It’s hardly news to us those of us with histamine intolerance and mast cell activation that inflammation can cause symptoms of anxiety. Now though, the research has finally caught up, with scientists identifying altered pro and anti-inflammatory profiles in patients with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). One of the inflammatory agents is monitored in the study can also be released by mast cells (which can also trigger histamine). The study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity provides the first evidence that Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is associated with an imbalance between interferon (IFN-y), interleukin (IL-10), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-a), which is released by mast cells.
The authors found that patients with GAD had high levels of pro-inflammatory IFN-y and TNF-a, but low levels of the anti-inflammatory IL-10, compared to healthy control subjects. They believe that an impairment of the tryptophan degrading enzyme leads to degradation of serotonin in patients with GAD.