Mastocytosis and diet

Peter Clark, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, Principal, Healthier You Dietetics, Port Macquarie | June 2012

A diet rich in processed foods and deficient in essential nutrients can affect processes inside our cells and cause health problems.  It can also affect digestion, preventing internal natural detoxification. There are various thoughts on what role diet plays in mastocytosis. Although no one strategy fits every single person, the best general dietary advice would be:

      1. Listen to your body and avoid known irritants– you are all individuals and all different. You know your body better than anyone else. The things that cause problems for you may not impact others. Know your body – listen to the symptoms. Avoid what causes problems and eat what doesn’t
      2. Avoid alcohol: This more than any dietary factor plays a major role in worsening symptoms. Alcohol and acetaldehyde inhibit DAO resulting in elevated histamine levels. Acetaldehyde has a deregulatory and histamine releasing effect on mast cells. Avoiding alcohol is the best way to minimise problems
      3. Drink plenty of water: Water cleanses the key organs and keep you feeling full. Water keeps the brain well hydrated and may also help in clearing the “brain fog”
      4. Maintain a healthy weight by eating a wide variety of nutritious foods regularly
      5. Reduce saturated fat (skin on chicken, full cream dairy products etc) and increase omega-3’s (fish, nuts, avocado etc)
        • Eat an adequate amount of fibre (whole grain bread and cereals)
        • Cut down on sugar and salt
        • Eat a variety of fresh foods (plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Aim to have 2 fruit and 5 vegetables each day)
        • Avoid processed foods
        • Do some type of regular exercise: You feel better and burn some extra calories.

What you eat may play a role in making you feel better or worse. Although the general advice above fits everyone, a formal review of your diet may give specific things that really improve your health. A formal dietary review with an accredited dietary professional may provide some specific clues for you.

Further information on what may be provided by a local dietitian is available at or email Peter Clark with your question.