Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD), Chronic Illness, and its Role in Methylation

mastcellWhat do chronic illnesses such as Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia Lupus, Chronic Lyme Disease, Interstitial Cystitis, Multiple Sclerosis, and more have in common? Well, these illnesses may have a lot of things in common, and a lot of overlapping symptoms, but many patients symptoms seem to be compatibled with Systemic Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD).

So what is MCAD according to Mayo Clinic?

Systemic mastocytosis (mas-to-sy-TOE-sis) is a disorder caused by a genetic mutation that results in an excessive number of mast cells in your body. Mast cells normally help protect you from disease and aid in wound healing by releasing substances such as histamine and leukotrienes. But if you have systemic mastocytosis, excess mast cells can build up in your skin, around blood vessels, in your respiratory, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, or in reproductive organs. When triggered, these mast cells release substances that can overwhelm your body and result in symptoms such as facial flushing, itching, a rapid heartbeat, abdominal cramps, lightheadedness or even loss of consciousness. Common triggers include alcohol, temperature changes, spicy foods and certain medications.


A Slightly Better List of Triggers

The following “triggers” may influence a mast cell response: drug abuse, excessive alcoho consumption, preservatives, stress, sunlight, environmental toxins, bacteria/fungi/mold, artificial colors or flavorings, heat/cold, etc. Minimizing your exposure to these triggers may help redcuce you mastocytosis risk.


I know for a fact that many have trouble with one, many, or perhaps all of these triggers. From that list, I know alcohol, stress, sunlight, bacteria, mold, heat, and cold trigger my symptoms. The only thing I haven’t noticed as a trigger are artificial colors or flavoring, but maybe I am not paying close attention. Spicy food, which is not on this list can be another trigger for MCAD.

Mayo Clinic had a decent list at symptoms associated with Systemic Mastocytosis, but let’s look a little more in-depth of symptoms, since Systemic Mastocytosis has many of them.

The U.K. NHS has a pretty good list. The symptoms are a bit scattered throughout the article, so I’ll modify it a bit to make one complete list.

A Relatively Complete List of Associated Symptoms
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Great MTHFR and Methylation Radio Podcasts from MTHFR Support

podcast-newMTHFR Support is doing a great job with their blogtalk radio programs discussing methylation. Recently, they have had some well known guests who study MTHFR and methylation on their show.

Their next show is on Wednesday January 30th. The link to it is below.

What IS MTHFR AND Other SNPs That Work With MTHFR 01/30 by Methylation and Gut Health | Blog Talk Radio.

Here is some of their previous episodes:
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Detox Cytochrome P450 and More Now Available With 23andMe File Upload

koopfig3Because of requests, we have provided a table under “Detox Profile” that lets you know if you have Detox related mutations with your 23andMe data. This is not the final result. We are still working on interpretation and we are looking for 1 more medical writer who has a degree in biology (or similar) and understand single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

Here is the table of the genes we may or may not use in the final product:
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You Are Not the Result of Your Genes

1209-dnaThe first thing to realize when you are using genetic data is that you are not the result of your genes (most of the time anyway). You are the result of your gene expression and heritable changes in your gene expression. This is also known as epigenetics.

What does this mean? You can’t look at a piece of paper (or a website) and determine exactly what treatments or supplements you need based on your genetics. You also have to keep in mind, that there are a lot of SNPs that we don’t know much about. In fact, there are approximately 23.7 million SNPs identified. Out of these SNPs, only 14.5 million have been validated. The remaining 9.2 million SNPs are candidate SNPs.
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Thank you for your support and generosity!

I would like to thank everyone for the donations and feedback I have received for Genetic Genie. It’s truly inspiring and motivating.

The initial concept was and still is very simple. It’s not much of a site the way it is. I had no idea I would get anything out of it. Before donations, I was actually going to shut it down as it costing money to host that I didn’t have. I really didn’t expect there to be so many generous people.

I just want to say thank you, and this has given me the incentive to invest the money in creating the next version which will be much more professional and have much more robust and personalized “genetic test panels” and features.
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