Imagine going for a run and soon you experience hives all over your body. Because this is exactly what happens to approximately 2% of the population. Believe it or not, there are people who literally have an allergy to exercise, a condition known as “anaphylaxis, exercise-induced” or AIE.
Most often occurs after intense physical activity such as running, playing tennis, dancing, or riding a bike. Although exercises more gentle as walking can also cause a reaction.
The IEA is quite similar to other allergies that differ in severity depending on the person. It may not be serious enough to make you not able to run, although in some rare cases, it can even be deadly.
During an allergic reaction, the immune system produces antibodies, proteins in the blood that fight against bacteria and foreign bodies. When someone with IEA exercise, it is also produce antibodies to fight against something, despite the fact that they are not necessary.
The problem lies in that the antibodies released different chemicals in the immune system such as histamine, causing allergy symptoms such as runny nose and inflammation of the skin.
Among the symptoms of IEA include hives, redness, wheezing and, sometimes, problems of digestion. If you continue to exercise when it occurs, the reaction can be more severe and cause the closing of the throat or the lowering of the blood pressure, which can lead to circulatory failure.
What is certain is that it is a condition quite problematic because doctors don’t always know what the cause is. In many cases, people experience a subset of IEA-called “anaphylaxis induced by exercise-dependent food”. This occurs when an allergy to a food that is triggered only by exercise after ingestion.
In general, it is possible that, even though not experiencing any symptoms of allergy when you eat a meal, combine your intake with physical exercise itself that activates the immune system.
According to Medscape, the most common foods linked to this problem are wheat, shellfish, tomatoes, peanuts, and corn. But it has also been informed of other foods that can also have some impact as the meat, the fruit, the seeds, milk, soybean, lettuce, peas, beans, and rice.
However, there is also a non-specific manner of anaphylaxis induced by exercise-dependent food, eating any food prior to exercise can trigger a reaction.
Unfortunately, the only way to prevent the IEA is to exercise at a lower intensity or change the exercise that is practiced. Swimming, for example, seems not to be associated with the IEA.
If you suspect that any food is inducing an allergic reaction, the medical recommendation is to stop eating that food between 6 and 8 hours before you exercise. The weather is very hot or cold can also worsen the reaction, so avoid exercising during those times.