Anyone with an allergy knows how painful allergic reactions are, and for 22-year-old Natasha Coates of Nottingham, England, these can happen at almost any moment.
In 2012, Natasha started experiencing allergic reactions to fruit, and allergists diagnosed her with oral allergy syndrome. However, about six months later, Natasha was out with friends when she was hospitalized due to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. She was eventually diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS).
“The cells in my body called mast cells are responsible for releasing things such as histamines — in my body, the cells react inappropriately,” Natasha told Barcroft TV. “Sometimes it releases chemicals when there’s no trigger at all so I have completely spontaneous reactions.”
The list of things that Natasha is allergic to is a long one. It includes her own tears, growing hair, and alcohol.
“I’m allergic to my hair growing so when it does start to grow it blisters and it burns and it’s absolute agony,” Natasha says.
Since her first life-threatening attack, Natasha has used over 250 EpiPens and has had to be hospitalized numerous times. However, Natasha hasn’t let her condition stop her from living her life, and she even continues to pursue her passion for gymnastics.
“When I exercise, I lose the feeling from my elbows down and knees down which makes it difficult to feel the equipment,” the gymnast wrote on Scope. “But I’m quite persistent and I’m quite stubborn and I love gymnastics so much. Because I have that passion, that’s what gets me through the tough days.”
Watch the video below to learn more about Natasha and what she goes through on a daily basis.
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Photos: Barcroft TV
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