Seasonal flares

Ever since I developed M.E. (which as you know I think is a type of mast cell disease) I’ve gone downhill in Autumn.  I’m allergic to Birch pollen so can understand why I often feel rough in Spring as the Birch season begins, but I’ve never understood the Autumn flare.

My histamine is definitely high and last night I was woken at 1am with a mast attack.  I haven’t had a night-time mast attack in ages so quite what set this one off is anyone’s guess.  I had palpitations, tingling buzzing pins and needles all over my body, anxiety, stomach cramps, painful muscle spasms in my back, reflux and generally felt antsy.  If I could tolerate anti-histamines I would have taken some, but as I can’t I just put the telly on, made hot water bottles for my back and stomach, and rode it out finally dropping back off to sleep some time after 3am.

I’ve known for a few weeks now that my histamine levels are high.  My nose is both bunged up and runny, which is something I get in Spring but what on earth could be giving me hay fever in autumn when everything’s dying is a mystery.  My reflux is troublesome, my back painful, I’m weeing a lot including having to get up in the night (which these days I don’t normally ever have to do), my sleep is rubbish (which again is unusual), I’m very brain fogged, my scalp is itching like crazy (which it hasn’t done for years now) and I feel constantly hyper which is exhausting as my body never fully relaxes (although on the plus side I’m getting a lot of jobs done!).

I have been stressed for the past month due to my ESA form, but these flares happen every Autumn so there’s definitely something seasonal going on.  I can’t even blame the weather, which has been unusually mild, calm and relatively warm for October.

Last night’s attack could be hormone related of course, as my periods are now erratic although I’m only on day 19 of my cycle.  However, I’ve had several 21 and 23 day cycles in the past couple of years so maybe this month The Curse will arrive early.  Peri-menopause symptoms are similar to mast cell symptoms with the palpitations, sweating, anxiety, night-time weeing and waking, though they don’t cause hay fever symptoms or hives so I can still tell my mast cells are also playing up.  The combination of the two though won’t be doing me any favours.

I get a bit anxious when I don’t know what’s causing a flare and, as my high histamine level is already causing anxiety, I’m finding that tough to deal with.  When flares like this happen it just rams home that my mast cells are The Boss and pull all the strings and that’s a bit scary for a control freak like me who likes to think she’s in charge 😉  I’m sure it’ll settle down and in the meantime I’ll just have to wipe my nose, platt my legs and get on with it.

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6 thoughts on “Seasonal flares

  1. artfulblasphemer

    It’s interesting that I’m sitting here with a tingling left hand, sniffling and sneezing, achy, anxious and with a pounding heart and high blood pressure. I *can* track mine to the season, as it’s still practically summer here, and Amaranthus weeds and grasses are very high in the pollen count. Also I live behind a farmer whose primary crop is pollen. Where that interconnects to stress is anyone’s guess, as my work situation went to “the next level” yesterday when my boss removed me from a project in retaliation for some things we’ve disagreed about. It’s a chicken and egg argument; without the stress, would I be more resistant to the pollen? If the pollen weren’t high, would my anxiety be lower? It’s all so complex. I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well and hope this flare ends as soon as possible.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Really sorry to hear your symptoms are bad atm 😦 As you rightly say, stress doesn’t help the situation one iota. I hope your work situation improves – nothing worse than constantly butting heads with your boss. Jak x

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  2. Livvy Woodburn

    Hi Jak,

    I’m sorry for your unexplained flares, it leaves us feeling out of control when we don’t know how to help the situation doesn’t it? I feel like this a lot when I have continuous bouts of flares when I’m doing everything in my power not to get the mast cells all jumpy! I’m having a real struggle with a sudden increase in ‘pots’ symptoms just recently & I hadn’t consider the seasons until I read your blog. I have big mould & fungus allergies & wonder if this maybe the reason for the sudden increase in flares & associated cardio-vascular / autonomic symptoms? I don’t know if you have been tested for these potential allergens/irritants? They are a bugger in the Autumn anyway… hope you get some let up soon, whatever the reason.

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    1. Jak Post author

      Must admit I’ve wondered about moulds myself Livvy. I tested negative on skin prick for the top household moulds but wasn’t tested for environmental moulds and fungi as far as I’m aware. Obviously living near woodland there are a lot of fungi at this time of year – whatever’s causing my issues it’s definitely air borne. I must do some digging on air borne forna. Jak x

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  3. Lindsay

    i love autumn because it finally cools down here (i don’t do well with the heat, and lately we’ve had hot summers here), but hate it because my mast cell acts up, too!

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