Metal & Grass Allergies

My name is Hillary... I am a 26 year old from Alabama who is allergic to ALL metals (except possibly platinum) and grasses... I’ve lived with this for about 11 years now... I was 15 when I first started breaking out in a rash and having trouble breathing... My parents didn’t know what it was and as the weeks progressed the rashes got worse... It got to the point to where my entire body was covered in rashes and I was miserable physically and emotionally... Over the course of the next year I went to 3 dermatologists, 3 doctors, and 5 specialists until my mom got fed up and we made a trip to UAB Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL... There I was diagnosed with SEVERE allergy to metal (mainly nickel and copper) but because nickel and copper is in most metals I’m allergic to it all... Due to my nickel allergy chocolate, green beans, and sweet tea were having to be cut out of my diet because they contained high amounts of nickel... The sweet tea was a struggle because southerners love their sweet tea!... Once I got rid of all my jewelry, belts, foods with nickel, and covered the buttons on my jeans the rashes began to cease... My breathing troubles lingered however... After another visit to the “back scratcher” it was discovered that I was highly allergic to grass as well... So needless to say... Spring and summer aren’t my favorite seasons... The longer I’ve lived with these allergies the better it becomes... I no longer were earrings at all and I rarely wear jewelry unless it’s made of leather and pearls... I do occasionally indulge in chocolate and sweet tea but I make sure I get my medicine first... Lol... I always have at least a little rash due to the little things people don’t think about (like the hooks on your bra, or the tiny button on the side of your Jean pockets) but I’ve learned to cope!... At least now I know how to treat it and can get monthly shots to help... I know it’s frustrated when you have such life altering allergies but it could be worse!... I’m thankfully that this is all I have to deal with when there are other people suffering much worse than I!!
— Hillary, an Allergista reader

It's tough enough being allergic to one type of metal,much less multiple! It sounds like you've figured out some great ways to adjust to your new life, which is great to hear. It can take quite some time to get used to cutting so many things our of your life, but you are proof that it does get better! I wish there were more specialists out there who could test thousands of possible allergens. It's a pricey business, though.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, Hillary! Best wishes in the future - watch out for those peak grass allergy times! I like to use The Weather Channel app for their allergy forecast, btw!

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