Fibromyalgia and Histamines!
Most don’t understand the connection or importance between histamines, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Yut it’s been known to be a significant player for over 10 years. The first study revealing that overactive mast cells pump high levels of histamine into FM, ME/CFS and CFS sufferers bodies goes back to 1990.
Mast cell receptors are one of the kings of the central nervous system. We know that mast cell activation causes both neuropathic inflammation (the root cause of Fibro pain), ME/CFS and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).
So, what’s the significance of histamines? Elevated levels of histamines wreak havoc in Fibro sufferers, driving symptoms including:
- Allergic reactions;
- Sensitivity to certain smells;
- Chronic Gut issues, including IBS, which dramatically reduce absorption;
- Rashes, including symptoms that appear to be Rosacea;
- Generalised flushing;
- Shortness of breath;
- Excessive urination, and;
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (including vomiting).
A Histamine Overview:
Histamines are potent signalling molecules or biogenic amine made from the amino acid histidine. It’s naturally found in plants and animals. Histamines helps regulate many bodily functions including digestion, sleep, sexual function, and blood pressure, and in the brain, it functions as a neurotransmitter, carrying chemical messages between nerve cells.
Under normal circumstances small amounts of histamine help to facilitate health and balance in many systems of the body. They respond to foreign pathogens, wounds and allergies. However, when large quantities of histamines are released in our bodies by mast cells and basophils (two types of white blood cells that reside in blood and tissues respectively), Fibro symptoms are exacerbated by an inflammatory response in the nerves – the result, chronic neuropathic pain!
Hitting Histamines on the Head!
Winning the histamine battle means winning the Mast Cell battle.
What are mast cells?
Mast cells are non-resident immune cells that roam around the body like mercenaries for hire and start bossing everyone around when they get excited by an infiltration of filthy invaders - the bacteria. Like all mercenaries, they have their good and bad sides. They show up and marshal the troops when your skin is cut so the hordes of bacteria waiting to get you can be defeated. But they also get bored when there is nothing going on and get up to shenanigans. They show up when pollen gets in your nose and start releasing histamine and other chemicals that make your nose and eyes get juicy and your lungs get tight and wheezy, all, apparently, in the name of self-defence.
themselves get injured, or when danger signals have been continually bombarding the central nervous system from some other tissue injury, guess what? Mast cells show up to join their microglial cousins and make the already bad situation worse.
Then they sashay about the place in their barbaric military garb throwing around their devilish chemicals and rusty spears while the toga clad neurons run about the place in confusion and fear muttering. The result is we suffer because the neurons get wound up and hammer even more danger signals to the brain as if there was a lot more tissue damage than there actually is, so we feel even more pain.
PEA is a signalling molecule made by neurons and immune cells. PEA naturally inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals from hyperactive mast cells. So, when your army of testosterone fuelled mast cells smells blood, or gets bored, and starts rampaging around spiking drinks and getting everyone amped up, PEA comes along like a chill pill and says, “cool ya jets!”.
The immune system is supposed to get involved to clean things up, but at the same time be controlled and not run away with itself. Why these natural processes evolved to cause us seemingly unnecessary pain is not yet well understood.
If the neurons send more danger signals to the brain because the glial cells and mast cells told them to, then anything that shuts down the microglia and mast cells should do the opposite and relieve pain. Taking extra PEA, beyond what your body already makes, might be like calling the cops to come and bust up the party that got out of control.
Because PEA is targeting the root cause of the pain problem, the very immune cells that make the neurons hyper-excitable in the first place allow PEA to act more as a disease modifying agent rather than a symptom modifying agent.
So, if you’ve got a rowdy party full of neuropathic pain going on in your body, contact Elixir Compounding today. We offer complementary face-to-face or phone consultations where we can discuss your individual symptoms and recommend a treatment protocol to get your party under control.