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Woman Allergic To Strong Emotions Nearly Died From Laughing Too Much

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Woman Allergic To Strong Emotions Nearly Died From Laughing Too Much

A woman has revealed how her rare condition means she is ‘allergic to strong emotions’ – even the tiniest of changes to her body’s normal state can be life threatening. 

Natasha Coates has what’s known as mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), which can develop in children or adults.

Speaking to the Mirror, Coates explained how the condition means she is ‘allergic to nothing and everything’ at the same time. 

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Credit: Instagram/@natashacoatesgb
Credit: Instagram/@natashacoatesgb

She said: “I’m allergic to strong emotions. Any changes to my body’s status quo – whether I’m laughing, crying, sad or stressed – can cause a chemical reaction. It happens almost every day and I’ve been hospitalised more than 500 times.

"When I feel it starting, I get upset and try to suppress it, otherwise I’ll have a worse reaction – it’s a vicious circle. 

“I have a rare condition called mast cell activation syndrome. When a nettle sting gives you a raised, itchy bump, that’s caused by histamine, a chemical that comes from your mast cells. In my body, those mast cells are hypersensitive. 

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“They release too many chemicals in response to a minor attack – like a nettle sting or a food intolerance. My body even does it spontaneously – releasing the chemicals for no reason. So I’m allergic to nothing and everything, all at the same time.” 


According to Mast Cell Action, in people with MCAS mast cell mediators are released too frequently or abundantly, and/or in response to ‘triggers that are not typically considered to be harmful’, such as foodstuffs or chemicals in the environment. 

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Specific triggers vary between individuals, with additional factors including everything from fragrances and exercise to stress and changes in temperature. 

Even a night out with friends isn’t without its problems, with Coates recalling how she was rushed to hospital one evening after going into anaphylactic shock. 

She said: “When you’re on a night out with friends and you go into anaphylactic shock just from laughing too much, it puts a downer on the evening. But that’s what happened to me a couple of years ago. 

Credit: Instagram/@natashacoatesgb
Credit: Instagram/@natashacoatesgb
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“We were having a good laugh when my tongue and throat swelled up. One friend called an ambulance, while another helped me use my EpiPen to stop me choking and suffocating to death. They stroked my hair, telling me I’d be OK as I lost consciousness before being whisked into intensive care. Quite the end to a night out.” 

Coates, who is a gymnast, now shares details about her 'life threatening disability' on Instagram to help spread awareness of the condition.

Mast Cell Action said more research is needed to fully understand the 'precise cause and mechanism' of MCAS in many people.

Those with MCAS are at an increased risk of anaphylaxis after being exposed to a trigger, with Mast Cell Action warning of the 'ABC signs' to look out for: Airways – 'look for a persistent cough, swollen tongue or lips, and difficulty swallowing'; 

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Breathing – 'look for difficulty breathing and wheezing'; and Circulation/Consciousness – 'look for reduced blood pressure, confusion, and collapsing'.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@natashacoatesgb

Topics: News, Health, UK News

Jess Hardiman
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