Health and Beauty

Skin Care Doctors Edina Minnesota

A rare disease that tortures the afflicted, with few Minnesota doctors to treat it

Durant was forgetting what he did the day before, even the hour before. He had trouble responding to emails and phone calls, keeping appointments. It was alarming enough for him to quit his job.

The brain fog worsened, accompanied by roving headaches, fatigue and joint pain. Then, randomly and without warning, his throat would swell, sometimes to the point where it was hard to swallow or breathe.

Over the past three years, Durant has been in 102 doctors’ offices. Nothing helped. Then his friend, Donovan Harmel, happened to catch a news report about rare diseases. A woman on television described symptoms that sounded exactly like Durant’s. This general malaise of pain and lethargy had a name: mast cell activation syndrome.

Mast cells are a kind of white blood cell. Among other things, they’re in charge of releasing the chemicals that cause allergic reactions. But sometimes they get out of control -- releasing chemicals in excess and causing widespread inflammation.