It is believed that the cause of allergy is often a reaction to food or pollen. Nevertheless, people often react to very unusual allergens. Here are seven most bizarre ones.
1. Sperm Allergy
Allergy to sperm may appear not only in women, but among men as well – they might be allergic to their own ejaculate. In men, this happens quite seldom, but it still happens. In January, Dutch researchers published a report in the Journal of Sexual Medicine about two cases of postorgasmic syndrome. The symptoms were similar to normal colds or allergy symptoms (burning eyes, sneezing, runny nose). Skin tests confirmed that it was really an allergy to sperm.
The treatment was standard, and the doctors used hyposensitization therapy, i.e. the patient was given a small amount of allergen, and then the dose was gradually increased. The researchers report that, compared with women, men showed a significant improvement in symptoms after three years of treatment.
2. Meat Allergy
Previously it was thought to be a rather unusual case, and in such publications as American Journal of Allergology and Clinical Immunology allergy to meat was carefully considered “under the microscope.” Today, physicians associate allergy to meat with steroids and antibiotics, that poultry, beef, mutton and pork are stuffed with, so that animals would gain more weight and would not die of dirt and disease in the process of breeding.
3. Hormonal Allergy
During the days of menstruation, women often complain about retention of water in the body and degradation of the skin. This is a common situation. But at the same time some representatives of the fairer sex suffer from autoimmune progesterone dermatitis (APD). This condition provokes an increased content of progesterone in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which occurs after ovulation. It is characteristic of middle-aged women and is rarely seen in postmenopausal women and during pregnancy.
A typical case of an allergic reaction was described in the European Journal of Dermatology in 2002. The 27-year-old woman was taken to hospital with the symptoms of APD, which appeared 3 days before menstruation and disappeared in a matter of seven days. However, the rash appeared again the next month. Allergic tests showed that the swelling and redness had been caused by the increased levels of progesterone. Hormonal therapy saved the patient from this unpleasant state.
4. Water Allergy
Allergy to the most common substance in the world, including a large amount of water splashing in our body – what could be more strange? Nevertheless, there is such a kind of allergy – aquagenic urticaria. The patients with this disease often have a strong itching while contacting with water, and rash appears regardless of the source of water (sea water, tap water) and its temperature. The reaction lasts for about 30 minutes, and then it all goes away.
The mechanism of this rare disease is still unknown. There is no treatment because, as the doctors have found out, the level of histamine, the usual culprit of allergic reactions, does not change during an attack. Accordingly, the standard antihistamine therapy is helpless.
5. Cold Allergy
Cold allergy (cold urticaria) is an inflammatory disease caused by a sharp decrease in ambient temperature. The symptoms are similar to typical symptoms of allergy: redness, itching, swelling, and urticaria.
Bathing in cold water is the most common cause of this allergic reaction. Low temperature leads to a strong release of histamine, that is why redness appears, the blood vessels get enlarged, the blood pressure drops, which in turn can lead to loss of consciousness, shock, and in rare cases even death.
6. Normal Saline Allergy
Consisting mainly of salt (sodium chloride) and water, saline is a harmless substance injected intravenously in cases of strong dehydration. Nevertheless, in 2009 the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported the case of an anaphylactic reaction to this injection.
7. Mold Allergy
Even ordinary pancakes may contain an allergic risk, if they are made from the flour beyond its shelf life. For example, in 2001 the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology published an article about the 19-year-old young man, who ate a couple of pancakes, baked (as it turned out) of the flour, whose shelf life had expired a couple of years before. This time was enough for the flour to spoil, and it contained so much mold that the young body could not cope with such a powerful attack, and the man died of an anaphylactic shock.
We do not want to finish the material with such sad facts, however, he who is warned is forearmed. So please be careful and pay attention to the slightest manifestation of allergy, and even if it does not bother you at all, be sure to find out why it happens.