Treatment For Mastocytic Enterocolitis: Causes And Symptoms

Mastocytic enterocolitis is a disease of gastrointestinal tract, specifically the colonic part of large intestine. It is caused due to abnormal increase in mast cells in the lining of large intestine. Mastocytic enterocolitis is characterized by chronic long standing diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Increase in mast cells causes inflammation in the lining of colon. Inflammation in lining causes leaky gut, as a result patient suffers from chronic diarrhea. There is no blood or pus cells in stool.

Mastocytic enterocolitis is difficult to diagnose. Intestinal biopsy is required to establish presence of increased mast cells.

Once diagnosed, the condition is very well treated with medicines especially anti histamines.

What Causes Mastocytic Enterocolitis?

There is no known cause of mastocytic enterocolitis, but it is suspected to occur as a result of abnormal increase in mast cells in the inner lining of large intestine, especially in the colon. Increase in mast cells causes inflammation of the lining of colon leading to various symptoms.

Mast cells are considered as mediator cells. They are located in each and every part of body. Their main function is to protect the tissues from circulating free radicals.

Mast cells contain many chemicals and one of them is histamine. When too much of mast cells are accumulated, naturally there will be excess release of histamine.

Increased histamine level in the colon will cause inflammation of its lining. Inflammation in the lining causes leakage of fluid from the gut leading to diarrhea. Inflamed cells will also cause abdominal pain. According to some researchers at least 70 percent of cases of diarrhea having unknown cause are suspected to be due to mastocytic enterocolitis.

Symptoms Of Mastocytic Enterocolitis

Mastocytic enterocolitis can develop as a separate entity itself or may be an accompaniment of cutaneous mastocytosis or systemic mastocytosis.  Cutaneous mastocytosis is a condition occurring due to presence of too many mast cells in skin. Systemic mastocytosis occurs as a result of increased mast cells in various parts of the body mainly the bone marrow. But mast cells are also present in brain, joints, sexual organs, lungs, etc.

One of the chief clinical characteristic of mastocytic enterocolitis is unexplained chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain of long duration. Diarrhea of mastocytic enterocolitis is profuse but the stool does not contain blood or pus cells. Additional symptoms may occur depending on whether it is associated systemic mastocytosis or cutaneous mastocytosis.

In case of systemic mastocytosis there may be flushing on face, peptic ulcer, enlarged lymph nodes, bone fracture, enlarge liver etc. If it is accompanied with cutaneous mastocytosis there may be additional symptoms presenting on skin such as hive, itching, etc.

Home Treatment For Mastocytic Enterocolitis

In medical literature there is limited information of treatment measures used for mastocytic enterocolitis. One of the medications used is antihistamine drugs. Mast cell stabilizers are also used to alleviate symptoms.

Since there is chronic diarrhea, patient must drink fluids and water to maintain proper hydration. Apart from hydration, chronic diarrhea can cause depletion of vitamins and minerals hence he must eat a well balanced diet comprising of vegetables and fruits.

At the same time foods that irritate digestive system must be curtailed. The patient must avoid alcohol, spicy food and excess of caffeinated products which also includes coffee.

One Comment

  1. Douglas said:

    I have been diagnosed with Mastocytic Enterocolitis. My gastroenterologist and oncologist have never seen this or had a case of this before. It was finally diagnosed after I had two colonoscopies, two endoscopes, and a bone marrow biopsy. My symptoms are chronic constipation, bloating, daily nausea, deep hurting in my stomach and colon, and migraines. I took 8 weeks of the steroid Budesonide. I gained 20 pounds and after about a few weeks symptoms are back and constipation, bloating, and pain are worse.

    Everything that I have been reading says chronic diarrhea but I have chronic constipation. I don’t know what to do. Do I change diet to gluten free, take antihistamines, I am at a loss. My husband and I both have lost our jobs and we don’t have insurance now, so I don’t know what to do next.

    November 13, 2017

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