Mast Cell Activation + MCS

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Chemical Sensitivity News

The Chemical Sensitivity Podcast

The Chemical Sensitivity Podcast just aired an episode where they talk to Dr. Lawrence Afrin, an established physician and expert on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). The podcast explores the link between MCAS and MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity). Dr. Afrin discusses whether MCAS could be at the root of MCS, what the primary symptoms of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome are, and what to do if you cannot access a physician. He also covers medication that people with MCAS might try, and what to be aware of with fillers and excipients.

What I found most interesting was the basic information he shared about mast cells. They are primarily found in the “environmental interfaces” of our body — our skin, our ocular system, our respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and genitourinary tract. They are also in the walls of all the vessels and neurons throughout our body. Normally, the mast cells don’t do anything, except sit in our cells and “sense.” As soon as we receive some sort of environmental insult — like an infection, trauma, chemical exposure — the mast cells explosively release the chemical signals known as their mediators. The mast cells react quicker than any other part of our immune system. The mediators that are released bind with receptors on the specific cells related to the environmental insult. Those cells then adapt their behavior to the mediators. Under normal circumstances, this is a normal process that the body easily recovers from. But in our modern age, the onslaught of all sorts of new chemicals has completely confused the mast cells’ evolutionary wisdom, causing them to malfunction in various ways.

Dr. Afrin spoke a bit about how mast cells can affect the eyes. He has seen a lot of that in his patients over the years and said it is a common complaint. He stressed that the most important thing would be to identify the environmental trigger and remove it from your environment. Failing that, you can try the various medications available for managing mast cell reactions. He has seen a lot of improvement that way.

The Chemical Sensitivity Podcast is produced by fellow canary Aaron Goodman, Ph.D., longtime journalist and communication studies researcher, with assistance from producer Kiana Holland. He airs new episodes twice a month — you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. All of his previous episode topics look interesting and I encourage everyone to check his podcast out and show your support.

Click here to listen to the MCAS/MCS episode now!


  • Julie's life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.

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