San Diego Mast Cell Disease Specialist
There are three major forms of mast cell disease: mastocytosis, mast cell activation syndrome, and hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HAT). Mast cell diseases cause repeated or persistent allergic reactions that can affect almost every body system.
Dr. Brian Modena of Modena Allergy + Asthma is one of the few specialists in this field. Contact the San Diego office or schedule an appointment online if you're ready to get an accurate diagnosis and symptom relief.
Mast cells are white blood cells (immune cells) that are notorious for their roles in fighting parasitic infections and causing allergic reactions. They are found in every tissue in the body but are most predominant at sites exposed to the external environment. Mast cells have pre-formed granules or capsules inside of them that can be released within seconds of stimulation by environmental factors or allergens. These potent, preformed mediators (i.e., histamine, heparin, serotonin, and serine proteases) are responsible for the acute symptoms experienced in allergic conditions such as eye and nasal allergies, asthma, hives, and full-blown anaphylaxis. In mast cell disease, mast cells become numerous and/or very active in the body. There are three major forms of mast cell disease: mastocytosis, mast cell activation syndrome, and hereditary alpha tryptasemia (HAT). In all 3 of these conditions, mast cells spontaneously fire, causing allergic reactions that can affect almost every part of the body. For Patients in San Diego Mast cell disorders can cause a great deal of suffering.
Anaphylaxis Treatment – New Hope
There are countless testimonials of people who suffered for years with mast cell disease before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. For some people, diagnosis and therapy can result in an immediate and significant impact on their life. Since there is no cure at the moment, we work hard to prevent and/or manage allergic reactions, prevent anaphylaxis, and improve your life. Typical mast cell disorder treatments range from allergy medications to monoclonal antibody therapy to intravenous immunoglobulin therapy. If you suffer from or believe you have undiagnosed mast cell disease, call Modena Allergy + Asthma today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Modena.
Getting Tested For Mast Cell Disease
The laboratory testing for mast cell disease is not the best. It typically requires getting a blood draw (tryptase) within 2 hours of an episode or getting 24-urine collections at a time when symptoms flare and while being off of certain allergy medications. Although testing, including new genetic testing, is improving and advancing rapidly. That said, we still depend a lot on your history, pictures, and any prior medical or emergency department records.
We find that almost every person with mast cell disease benefits from regular follow-up visits and preventative therapy. We typically start low with the doses and number of medications and then slowly increase the dose until symptoms are well controlled. The exception is for those with repeated anaphylaxis episodes. Through patience, time, and often trial and error, we find that most patients improve and can resume a normal life.
Getting to Know Mast Cell Disease
Prior to your first visit, it is of utmost importance that Dr. Modena has access to and reviews any medical visit notes, labs, or imaging that you have done in the past. This information will greatly enrich the conversation between yourself and the doctor and speed up the work-up process. Meaning that you may get your diagnosis earlier and start treatment sooner. We ask all patients to sign a Medical Release Form, which will be sent to your email address. After you sign the document, we will fax the request and work with your outside doctor’s office to obtain your records. The process begins with a consultation.
Prior to the consultation, Dr. Modena will review any emergency department records where you were seen for anaphylaxis. Please bring any pictures that you may have of hives, angioedema (face swelling), or anaphylactic reactions. Dr. Brian Modena will likely recommend further lab testing and may include genetic work. Once testing has been completed, treatment can begin, which is typically recommended at the second visit. Depending on how severe your case of MCAS is, several different types of treatment may be appropriate: preventative therapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, and/or anti-anaphylaxis medications.
There are countless testimonials of people who suffered for years with mast cell disorder before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. For many San Diego Mast Cell Disorder patients, diagnosis and therapy can result in an immediate and significant impact on their symptoms. Nonetheless, the degree and time of recovery varies between patients, and many times some patience and trial and error are required before symptoms improve.
Dr. Modena Treats You Like Family
For patients with mast cell disorder, it's crucial to note that many times treatments do not cure or completely extinguish all the symptoms. Nonetheless, there are countless testimonials of people who suffered for years with mast cell disease before getting the correct diagnosis and treatment. The expectation would be a significant improvement in symptoms, prevention of anaphylaxis, and a return to normal life and functioning.
You Need A Plan
While mast cell disease can create a great deal of anxiety, uncertainty, and suffering, Dr. Brian Modena confidently provides testing and treatment recommendations that are most likely to work. His goal is to give you long-lasting relief and peace of mind. Schedule your consultation at Modena Allergy + Asthma in San Diego to begin your journey to recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions
You don’t have to let allergies, asthma or immune system issues dictate your life. With a specialist like Dr. Brian Modena by your side, you can get back to living your best life.
9850 Genesse Ave Suite 710, La Jolla, CA 92037