I just shared this article (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/11/15/minnesota-woman-allergic-to-husband.html#) on Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) written by FoxNews on my personal Facebook page. Considering I published Dr. Afrin’s book on MCAS called ‘Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and the Modern Epidemics of Chronic Illness and Medical Complexity‘ (Dr. Afrin was the “online physician” who was quoted in the article), I can say without a doubt that MCAS is more than real, and can be incredibly disabling, not to mention isolating. It can also cause death.
People are dying because of constant misdiagnosis, medical errors that can be avoided, and because of ignorance such as the comments in the images below.
Dr. Afrin’s book currently has 92 five star reviews on Amazon.com — and for a good reason. His book is doing so well because MCAS is far from another “liberal disease” that people can use to get disability. Dr. Afrin is also anything but an “online” physician. He is one of the few physicians in the world that MCAS patients have on their side to help them – who believe them.
Despite any disagreement in what exactly MCAS is or what causes it between the few physicians who devote their lives to researching, diagnosing and caring for MCAS patients (or patients with another type of Mast Cell Activation Disorder), I’m can bet that all would agree that MCAS is far from “only in their patients’ head.” And I can almost guarantee that all would state that beliefs and comments like the ones in the pictures below are a huge part of the reason why so many patients get worse.
I couldn’t be more disgusted. These comments are more than horrific – not just because of the lack of belief in the validity of this condition, but because of the sexist and demeaning nature. And we wonder why chronic illnesses are on the rise – stress, isolation, lack of support, and proper care propels the chronic illness epidemic exponentially.
And dare I say that treating women like an object vs. human being, that their worth is dependent on how “healthy” they are or based on if they can give-up some “lovin” or not, only adds to the chronic illness spiral. And yes, I know it goes both ways – I’ve seen it hundreds of times already.
The evidence-based truth is that MCAS is comorbid to countless chronic medical illnesses, cancers, autonomic dysfunction (Dysautonomia and POTS) and hypermobility syndromes, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
My hope is that more people take the time to actually read the thousands of medical research articles, watch a video on YouTube of a presentation, read through presentation slides, or a book on a specific condition, before making ignorant and judgmental comments. Just because you can’t “see” something, or it defies the medical information that you are currently aware of, does not mean that it doesn’t exist. It also doesn’t mean it’s “all in someone’s head.” More than likely, it’s far from it. However, the medical world has yet to understand it, or disseminate updated information to the broader medical community — and to the lay public, such as the intelligent readers who commented on this article. Of course, disseminating information doesn’t guarantee people will listen or believe it to be fact.
What I do know, is that if research is done and the time is taken to learn, most people realize how very real MCAS and other “liberal diagnosis” are. They would possibly also realize that their mom, daughter, wife, brother or grandfather most likely has it. And maybe they even have MCAS themselves.
But I’m sure we would then hear, “but it’s different, though. He/she/I’m really suffering (or, he/she/I’m not as bad). It’s not the same as the woman/man in ______ article – this is real.”
Yeah, just like the rest of us.
The sad part is that I only read the comments because they would be from MCAS patients or those who think they may have it. Each and every comment other than a few was derogatory, demeaning and sexist.