Your QuestionIs mastocytic enterocolitis serious?
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Mast cells seem to have other roles as well. Found to gather around wounds, they may play a part in wound healing. For example, the typical itching you feel around a healing scab may be caused by histamine released by mast cells. Researchers also think mast cells may have a role in the growth of blood vessels.
The gastrointestinal tract is rich with mast cells that are important in responding to a diversity of environmental substances in the gut. The number of mast cells increase dramatically in response to immune stimuli such as stress, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, or allergens. Too many mast cells can cause irritation of the bowel which may result in chronic intractable diarrhea.
Although other signs and symptoms appear to have been reported by individuals on various online forums and support Web sites, we were unable to locate additional information about symptoms of the condition in the available medical literature. At this time, literature about mastocytic enterocolitis is scarce.
The seriousness of the condition will depend on the severity of the symptoms in the individual, their overall health, and how well the condition responds to therapy.
Treatment of the condition may include therapies that alter mast cell mediator release and function such as antihistamines (to prevent the effect of mast cell histamine) and anticholinergics (to relieve intestinal cramping). To learn more about these and other treatment options we recommend that you speak to your healthcare provider.
- Ogilvie-McDaniel C, Blaiss M, Osborn FD, Carpenter J. Mastocytic enterocolitis: a newly described mast cell entity. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. December 2008; 101(6):645-646.
- Jakate S, Demeo M, John R, Tobin M, Keshavarzian A.. Mastocytic enterocolitis: increased mucosal mast cells in chronic intractable diarrhea. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2006 Mar; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16519565. Accessed 9/19/2012.
- Mastocytosis. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 2012; http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/topics/mastocytosis/. Accessed 9/19/2012.