Endometriosis is a chronic, inflammatory disease with no known cause that affects millions of women worldwide.
The effects of this disease can be devastatingly life altering. Symptoms may include painful periods, pain during sexual intercourse and cramping or pain during bowel movements and/or urination. Infertility, scarring and infiltration of the lungs, brain and other organs may be found in more severe cases.
Mast cell dysfunction can trigger a cascade of inflammatory conditions in every system, including our reproductive one, so it makes sense to wonder if there is a direct connection between mast cell activation and endometriosis.
Having a family history of it, having been diagnosed with endometriosis myself, and having found almost total remission after being diagnosed and treated for mast cell activation syndrome, I decided to do some research. It didn’t take long to find the connection.
From a research article on PubMed:
In cases of endometriosis, diffuse infiltration of numerous mast cells was observed throughout the stromal lesions. These mast cells exhibited degranulation, and scattered granules were also observed. In the eutopic endometrium and normal uterine serosa of both the endometriosis patients and the controls, mast cells were rarely detected.
These results suggest that an abnormal immune response, specifically a hypersensitivity reaction, is strongly related to endometriosis; our findings will be helpful in the development of methods for the treatment of endometriosis.
And from another:
Since endometriosis is a multifactorial disease, and considering that numbers of MCs and activated MCs were clearly increased in endometriotic lesions in both animals and humans, use of MC stabilizers and inhibitors may prove to be effective to treat endometriosis and its associated pain.
The endometriosis experts have also acknowledged the connection. You can read more about this from an article posted on Endometriosis.org titled: “Mast cells may contribute to the development of pain and hyperalgesia in endometriosis“.
As a patient myself, I can give anecdotal evidence backing up the research. My endometriosis pain and other symptoms cleared up completely once I began treatment for mast cell disease and only flares up if I am triggered badly or go off of my medications. For me it was like a miracle after suffering with this dreaded disease since my early teens!
Like many sufferers, I had spent years — decades — trying to find relief only to be made worse by traditional therapies for endo. I was given multiple mast cell triggering medications (like NSAIDS) and treatments (like birth control) that not only didn’t help, but flared my undiagnosed MCAS to intolerable levels.
This is why it is so important that those of us with endometriosis as well as our health care providers learn about the relationship between endometriosis and mast cell disease. There is hope for recovery, or at least remission, from both of these diseases — I am living proof!
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