Mastocytosis is a rare group of disorders caused when excessive mast cells are produced in the body. A mast cell is a type of blood cell made in the bone marrow that is involved in allergic reactions and fighting parasitic infections.
Mastocytosis causes the release of histamine from mast cells and produces symptoms which can include skin reactions, blood disorders, breathing difficulty and anaphylactic shock. It can also cause gastrointestinal effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There is currently no cure for mastocytosis and treatment includes taking medication, mainly kinase inhibitors, and mast cell stabilizers. Other treatment focuses on the use of antihistamines to relieve symptoms and avoiding anything which stimulates the release of mast cell histamines such as extreme temperatures, alcohol, emotional stress, insect bites, and certain medications.
Often, people being treated for mastocytosis will carry a syringe of epinephrine to be used in case of emergency, such as a severe allergic reaction. Ultraviolet light and surgery are also used to treat skin rashes and remove lesions.