If you have symptoms of a mast cell disorder, the immunology specialists at UPMC Pinnacle offer initial diagnostic evaluation. Depending on the severity and complexity of each confirmed case patients will be further referred to the regional specialized Mast Cell Disorders Centers. Services offered as a component of initial diagnosis:
Mast cells are white blood cells that are part of your immune system. Mast cells release mast cell mediators, such as histamine, which help your body to heal after injury or infection, or get rid of a substance that is causing an allergic reaction. Mast cell disorders include:
Mast cell disorders can be triggered by insect bites, foods, medications, anxiety, temperature changes, infections, fatigue, pain, odors, and hormonal changes. However, it can be difficult to determine what triggers lead to flare-ups.
The symptoms of mast cell disorders can affect different parts of your body, including your skin, eyes, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, heart, blood vessels, digestive tract, and nervous system. Mast cell disorders may cause symptoms including:
Some people with mast cell disorders may experience anaphylaxis, which can occur within minutes of exposure to a trigger and is potentially life-threatening. Anaphylaxis causes dizziness, a sharp drop in blood pressure and, in some cases, loss of consciousness, shock, or cardiac arrest. Anaphylaxis is treated with an epinephrine injection, followed by emergency medical care.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes mast cell disorders. However, if you have a family history of a mast cell disorder, it may put you at a higher risk of developing the condition.
There is nothing you can do to prevent mast cell disorders. However, if you are diagnosed with a mast cell disorder, you may be able to reduce your risk of experiencing a serious reaction by avoiding triggers and taking your medication as directed.
UPMC Allergy and Immunology
Located at UPMC Outpatient Center
21 Waterford Drive
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
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