Reasons why an individual is allergic to exercise

Exercise is an activity that all of us should engage in more often, but some find reasons not to do. Many resolve to start, continue or increase a workout program only to stop by the middle of the year. Failure to engage in activity on a regular basis is often simply due to lack of discipline, laziness, conflicts in schedule and loss of interest. In some cases, working out can result to allergic reactions where some are minor and others are life-threatening.

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA)

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is basically a form of chronic hives that is triggered by exercise. Nevertheless, some can experience symptoms of a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Aside from hives, individuals with EIA have breathing difficulties (wheezing, shortness of breath), gastrointestinal symptoms (diarrhea, nausea and vomiting) and circulatory symptoms (low blood pressure, lightheadedness).

As the name implies, EIA occurs if the individual works out. Remember that exercise can be any form including swimming, jogging, walking or even strenuous tasks such as shoveling snow. The symptoms start as warmth, tiredness, redness and itching, usually a few minutes of starting exercise. If the exercise continues, hives can occur and can include swelling of the lips, face, eyes and throat which eventually leads to anaphylaxis.

Allergy to exercise
Individuals who have asthma experience increased symptoms with exercise.

Exercise asthma

Individuals who have asthma experience increased symptoms with exercise. Only a few individuals have true exercise-induced asthma. This condition is only worsened by exercise and not by other triggers.

Remember that exercise cools and dries out the airways, which leads to constriction of the smooth muscles around the airways, resulting to the worsening of the asthma symptoms. The amount of exercise required to trigger the symptoms among asthmatics varies from one individual to another, but vigorous exercise can trigger severe symptoms.

Cholinergic urticaria

Cholinergic urticaria is a form of chronic hives that is triggered by an increase in body temperature. Hives are instigated by any increase in the body temperature such as exercise, spicy foods and hot showers.

It is described as pinpoint in size, usually less than the size of a mosquito bite. The hives might group together or merge into bigger ones over time. Occasionally, cholinergic urticaria can be linked with severe symptoms.

Exercise induced vocal cord dysfunction

This is a syndrome that causes asthma-like symptoms due to the abnormal closure of the vocal cords. The symptoms include wheezing, chest or neck tightness and shortness of breath.

The condition strikingly resembles asthma but asthma medications will have no effect. It is important to note that it can be triggered by various factors while in some; only exercise is the known trigger. The amount of activity required to trigger the condition usually depends on the individual.

Depending on the exact cause of an allergic reaction after engaging in an exercise routine, it is vital to consult a doctor once the individual experiences one. In doing so, the appropriate treatment can be started as soon as possible.

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