If it Looks Like a Duck A Biased Look at Mast Cells and COVID-19 Long Haul Syndrome

As COVID-19 rages on, an often overlooked group of people suffering with symptoms long after they have tested negative for COVID-19 wonders why and how they got here. A voracious reader of all things COVID-19, I started to notice an emerging trend; adults and children were developing Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome(POTS) and gastroparesis. As a mother of two children suffering with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome(EDS) and it’s common comorbids, including POTS, I immediately began questioning the link between COVID-19 Long Haul Syndrome and EDS. It quickly became apparent to me, to mast cell expert Dr. Afrin (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971220307323?fbclid=IwAR0v_eKD7T2h-t3E-Mua1IwhGXtJBpdxSgS9nZ4_OaS4W_tHISIznv4UmuM), and to our family of EDSers that mast cells seems like the likely culprit. In this article, I’m going to explore the mast cell links to COVID Long Haul and recent effective treatments, most mast cell stabilizers. I know I am biased. I know I see mast cells everywhere. I know I’m not taking into consideration any other possibilities that could account for COVID Long Haul symptoms, but I also know there is an overwhelming connection to mast cells.

What are Mast Cells Mast cells are immune system cells meant to help the body fight infection. Mast cells have small sacs containing many different mediators, like histamine and tryptase. In Mast Cell Activation Syndrome(MCAS), mast cells seem to degranulate and release mediators, even in situations that seem harmless. Mast cells are found everywhere in the body, so the symptoms can be many and debilitating. What do mast cells have to do with COVID Long Haul?