21yo Arianna Kent from Canada suffers with cold-induced urticaria. Any contact from a cool breeze to cold water or temperature changes could hospitalise her.
The autoimmune disease often cause itchy pin-like hives and in the more extreme cases Arianna risks going into anaphylactic shock from the reactions.
She was started experiencing the symptoms while shovelling snow when she was 14yo.
I can feel it in my throat if I’m drinking something cold, it feels tight and tense, it’s the same if I eat ice cream.
People often don’t believe her allergy exists.
some professionals have no idea and look at me like I’m crazy.
She has to stay in during the coldest days.
It is a slow process, starting as small pin-sized hives on my arm that get bigger and begin to become raised. At their largest my whole body can look like a whole swollen welt.
It causes my skin to burn and itch, for my throat it’s like asthma where you are wheezing harder and find it difficult to breathe.
It’s like something is sitting on your chest making it feel tighter and heavier. I can go into full blown anaphylactic shock, so I have to carry an Epipen.
It’s terrifying knowing that if I’m in an area without access to medical help and my throat closes up I could be at serious risk.
For her, foods containing histamine – cheese, yoghurt and cream, to pickles, pineapples and fermented meats are a no.
She could move to a hot country, but air conditioning and a walk on a slightly windy day will also trigger the reactions.