By Josh Saunders
A woman with a deadly allergy to winter has spoken out on asked her condition after going viral.
Arianna Kent, 21, from Edmonton, Canada, suffers from cold-induced urticaria which means a cold breeze to chilly temperatures can hospitalise her.
The reactions cause hives to appear on her skin that can range from as small as a pin-prick to covering her entire body.
The auto-immune disease risks her going into anaphylactic shock from her reactions and during her worst periods she was hospitalised three times a month.
Since going viral, she speaks out about how people do not believe her deadly allergy and the considerations she has to make to adjust to ordinary life.
In a candid video, Arianna, an insurance admin worker, said: “I’m allergic to the cold, the daily life of someone with CU means thinking about a lot of things.
“How many layers do I have to wear? What are my daily plans? How long do I plan to be outside? Do I plan to be outside? Am I going to be in an airconditioned space? Are my friends going to turn on the AC in the car?
“These are some of the thoughts that I have to process with in the morning before I even leave my house.”
Arianna claims employers and others can put her at risk because they are so unaware of her condition.
Despite this she risks anaphylactic shock if she is not careful and has reduced the amount of times she is hospitalised by changing her diet to avoid histamine.
The chemical, which is found in foods ranging from cheese to pickles and fermented meats, stimulates the immune system into action.
She considers herself lucky this year, as colder temperatures generally put her at greater risk.
Arianna said: “Normally it’s -25 Degrees Celsius where I live by now and going outside for five minutes is extremely risky.
“If I’m not wearing enough layers and even when wearing enough layers, I can feel it in my lungs.
“Yes everyone can feel it in their lungs, but my body will start to react but it’s the heavy weight on the chest where I am struggling to breathe.
“Though my anaphylactic shock isn’t instant and it takes time, having to go to the hospital a couple of times a month in the winter is pretty bad.
“When people recognise you in the hospital because of your allergy, it’s pretty bad.”
Arianna experienced her first reaction at 14-years-old when she developed hives and suffered breathing difficulties while shovelling snow.
She initially confused her symptoms for a food allergy, but after two years on from her reaction after researching online, she discovered her allergy was to the cold.
She said: “It’s such a strange and rare allergy, the most common thing is that people think it’s a joke when you say you’re allergic to the cold or temperature change.
“It’s made enjoying winter activities tough, living in Alberta especially where it can get to minus 30 degrees Celsius means leaving the house can be tough.
“I can be outside for five minutes before a reaction, but even walking to my car is potentially dangerous.
“I have to stay layered up and prepare for temperature changes, if it does change drastically, I have to slowly heat myself up or when I cool down again I’ll have a reaction.”
Arianna’s symptoms also manifest in summer, with having ice in her drink to jumping in a pool or even sweating causing the unusual reactions too.
She said: “It can be caused by any major temperature change, even in 30 degrees Celsius weather a cool breeze can set me off or jumping into a pool.
“Most of the time I will opt out of activities if it’s cold because it’s too risky.
“Air conditioning is terrible and not my friend either, even holding a cold drink if I want ice in it I will feel my fingers are swollen after.
“I can feel it in my throat if I’m drinking something cold, it feels tight and tense, it’s the same if I eat ice cream.
“I can avoid a cold pool or drink, but you never know when it will start raining or get cold outside. That’s not in my control.”