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How Infection Impacts Mast Cells and Histamine Release

In the last post, we looked at the places in your body that chronic infections might be hiding that can trigger mast cell activation.

Today we’ll explain how these pathologies impact mast cells.

Infections like Staphylococcos aureus or Escherichia coli (1) or even Candida albicans (2) (the yeast commonly associated with vaginal yeast infections or oral thrush) contain substances that can bind to toll-like receptors on mast cells.

Malaria and non-typhoidal Salmonella serotypes have also been shown to have histamine and mast cell involvement. (3)

The mechanism of the 'trigger'

Mast cells contain a wide variety of receptors on their membranes. Think of this as a “lock and key” kind of analogy. It will be a helpful way to understand these receptors.

Receptors on cell membranes are like a lock. Each different receptor is a “lock” to a unique “key” or possible set of keys.

When that “key” opens the “lock”, a reaction occurs inside the mast cell. Sometimes the same “key” can also fit into multiple “locks”.

Infections or the metabolites they create can act as the “key”. When the infectious agent binds to a receptor, it acts as a key to unlock chemical mediators from mast cells.

One example of this would be with lipoproteins from Borrelia (the bacteria that causes Lyme) binding to mast cell receptors. (4) This binding is how Lyme can trigger MCAS.

If you have chronic infections that are present in your body, your mast cells will continually get the signal to release cytokines, chemokines, lipid mediators and other chemical mediators. (5)

Don’t Allow Them to Stay Hidden!

Improvement from MCAS involves exploring all the possible triggers. You may never know if you have invisible infections until you go searching for them.

Many of these infections are not detectable through normal lab testing, so it is important to seek out a practitioner who is able to help you explore whether infections are a contributing factor to your MCAS.


Start with the basics.

We’re here to help you with the diet and supplement part! Check out all our amazing resources in the Community. If your symptoms still persist after a few months of working with a practitioner, then you really need to do a deeper exploration.

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