Florida Woman Allergic to Own Sweat, Tears Details Her Ordeal With Rare Condition

Julie Reid has been documenting her ordeal with the rare condition.

ByABC News
April 14, 2016, 1:18 PM

— -- A Florida woman is speaking out about her rare condition, which has left her unable to leave the house during the day.

Julie Reid said she developed a devastating immunological condition called cholinergic urticaria, which causes her skin to become hypersensitive to emotional stress and exercise. If she sweats, cries or simply takes a hot shower.

"It's torture living like this, it's torture," Reid said in an interview with ABC's Tampa Bay affiliate WFTS. "I just feel like a monster now."

She said she developed the immunological condition three years ago when she was working at a gymnastics gym. On a website to draw attention to her case, Reid said she has gained significant amount of weight and had to quit her job because the sweat would cause her to break out in massive hives for hours or days. She told WFTS she doesn't leave the house during the day over fear she could sweat and break out into hives.

"I went from being a gymnast and a dancer, to not being able to walk through the grocery store, during the day, without receiving hurtful stares," Reid said on her website. "It is just as emotionally painful as it is physically."

Reid could not be immediately reached by ABC News for further comment.

The disease often comes on spontaneously, according to the National Organization for Rare Diseases, and doctors can only offer supporting medications such as antihistamines to patients. The disease will usually stop just as suddenly as it started, though there is no timeline for when it might end, according to the organization.

"I cannot describe to you the depths of depression that exist when your life is just, taken from you," Reid said on her website. You don't "realize how much your body sweats until you become allergic to it. I would say it's one step shy of being allergic to breathing or blinking!"

Reid said without a job she has had difficulty paying for doctors appointments and has become depressed about her inability to return to her old life.

"I'm allergic to myself," she said.