Mast cells (MC) are an important part of our innate immune system. They are involved in allergic reactions and increasing evidence shows that they are involved in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Understanding what mast cells are, what they do in the body and their involvement in MS adds more proof that MS is an infectious disease.
The only way to recover from MS is to treat the parasitic infections that cause MS.
History of Mast Cells and MS
Mast cells were first discovered in MS plaques in 1890 and years later additional studies have also confirmed their presence in MS brains.[i]
These immune cells are also involved in other diseases like allergies, asthma, anaphylaxis, gastrointestinal disorders, many types of cancers and heart disease.[ii]
Mast cells are involved in MS in different ways. They release immune molecules called cytokines/chemokines that recruit and activate T cells and macrophages (our immune cells). They present antigens to T cells, resulting in their activation.
They also disrupt the blood brain barrier to allow activated T cells to enter the brain in response to infections in the central nervous system.
They also release histamine which causes blood vessels to expand and the surrounding skin to become itchy and swollen. It can also create a build-up of mucus in the airways, which become narrower.
What are Mast Cells and What Do They Do?
Mast cells are white blood cells that act as our first line of defense against parasites (bacteria, protists, fungi and worms) that try to enter our body through our skin and mucous membranes.
They originate from the bone marrow and then live in body tissues exposed to the external environment such as our gastrointestinal tract, the lining of the airway and our skin. They play an important role in maintaining health in those areas.
When parasites are present, MC can rapidly release histamine, enzymes, cytokines and chemokines to orchestrate a complex immune response that will seek out and destroy the parasites.[iii]
Mast cells are found in high concentrations during various parasitic infections, including worm infections[iv], and they play an important role in both the innate and adaptive immune responses to parasites.[v][vi]
Mast cells were essential for the termination of the intestinal Strongyloides ratti infection.[vii]
The responses of activated MC during the early stages of worm infections are important. Sadly, parasitic roundworms can produce a protein that can inhibit the inflammatory response and prevent mast cell activation.[viii]
Mast cell activation can also be caused by protist parasites like Blastocystis or Dientamoeba, and disease causing bacterial infections like Helicobacter and Klebsiella. Injury to the lining of the intestinal wall from these parasites can also cause MC activation.[ix]
Mast Cell Activation Symptoms
The resulting symptoms of MC activation can be wide ranging and seemingly unconnected to a gut infection.
MC activation symptoms can include:
- skin: itching, flushing, hives, sweating, swelling, rash
- eyes: irritation, itching, watering
- nose: itching, running
- mouth and throat: itching, swelling of the tongue or lips, swelling in the throat
- lungs: trouble breathing, wheezing
- heart and blood vessels: low blood pressure, rapid heart rate
- stomach and intestines: cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
- nervous system: headache, confusion, fatigue
- anemia or bleeding disorders
- bone and muscle pain
- enlarged liver, spleen or lymph nodes
- depression, mood changes or problems concentrating
- anaphylactic shock: a rapid drop in blood pressure, light-headedness, weak pulse, trouble breathing or quick and shallow breathing, confusion, loss of consciousness.
MS and Antihistamines
Shortly after my MS diagnosis in 1988, I was introduced to the work of neurologist Dr. Maas of the Netherlands who had MS and treated many of her MS patients with diet and antihistamines.
She believed that antihistamines helped her patients minimize the damage of MS attacks and better manage the disease.
Years later, I discovered that histamine therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and many other conditions started in the 1940s and 1950’s.
Medically trained doctors observed nothing short of miraculous improvements in extremely disabled people in just weeks with the administration of IV histamine.
A first report by Meyer in 1947 who felt that MS was caused by allergies, gave successful preventive treatment on 13 cases of multiple sclerosis. Meyer wrote, “Multiple sclerosis is a long and unpredictable illness. The patients have had a remission for better than fifteen months, but conclusions cannot be drawn from that at this time.”
Dr. Bayard T. Horton
Then later, Dr. Bayard T. Horton of the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota stated, “There is good reason to believe that multiple sclerosis is an allergic condition.”
At that time, most doctors were prescribing antihistamines while Dr. Horton did exactly the opposite. He administered histamine and had great results for both allergic conditions and many other illnesses for which medical science had no answers. Horrible headaches disappeared as did the symptoms of Meniere’s disease. Also ear and eye conditions that were previously thought incurable, responded to histamine treatment.
Horton’s method was in a sense to fight fire with fire. By giving histamine, he lessened the power of the body’s produced histamine that was causing the problem. Instead of suppressing the action of histamine with antihistamines, he used histamine against histamine.[x]
Foster Kennedy, MD
Renowned neurologist Dr. Foster Kennedy professor of neurology at Cornell University Medical College in New York city was asked “Do you believe that multiple sclerosis may be explained on the basis of allergy?”
He replied, “This is a matter of which I have given a great deal of thought for many years and I have finally reached the conclusion that multiple sclerosis cannot be explained on any other basis other than allergy.”[xi]
Hinton D Jonez, MD
Dr. Jonez treated over 2500 patients with histamine therapy, most of whom suffered from multiple sclerosis. His patients avoided foods and environmental factors they were sensitive to and were given histamine IV treatments.
In his book, My Fight to Conquer Multiple Sclerosis, Dr. Jonez stated, “MS symptoms were definitely arrested in one person out of every six treated and everyone who stuck with the treatment consistently for at least 90 days showed improvement. We could relieve symptoms even where we could not arrest them. Many were leaving their beds for the first time in years. One man unable to move as much as a toe for seven years walks one week after he arrived at the clinic. Histamine therapy can make the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame walk.”
He stressed that it is not a cure but similar to giving a diabetic insulin. Histamine therapy that he provided at St Joseph’s hospital in Tacoma Washington became very popular but his clinic was eventually shut down.
Dr. Felix Ravikovich, MD
Dr. Ravikovich’s book, The Plot Against Asthma and Allergy Patients, may still be available on Amazon. It is technical but I highly recommend his book.
This doctor observed that “Histamine therapy stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself and freed hundreds of asthma, allergy and migraine suffers from being dependent on maintenance pharmaceuticals with their detrimental adverse effects.”
His book explains the biochemistry and genetics involved in allergies, asthma and related disorders and shows how to repair these defects.
Dr. Ravikovich treated over 3000 patients with histamine therapy before losing his license. Many of his patients recovered from asthma and other conditions. They attended his hearing in support of his vital work.
It was very disheartening for me to discover that IV histamine therapy had such an impact on the quality of life of thousands of people who were suffering and yet this therapy has been withheld from people who need it and it has not been rigorously studied.
In summary, the role of mast cells is well understood and we should expect that their increased presence and activation in certain tissues suggests that parasites are present there. Instead of identifying and treating the parasites that are causing the mast cell activation, the mainstream medical approach is to assume that mast cell activation is a sign of immune disfunction and has created terms like mast cell activation disease, mast cell activation syndrome and systemic mastocytosis to describe a build-up of mast cells and the immune molecules they release.
It seems that our standard of care has ignored the simple explanation for mast cell activation and there has been an intentional avoidance of using common sense and treating the cause. Treating parasites is not financially lucrative for the pharmaceutical establishment. It is much more profitable to prescribe immunosuppressive drugs to a patient for years. I’m sure that this is why parasites are not being studied or treated with respect to multiple sclerosis or other diseases.
There are real solutions to recover from parasites today!
To restore health, we must focus on treating the cause of inflammation, which are parasites. First, identify the enemy (parasites), then support the body and treat the parasites while following a holistic approach. When parasitic infections are treated effectively, we can overcome inflammation or disease.
If you’re frustrated with the fact that our standard of care STILL doesn’t offer a real solution for treating MS or other diseases, then click on the link below to watch Pam Bartha’s free masterclass training and discover REAL solutions that have allow Pam and many others to live free from MS.
[i] Mast cells in plaques of multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol. Scand. 1974;50:611–618.
The mast cells of the multiple sclerosis brain. J. Neuroimmunol. 1996;70:131–138.
Mast cells and multiple sclerosis: A light and electron microscopic study of mast cells in multiple sclerosis emphasizing staining procedures. Acta Neurol. Scand. 1990;81:31–36.
Identification of IgE-positive cells and mast cells in frozen sections of multiple sclerosis brains. J. Neuroimmunol. 1990;30:169–177.
Mast cells and multiple sclerosis: A quantitative analysis. Neuropathol. Appl. Neurobiol. 2001;27:275–280.
Mast cell transcripts are increased within and outside multiple sclerosis lesions. J. Neuroimmunol. 2008;195:176–185.
[vi] Hepworth MR, Daniłowicz-Luebert E, Rausch S, Metz M, Klotz C, Maurer M, et al. Mast cells orchestrate type 2 immunity to helminths through regulation of tissue-derived cytokines. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2012) 109(17):6644–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.1112268109
[x] My Fight to Conquer Multiple Sclerosis. Dr Hinton D. Jonez, MD, 1952, Pg 22.
[xi] My Fight to Conquer Multiple Sclerosis. Dr Hinton D. Jonez, MD, 1952, Pg. 26.
Clinically diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28, Pam chose an alternative approach to recovery. Now decades later and still symptom free, she coaches others on how to treat the root cause of chronic disease, using a holistic approach. She can teach you how, too.
Pam is the author of Become a Wellness Champion and founder of Live Disease Free. She is a wellness expert, coach and speaker.
The Live Disease Free Academy has helped hundreds of Wellness Champions in over 15 countries take charge of their health and experience profound improvements in their life.