10 Ambience Video Finds for Mid-Summer

10 Ambience Video Finds for Mid-Summer

There is still so much beauty in life despite the pandemic. It can be experienced through pictures like this and videos.

So I already did one post on great ambience videos for the summer but I decided to do another one. This is because I found some really good ones that others may like.

These don’t all go along with the season- they are just some ones that can be enjoyed on any day!

What ambience videos are

I have talked about what they are in each one of my other posts about them but I will do it again for this one.

These types of videos have nice scenes- some have things that move in them and some are just still. They also have sounds and/or music that go along with the scene. Some examples of sounds/music that are put into ambience videos are as follows:

  • Cooking and kitchen sounds
  • Fireplace sounds
  • Rain and storm sounds
  • Wind
  • Ocean waves
  • Jazz music
  • The sounds of walking through the snow or leaves
  • Birds chirping

and so many more! A lot of these videos will even have multiple sounds combined- just like life.

Ambient videos are great for transforming the environment. If the scene is immersive enough, you may actually feel like you are there without actually visiting the place. The sounds/music are also great for studying, sleeping, relaxing, writing, doing art etc.

Why I like them and I how I use them

About a year ago, I was looking for fireplace videos on YouTube because I thought my son might enjoy it. I then came across the Calmed By Nature ambience video channel and was hooked!

These types of videos are just so relaxing to me and the immersive ones put me in other places that I can’t be in. They help my mental state and even motivate me. I usually put them on my computer while I am surfing the web or typing stuff up. I also like to put them on my television screen

My favorite types of ambience videos are ones that have cooking, eating and light conversation sounds.

Why I do these posts

I think of this as a health and lifestyle blog. Most of the posts I do are health related and there is of course a mental piece to that.

I believe that these ambience videos can do wonders for our mental health which in turn helps our lives. The ability to see a different place or time period can get us out of our heads for a while. Sometimes we need that.

If we are stressed, angry or sad due to something in our lives-an ambience video can relax us. If we are lacking motivation to get something done- an ambience video can energize our minds to be able to complete it.

These deserve a place in one’s life or at least be tried out once!

10 ambience video finds for mid-summer

  1. Star Wars ambience

I am not the biggest Star Wars fan but I do like it enough for this to be a fun one. My son really likes it too!

This was a pleasure to have on while I was reading and working on my novel that I am writing. It also made me want to watch one of the movies again.

2. Gotham City ambience

If you are a superhero show/movie fan like I am, you will like this. Batman isn’t my favorite superhero but he is up there! I have enjoyed all of the batman movies with Christian Bale and I also found the Gotham show to be fantastic.

This ambience video has the great scene of Gotham city. It even changes views of the city multiple times. The city lights, rain, moving cars, helicopter and the night sky make for that immersive experience I like (and I am sure others do too!).

The music is from the show and does indeed have an “epic” feel. It is very energizing-not something to relax or sleep to. I have found it great to clean the kitchen and closets to.

3. Downton Abbey ambience

This show never looked good to me. It just seemed like something I wouldn’t enjoy at all. One day a few weeks ago- I decided to give it a chance because I didn’t know what else to watch.

I was hooked!

I ended up binge watching the hell out of this show. Definitely worth the hype that it gets. I am now officially into period pieces.

This Downton Abbey ambience video is so cheery. The music is gorgeous on the show and I love hearing the longer versions of the songs. I find it great to have on while I am reading.

If you are a Downton Abbey fan, this one is for you!

4. Orient Express ambience

For a long time now, I have a had a thing for trains. I think it would be so fun to ride and have dinner on one with my husband.

Seeing that one of the channels I am subscribed to came out with this one, I had to click on it right away. The scene is exactly what I would want out of a train ride. It is so cozy. I can picture myself sitting in the booth with my husband, chatting away and looking outside as we wait for our food.

The rain and light sounds of the train moving are so relaxing. Definitely great for reading and just sitting around.

5. Japanese Onsen ambience

This ambience video showcases a type of bathing facility (called an Onsen) one would find in Japan. The water is hot and is for relaxation purposes only-not for getting clean.

I find this video to be absolutely beautiful. The visuals of the water coming out, sounds of the water, steaming cups of tea and music all come together to make a relaxing three hours.

I used this while I was in bed for the night and it calmed my body down so that I could get good rest.

6. Virgin River ambience

I am obsessed with this show. I binge watched season three and season four can’t come soon enough! Jack and Melinda are such a good looking couple.

The music on this is from the show’s soundtrack and is so beautiful. I find it perfect for relaxing and reading a book.

7. Bossa Nova beach cafe

This is by one of my favorite ambience video creators. He/she puts a lot of love into the videos and they are always top notch.

This cafe scene by the beach looks so nice and I wish I was there. I love the upbeat feeling of the boss nova with the sounds of the ocean waves. The video is great for relaxing, reading or studying.

8. Date night on a beach

Just like the train ambience video listed, this scene captures a setting that I have been wanting to be in for quite some time.

Having a beautiful dinner on the beach with the sounds of nature all around us-would be a dream come true. Maybe one day it will happen- or maybe not. Who knows when this pandemic will end!

I love the music that goes with the scene and it was perfect to relax to.

9. A picture says a thousand words

This still image drew me in and I had to click on it. Where is this person going? Why did he/she/they stop on the side of the road? Does or do he/she/they need help? Is or are he/she/they in trouble? You can make up many stories from it yourself.

The music selection is wonderful-really chill. I found it perfect to relax to and read my book to.

10. Allegedly the best chillout music

I don’t know if this has the best chillout music but it sure is fantastic! I love the scene as it looks like it would be a great vacation spot. I don’t know where it is located in this world, but I want to be there!

The song selection is perfect for the scene and it was great to relax my mind/body/soul to.

Try these out!

These videos are great and I hope you like them to. There are so many other ones to be found on YouTube so make sure to check some out. They may just make a positive difference in your life if you regularly put them on.

Do you have any ambience videos that you really like?

Thanks for visiting my site!

#ambiencevideos #creators #youtubevideos #mentalhealth #anxiety #depression #relaxation

Current Supplement Stack (Summer 2021) + Ideas for You!

Current Supplement Stack (Summer 2021) + Ideas for You!

I have been a supplement junkie for some time now. As good or bad as that may be-it just is what it is.

Over the years, I have taken many different supplements that I thought would help various physical and mental things. Some of them helped, possibly helped, didn’t help at all or made things worse.

Since I switch up the things that I am taking on a semi-regular basis, I decided to do a post on my current stack!

Getting into supplements

What got me into researching and taking supplements was reading about the benefits of different types of herbs at my local library. There were a lot of books on them and I just found it all so interesting. This led me to eventually reading about vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well.

It wasn’t until sometime in college ( about four years later), that I actually began taking supplements. The first one I ever took was vitamin B Complex. This was recommended to me by the therapist I was seeing at the time. She said that it may help with my mood so I rushed out to get it!

The vitamin B Complex gave me a noticeable mood boost plus a little bit of physical energy. I took them daily for a while but then stopped.

After I really started getting into fitness, I became interested in supplements that were marketed for fat loss and physical performance during exercise. I tried quite a few different products by different brands.

After using the fat loss and physical performance products for a while, I began to get interested in supplements that could possibly extend my life. I then dropped the other supplements and started taking these ones.

I eventually slowed down on taking supplements to where I was only taking one or two daily. That all ended when the pandemic started. I was (and still am!) terrified of this virus so I started taking things that I thought would help prevent and treat it if I got it again.

My current supplement stack

I dealt with post-COVID symptoms for a long time. I am not sure if all of the supplements helped or if time did. Since I got my Moderna shots and started to feel back to normal, I changed around what I take.

Here are is what I take now and why (will also include OTC medications):

  • 6,000 IUs of Vitamin D3- I take this to hopefully boost my immune system, treat a deficiency I may have and to help out my bones.
  • 1,000 mg of Vitamin C- I take this just for the antioxidant benefit.
  • 100 mg of CoQ10- I take this for the heart and blood pressure lowering benefits.
  • 1000 mcg of B12- I first began taking this to help with some post-COVID issues such as tinnitus, possible nerve issues and my mood. I don’t know if it has actually helped me but I will continue to take it anyway as it is not hurting me. The one I take is time-release because those don’t hurt my stomach at all.
  • 50 mg of B6- I take this because it is great for women’s health- PMS in particular. I do notice a difference when it comes to breast pain leading up to my period.
  • SuperGreen Tea Immunity- I drink three cups of this a day for the immune system benefits.
  • 1,100 mg of ginger- This is for my stomach issues but I honestly don’t think it really helps. After this container I might not buy anymore and just get ginger from the tea I drink.
  • Tummy Tuneup probiotics- I take these probiotics to help out my gut. I will be doing a review on them soon.
  • 40 mg of Pepcid- This is for my Mast Cell issue. It is to help my GERD and GI issues.
  • 5-10 mg of Claritin- This is also for my Mast Cell issue. Taking this has really helped with pain, itching and hives that I get frequently.
  • 1 cup of Welch’s Grape juice- My family and I drink this everyday to prevent stomach viruses. We have been doing this for years after reading about it on a parenting blog.
  • 1 Brazil nut- I take this to meet my daily selenium requirements. I take this because it could possibly help with PCOS. After I finish the bag of nuts, I will probably not buy anymore as it really isn’t necessary.

If you are reading this and have kids, I thought you would be interested in reading what I give to my son. The following are what he gets on a daily basis:

  • Echinacea syrup- I just started giving this to him in hopes that it will boost his immune system. He loves the taste and takes it straight but other kids would probably do better with it mixed into their drinks. I give him 30 drops a day.
  • Smarty Pants vitamin gummies- My son absolutely loves these! They are packed with a blend of great vitamins and also include omega-3s.
  • 1 packet of Culturelle Probiotic powder- I mix this into my son’s juice in hopes that it will help his gut and immune system.
  • 1/2 tsp of liquid colostrum- I mix this into my son’s juice in hopes that it will help his immune system.

Some ideas for you

I do realize that it is best to get all your nutrients from food. It can be hard to do so however. Plus, I think some people need extra of certain ones than others do.

The following are some delicious foods that you can eat on a regular basis to get some of the nutrients that I take:

  • Omelets with mushrooms-This gives you a good amount of vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium and more.
  • Regular yogurt with fresh or frozen strawberries- This gives you some good probiotics for your gut along with vitamin C and CoQ10 from the strawberries.
  • Chicken and lentils- Recipes using these two ingredients will provide a lot of B vitamin goodness! This Moroccan chicken and lentils recipe is a good one to try.
  • Ginger tea- Instead of buying capsules, you can make tea using fresh ginger. Just slice some up and boil it on the stovetop. You can add honey to it if you want. This drink may help with things like nausea, cold symptoms and possibly menstrual cramps.

So, there it is!

This is what I am taking right now. I will probably make some changes to my stack but most of it will always be there.

Do you take any supplements? If so, which ones?

Thanks for reading!

#supplements #health #fitness #womenshealth #covid19 #supplementstack #immunesystem

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, so therefore I am not here to diagnose and treat anyone. These are just supplements I have made the decision to use. Always consult with your doctor if you want to start taking supplements.

*I have linked affiliate products on this blog post. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I will get some money out of it.

My Post-COVID Adventures: How I Am Doing

My Post-COVID Adventures: How I Am Doing

After having a 12 day bout of COVID early on in the pandemic, I suffered for months with uncomfortable symptoms. They all ranged in severity, frequency and prominence.

Bottom line- it was not fun! Read on if you want to know how I am doing now.

The acute phase of my COVID infection

It all started in late February. I started getting these waves of really mild aches in my body- so light that I didn’t know if it was actually something or nothing. This was eventually accompanied by some teeth pressure a few hours later.

Not only did I think/know I was getting sick, I also had this dark and ominous feeling. Like some kind of horrible shift was going to happen in life. This feeling occurred before I even read about COVID. I don’t know where it came from.

My symptoms began to progress after about two days. The aches worsened and other discomforts came along. The following are all of the symptoms that I dealt with:

  • Body aches
  • Stomach cramps/nausea
  • No appetite
  • Things didn’t taste right or good
  • Stuffed up and runny nose
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sometimes scratchy/tickly throat
  • Chills with no fever
  • High heart rate (at the end of the acute phase)

I don’t know if all of this would be considered a mild or moderate infection but it definitely was not fun. I didn’t think I was going to die like I did when I had Influenza type A though. That was horrific to say the least.

I was so lucky that my husband was happily doing all of the cares for our son during the time I was sick. Neither of them ever got sick from me and I believe it is because they already had it. Or maybe they were just lucky?

After recovering from the acute phase-I was so happy to be back to feeling like myself again. Little did I know that things would get weird for me in a week or so.

My post-COVID adventures

About a week after recovering, I started noticing that my chest didn’t feel right. It was really tight and like someone was sitting on it. This confused and scared me.

After a couple days of the tight chest, a whole slew of other symptoms came into the mix. When it comes to typing out all of these symptoms, I organize them by acute and chronic. This is due to part of my post-COVID experience being much worse.

So without further ado, here are all of the lovely things I have dealt with after having COVID-19:

The acute phase(end of March-September)-

  • Bad ear aches*
  • Shortness of breath*
  • chills with no fever*
  • Clogged ears
  • Popping in ears
  • Tinnitus
  • Insomnia
  • Adrenalin rushes when drifting off to sleep*
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sweaty feet
  • Bouts of pink eye
  • Itchy eyes and eye lids
  • Rashes
  • Mottled skin
  • Feeling cold in hot weather
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Incontinence
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness
  • Tickly or scratchy throat
  • Chest pain*
  • Post nasal drip
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose

The chronic phase (October and on)-

  • Stomach pains
  • Elevated temperature when taken at my neck glands
  • Chest pain*
  • Headaches*
  • Bouts of shortness of breath
  • Itchy nose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Tinnitus
  • Tickly or scratchy throat

The symptoms I listed for each phase were not constant and at the same time. They were frequent enough (especially in the acute phase) to be quite bothersome in my daily life. The ones with the asterisks by them were the worst ones for me during the phases.

In February and March, I got vaccinated (Moderna). My second shot led to me feeling as if I had gotten COVID all over again except with even worse body aches. It was really upsetting to me and I actually cried a couple times because I thought I took big steps back in my recovery.

How I am doing now

About 12 days after my Moderna, I felt so much better and it has continued on. It has been amazing!. I thought that I was going to be stuck with the rough side effects forever.

The chest pains were the worst part of my post-COVID adventures and I was so glad that they went away-and have stayed away!

The one thing I have had since mid March has been some bouts of shortness of breath the day before my period starts. That is the only time it happens though so I am happy about that. Before, it was at least every other day where I had bouts of it.

The vaccine has been helping some people with post-COVID symptoms get better but I am not sure if that is what helped me or if it was just time. I have the same feeling when it comes to whether all of the supplements I was taking helped me.

What you can do if you are suffering

If you have recovered from a COVID-19 infection and are experiencing some unpleasant symptoms, you are not alone. Many people are complaining of lingering symptoms after the acute phase of their infection.

All viruses have the potential to cause lasting damage but it seems that it is more likely with COVID-19.

The unfortunate thing is that there is no known cure or good treatment that we know of yet for post-COVID syndrome. Scientists and medical researchers are still looking into all of this.

The following are some things that you can do if you are suffering:

  • Contact a doctor: It is a good idea to get in touch with a doctor and explain your symptoms to them. They can take a look at various things, run some tests and come up with a plan for you if something is found. If a doctor is not listening to you and tries to brush your suffering, think about contacting another doctor that may listen to you.
  • Reach out to family and friends: It is important to have some social support during your rough patch. If you have good people in your life, call/text/Zoom them once in a while.
  • Join support groups: There are quite a few support groups for people suffering from lasting effects of the virus. If you find yourself having a rough time mentally when part of a group, it is best to stop visiting it for a while. You don’t need another bad thing on your plate.
  • Breathing exercises: If you are having shortness of breath, it may be a good idea to look into the various breathing exercises out there. These can help so much if this is one of your post-COVID struggles.
  • Pacing yourself: For some people, doing too much may make the symptoms worse. Everyone has a different definition of “too much” so it is important to figure out what makes your body tick and don’t push it too far past that.
  • Try to get some physical movement in: Even though you should practice pacing yourself, you should still move around a little bit. This means getting up once in a while if you are dealing with bad fatigue. Work those limbs a bit.
  • Have a nourishing diet if you can: It is really important to get most of the necessary nutrients this way. Eating a lot of low nutrient food may make things worse for you.

When it comes to taking supplements or other OTC things, it may be important to check with your doctor first. If you don’t want to do that, make sure to do a lot of research on what you are considering taking.

What you can do if you know someone who is suffering

If there is someone in your life that is suffering from post-COVID symptoms, try to provide some support to them. Having chronic health issues can do a number on one mentally so it is a good idea to reach out once in a while.

Other things you can do for them include dropping off groceries, picking up medications, setting their mail inside the door and more. Doing these acts of kindness are likely to be much appreciated.

Just think about how you would want to be treated if you were suffering with the after effects of COVID-19 and treat them that way too.

So, this is my current story

I am doing very well right now health wise in regards to my post-COVID symptoms. A flare up of them is always possible though. Fortunately, I have gained the tools necessary to get on the other side of any rough patches that occur.

Are you or anyone you know suffering with post-COVID symptoms? I would be really interested to read about it.

Thanks for reading!

#covid19 #covidlonghaulers #postviral #viriology #coldandflu #conqueringthislife #immunesystem #symptoms #supplements

5 Lower Body Exercises That Helped Me Most

5 Lower Body Exercises That Helped Me Most

Lower body workout days are usually not a favorite for many. They are definitely not one of mine! It is still important to do them though because of the benefits they have.

Recently, my legs have become shapelier (in a good way!) than they have been in the past and I attribute it to a few different exercises. I wanted to show you which ones they are in this post and maybe you can add them into your lower body days too!

Why people skip (or are tempted to) lower body day

There are some reasons as to why lower body day is not especially liked and looked forward to. While everyone has their own reasons, here are the common ones:

  • The exercises are tough- Some people find the lower body exercises to be tougher than upper body ones. This may make them mentally and physically difficult through.
  • The exercises are boring- Some people think that lower body exercises are actually boring for whatever reason. This makes it hard to get through them mentally.
  • Next day soreness- The toughness of the exercises may make it hard to move around the next day. Since most people have things to do that require them to be on their feet each day, the lower body workouts can look less than attractive.
  • Worried about “bulking up”- Some women are worried that their legs are going to end up looking bulky after doing lower body workouts.

People just don’t like them! You can even find many threads/posts on forums where people profess their hatred of them.

Why you shouldn’t skip them

Despite lower body workouts not being preferred by a lot of people, they are still important to do. Here are the reasons why one shouldn’t skip these workouts:

  • They balance out our bodies- If you regularly neglect your lower body when it comes to your workout routine, this area of your body may not match with the upper area. For example, you may have a good amount of muscle built up in your upper body but be weak in your lower body.
  • Provides the strength to get around- To get around in life, we need to have strength in our legs/pelvis/hips/lower back/abdomen. Lower body workouts help with this!
  • Boosts metabolism- Strength workouts may not burn as many calories as cardio workouts but they do help boost the metabolism for up to two days afterwards.
  • Sculpts and shapes- Doing regular lower body workouts can help give your legs a nice appearance.
  • Bone health- Strength training in general helps build and maintain healthy bones as well as lower the risk of osteoporosis. This is why it is recommended especially for older adults as bone loss increases as we age.
  • Improves cardio fitness- Strengthening your lower body helps with your overall physical fitness level. This means that it may help you advance in your cardio workouts (faster and/or able to go longer).

There are probably more reasons why you should not skip lower body workouts but the above should be enough!

My lower body

Ever since I was around 12- I have hated my lower body. It always looked big and fat to me no matter how skinny I got.

Since I started getting into weightlifting though, I never wanted to skip my lower body days because I thought that my legs would get even bigger. I have wanted to skip them because the exercises feel harder to me and I find them taxing to do (mentally and physically).

When I first read about lifting weights, I also read about the bulking myths. That is why I have never been worried about doing lower body workouts from that aspect- I had the true information right away.

Over the past few years, I have slowly come to accept my lower body. It is always going to be a little bit thicker then I want it to be due to my obvious dysmorphia issue though.

The 5 lower body exercises that helped me the most

Recently, I have noticed a wonderful change of shape in my lower body. My legs are looking better with more of a “curve” to them and my butt is perkier. I believe that this has to do with these five exercises that I have added into my workouts these past few months:

  1. Side lunges-

I don’t know how I only read about these lunges a year or so ago but I am glad I did. I have been doing them more recently and I love them.

2. Single leg glute bridges-

Whew! These can be tough but I feel that they have been a game changer for my butt.

3. Forward lunges-

I am used to doing reverse lunges as I thought that they would help my butt. Switching to forward lunges has seemingly helped to make my legs look better so I am going to continue to do them regularly.

4. Curtsy lunges-

I was looking for new lower body exercises to do one day and came across these. I thought they were weird and awkward at first but I have come to really like them. They are supposed to be great for the butt and I have to say that I think they worked for me!

5. Narrow squats-

I have been doing these narrow squats more regularly for the past three months now. The fact that they work the quads makes me think that they are one of the reasons why my legs are looking the way they do.

So, there you have it!

Those were the five different lower body exercises that have helped me the most in terms of getting the look that I want. I am still in awe of how effective they have been for me which makes me more motivated to do these workouts.

Remember that it is important to not skip working your lower body. So get out your weightlifting equipment and get to work!

Have you tried any of these five exercises? If so, how did you like them?

Thanks for reading!

#legday #homeworkouts #homegym #womenwholift #weightlifting #fitness

All About Mast Cell Diseases + A Short Book Review

All About Mast Cell Diseases + A Short Book Review

As I have said in a quite a few of my posts- I am always trying to “crack the code” on myself. My physical and physiological state has not been optimal for a while as I struggle with symptoms that pop up frequently.

Very recently, I heard about mast cells and how they can pose health problems for some people. I ended up reading a lot about the topic on the internet and also bought a book on it. In doing this, I am led to believe that I may have a mast cell issue.

For this post, I will be talking all about mast cell diseases (in a simple way!) and provide a review of the book I read.

What mast cells are and do

Mast cells are found in our connective tissue which means that they are in multiple areas of the body. These areas include our nerves, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary tract, uterus, endometrial tissues, blood vessels and near the skin.

The mast cells defend against substances (also called antigens) that can tick off our system. When these cells are ready to “fight,” they release the chemicals that they contain. The chemicals include histamine, interleukins and heparin.

When the aforementioned chemicals come out of the mast cells, we may end up feeling uncomfortable mental and physical effects. Because of this, we have come to learn that mast cells are responsible for allergic and other inflammatory reactions.

About mast cell diseases

Some people have a harder time than others when it comes their mast cells. They may have too many of them and/or they overrespond to certain agents that bind to them. This is when one is considered to have a mast cell disease.

In the mast cell disease category, there are variants. These include systemic mastocytosis, cutaneous mastocytosis, smoldering mastocytosis, mast cell sarcoma (extremely rare with a poor prognosis) and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).

All but MCAS involve having too many mast cells. MCAS is when one has a normal amount of mast cells but they hyper-respond to various substances.

Symptoms for mast cell diseases can include the following:

  • Itching
  • Flushing
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Shortness of breath
  • Body pain/aches
  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness
  • GERD
  • Mood swings
  • Sore/swollen throat
  • Heart rate issues
  • Chest pain
  • Uterine and/or ovary cramps

As you can see, there are a lot of symptoms that people with mast cell diseases may end up dealing with. Again, this is due to these cells being in many places of the body.

Although all of the mast cell disease can have the symptoms listed, the ones that occur in the mastocytosis variants are typically worse and in some cases-life threatening (i.e. anaphylaxis). They can also cause organ damage.

There are many things that can trigger mast cell reactions and they differ from person to person. These triggers can include the following:

  • Different types of food
  • Infections (bacterial, viral and fungal)
  • Stress
  • Weather changes and extreme temperatures
  • Certain medications
  • Environmental allergens (i.e. pollen)
  • Chemicals (such as the ones found in cleaners)
  • Fragrances
  • Exercise
  • Insect bites

The time before a reaction from any of the above things can range from a minute to 24 hours later.

Diagnosing mast cell diseases involves multiple steps. The following is the pathway to a diagnosis:

1. Talking to a doctor about all of your symptoms is how to get the ball rolling on a mast cell diagnosis. There should also be a discussion on one’s medical history as that can be of help too.

2. Getting a comprehensive work-up done is the second step if the doctor is on board with the possibility of a mast cell disease. This may include mental health testing, blood work, physical examinations, endoscopies, echocardiograms, skin prick tests, CT scans and more. Doing all of this will help to rule out any other problem that may be causing the symptoms.

This step is also when a serum tryptase level should be looked at. If the level of this is high, it likely indicates a mast cell problem.

3. Once a mast cell disease is figured out to be the likely cause of the symptoms one is experiencing, a response to treatment for it needs to be seen. If one responds well to the treatment and sees their symptoms clear up or greatly reduced, a mast cell disease is given as a diagnosis. If a person doesn’t get better after trying the treatment, an adjustment in the treatment may be done or another diagnosis may be looked into.

Mast cells and women’s health

There are not very many studies on this topic. This seems to be the norm when it comes women’s health and it is unfortunate!

What researches have found out is that female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) may make mast cell diseases worse. This is typically the case when sex hormones are high. This may show up as having worsening asthma during parts of one’s cycle, having more severe PMS/PMDD and having a higher reaction to allergens.

Mast cells also may be found in endometrial tissues, the uterus and ovaries. Since this group of diseases cause these cells to be overreactive and/or there are too many of them, these are also areas where discomfort can happen.

Mast cells and COVID-19

There has been some buzz about a correlation between mast cell diseases and COVID-19. Some hypothesize that they may play a role in severe COVID infections and post-COVID syndrome.

The idea for post-COVID syndrome is that it is due to a hyperinflammatory response. This is why the symptoms (i.e. brain fog, fatigue, rashes, respiratory issues and more) seem to be similar to that of a mast cell disease.

It is important to note that some people who begin to grapple with mast cell issues after recovering from COVID-19, may have had it before. Their symptoms could have just gotten worse due to the infection which made things more noticeable and uncomfortable. As with all other infections though, the mast cell issues could be caused by COVID-19 in some people.

Treatments

There are a variety of different medications that can treat mast cell diseases. The medications are in different drug classes which makes them target different issues. People with mast cell diseases need more than one medication to treat the assortment of symptoms they have.

Here are some examples of treatments for mast cell diseases and what symptoms they help with:

  • Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec or Allegra- These help with itching, flushing, sneezing, runny noses, headaches, abdominal pain, sometimes nausea and brain fog.
  • Pepcid- This may help with GERD and abdominal pain.
  • Singulair- This helps with asthma symptoms.
  • Cromolyn sodium- This helps with GI flare ups.
  • Quercetin- This supplement may help with brain fog.
  • Prilosec and Nexium- These two medications are to help with GERD symptoms.
  • Aspirin- This may help with brain fog and pain. It also is considered a general mast cell stabilizer (stops the cells from overresponding).
  • Prednisone- This corticosteroid may help to calm the immune response down.
  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (chemotherapy)- These may help in the symptoms of advanced mastocytosis.
  • Adopting a low histamine diet- This kind of diet involves eating foods that are considered to be low in histamine. Some people this to be too restrictive and/or not helpful though.

It is important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. Also, do some research of your own to figure out what you would even be willing to try.

Short book review

I had the distinct pleasure of reading, Mast Cells United by Amber Walker. It took a couple weeks for me to actually pick it up and starting reading it but boy when I did-I could not put it down!

I was hooked almost right away when I read the author’s story of her “abdominal attacks.” GI related issues have been my main problem for the past six years now and knowing that she got to the bottom of her flare ups-intrigued me.

So I read all the way to the end in a few days!

The detail that Amber put into her book is amazing. What you see on mast cell diseases on the internet are just summaries. This book provides even more information so that you can understand things better in regards to what may be happening in your body.

My favorite parts of the book are the sections on medications, supplements and holistic healing practices that may help in the management of mast cell diseases. The topics/information is right up my alley so I thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

Everything you could ever want to know about mast cells and mast cell diseases is probably in this book. It is just so extremely well researched and organized. I would highly recommend it for others who are looking into a mast cell disease diagnosis.

Next steps for me

When looking back on my life from a medical standpoint, I really believe that I have some degree of mast cell activation syndrome. I think that pregnancy and giving birth made it worse (I still love my son to pieces!).

The GI flare ups I get are horrific. I remember getting them going back many years but the past few years has been the worst. They involve gassiness, severe cramping, extreme nausea and bloating. Yuck!

Some days I even go into full body distress where it feels like every part is getting attacked. I will have the GI issues along with limb/joint pain, rashes, hives, tingling feet, headaches, chest pain, high heart rate, shortness of breath, back pain, ovary cramps and loose stools.

I am not going to get my hopes up too high when I treat myself as if I have a mast cell diagnosis. I am just going to see what happens. If it helps-great. If it doesn’t help-onto the next possible treatment (s).

So here is what I am going to do about this whole mast cell thing:

  • I will not be seeking diagnosis because my doctor would never allow it (he doesn’t believe in it).
  • I will be treating myself with some OTC treatments which include vitamin C (I will boost dosage to 2000 mg), Claritin (I will boost this to 10 mg a day) and Pepcid (40 mg a day).
  • I will look into doing regular meditation and listening to binaural beats.
  • I will look at my environment and diet to make any necessary changes that will reduce possible triggers.

In conclusion

The study of mast cells is interesting. Those little things can be pretty pesky!

If you are reading this and resonate with any of the symptoms I listed-make sure to look into mast cell diseases further. You deserve to feel well and live the best life possible.

Thanks for reading!

#foodallergytesting #allergytesting #antihistamine #mastcells #mastactivationsyndrome #mastcellsunited #pmddtreatment #histamine