I’m not allergic to cats. I have fifteen of them (yes, on purpose, kind of). And yet, I notice that if a cat is in a particular dusty area (like my office cabin – yikes!) when I got the inevitable scratch or poke because kitty bellies are so irresistible, even when heavily defended, there would be a raised welt area over it. Like hives. But I’m not allergic to cats.

I did some research and found out it’s called dermatographism and often develop welts or a localized hive-like reaction when they scratch their skin. I noticed if I scratched an itch, I’d often get this too. It’s an inappropriate release of histamine in the absence of a typical immune signal. Something I’m learning because I have friends with MCAS (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome) is that mast cells play a role in a lot of things and are starting to be looked at in relation to fibromyalgia.

Some of the conditions that mast cells affect.

Looking at some helpful links I’ve been provided, I’m going to try some OTC things as followers of this blog know that my doctor is becoming less than helpful lately. Right now my biggest symptoms are the sinus issues and the accompanying sore throat, which I’ve ruled out being related to any sort of reflux and my doctor says isn’t a lingering sinus infection. (I also use a humidifier, neti pot as necessary, lots of warm tea, etc.)

But I think it’s important to bring this up because many people may not know the connection and it’s one that I’m just learning about. It may not be “fibromyalgia gone wild”. It may be something else and it’s up to us to find out what that is.

A great resource: http://www.mastcelldisease.com/

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