Mast Cell Disorders Specialist

Travis Sifers, MD -  - Allergy & Immunology

The Center for Allergy & Immunology

Travis Sifers, MD

Allergy & Immunology located in Kansas City, MO & Lee's Summit, MO

Mast cell disorders are rare diseases that cause symptoms like abdominal discomfort, flushing, and severe reactions to certain foods, drugs, or insects. At The Center for Allergy & Immunology in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, Missouri, experienced board-certified physician Travis Sifers, MD, provides the highest standard of care for mast cell disorders. Book your appointment online or by phone.

Mast Cell Disorders Q&A

What are mast cells?

Mast cells are a specific type of white blood cell. These cells contain chemicals, including histamine, growth factors, cytokines, and heparin. The chemicals within your mast cells play a major role in your immune system, including fighting infections and healing wounds. 

During an allergic reaction, your mast cells release chemicals to help your body fight back. But, in large amounts, the chemicals can cause problems like intense itchiness, nasal symptoms like runny nose, wheezing, facial flushing, abdominal cramps, and even anaphylactic shock. 

What are mast cell disorders?

Mast cell disorders occur when your mast cells are abnormal or overactive. The main forms of mast cell disorders include:

Mastocytosis

Mastocytosis occurs when you have abnormal mast cell accumulation in an organ or organs.

Mast cell activation syndrome

Mast cell activation syndrome occurs when your mast cells produce too many chemicals in response to an allergen.

Hereditary alpha tryptasemia

Hereditary alpha tryptasemia occurs when you inherit duplicates of the gene that increases a certain protein (trypase) in your blood. Trypase mainly contains mast cells, so allergic reactions occur because of the extra cells.

Mast cell disorders can cause a number of serious and potentially life-threatening reactions.

What are the symptoms of mast cell disorders?

Mast cell disorders can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Flushing
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Fainting
  • Rapid blood pressure changes

If you have a mast cell disorder, it's important to be aware of the risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction. 

How are mast cell disorders treated?

The treatment for mast cell disorders depends on the type of disorder and symptoms. Dr. Sifers offers comprehensive care for mast cell disorders at The Center for Allergy & Immunology. 

Examples of possible treatments for symptom management include antihistamines for nasal symptoms, itching, or flushing, asthma-type inhalers for wheezing or breathing issues, and proton-pump inhibitors for gastrointestinal issues.

You may need a special treatment like mast cell stabilizers or leukotriene inhibitors. Aggressive mast cell disorders may require in-office infusions. 

You can live with mast cell disorders, but you need support from an expert. Call The Center for Allergy & Immunology or click on the online scheduling button for help.