When it comes to allergies, there are a lot of things people make up – allergic to waking up before noon, to doing the dishes, to going to school – but what if someone told you they were allergic to their own body?
Well, in the case of Julie Reid, she’d be telling you the truth.
The 28-year-old, from Florida, suffers from a rare skin condition called Cholinergic Urticaria, which causes her to break out in hives all over her body whenever she sweats or cries. Essentially, she’s allergic to her own sweat and tears.
The hives can last anywhere from an hour to several days, and unfortunately for Reid, it’s as torturous as it sounds.
She told ABC News: “It’s torture living like this — torture. It itches like crazy, I scratch my skin open … Any physical activity I do, I develop hives everywhere.”
Her condition came on without warning a few years ago according to the news agency, and now Reid, who made a living as a gymnastics and dance instructor, isn’t able to follow her passion.
She’s gained more than 100 pounds over the past three years to cope with the condition and has said that as she is unable to work, she has lost her health insurance. She also says she has been denied disability.
I used to be so beautiful, now I look like a monster.
I just stay in bed and cry and cry.
It’s destroyed my life. I have no, I have nothing, I have nothing, no friends, no furniture, no help, no family here.
The story gets worse. Reid says she spends hours online searching for a cure but has so far found that there is none. One doctor even told her that she could go into anaphylactic shock and requires an Epipen. But because she’s lost her health insurance and can’t work, she can’t afford it.
In addition to all that, Reid says she has no furniture in her apartment as she’s sold it all to try and make ends meet to pay for medical appointments. She’s hoping that getting her story out to the media might be her best chance at finding a solution.
According to a website dedicated to the disease, most cases of cholingergic urticaria occur in people who are in their late teens or early 20s and tends to be mild and temporary. There is no cure for it, and symptoms can last from a few months to decades.
Hopefully she finds relief soon.