Mold toxicity and mast cell activation syndrome

Mold toxicity and mast cell activation syndrome

Whether caused by an undiscovered leak, faulty plumbing, or simply too much moisture, mold is much more common than most people realize. And it’s not just bad for buildings—mold can also negatively affect your health.

Exposure to hidden mold in your home or office can lead to a number of health problems, some of them quite serious. One such problem which often goes undiagnosed and is highly under-recognized is Mast cell activation syndrome.

What is mast cell activation syndrome?

Mast cell activation syndrome is a disorder characterized by overactive and/or malfunctioning mast cells in your body. Mast cells are part of your immune system, and they help protect your body from intruders like pathogens and allergens by releasing substances called mediators when they perceive a threat. Some of these mediators, like histamine, play a role in allergic reactions—when you sniff a flower and get pollen in your nose, mast cells release histamine that causes you to sneeze the pollen out.1

Under normal circumstances, your body’s mast cells release appropriate amounts of histamine and other mediators. But mast cell activation syndrome causes your mast cells to go overboard, releasing a disproportionately high amount of mediators. This overactivity can have a negative effect on many areas of the body, including the skin as well as the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurologic systems.2

What are the symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome?

Because it affects so many of the body’s systems, mast cell activation syndrome has a wide variety of symptoms. These symptoms3 include:

  • Skin issues like itchiness, hives, flushing, and swelling
  • Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting
  • Low blood pressure, fainting, rapid heartbeat, and other cardiovascular concerns
  • Respiratory issues like shortness of breath and wheezing
  • Eye redness and irritation, itchiness in the throat and mouth, and stuffy/runny nose
  • Dizziness,fatigue and postural orthostatic hypotension
  • Allergic reactions to food
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet.

People with mast cell activation syndrome may also experience anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction that can be deadly if it’s not minimized with epinephrine (adrenaline).4

How is mast cell activation syndrome treated?

When it comes to treating the symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome, identifying and treating the underlying trigger for mast cell activation like mold toxicity is the key. Also, reducing histamine levels through the right diet and supplementation can be helpful.

Many foods are naturally high in histamine or cause your body to release histamine5 and should be avoided by people with mast cell activation syndrome. Some of these are:

  • Deli meat, bacon, and other cured meats
  • Dried fruit like raisins, figs, prunes, and apricots
  • Fermented foods and beverages like sauerkraut, yogurt, Kombucha, wine, and beer, soybean paste, Miso
  • Nuts like walnuts and pecan
  • Tomatoes, eggplant, other nightshade vegetables, avocado, green beans, spinach, sweet potato, potato, overripe vegetables, pickled vegetables
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit, berries such as cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, stone fruits such as peaches, plums, prunes, apricots and cherries and any overripe fruit
  • Goat cheese and other aged cheeses
  • Shellfish
  • Artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors

So what should you eat instead? Here are some low-histamine foods:5

  • Quinoa, rice, and other gluten-free grains
  • Fresh meat, poultry, and fish
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, and flax oil,
  • Fresh apples, pears, mangoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi.
  • Most fresh vegetables
  • Herbal tea

In addition to dietary changes, supplementing with natural antihistamines like quercetin, vitamin C, DAO enzymes, and perimene can also help to reduce the amount of histamine in your body and help control symptoms of mast cell activation syndrome.

Professional support for patients with mast cell activation syndrome

Conventional medical providers may not be experienced with diagnosing and treating mast cell activation syndrome. With my professional knowledge as a practitioner of Integrative, functional, and environmental medicine, I am uniquely qualified to help people struggling with this challenging condition. Please contact My Pure MD, if you or a loved one is suffering from Mast cell activation syndrome and mold toxicity.

October 9, 2019