Being a college athlete isn’t an easy feat, but when you are dangerously allergic to your own sweat, it can become even more challenging.
Caitlin McComish, a goalkeeper for the University of Toledo, has dealt with a handful of food allergies since she was a child, according to ABC News, but a new allergy she’s suffering from is quite different.
And it all began when she was simply out for a run last year while she was home in White House, Ohio.
“I was right in front of my grade school,” McComish said. “I had a really upset stomach, tingly palms and the bottoms of my feet. I was really, really itchy. It hit me like uncomfortable heat waves. Then I could feel the swelling in my throat, and my tongue got tingly and thicker.”
After returning to school in the fall, McComish had gone into shock 17 times, and each time it was near the soccer field.
Doctors initially thought McComish was having an inflammatory reaction to her own sweat, but later determined it’s actually a hives disorder when her skin is exposed to heat and sweat, according to WGHP.
“It’s a condition where people have itching and swelling and the major issue is heat or sweat as a provoking factor,” Dr. David Lang, chairman of the department of allergy and clinical immunology at The Cleveland Clinic and McComish’s doctor told ABC News. “It’s quite common in the general population, but in most cases, it’s mild and patients either aren’t aware of it or manage their symptoms well.”
After trying multiple things to help, McComish’s doctor put her on a drug used most often for asthma, Xolair injections, and says she has shown a “dramatic response,” and has let her to continue her passion for playing soccer.
McComish hopes her story will help out others with similar conditions and said, “Somehow I got to see Dr. Lang, I think out of the grace of god.”
Contact Kira Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find her on Twitter: @kiraterry