Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a type of chronic hives that is triggered by exercise. Nevertheless, some individuals can also suffer from a severe allergic reaction called as anaphylaxis. Aside from hives, individuals with exercise-induced anaphylaxis might also experience difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis occurs due to exercise. The exercises that triggers the reaction includes any form such as walking, tennis, swimming or other strenuous activities. If the individual continues to exercise, hives start to manifest along with swelling of the lips, face, eyes and throat and eventually leading to anaphylaxis
Cholinergic urticaria is strikingly comparable to exercise-induced anaphylaxis in which exercise or factors that triggers an upsurge on the body temperature instigates the hives. Nevertheless, in exercise-induced anaphylaxis, only exercise is the trigger while other factors that increase the temperature including a hot shower will not trigger a reaction.
Potential causes of exercise-induced anaphylaxis
The exact cause of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is still unknown. Nevertheless, many individuals have a different trigger along with exercise that triggers the symptoms. These possible triggers include various medications, foods, cold weather, alcohol and menstruation. Generally, either exercise or the specific trigger alone will not trigger symptoms.
If an individual is exposed to the trigger and exercise, the symptoms of exercise-induced anaphylaxis can occur. There are also medications that can trigger exercise-induced anaphylaxis including ibuprofen, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Various foods that are eaten within 24 hours before exercise can trigger exercise-induced anaphylaxis. An individual can eat these foods without triggering any symptoms if they do not exercise.
Diagnosing exercise-induced anaphylaxis
In most cases, the diagnosis of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is usually based on the history of the symptoms that occur only with exercise. If the symptoms occur outside of exercise such as with any increase in the body temperature, it is more likely that cholinergic urticaria is the reason for the symptoms.
When a diagnosis of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is made, it is vital to determine other possible triggers. This can include allergy testing to various foods. If the skin test is negative to a particular food, it nearly rules out the possibility of food as a cause. As for a positive food skin test, particularly to food that was eaten within 24 hours before the person experienced symptoms, it is possible that the food triggered the reaction.
Treatment for exercise-induced anaphylaxis
The immediate symptoms of exercise-induced anaphylaxis must be treated in the same way as anaphylaxis from other causes. In most cases, it requires an administration of injectable epinephrine.
The vital goal of treatment is the prevention of the symptoms. Individuals with exercise-induced anaphylaxis must avoid any type of exercise while alone, exercise during cold weather, exercising on an empty stomach as well as avoid eating any trigger food for at least 24 hours prior to exercise.