15-year-old discovers rare water allergy: ‘Crying hurts’

A 15-year-old girl from Tucson, Arizona (USA) is unable to cry, shower or drink water normally due to aquagenic urticaria, a rare condition with only 100 reported cases worldwide. Abigail Beck was diagnosed with the allergy in April after three years of symptoms and for telling doctors that her tears felt like acid and her shower hurt, according to the New York Post.

At first, Abigail thought it was normal and that it was part of feeling pain from the water, so much so that she even questioned her mother if she felt that way too. “I asked my mom recently if she remembers when I asked that and why she didn’t think something was wrong,” she said. “She said she thought it was something a child would say.”

The teenager thought something was wrong with the water, or even that the lotions gave reactions. As time went on, she found that bathing and swimming became difficult and painful tasks.

Because of this, Abigail hasn’t had a drink of water in a year as she throws up every time and says it “tastes bad”. “I throw up if I drink water, my chest hurts a lot and my heart starts beating really fast,” she said. As a result, the teenager resorts to rehydration pills, and things that “don’t use that much water”, according to her, such as energy drinks and pure pomegranate juice.

But in the last few weeks, she had a reaction because she didn’t know that a sports drink had more water than was acceptable for her conditions. “I had a reaction for about four hours where my stomach was cramping, my chest was hurting and I was really dizzy and tired.”

Another difficulty faced by her is that a good part of food and drinks are composed of water. “I have to check the labels, but everything in this world has water.”

In the shower, the reaction “starts off very mild,” but then it gets worse, according to Abigail. “When I shower, it starts off very mild, then I get a rash and red welts, then a hives develop,” she said. “When I go out, the reaction really starts to happen. I have to dry it as quickly as possible. I have to let the water run and get out of the water while I wash my hair.”

The lack of more information about this condition scares her. “I don’t know if it could kill me, I wasn’t told,” Abigail said. “I have symptoms that can make my heart stop, but no one knows anything about the condition, so they don’t know if my heart or lungs can stop working.”

She said she had to educate doctors about aquagenic urticaria, as it is extremely rare. “I had to educate my doctors about my condition because they’ve never had to deal with it before,” she said.

Abigail reported that crying is “one of the worst parts” of burning her face. “I cry like a normal person, and it hurts,” she said.

The sweat hurts too and the rain worries, but she’s lucky it doesn’t rain that much in Tucson. “If it’s raining, I probably wouldn’t go out, but if I have to, I make sure I’m fully covered with a jacket and three pairs of sweatpants.”

Despite the difficulties, Abigail tries to keep herself in a good mood and is working with an allergist to come up with a plan for possible allergic reactions when she is at school. “I’m afraid that if one day it gets out of hand, no one will know what to do, including me. I don’t even know how to help myself. I try to keep myself in a good mood and I know that if something happens, the people around me will do the same. best they can.”

She tries to find other like-minded people to help them. “It gets really frustrating. People ask me to explain how it works and I can, but I can’t explain why it happens because nobody knows or understands,” she said. “When I tell people I’m allergic to water, people think it’s absolutely ridiculous and a lot of people are shocked by it. People always point out that our bodies are made of water.”

About Abhishek Pratap

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