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I’m allergic to strong emotions – sweating, laughing or crying could kill me, as could my hair due to a rare condition

A gymnast who is allergic to everything could die from strong emotions, sweat or laugh too hard – even their own hair could kill them.

Nottingham’s Natasha Coates has a rare condition, meaning she suffers from itching, swelling and migraines every day – and has been hospitalized over 500 times.

Natasha Coates, who has a rare disease, said she planned her funeral when she was 20 - with a Beyonce song

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Natasha Coates, who has a rare disease, said she planned her funeral when she was 20 – with a Beyonce songPhoto credit: Instagram
But the 27-year-old doesn't let her condition get in the way of gymnastics

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But the 27-year-old doesn’t let her condition get in the way of gymnasticsPhoto credit: Instagram
She said she feels like one "ticking time bomb" because she could easily have an allergic reaction

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She said she felt like a “ticking time bomb” because it was so easy for her to have an allergic reactionPhoto credit: Instagram

The immunological disorder called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) causes extreme allergic reactions in Natasha’s body that can be triggered by something as simple as sweating or laughing.

Triggers can vary from person to person depending on the severity of their condition and can change over time.

But for the gymnast, there are so many triggers that she never knows where her next reaction will come from.

Natasha had her first anaphylactic shock when she was 18 when she was told it was a ‘one off reaction’ – but eight years later she still has to sleep with her EpiPen next to her and teach all her friends how to use it.

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“Keeping me alive is a full-time job,” the 27-year-old told The Mirror.

She added that she planned her own funeral when she was 20 because she felt like a “ticking time bomb”.

Natasha told the newspaper that a few years ago she almost died at a night out with friends after suffering anaphylactic shock from a fit of laughter.

As her hair grows, her scalp develops excruciating blisters and burns — and even when she cries, the tears cause a red rash across her face.

She said certain foods can be okay one day and almost kill you the next.

“I’m allergic to strong emotions,” Natasha said, “Any change in my body’s status quo – whether I’m laughing, crying, sad or stressed – can trigger a chemical reaction.

“It happens almost every day and I’ve been hospitalized more than 500 times.

“When I feel it starting, I get upset and try to suppress it, otherwise I react worse – it’s a vicious cycle.”

She added: “I’m allergic to body sprays, detergents and scented candles.

“Food is still a bit like Russian roulette. What’s good today may give me an allergic reaction tomorrow.”

The gymnast has struggled with the bizarre condition for years and lives in fear of her next reaction.

After the first anaphylactic shock, she was very scared.

She said: “It was modern day torture and beyond scary as I never knew what was going to evoke a reaction next. The medics were just as amazed as I was.”

But over the course of the frightening illness and countless hospital stays, Natasha had to learn to live with the disease.

I feel like a ticking time bomb.

Natasha Coates

She said: “All my friends and family are EpiPen trained.

“It’s scary for my family to wonder what my final reaction will be. I feel like a ticking time bomb.

“I had to accept that this condition could kill me, but I regained some control when I was planning my funeral at the age of 20.

“I know it’s not normal, but when I’m organized, I know I have a Beyoncé song!”

She added: “I have to avoid social situations sometimes. I go on a risk versus reward basis.

“I study meal plans beforehand, take extra medication and hope for the best.

“I need to know where the nearest hospital is, that I have my care plan and enough medication.”

Despite the daily demands of protecting herself, the brave young woman said her condition will not stand in the way of her passion – gymnastics.

Natasha is an elite disabled gymnast, has competed in the British Disability Championships and was voted number one in the UK.

She has been doing gymnastics recreationally since she was eight, but began competing with disabled athletes after she developed her condition.

“The allergic reactions are going to happen anyway even if I’m sitting at home doing nothing, so I might as well live my life,” she said.

“I can handle anything, but I’m also allowed to have bad days. There’s no point in pretending it’s okay – because I’m not okay with that.

“If I could snap my fingers and be healed, I would do it immediately. Keeping myself alive is a full-time job.”

WHAT IS MAS CELL ACTIVATION SYNDROME?

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) causes a person’s body to have side effects to specific triggers.
Triggers can vary from person to person depending on the severity of their condition and can change over time.
It’s caused when the mast cells — a type of blood cell — in the body respond to triggers by releasing chemicals like histamine that produce an allergic reaction.
Triggers can be food, exercise, perfumes and scents, and stress.
Many sufferers have difficulty identifying their triggers because they can change over many years and new triggers can develop.
The onset of the disease is often sudden and can affect children and adults.
There is no known cure for the condition.

Natasha doesn't let her condition stop her from doing what she loves

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Natasha doesn’t let her condition stop her from doing what she lovesPhoto credit: Instagram
She said she was hospitalized over 500 times

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She said she was hospitalized over 500 timesPhoto credit: Barcroft Media
The 27-year-old had her first anaphylactic shock when she was 18 and hoped it would be her last

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The 27-year-old had her first anaphylactic shock when she was 18 and hoped it would be her lastPhoto credit: Barcroft Media
But the brave woman now sleeps with her EpiPen next to her bed for emergencies

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But the brave woman now sleeps with her EpiPen next to her bed for emergenciesPhoto credit: Barcroft Media
She said keeping herself alive is a full-time job

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She said keeping herself alive is a full-time jobPhoto credit: Barcroft Media

https://www.the-sun.com/health/5694693/allergic-to-strong-emotions-sweating-laughing-or-crying/ I’m allergic to strong emotions – sweating, laughing or crying could kill me, as could my hair due to a rare condition

Sarah Y. Kim

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