative approach to the treatment of cancer, Lyme Disease, anti-aging, and other chronic illnesses. Our integrative treatment protocols combine the best of conventional and alternative modalities based on the recovery of the biological performance of each patient. We take a holistic approach to healing, treating the body, mind, and spirit, to treat each patient on an individual level with our personalized medical protocols.
The greatest testimony to the benefits and results of the treatments offered at Brio-Medical comes from the inspiring stories told by actual patients and their families. From hopeless PET scans to Western Blot Tests indicating no positive bands, we can say that our research and dedication have made a difference in the lives of our patients. Don’t take our word for it, please take a moment to watch these amazing stories and know that we are always ready and eager to make a difference in your life or the life of a loved one who may be dealing with chronic illness.
Finding Brio was an answer to prayer and I’m so glad I went. I believe it’s really helped me along in my cancer healing journey. They opened my understanding to whole new aspect of healing in regards to our electrical system and how it can make or break us. The owners passion and love for people really came out in our daily interactions. They have the latest technology for alternative cancer treatment, and the combination of their many state-of-art cancer therapies makes Brio powerful cancer killing clinic.
I saw Dr. Kollin for cancer prevention. In 2014 I had pain on the left side which occasionally radiated to my left breast. Ultrasound showed nothing but fibrous breasts. The origin of the pain could never be pinpointed. She had me apply a lotion to my torso daily. After a few months, I began to have eruptions under the left breast and increased the lotion applications as instructed. The eruptions progressed, the pain on the left side increased. After 4 months the eruptions stopped and the skin healed. The pain on the left side is gone. Follow up u/s has shown that the breasts are no longer fibrous. Incidentally, they are no longer tender when menstruating. I am so thankful for dr. Kollin. She listened and supported me. She is truly caring.