Archive for the ‘Lyme Disease’ Category

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome!

Friday, June 15th, 2018

 

Does histamine control your life?   Are you even aware that it might?  You might have MCAS!!

Much of this information comes from Dr Tania Dempsey and Dr Jill Carnahan in the States….  but it is a Syndrome worth thinking about if you’re simply not getting on top of your pain, allergies, nervous system stresses etc….  Many doctors in Australia are totally unaware of this condition.

What is Mast Cell Activation Syndrome?

Mast cells, a type of blood cell, play an important role in the body’s immune system. They reside in all body tissues and form part of the body’s initial defence system. Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. Amongst the triggers are a variety of different foods, exercise, chemicals, fragrances and stress. Many sufferers struggle to identify their triggers and continue to discover new triggers for many years after diagnosis.

MCAS forms part of a spectrum of mast cell disorders involving proliferation and/or excessive sensitivity of mast cells, it has been identified since 2007. It features inappropriate mast cell activation with little or no increase in the number of mast cells, unlike in Mastocytosis*.  MCAS causes a wide range of unpleasant, sometimes debilitating, symptoms in any of the different systems of the body, frequently affecting several systems at the same time. The onset of MCAS is often sudden, affecting both children and adults, sometimes in family groups, mimicking many other conditions and presenting a wide-range of different symptoms that can be baffling for both the patient and their physician. Often there are no obvious clinical signs since MCAS confounds the anatomy-based structure underpinning the traditional diagnostic approach. Very often Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is hiding in plain sight.

Mastocystosis:  very rare and NOT what we’re talking about here…

Mastocytosis involves inappropriate mast cell activation AS WELL AS an increased number of mast cells. It is a rare but relatively well known mast cell disorder and is currently easier to diagnose than MCAS.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): When Histamine Goes Haywire…

Mast cells are present in most tissues throughout the human body, especially connective tissue, skin, intestinal lining cardiovascular system, nervous system, and reproductive organs. They are part of the allergic response designed to protect us from threat and injury.  When the body is exposed to a perceived threat, the mast cells secrete chemical mediators, such as histamine, interleukins, prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokine and various other chemicals stored in the cytoplasm of the cell.  These chemical messengers produce both local and systemic effects, such as increased permeability of blood vessels (inflammation and swelling), contraction of smooth muscle (stomach cramps and heart palpitations), and increase mucous production (congestion, sneezing, etc).   Historically, we thought of mast cells only in relation to an allergic or anaphylactic response.  We now know they play a profound role in immune activation, development of autoimmunity and many other disorders, such as POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).  Sadly we are seeing a large increase in patients presenting with mast cell disorders and MCAS.  I believe it is in part do to the onslaught of more pervasive environmental toxins, moulds and chemicals.

Withouts mast cells, we would not be able to heal from a wound.  They protect us from injury and help the body to heal.  Unfortunately, overactive mast cells can cause a variety of serious symptoms.

Symptoms of overactive mast cells may include:

  • skin rashes/hives
  • swelling/oedema
  • flushing
  • asthma
  • itching
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea/vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • anxiety, difficulty concentrating
  • headaches
  • brain fog
  • low blood pressure
  • fatigue

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) is a condition symptoms involving the skin, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurologic systems. It can be classified into primary (clonal proliferation or mastocytosis), secondary (due to a specific stimulus), and idiopathic (no identifiable cause). Proposed criteria for the diagnosis of MCAS included episodic symptoms consistent with mast cell mediator release affecting two or more organ systems with hives, swelling, flushing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, fainting, heart palpitations, wheezing, red eyes, itching, and/or nasal congestion.  For a diagram of all of the varied symptoms histamine can cause, click here.

Triggers may be medications, foods, supplements, hormones, opioids, stressors (physical or emotional), cold temperature, heat, pressure, noxious odors, chemicals, insect bites, trauma or environmental toxins.

We commonly see mast cell activation syndromes associated with CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome) in response to biotoxins, such as mould, inflammagens, and lyme-related toxins.

Low MSH and Mast Cell Disorders?

As mentioned above, we frequently see histamine intolerance and MCAS in patients with mold-related CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome).  It is interesting to note that a common finding in CIRS is low MSH.  According to this study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, alpha-MSH plays an immunomodulatory role during inflammatory and allergic reactions of the skin.  In addition, there is evidence that MSH induces mast-cell apoptosis(cell death).

Definition of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  1. Typical clinical symptoms as listed above
  2. Increase in serum tryptase level or an increase in other mast cell derived mediators, such as histamine or prostaglandins (PGD2), or their urinary metabolites,
  3. Response of symptoms to treatment
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Mast cells can be activated by both direct and indirect mechanisms as a result of exposure of the host to pathogens.

Diseases Associated with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis,  systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, bullous pemphigoid, rheumatoid arthritis and others.Eczema
  • Celiac Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • CIRS (chronic inflammatory response syndrome)
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Food Allergy and Intolerances
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Infertility (mast cells in endometrium may contribute to endometriosis)
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Mood disorders – anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)
Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Mast cells are known to be the primary responders in allergic reactions, orchestrating strong responses to minute amounts of allergens. Several recent observations indicate that they may also have a key role in coordinating the early phases of autoimmune diseases, particularly those involving auto-antibodies.

Lab Tests for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) – many of these are as yet unavailable in Australia …  Possibly histamine is as yet the only available, but chat to Georgia about what our Naturopathic Labs can offer….

  • Lab tests specific to mast cell activation for suspected MCAS may include:
    • Serum tryptase (most famous mast cell mediator)
    • Serum chromogranin A
    • Plasma histamine
    • Plasma PGD2 (chilled)
    • Plasma heparin (chilled)
    • Urine for PGD2 (chilled)
    • PGF2a
    • N-methylhistamine
  • Tryptase is the most famous mast cell mediator. Serum tryptase value is usually normal in MCAS patients, but sometimes it is elevated.  Tryptase values that show an increase of 20% + 2 ng/ml above the baseline level are considered diagnostic for MCAS.
  • Chromogranin A is a heat-stable mast cell mediator.  High levels can suggest MCAS, but other sources must first be ruled out, such as heart failure, renal insufficiency, neuroendocrine tumors and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use.
  • Heparin is a very sensitive and specific marker of mast cell activation.  However, due to its quick metabolism in the body, it is very difficult to measure reliably.
  • N-methylhistamine is usually measured in a 24 hour urine test to account for the variability in release over the course of the day.
  • Prostaglandin D2 is produced by several other cell types, but mast cell release is responsible for the dominant amount found in the body.  PGD2 is less stable than histamine and metabolized completely in 30 minutes.
  • Other less specific mast cell mediators that are sometimes abnormal in MCAS patients include Factor VIII, plasma free norepinephrine, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-6.

Treatments to reduce MCAS symptoms and lower histamine

  • H1 Blockers
    1. hydroxyzine, doxepine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, loratadine, fexofenadine
  • H2 Blockers
    1. Famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC)
    2. Cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)
    3. Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Leukotriene inhibitors
    1. Montelukast (Singulair)
    2. Zafirlukast (Accolate)
  • Mast cell stabilizers –
    1. Cromolyn
    2. Ketotifen
    3. Hyroxyurea
  • Tyrosine kinase inhibitors – imatinib
  • Natural anti-histamines and mast-cell stabilizers
    • Ascorbic Acid
    • Quercetin
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
    • Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil, krill oil)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC)
    • Methylation donors (SAMe, B12, methyl-folate, riboflavin)
  • Certain probiotics decrease histamine production
    • Lactobacillus rhamnosus and bifidobacter species 
  • DAO Enzymes with meals – UmbrelluxDAO
  • Decrease consumption of high histamine foods (more on histamine-restricted diet)
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages
    • Avoid raw and cured sausage products such as salami.
    • Avoid processed or smoked fish products. Use freshly caught seafood instead.
    • Avoid pickles
    • Avoid citrus fruits.
    • Avoid chocolate
    • Avoid nuts
    • Avoid products made with yeast and yeast extracts
    • Avoid soy sauce and fermented soy products
    • Avoid black tea and instant coffee
    • Avoid aged cheese
    • Avoid spinach in large quantities
    • Avoid tomatoes, ketchup and tomato sauces
    • Avoid artificial food colorings & preservatives
    • Avoid certain spices: cinnamon, chili powder, cloves, anise, nutmeg, curry powder, cayenne pepper

References

  1. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, A Review
  2. Mast cell activation disease: a concise practical guide for diagnostic workup and therapeutic options
  3. Presentation, Diagnosis and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome by Dr. Afrin
  4. Histamine and Gut Immune Mucosal Regulation
  5. Dr. Theoharides presents “Mast Cell Disorders”
  6. Diagram of Histamine Symptoms
  7. Mast Cell Aware
  8. A Tale of Two Syndromes
  9. Mold Histamine Connection

Mitochondrial Disease

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

New Leaf Notes:

This is a great article about the challenges to do with Mitochondrial Disease.  Unlike the medical profession which looks for a ‘drug’ to correct a cellular imbalance we look at Mitochondrial Disease in the following way:

  • high levels nutrition
  • sensible nutrition based on science and what YOUR body can handle
  • detoxification of cell walls and mitochondria
  • enhancing stem cell production and telomere health
  • dealing with stress and pain symptomatically whilst correcting the underlying causes.
  • doing live blood screenings and bio-impedance screenings to see results / improvement / deterioration so that we can adjust our programme.  Generally inflammation improves, but detoxification can create minor side-effects in the short term

3348 6098

 

Struggle against disease

      By                       Michèle Jedlicka          

  • Andrew and Hilary Fuller frequently face the challenges presented by mitochondrial disease.Andrew and Hilary Fuller frequently face the challenges presented by mitochondrial disease.

This week heralds awareness of two debilitating health issues. Dementia Awareness week began yesterday and World Alzheimer’s Day is on Saturday.

It is also awareness week for a less well-known disease. Global Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week is a time where mitochondrial disease-related organisations from all around the world join forces to promote our joint cause- to find a cure for mitochondrial disease.

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Local resident Andrew Fuller, 72, was diagnosed with a mild form of MD about four years ago, the specialist pinpointing the cause to be the Statin medication he had been taking for his cholesterol. Blood tests profiled a rising item in the results.

Andrew’s wife Hilary said: “Nobody seemed to know what it was until he had a muscle biopsy and they said, ‘This is what it is you’ve got Mitochondrial disease. Mild mitochondrial myopathy.’

“He wakes every morning being sore; his muscles are sore, his forearms, his forearms, his legs. He says it’s a feeling, while there’s tingling with it…but the other part is that the feeling after you’ve had a cramp… an ache that’s left with you with that. Fatigue is the other thing.” Andrew finds he frequently has to rest after breakfast.

He often finds it painful to stand for any length of time, to walk any distance or climb up into tractor cabs.

“He was always a very mobile man,” said Hilary. “He used to play football until he was 60 … gone-so that part of his life has changed completely.”

Mitochondrial disease is a complex genetic mutation when mitochondria within body cells have a predisposition to fail early. Mitochondria are found in all cells except for red blood cells, and convert fuel from food into pure energy called ATP to power cell nuclei and so promote healthy cell function, be it a brain cell, a muscle cell or a nerve cell.

The Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, established in 2009, explains: “Since the high energy organs require so many mitochondria within their cells, they are usually the first to be affected in mitochondrial disease. These include the brain (using 20 per cent of our total energy), nerves, muscles, eyes, ears, heart, bowels, liver, kidney and pancreas.”

Symptoms range widely including dementia, chronic pain, stroke, abdominal and digestive malfunction, blindness or deafness, seizures, neuro-psychiatric disturbances and fatigue and exhaustion which are most common, to name a few.

There is no cure and few effective treatments. The principal rule is ‘energy balance equation’. As rest is mandatory for the mitochondria to ‘catch up’ with body function, Sunday, September 22 is “Stay in Bed Day’, a global event to support those who have to rest to stay on top of MD.

The AMD Foundation states: “Recent research demonstrates that mitochondrial mutations are present in at least one in 250 people and that at least one in 5000 will develop serious illness.” Many are children.

“The woman who’s the powerhouse behind the information phone help-line, has two children, both of which have got mitochondrial disease,” Hilary said. “And the girl has had a number of strokes as a result of her manifestation of the disease and now has dementia…she’s about 12 or 14.”

Dementia Awareness Week is the national flagship week for Alzheimer Australia’s community awareness activities each year. The theme this year is Brain Health: Making the Connections. This theme gives organisations and individuals an opportunity to get involved in promoting brain-healthy lifestyles, promoting early detection and raising awareness of dementia.

The Australian Department for Health and Ageing defines dementia as “an umbrella term describing a syndrome associated with more than 100 different diseases that are characterised by the impairment of brain functions. Although the type and severity of symptoms and their pattern of development varies with the type of dementia, it is usually of gradual onset, progressive in nature and irreversible.

“In 2011, there was an estimated 298,000 people living with dementia in Australia. Among Australians aged 65 and over, almost 1 in 10 (nine per cent) had dementia. And among those aged 85 and over, 3 in 10 (30 per cent) had dementia.

The term Younger Onset Dementia refers to people aged under 65 who are living with dementia. In 2011 there was an estimated 23,900 Australians living with younger onset dementia.

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“Dementia was the third leading cause of death in 2010, with 9003 deaths recorded across Australia. For people aged 65 and over, dementia was the second leading cause of burden of disease and the leading cause of disability burden.”

Parasitic Infections & Diseases Caused by Parasites

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Parasites & Parasitic eggs
  •   ES-62 Acanthocheilonema
  •   Heligmosomoides polygyrus
  •   Helminths (worms)
  •   Malaria
  •   Protozoa: see diseases linked under ‘protozoa’
  •   Schistomsoma mansoni/eggs
  •   Toxoplasmosus
  •   Trichinella spiralis  /    Tichinella suis  /  Trichomonas vaginalis
  •   Parasitic worms – see worms

MOST INVOLVED IN   INFERTILITY/CHRONIC ABDOMINAL ISSUES:

  •    Trichomonas vaginalis (causes vaginal   trichomoniasis)

 

Parasitic Diseases

Lyme Disease: Natural Support for your Immune System, Symptoms & General Health

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Is Lyme Disease here in Australia?

Absolutely.  Over the past few years we’ve seen clients who have travelled to the U.S. to be diagnosed since it’s so challenging to find a diagnosis here in Australia.  About 5 years ago we started looking into the treatments within natural therapies to help to get Lyme Disease to a manageable state in the body (for some people it becomes a chronic, incurable conditions that takes years to reverse) creating chronic pain, sensitivities, fatigue and inability to function.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

One of the major problems with Lyme disease is that it often looks like so many other conditions, and seemingly unrelated symptoms in the body. Obviously these symptoms could range from things like depression (therefore treated incorrectly with anti-depressants) to fatigue (and be treated with B Vitamins).  Neither of these treatments will hurt, but nor will they get to the root cause of the problems.  There are several types of Lyme Disease known to exist in Australia.  We use a combination of therapies to help the body start ‘recognising’ these infections, rather than allowing them to live happily in our bodies.

Core symptoms

  • Can’t think clearly (‘brain fog’)
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Swollen Glands – particularly neck
  • Sore Throat
  • Facial pain
  • Jaw and neck pain around the throat
  • Chest wall pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Muscle pains
  • Muscle spasms – usually with twitching
  • Muscle cramps
  • Eye pain – particularly with movement and usually behind or above the eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright light
  • Sensitivity to loud noise
  • Smell and taste changes
  • Intermittent facial muscle weakness and muscle twitching
  • Headache
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Alcohol sensitivity

Common symptoms

  • Fevers – at night
  • Abdominal pain
  • Period pain, irregularity – unexplained
  • Rapid beating of the heart or irregularity
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy)
  • Visual difficulties
  • Slurring of the speech, wrong words, or mispronunciation
  • Word block

Less common symptoms

  • Tinnitus – ringing in the ears
  • Vertigo, a tumbling form of dizziness
  • Dizziness or spinning
  • Motion sickness
  • Imbalance
  • Gait disturbance
  • Fevers – in daytime
  • Air hunger
  • Head congestion
  • Arthritis or joint pains (not muscle pain)
  • Dental pain
  • Genital pain
  • Bladder irritability dysfunction
  • Bowel irritability dysfunction
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Menstrual disturbances
  • Pelvic pain or cramps
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

More general symptoms

  • Fainting or near faint
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty with concentration, reading
  • Disorientation: getting lost, going to wrong places
  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness, poor short term memory, poor attention
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Depression
  • Early morning waking
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability

There may be help for you!  Call us on 3348 6098 and book to see one of our professional staff today.

Madonna Guy ND
New Leaf Natural Therapies