You’ve probably heard of strange allergies. There are those who are allergic to leather shoes, while some are allergic to electricity, but if you were to compare all of them, this has to be one of the most surprising.
Johanna Watkins, a 29-year-old woman from Minessota, U.S.A., has been diagnosed with many allergies, including an allergy to her husband’s scent.
The BBC reports that Johanna has Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, which makes if difficult for her to be in the same room as her husband Scott, let alone touch him.
This rare immunological disorder, explains Medical Daily, causes an overproduction of histamine, resulting in a chemical overload. Histamine is released by the body to fight off unwanted elements. But the overproduction of this has certain side effects, like abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, itching, wheezing, coughing, flushing, light-headedness and memory problems.
Once someone is exposed to an allergen, the body responds by releasing chemicals like histamine. In severe cases, like anaphylactic shock, internal organs can constrict, causing dizziness, fainting, difficulty breathing or even, death.
Johanna’s allergies only surfaced after she and Scott got married. She had apparently developed an allergy to his scent.
“We can’t be in the room together, because I’m allergic to him,” she told the BBC. “Before this, I had reacted to my parents, to many, many other people, but it was horrific when it became Scott.”
Johanna is “allergic to virtually everything” and even the faintest scent of an allergen can cause a severe, life-threatening reaction.
Despite the struggles, the couple remains thankful that they are surrounded by a loving community who have done a lot to support them.
“We have such a great community around us,” marvels Scott in an interview with People. “Our life is strained because Johanna is so sick but we’ve only been able to do as much as we can because of the sacrifices from our community.”
Despite the pain, their marriage is stronger than ever.
“It’s been very painful,” Scott told People. “But when you can’t see the person you love you have to do things more intentionally. Through this, my love for my wife has grown.”
*This article first appeared on theAsianparent Philippines
sources: Medical Daily, BBC, People, Everyday Health
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