POTS and MCAS

Headline reads POTS and MCAS with the NormaLyte logo at the bottom. Image is a white woman with blond hair in a tank top with an allergic reaction rash on her back
Headline reads POTS and MCAS with the NormaLyte logo at the bottom. Image is a white woman with blond hair in a tank top with an allergic reaction rash on her back

POTS and MCAS

Let’s dive into the connection between POTS and MCAS.  POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, is a condition that affects heart rate and how blood pools in your body along with a myriad of other symptoms.  A common comorbidity of POTS is MCAS.

WHAT IS MCAS

Everyone has mast cells; white blood cells within the body that activate to take care of certain bacteria and parasites.  We also know that these cells have a role in wound healing and other roles in our immune system though these things are not well understood.  What we do know is that these cells release chemicals such as histamine when it identifies a threat inside your body.  Some people refer to this as an allergic response.  MCAS, or Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, is a condition that causes people to have repeated and severe allergy symptoms affecting multiple systems in the body.    These cells are responsible for the reactions our bodies have to allergens; itching, mucus, inflammation, and more.

When a person has MCAS their body will react as if it has an allergen invading.  This causes what some may describe as an allergic reaction with increased inflammation and itching.  MCAS allergic reactions may happen for no known reason; you didn’t eat or drink anything out of the ordinary.  Other times, it could be that you have a more severe reaction to certain foods/drinks, detergents, pollen, and more.  

WHAT CAUSES MCAS

The most interesting thing about MCAS is that it has no known causes (yet).  There have been studies that suggest there could be a genetic predisposition to MCAS; genetic mutations that are inherited through your parents.  WebMD states that it is an idiopathic condition because there are no other diseases or clear allergens.  It also states that new allergens may arise frequently.

DIAGNOSING MCAS

Blood tests and different blood panels can help your doctor determine if you have MCAS.  Keeping a good record of the reactions your body has can also help you advocate for a diagnosis if you suspect you have MCAS.

MCAS IN PHOTOS

MCAS will affect people in many different ways.  These photos may help you understand what to look for.  To see more of these images visit The Mighty to see a collection.

Woman with MCAS showing an allergen flarewoman with MCAS showing a flare of an allergic reaction

MCAS AND POTS

The connection between the two conditions are strong.  A study published in 2021 suggests that 42% of patients with POTS show biological markers that suggest MCAS.  Another study done in 2021 looked at the connection of EDS (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, another comorbidity), POTS, and MCAS together.  It found that 31% of patients with both EDS and POTS also have MCAS.  

If you’ve discovered that your body is reacting as if you’re having an allergic reaction without a known trigger, it’s important that you speak to your doctor.  Let them know that MCAS is often a comorbidity of your condition and advocate for testing.

ELECTROLYTES CAUSING MCAS REACTION

Are your electrolytes causing an MCAS reaction?  One way people treat POTS is with an electrolyte solution, or an oral rehydration salt.  This can keep your heart rate more stable and help your blood pressure stay increased in a way that will manage the symptoms of POTS.  The only problem is that if you have MCAS you’ll see that an electrolyte that doesn’t trigger an allergic reaction can be hard to find.

Enter NormaLyte.  We are different from other electrolytes because we have taken this into consideration.  In fact, our oral rehydration sticks were made without preservatives, colors/dyes, and in our PURE without artificial sweeteners.  All things that can typically trigger reactions.  NormaLyte is safe and effective at managing symptoms of POTS without causing MCAS triggers for most.