Your nervous system coordinates both actions and sensory information in your body. It is made up of the central nervous system, which includes your brain and spinal column, and the peripheral nervous system, your nerves. This month, our focus is primarily on the peripheral nervous system.
Every Tuesday in May, we'll be posting about nerve-specific topics like chronic pain, nerve tingling and numbness, and the inner workings of dizziness and vertigo. Before we dive in to the mast cell and histamine connections to all of these, you'll need to know a bit more about your nerve cells.
Neurons - what are they?
Nerves are made up of nerve cells called neurons. These cells have structures that allow them to send signals to one another at a very rapid rate.
The sending of electrochemical signals is what allows you to move your muscles for all the tasks you want to do, whether that is picking up your toothbrush in the morning to brush your teeth, or finishing a triathlon event.
Besides signalling movement, nerves also signal sensory information such as vision, smell, taste, temperature, touch, pressure, and proprioception (the ability to perceive your position in space).
What's the connection with histamine and mast cells here?
What are some of the signs and symptoms that your nerves are being impacted by histamine or mast cell mediators? Take a look at this list.
Sensory issues (that’s a topic for another blog – stay tuned)
Most of these symptoms can happen peripherally (arms and legs), but some of them such as pain or burning can happen anywhere, including in your GI tract or pelvis/bladder.
These symptoms happen because your mast cells and neurons are in close proximity to one another. This proximity allows mast cells and neurons to cross talk. The chemical mediators from the degranulation of mast cells can contribute to inflammation and physical injury of neurons (1). Curious to know what the degranulation of mast cells looks like? Check this video out.
Nerve Symptoms: possibly histamine or mast cell mediated?
There are a variety of interactions between neurons and mast cells that impact health conditions (2). This month we hope to shed light on some of the symptoms and health conditions associated with histamine and mast cell activation.
Check back every Tuesday morning to dive a bit deeper in to the connection between histamine, mast cell activation and your nervous system function.