Abigail Beck, 15, has not been drinking water for a year. Simple activities, like taking a shower or drinking a glass of juice, are real torture for the teenager from Arizona, in the United States, who discovered that she was allergic to water.
She was diagnosed last month with aquagenic urticaria, an extremely rare disease that affects just one in 200 million people. When the skin of these patients comes in contact with water, it is covered with red spots and painful sores.
“My own tears make my face redden and burn a lot. When I cry, it hurts. Tears are one of the worst parts of it, because when you cry, your tears shouldn’t burn your skin.”
In Abigail’s case, adverse reactions to water began in 2019. She recalls that she was not taken seriously when she complained, until the problem became more serious.
“It took me a long time to be diagnosed. The allergy progressed slowly and started to get worse over time. When it rained, it hurt a lot, it felt like acid, so I asked my mom if the rain felt acidic to her and she said no,” she recalled.
Since then, she has avoided taking baths – now the frequency is once every other day – and started taking antihistamines and steroids to combat the reactions.
For her, drinking water makes you want to vomit and, therefore, she adopted energy drinks and pomegranate juice, which contain less water in their compositions, to hydrate herself.
“I throw up if I drink water, my chest hurts a lot and my heart starts beating really fast. I have to check the labels, but everything in this world has water. The last time I drank water was a year ago,” she said.
The cause of aquagenic urticaria is not defined. Doctors say the cause is not genetic.
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