For most athletes, sweating is a part of the game. But for one college soccer player, sweating can be a life-threatening experience.
According to ABC News
, 20-year-old Caitlin McComish from White House, Ohio, suffers from a severe form of cholinergic urticarial, a rare condition that causes her body to have an intense inflammatory reaction whenever her skin is exposed to sweat.
It causes her to develop hives and her throat to swell. If not treated quickly, it can be deadly.
McComish experienced her major attack when she went on a run in May 2013.
"I was right in front of my grade school," she told ABC News. "I had a really upset stomach, tingly palms and the bottoms of my feet. I was really, really itchy. It hit me like uncomfortable heat waves. Then I could feel the swelling in my throat, and my tongue got tingly and thicker."
McComish has tried a number of different strategies lessen her body's response to sweat, including a cooling vest and taking ice baths before practice. But nothing seemed to work.
Finally David Lang, M.D., chairman of the department of allergy and clinical immunology at The Cleveland Clinic, advised her to undergo Xolair injections – a drug typically used to treat asthma.
Since starting this treatment, McComish has fared better and is back on the soccer field once again.
"Somehow I got to see Dr. Lang, I think out of the grace of God, " McComish said.