Hello, my name is Alex, and I’m a 20-year-old male from Canada. I want to share my story and experience with cholinergic urticaria.
I first noticed the itchy, stinging feeling when I first turned 17 (September). Like you all, I would feel an attack coming on when I would get nervous, hot, or exercise. I went to see a doctor and they recommended antihistamines like Benadryl and such. Nothing prescription, just over the counter stuff. Nothing worked. So I went through my senior year of high school depressed and upset.
Once April/May came around and the weather started to get warmer, I noticed that I could partially sweat normally. I would still get attacks but they were manageable. Throughout the summer, I didn’t get attacks anymore. I believe it is because of the heat forcing me to sweat and “unclogging” my system.
So when September rolled around, I swore to myself that I would not let the itching come back. This is when I started to hit the gym in an effort to force myself to sweat every day. I started off doing cardio and the such to really make myself sweat. In the beginning, I wasn’t even concerned about building muscle or getting shredded. I just wanted to sweat and stay itch free.
So this is where my curse started to turn into a blessing. I went from 220lbs at 6′ to 180lbs. I stayed itch free and got in very good shape. Since then, I have continued to workout and have remained itch free.
I am not religious, nor do I believe in fate, but having this condition really changed my life for the better. I know it is hard to believe that anything can come from this, but my biggest suggestion for anyone dealing with this condition is to:
- Try sweat therapy (as long as you are given the okay by a physician so you do not harm yourself)
- Experiment with your diet. There may be foods that are affecting you negatively
- Drink more water. It helps calm you down during an attack. I would carry a cold water bottle with Me 24/7 as it was a good way for me to stop an attack.
- DO NOT scratch.
- See a counselor if you are starting to feel helpless. Sometimes talking to someone is a good way to feel better.
- Try to manage your anxiety. I know this point was a big one for me. It helped me feel more confident with myself and in turn helped me to manage this condition.
I hope this helps somebody. If you have any questions, feel free to comment.