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Comprehensive Mast Cell Disorder Management

Mast Cell Disorder Specialist in New Orleans

Dr. Reena Mehta is a board-certified allergist / immunologist that specializes in mast cell disorders in New Orleans, LA. Dr. Mehta can help you thrive over mast cell disorders like mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).

Dr. Reena Mehta is a world-class physician. She is prompt, thorough, kind, patient, diligent, professional and brilliant. Yet, what amazes me the most is her devotion and resourcefulness as she tirelessly journeys through my complex medical history while facilitating my current special needs as a patient with a mast cell disorder. She is the answer to my prayers for a local, eager, tenacious, and receptive mast cell specialist.

– Lea F, June 2019

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Mast cell disorder specialist Dr. Reena Mehta in New Orleans, LA
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What are Mast Cell Disorders?

Overview

Symptoms

Diagnosis

Management

Mast cells are immune cells throughout the body that produce allergic response mediators when activated. One such mediator is histamine. In a healthy individual, mast cells are activated to defend against harmful bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, and and other pathogenic substances. Broadly speaking, mast cell disorders describe conditions that are related to the overreaction or inappropriate activation of mast cells, causing symptoms similar to a severe allergic reaction. Mast cell disorders can occur in both children and adults.

Mastocytosis

Mastocytosis occurs when mast cells are present in greatly increased numbers and, as a consequence, release an excessive amount of allergic response mediators when activated by dietary or environmental triggers.

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)

Mast cell activation syndrome describes the inappropriate activation of mast cells with little or no observed increase in the number of mast cells throughout the body. Inappropriate triggers can include different foods, chemicals, fragrances, exercise, or stress. MCAS is not caused by an allergy nor is it secondary to other conditions that are known to activate normal mast cells.

Mast cell disorder spots on the arm of a patient in New Orleans, LA

Mast Cell Disorder Symptoms

Mastocytosis Symptoms

Mastocytosis can appear as distinct “spots” that look like freckles. These spots are called urticaria pigmentosa, and they can transform into hives and itch if stroked or irritated, or if the skin is exposed to sudden changes in temperature such as a hot shower.

Other symptoms of mastocytosis include:

  • Anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hives and swelling
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Uterine cramps / bleeding
  • Flushing
  • Musculoskeletal pain

MCAS Symptoms

An individual with MCAS often experiences repeated episodes of anaphylaxis that can affect different organ systems in the body. These include:

  • Heart related symptoms: rapid pulse, low blood pressure, passing out
  • Skin related symptoms: itching, hives, swelling, red skin
  • Lung related symptoms: throat swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath, harsh noise when breathing
  • Gastrointestinal tract symptoms: diarrhea, nausea with vomiting, crampy abdominal pain

Mast Cell Disorder Diagnosis

Mastocytosis Diagnosis

If you suspect that you have a mast cell disorder, it’s important to seek care from an allergist / immunologist that is a mast cell disorder specialist. Diagnosis of mastocytosis can include:

  • Blood counts
  • Measurement of mast cell mediators in blood and urine
  • Skin and bone marrow biopsies
  • Liver function studies
  • Genetic tests

MCAS Diagnosis

Diagnosis of MCAS can require measurement of mast cell mediators during symptomatic episodes and at baseline to look for elevations during symptoms. In many cases, an MCAS diagnosis is confirmed by successful treatment with mast cell mediator inhibitors.
Blood test for mast cell disorder in New Orleans, LA

Mast Cell Disorder Treatment & Management

Mastocytosis Management

Effective mastocytosis management relies on controlling the effects of mast cell mediators and avoiding dietary and environmental triggers. Mediator inhibiting medications include:
  • Antihistamines
  • Cromolyn sodium
  • Ketotifen
  • Leukotriene-modifying agents
More aggressive forms of mastocytosis may require interferon, immune modulators, or chemotherapeutic agents. Individuals with mastocytosis should also be prepared with epinephrine in cases of low blood pressure.

MCAS Management

The goal of MCAS treatment is to confirm diagnosis and provide relief from anaphylactic events.
  • Certain antihistamine medications (type 1 receptor blockers) can be effective for itching, abdominal discomfort, and flushing, while others (type 2 receptor blockers) can help with abdominal pain and nausea
  • Aspirin can reduce flushing
  • Montelukast and zafirlukast can help reduce wheezing and abdominal cramping
  • Corticosteroids can be helpful for edema, hives, and wheezing
  • Omalizumab may help reduce anaphylactic episodes

If these treatments are ineffective, it’s unlikely that you have MCAS.

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See a Mast Cell Disorder Specialist in New Orleans

If you suspect that you or your child are living with a mast cell disorder, it might be time to see a mast cell disorder specialist. Dr. Mehta has a reputation for developing strong relationships with her patients and being exceptionally attentive to their needs and concerns.

Book An Appointment

We are currently accepting new Adult and Pediatric patients. Same day appointments available.
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Contact

Phone

(504) 605-5351

Fax
(877) 637-9467

Email
info@uptownallergyasthma.com

Location

Uptown New Orleans

2622 Jena St,
New Orleans, LA 70115

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