If you are suffering from this woman’s condition, you’d be just as much of a recluse as she is. For two years, 20-year-old Ashley Fischer from California holed up in her bedroom and only ate four foods.
She is allergic to almost everything, from the weather to the smell of avocado, and the smallest interaction with offending substances can send her into an anaphylactic shock.
“Her extreme allergies meant she could only eat carrots, sweet onions, celery and garlic or risk potentially life-threatening swelling and dilated blood vessels,” said a report by The Daily Mail. “She was eventually diagnosed with mast cell activation disorder (MCAD)— a condition where too many mast cells gather in the body’s tissues.”
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The condition forces her body to interact with certain substances as though they’re harmless such as germs or pollen, and as a result triggers swelling and anaphylactic shock.
Even certain allergic medications trigger an allergic reaction, making her condition worse.
At first she she didn’t know what was happening to her body, constantly going into shock from smells outside like car exhaust, flowers, paint, perfume.
She would go into shock over temperature changes, and couldn’t go to malls or restaurants for the risk of airborne reactions. Even doctor’s offices were a risk because of the cleaning supplies and perfumes other patients wore.
“I was exhausted, in pain and I just couldn’t get out of bed. For the next four years I was on more than 14 medications a day,” she said. “I was pretty upset that I couldn’t live a normal life. I couldn’t go to school or be a normal kid. I lost a lot of friends.”
In July 2015 she was eventually diagnosed with the rare immunological condition by cardiologist, the report also said.
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Ashley’s desperation led her to turn to holistic practitioner Dr. Robert Janda, who used a method of desensitization to treat her, having her gradually exposed to small amounts of foods and chemicals that she had previously reacted to.
Together with her holistic doctor’s treatment and doing physical therapy six days a week, she started seeing improvements.
“And now, I have almost made a full recovery. I can walk on my own. I can go to the mall and the grocery store and out to restaurants without wearing a mask,” Ashley said. “I can spend time with my friends and family without fear. And I can pretty much eat a normal diet again.”
Mast Cell Activation Disorder
Mast cell activation disorder (MCAD), also known as mastocytosis, is a rare condition caused by an excess number of mast cells gathering in the body’s tissues.
Mast cells sometimes mistake harmless substances, such as pollen, for infectious germs, and trigger the process of swelling, causing the skin to become red, swollen and itchy.
It can also create a build-up of mucus in the airways, which become narrower.
People with the condition have an increased risk of having a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
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