Working out can be fatal if you have 'exercise allergy', yes, that's an actual condition

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a rare condition which can cause hives, fainting, vomiting and difficulty breathing.


Entertainment Desk April 21, 2021

Those who claim they are allergic to exercise might not always mean it in a lazy way. For some, working out can literally be fatal!
There are many people for whom intense exercises, say on the treadmill or in the gym, is inviting a whole night of nauseous. Sometimes, after a particular workout, they may even faint or collapse and this could be a serious issue, reported The Indian Express.

To understand the concept of ‘exercise allergy,’ one needs to first understand its manifestation. In some people, it causes a severe reaction called anaphylaxis. This is a severe allergic reaction that needs to be treated right away. If you have an anaphylactic reaction, you need an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and emergency medical aid urgently as if left untreated, it can be deadly.

What is exercise allergy?

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a rare condition which can cause hives, fainting, vomiting and difficulty in breathing. These need immediate medical aid, and the symptoms can last up to four hours after working out. In some cases, it can be triggered by certain foods eaten just before exercise, like peanuts, shellfish, eggs or any food item that a person could be allergic to,” explained Dr Sandeep Patil, chief intensivist at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan, India.

In most cases, such allergies occur while running, jogging or doing any strenuous activity like dancing, playing volleyball or skiing, etc. “There are people who may suffer from the less serious exercise allergy called cholinergic urticaria’— a common type of heat rash, which differs from anaphylaxis, starting and ending with the skin reaction. This can strike spontaneously; even some marathon runners sometimes come down with a bad case of itches after jogging or running.”

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms include, but are not limited to, itchy skin, hives, angioedema (swelling underneath the skin), flushing, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea and diarrhea), headache and loss of consciousness.

Can one continue to exercise?

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent such reactions from taking place is for people to resort to light workouts. They can change the type of regime they follow after consulting with their doctors and physical trainers.
Swimming is said to be a good option for those who have exercise allergies. “Swimming has not been linked with any exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Also, it is important to keep track of what food, medicines, etc, work for you before you start your exercise. It is best to not eat anything six to eight hours prior to exercising. So, the best time will be in the morning. Also, avoid working out in extreme weather conditions,” the doctor advised.

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