Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
“MCAS” is a form of mast cell activation disease which is an immunological disorder affecting my mast cells (a type of white blood cells). What happens it when my body is exposed to a certain “trigger” (could be anything from chemicals in products, ingredients in food, heat, cold, pressure, dust, seasonal allergens, light etc.) my mast cells start to come apart which is called “deregulation”. When they come apart they release chemicals or make new chemicals. The most familiar one released by mast cells are histamine but there are dozens of more of chemicals too. Chemicals aka “mediators” interact with my body in multiple ways affecting major body systems. This can cause me to have many symptoms from minor to severe. It can become life threatening since MCAS can cause anaphylaxis. Most treatment is trial and error while trying to get me to a stable base line. This condition is a more recent discovery, only so much is actually known about it, and only so many doctors know about it too, so getting proper care for it is hard.
Here are links for more information
The Mastocytosis Society: https://www.tmsforacure.org
Mast Attack Blog: https://www.mastattack.org
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
“POTS” is a form of dysautonomia (autonomic dysfunction); There are two parts to our nervous system: the central nervous system (CNS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls all our involuntary bodily functions such as: heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, bladder, etc. There are two parts to the ANS: the sympathetic and parasympathetic division. The sympathetic is considered your “fight or flight mode” so in example HR speeds up and digestion slows down. Parasympathetic is considered your “rest and digest mode” allowing HR to go down and your body performing normal functions. When the ANS doesn’t work right it is called dysautonomia. POTS is a form of dysautonomia I have which is caused by my MCAS (mentioned above). POTS usually causes over activity of the sympathetic division. For example when someone stands up or in a standing position their heart rate increases more than it should, (min being 30bpm) and blood pressure could increase/decrease. Blood flow usually ends up being decreased in the head so it can cause dizziness, fainting and cognitive dysfunction. POTS also causes many other symptoms from the other areas of autonomic control such as digestion, pain and bladder problems. POTS isn’t really well known but an actually very common condition which results in a lot of misdiagnoses (such as anxiety). First line of treatment is drinking more than 2L of water a day and increased salt intake (salt helps maintain your blood volume). There are other forms of treatments depending on the severity of the condition
Links for more information