A woman from Florida is affected by a rare immunological condition that makes her allergic to her own tears and sweat. Hives appear on her skin each time she sweats of cries, but also when she takes hot showers.
Named Julie Reid, the woman suffers from the cholinergic urticaria condition, which is both very unusual and devastating. The condition renders her skin ultra sensitive to emotional stress and exercise. Julie has written on her personal website about her story, pointing out that
“I am allergic to my own sweat (and tears). Me, out of all people. Someone who was so physically active every day.”
She has developed the condition when she was working at a gym about three years ago. Unfortunately, she had to quit this job since she started breaking out in severe hives each time she sweats. The hives would last for hours, and sometimes even days. Being unable to exercise, she soon gained a lot of weight and was forced to sell most of the furniture she owned to make ends meet.
At the moment, she cannot even leave the house. The condition is so severe that the hives start appearing when she is vacuuming inside an air-conditioned room. Not to mention the hot sun of Florida which made her end up completely covered in hives several times.
Julie is also a former gymnast and dancer, so the condition has also affected her personal life, not only her career. Without a job and without her passions, she is left to face the cruel stares of people each time she walks to the grocery covered in blisters. She has written on her GoFundMe page that there is no cure for her suffering and that she has no money to pay her medical bills or continue to live in this state. Julie is currently unable to work and has yet to receive disability assistance.
Cholinergic urticaria causes the release of several chemicals including histamine under the skin. As a result, the tissue swells and develops bumpy reddish rashes. The disease is caused by the physical stimulus which makes the body sweat. Acute or short-term urticaria is usually triggered by insect bites, food, medications, emotional stress or skin pressures.
Chronic urticaria appears then the immune system of the body attacks the tissues. The causes are yet to be discovered, but many believe the condition is linked to either viral hepatitis, lupus, hypothyroidism, liver infection or rheumatoid arthritis.
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