Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD) is another condition which commonly occurs secondary to EDS, and another which I unfortunately battle with on a daily basis. This is caused by abnormal Mast Cells, or the abnormal release of chemicals stored within them.
These type of cells are found in organs, and due to their involvement in allergic reactions are found in areas in close contact with the external environment, such as the skin and the airways. Once activated, Mast Cells release chemicals, commonly histamine, but in the case of MCAD the chemicals released are done so inappropriately. MCAD and the symptoms caused by it vary greatly between case to case and even on a day to day basis for each individual.
My first problems caused due to MCAD were done so whenever I was in contact with water, where I saw numerous dermatologists and various treatments were tried such as steroid creams, antihistamines and finally onto Sodium Cromoglicate (a Mast Cell stabiliser) where I have achieved the greatest relief from my symptoms. As previously alluded to, some days are worse than others, and random triggers pop up such as dyes used in medications, but I’m fortunate that in the scheme of things my reactions are manageable, as in others’ cases it can lead to anaphylaxis.
MCAD is quite new territory, and one, like many, where much more extensive research is needed. It’s prevalence amongst the EDS/ POTS population makes this even more troublesome as many of the symptoms overlap with those caused by dysautomnia, making knowing how to treat certain symptoms very difficult.