Many patients with mast cell disease also find themselves with coexisting conditions that may or may not be related to their dysfunctional mast cells (but usually are).
In my case, I have both MCAD and granuloma annulare, a fairly rare skin condition that leaves ringworm looking rashes on me.
I’ve found some pretty good evidence that my mast cell activation disease and my granuloma annulare disease are both caused by my faulty mast cells.
Here’s a list of other possible coexisting illnesses suffered by those of us with MCAD (taken from the Mastocytosis Society’s website):
It is unknown why some mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome patients develop these complications while others do not. But the incidences of additional ailments are rising and multiplying in number per patient. We encourage all patients to report any new symptoms or health difficulties to their physicians without delay. Ultimately, the more complications a patient experiences, the greater risk of increased suffering & limitations, disease escalation or death.
- Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder pain syndrome)
- Uveitis (Iritis)
- Arthritis & specific rare diseases of Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Cystic Acne
- Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
- Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
- Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
- Periodontal disease
- Charcot-Marie Tooth
- Macular Degeneration
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Addison’s Disease
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Vascular dementia
- Cerebral tumour
- Pituitary tumour
As you can see, some of these are extremely serious conditions so they need to be tended to immediately by the appropriate doctor. It is important, however, for any other doctors treating any other diseases, such as the ones listed above, to know that you also have mast cell disease.
A basic understanding of MCAD is essential for any other doctors to treat you for related and non-related conditions.
This underscores the importance of awareness. You can educate your local doctors about mast cell disease by printing off the forms and brochures listed here. You must be proactive in working with your team of doctors locally and bringing in a mast cell specialist if necessary (and feasible) to help coordinate your care, especially if you have one of these (or other) coexisting conditions.
You can find a specialist nearest you by clicking here.