Every so often I see a threat topic with the word 'MCAS' in the title, and it always makes me wonder, "Why are people posting about the MCAS here of all places??" That's because I had never heard of mast cell activation syndrome before. However, I do have a lot of experience with the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System, the standardized test taken by all public school students in the state. I thought that my confusion might be good for a chuckle. Interestingly enough, now that I'm reading a little bit about MCAS (the syndrome, not the test), I wonder if my mother might have had it. She had asthma and allergies all her life--nothing terrible, everything under good control. But after a terrible cold followed by a very difficult-to-kick sinus infection lasting for months her immune system just seemed to go wild. For a while anything she put in her mouth (either a pill or food), could set off an allergic (sometimes anaphylactic) response. Once that calmed down, she acquired a lot of brand new food allergies--in the end I think there were only two or three fruits she was able to eat without a problem. It took her a while to realize that some were allergies--for a long time she thought that maybe she had irritable bowel syndrome, but then she realized that her GI symptoms were much better on the days when she didn't eat a banana with breakfast. Does that sound MCAS-ish?