Mast cells are a type of white blood cell that protects our bodies from bacteria and other foreign invaders. Sometimes mast cells can malfunction and react in situations where they should not. This is referred to as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) and can cause many symptoms, to include flushing, itching, dizziness, racing heart rate, anxiousness, headache, fatigue, “brain fog”, flu-like symptoms, numbness/tingling, and gastrointestinal problems. In some cases, people with MCAS to be extremely sensitive to scents, lotions, and other chemicals.

MCAS commonly occurs in people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and other hypermobility syndromes. MCAS is common in those with autonomic disorders, such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Many of the symptoms of Long COVID syndrome are suspected to be related to MCAS. Most doctors are not aware of MCAS. However, there are many treatments available to help.

Dr. Saperstein has cared for over 2,000 patients with MCAS. He and his team at the Center for Complex Neurology, EDS & POTS can diagnose and manage this puzzling and potentially debilitating condition.

Diagnosis of MCAS

Management of MCAS

Frequently Asked Questions

(from our social media followers)

Is there Testing for MCAS and can MCAS manifest as asthma, atopic dermatitis with Dysautonomia Peripheral Neuropathies with Dysautonomia?

MCAS can manifest as all those and more. There are blood and urine tests that can be done to look for MCAS.

Research online says long use of antihistamines can cause dementia. But, if someone has MCAS and takes antihistamines every day to help symptoms, should they be worried about dementia?

There are some studies that suggest people who take antihistamines have an increased risk of dementia. This does not mean that antihistamines cause dementia. It may be that people who have conditions that require antihistamines are at a higher risk of dementia.

If MCAS is under control will POTS symptoms improve?

It is important to have MCAS under good control to get POTS symptoms under optimal control.

Would like to hear the explanation / relation for co-morbidities of EDS, POTS and Autism.

There is a lot of research, but no definitive answers. Mast cells, which are dysfunctional in many patients with EDS and POTS, seem to play a role in autism. There may be other inherited factors as well.