Take me to the beach in summer temps and I will disintegrate.
My physiology just cannot handle it! If I am in temperature above 74 degrees I immediately turn into a moody bitch (for lack of a better word) whom you might assume is on the rag. I wish I could attribute my immediate anger and discomfort to a woman's right to extreme emotion or psychotic behavior...but no.
I have chonilergic urticaria. One of my allergists diagnosed me over a decade ago after scratching my arm with the edge of an index card and observing my itchy, sweaty symptoms. Within about a minute or two, my arm started turning red and bumping up along that line and surrounding it, almost like tiny, itchy goosebumps.
To manage my urticaria symptoms of getting itchy hives and "wheals" from heat, stress or a prior food allergy reaction I have to be on 24-hr Allegra during the day and Zyrtec at night. I have been hibernating in air conditioning and reveling in Netflix when I have free time.
Meet my friends. They live in my closet.
I've noticed that caffeine aggravates urticaria symptoms, so if I'm having "waves" of symptoms I'll up my water intake and down like two huge glasses of water with a pinch of celtic sea salt (to help my body retain the water...not to mention the fact that salt is a natural antihistamine so I add it to everything). Celtic sea salt contains all 92 trace minerals your body needs and has been found to actually LOWER blood pressure in comparison to regular table salt. As with anything, though, don't go overboard and talk to your doctor before increasing your sea salt intake.
This is the celtic sea salt I use after reading numerous positive reviews about the health benefits:
Having cholinergic urticaria is a burden to others because you're constantly freezing them out. (Psst! To counteract this, surprise them with warm, super-comfy clothes, blankets or hats!) I use my car's A/C for about nine months of the year.
Your physiological internal temperature just might not be the same as others. Your body naturally heats up during any histamine reaction...which aggravates symptoms further. Maybe even your significant other's body heat in bed makes your symptoms appear. I notice skin to skin contact during sleep makes me sweat and in turn, itch. For this reason, I wear mainly cotton and mainly long sleeves. I can't wear shorts during the summer because if I sit on a solid chair or leather, the backs of my thighs break out in hives and itch. Long pants and long skirts are staples in my wardrobe.
I never go to the beach if its above 78 degrees. My heart beats way too fast from the heat. I get exhausted and honestly being in a heated environment is just pure torture. I also have vasovagal syncope (fainting) from heat and failed the "tilt test" at the heart doctor which proves that heat and I don't mix.
For this reason, autumn can't come soon enough. Its not just the changing colors of the leaves that stirs my senses but also that cool, brisk breeze that visits towards the end of September and makes the outdoors feel like the air conditioning turned on.
My favorite time of year...always takes my breath away.
Its the spicy, cinnamon-scented festivals with candied apples that I can't eat because of my food allergies and severe gluten intolerance which you can read about here (but then I get inspired to run home and lookup nut-free soy-free gluten-free candy apple recipes on Pinterest). I still watch others eating everything I can't and although I feel sad, I smile knowing my allergen-free and gluten-free recipe at home will taste a thousand times better.
Here is a candied apple recipe I found. Make sure to use USDA Certified Organic apples so that you avoid the soy/GMO/pesticide wax on regular apples. Also, according to a tip on Amazon, add the cinnamon oil after the sugar liquid is already slightly cool so that it mixes properly and you don't get 'spicy' spots and others with no cinnamon.
Here is a link to high-quality Cinnamon Oil if you need it.
Its all the warm apple and cobbler recipes that we all will exchange and swear by. Its the haunted happenings that we make plans for in September to make October a full month of Halloween! You can bet if I can't eat ANY candy in the grocery stores, I'm making a bunch for the entire SEASON!
Stay tuned for my next few blogs which will include my most recent anaphylaxis experience as well as 'Self-Discipline and Special Diets'!