Mast Cell Activation Disorder & Stress: Latest Research Confirms The Link

The Triggers / Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 / 6 comments

More evidence is showing a direct link between stress and the chronic activation of mast cells. This is from an article over at This could potentially shift the focus to treating the underlying traumas and doctors being more open to the idea of prescribing an anti anxiety drug.

Benzodiazapines are on the approved mast cell disease treatment list, by the way. Make sure you talk to your doctor first (preferably a mast cell specialist).

From the article:

A new study from Michigan State University reveals an important mechanism in stress related illness. It’s well-known that both physical and psychological stress are factors in a range of illnesses, including inflammatory and allergic diseases like irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, severe food allergies, and autoimmune disorders like lupus. Mast cells are a type of immune system cell believed to be involved in the development of these illnesses. The study showed that a specific receptor on the surface of the mast cell is activated under stress conditions, leading to the release of chemicals like histamine that can cause stress-related illness.

It’s not just histamine, either! The mast cell has dozens of molecule chemical mediators that can dump out. Heparin, chemokines, cytokines, TNFa, etc.

Moeser says that many diseases have both a genetic and psychological basis. A genetic predisposition can set someone up for illness, but in many cases that is not sufficient for them to develop disease. “If you are exposed to a stress, which is often referred to as a second hit, now those two combinations often work together to create disease.”

Based on these research results, in addition to recommending therapy and lifestyle changes, doctors may be able to prescribe a treatment that dials down the excessive stress response of the mast cells.

This highlights how important it is to destress and try to think of it as medicine rather than a luxury.

Mother. Wife. Patient. Keeper of Huskies. MCAS blogger & advocate. Living life in the mast lane with the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone as my backyard. You can also find me blogging at Life In The Mast Lane and The Empty Nest Housewife.

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6 Replies to “Mast Cell Activation Disorder & Stress: Latest Research Confirms The Link”

      1. Thank you for the information on Ketotifen…my compounding pharmacy confirms they can do this. Now, I just need to get the prescription. This is a frustrating disease. In addition to mastocytosis, I also have other airborne allergy issues. Am modifying my diet to eliminate the high histamine foods…which is difficult! Recently found a recipe for Cloud Bread, no yeast…just google and you will find several options.

  1. Hi Michelle, yes, I am finding stress does trigger MCAS responses. I’ve learned deep breathing and relaxation exercises will minimize stress triggers or even MCS triggers significantly. It helps to practice these calming techniques daily. I also meditate on bible passages and pray.

  2. Your site is fantastic…thank you for putting the energy, effort and time into doing it to help others.

    I’ve been arguing with doctors for about 8 years over my bizarre allergies, near constant anaphylaxis to some degree for the same time period, have taken somewhere in the vicinity of 7000 prednisone’s (5mg), gallons of child’s Benadryl (allergic to the red dye in the adult formula) skin problems, digestive, sensitive to fluorescent lighting, heat, cold, (urticarial), motion, noise and on and on….only to be mostly told that’s its anxiety and I need a shrink. Oh, and nearly bankrupted in the process, about $300k out of pocket and am largely unable to leave home (two outside visits to the “world” the last 7 months, both times in an ambulance to the ER for anaphylaxis).

    I’m in the early stages of learning more about this, so thus far its been very helpful. 52 year old male, was an amateur body builder, martial artist, an abundance of energy, ambition, loved eating out (haven’t been in a restaurant in about 7 years, never will again) travel….boom, all stolen from me. That’s bad enough, but being called a hypochondriac, lazy, no account and so forth is hard. And that was by the medical establishment. 🙂

    1. Hi TR, I am so sorry to hear you are suffering just like so many of us. We often get accused of being hypochondriacs by the people who should be helping us. Who wants to go from the lifestyle you described living before to being so sick you can’t leave home? For what? A few moments of attention from a doctor or nurse? it boggles the mind that they think we would fake this just for fleeting interactions with mostly soulless entities. Anyway, I am so glad you found the website and thank you for your complements. I am happy to share and hopefully help. Bless. xo

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