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What is MCAs? Long Covid linked to the mystery illness




People have reported rare immunological disorders such as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), which are assumed to be secondary illnesses brought on by having had Covid-19.

Long-term Covid, also known as post-Covid syndrome, is defined by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as symptoms that arise during or after an infection and last longer than 12 weeks, which cannot be attributed to another illness.

Histamine is one of the mast cell mediators that is released during recurring sudden-onset bouts of severe systemic symptoms that are linked to MCAS, according to the BMJ.

 

But what is MCAS and the symptoms?

 

What is MCAS?

Mast cells release chemical mediators abundantly and incorrectly in MCAS, an immune disease that causes a variety of chronic symptoms.

MCAS is not a specific diagnosis but rather an all-encompassing term used to describe a group of symptoms.

 

What are the symptoms?

Anaphylactic symptoms include allergic reactions such hives, swelling, low blood pressure, breathing difficulties and severe diarrhoea. During those instances, large amounts of mast cell mediators are released.

Cardiovascular, dermatological, gastrointestinal, neurological and pulmonary issues are also among the primary symptoms.

These episodes are known as "idiopathic", which means the mechanisms underlying the episodes is unclear. In other words, they are not brought on by an allergic reaction or as a consequence of recognised disorders that trigger normal mast cells.

 

How is MCAS treated?

The most accurate way to diagnose MCAS, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, is by bone marrow biopsy and aspirate (drawing out matter from the body).

Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is frequently diagnosed with this technique and having SM raises the risk of developing MCAS later on.

Other widely used laboratory tests that are recommended for the diagnosis of clonal MCAS include flow cytometry analysis, laboratory evidence of mast cell mediator as well as using mast cell mediator inhibitors or blockers.

For MCAS, numerous diagnostic plans have been put out. Overdiagnosis or misdiagnosis of MCAS has increased.

This said, the variability of symptoms and "lack of flagrant acute presentation" make MCAS challenging to diagnose.

 

Source: Nuray Bulbul, Yahoo Life UK

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