Anyone with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) knows that it's no laughing matter. A flare can come out of anywhere while you're happily cleaning the house and literally bring you to your knees triggering a pounding head, dizziness, sweats or chills, trembling, bloating, sinus pressure, constricted throat, itching or hives, sensitivity to light or sound or odours, exhaustion, ear pain or tinnitus, fainting, anxiety, mood swings and even panic attacks. A thorough list of all the symptoms would take a whole page to describe.
This type of global allergic response can be very hard to predict and even harder to control as the Mast Cells go into 'panic' mode. Many clients are not even sure what has set off the flare although exposure to household cleaning products, formaldehyde, synthetic chemicals or pesticides, smoke, 'remodelling' or building work in their home, the arrival of new furniture or visits to the DIY store, mold, food additives or intolerances, hair dyes, visits to the dentist's office, and petrol fumes are very common triggers. Any of the above and more can start the typical cascade of MCAS reactions that can be so serious for some that they take to bed and are stay there for days, while some may even need to go to hospital.
In my work as a homeopath I see clients with MCAS all too often, especially those who also have POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). While no one is yet entirely sure what causes MCAS to start in the first place, there are some plausible theories out there including the culprit being an initial exposure to a toxic substance that you may not have even been aware of at the time.
While we wait for a definitive answer from medical researchers, there is some good news. Over the last few years I have been working with clients with MCAS to find out what helps them most to overcome the underlying susceptibility where we concentrate on chronic or 'constitutional' remedies to calm the entire immune system down to prevent further MCAs flares. This can take time and needs the eye of a trained homeopath but during this in depth work I have found that certain 'first aid' remedies can fix the continuing MCAS flares as they happen, with almost immediate relief.
Here are some of the remedies that I have found to be the most effective at down regulating or even eradicating an MCAS flare which I'd like to share with you. When you find the right one, believe me, it's like magic.
As an example, I had a client recently who described their MCAS flares as the 'funkies' which can come out of nowhere; their symptoms include a head tremor, tinnitus, body shaking and trembling (both internal and external), bloating, feeling 'hung over', sudden 'red alert' anxiety and feelings of 'doom'. As yet, we still have no idea what the triggers are specifically, we may never know. But no matter, the joy of homeopathy is that we prescribe on the symptoms whatever the trigger is. This is what my client wrote to tell me recently when we tried a remedy for their latest flare.
"Amazing response, almost as the remedy was dissolving under my tongue! I feel so so much better, the head 'funky' is almost totally gone and I had the strength and desire to go out for a walk within 20 mins of taking it. I’d have been in bed before normally just feeling so 'funky'. Thanks again it’s made a huge difference."
For this client I had prescribed the remedy Nux Vomica based on her individual symptoms but there are several other remedies that I have found have equal success. Here are the guiding symptoms that may lead you to the right remedy for you.
Apis - throat constriction or tightening, puffy swelling of tongue, lips, face or eye lids or other affected parts, facial flushing, feeling restless and fidgety and slightly manic or hysterical, stinging pains, rashes or hives better for cold applications, generally feeling 'hot and bothered' and better for cool air. Usually thirstless during a flare.
Histaminum - this can be very useful for gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, grass, dust and dust mites, chemical allergies. There may be red patches or welts on the skin that appear with a tingling sensation. It particularly effects the mucous membranes and skin - sneezing, red itchy skin or eyes, ears, excessively dry or runny nose, restlessness and congestion.
Nux Vomica - extremely reactive to light, noise and odours, enhanced sense of smell, light sensitivity, trembling in various parts, tinnitus, bursting headache or that 'hung over' feeling, tinnitus, ear pain or sinus pain or pressure usually worse at night or the early morning, digestive upsets, unusual chilliness and increased irritability.
Phosphorus - extremely sensitive to odours especially perfumes, flowers and synthetic chemicals, so much so they they can feel dizzy and may even faint. Sensitive to noise and all external impressions such as the weather or the 'mood' in a room. Brain fog, palpitations, causeless anxiety and panic attacks. Tingling or numbness especially in the hands or feet. Extreme thirst with a desire for ice cold water, yet chilly and better for warmth.
What's the correct dose?
You should take just one dose (2 pills) of the 30c and then wait to see if it helps. If you are a particularly 'sensitive' person then you might like to try putting the pill in a a small cup of boiled & cooled or filtered water and take a sip from the water mixture as your dose. Repeat a dose after 20 minutes if necessary. If the person does not feel any relief after two or three doses of a remedy, try the next remedy on the list that appears to fit best to the symptoms.
PS. Unless using the pill in water method, put the remedy under the tongue and let it dissolve in the mouth. If possible avoid eating and drinking for 10 minutes before and after taking the remedy, as well as avoiding touching it with your hands - try tipping it into your mouth from the bottle lid, or with a clean spoon.
If you're having trouble choosing the right remedy for you and would like extra help then please do get in touch via email or make an appointment. I work internationally via Zoom video and face-to-face in London, UK.
If I'm away from my desk and you need immediate help then please contact the team at Homeopathy247, a 'walk in' online Zoom homeopathy clinic open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Paula Webb BSc Dip IACH RSHom has been in practice for over 15 years and trained in Integrated Health and Homeopathy at the University of Westminster, London and the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider who it is recommended you consult if you have concerns about your health or before starting any new dietary or supplement regime. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, or before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.