Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis – An Overview

Exercise Induced AnaphylaxisExercise induced anaphylaxis (EIA)

is an allergic reaction caused by physical exertion. It is a very serious condition that can even lead to death. The following article gives an overview on

exercise induced anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis, also known as anaphylactic shock is a severe form of allergic reaction caused by several allergens. The causes of this condition can be divided into two – IgE mediated type and non IgE mediated type. IgE mediated is associated with sensitization of immune system which on getting re-exposed results in severe reactions. Non IgE mediated is not associated with any sensitization and the first exposure itself causes severe reactions. EIA belongs to non IgE mediated allergic reaction type. Exercises performed in any form such as tennis, jogging, walking, swimming, dancing can induce this severe allergic reaction. Here is a complete overview – the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of exercise induced anaphylaxis.

Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis – Causes

Anaphylaxis cannot occur by doing exercise alone. There may be many factors that contribute for the cause of EIA. The following are the causes associated along with exercises which lead to anaphylaxis.

  • FDEIA (Food Dependent Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis) is common. Foods like tomatoes, shellfish, wheat, peanuts, seeds, corn, soy bean, milk, peas, lettuce, various meats and rice are responsible for causing allergic reaction. Performing physical exercises even after a few hours of eating these kinds of food can cause allergic reactions.
  • Intake of medications like aspirin and non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs a few hours before performing physical exercises can also lead to allergic reactions.
  • Inhalant allergies such as exposure to Penicillium mold or any such allergen before doing exercise can cause EIA.
  • Family history of EIA also is one of the contributing factorS for acquiring EIA.

Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis – Symptoms

The common symptoms that are associated with EIA include itchy, red and warm skin, swelling in the lips, face, throat and eyes, fatigue, lightheadedness, difficulty in breathing, nausea, low blood pressure, chronic hives, diarrhea, etc. Soon after noticing these symptoms, you need to get immediate medical treatment or else the condition worsens.

Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis – Diagnosis and Treatment

EIA can be diagnosed based on a person’s history of symptoms which occur along with exercise. If the symptoms develop outside, like increase in body temperature, then the reason could be cholinergic utricaria. Only a skilled physician can perform a test to diagnose the condition. Once EIA is diagnosed, it is important to assess the other responsible triggers. This includes allergy testing to various foods.

Treatment for EIA is similar to treatments given in other cases of anaphylactic shock. After the condition is diagnosed, epinephrine drug is injected immediately to the patient. It gives relief from respiratory troubles by offering relaxation to the airway muscles. It even contracts blood vessels therefore normalizing blood pressure. People susceptible to this EIA should always carry these drugs or wear medical alert bracelets to avoid serious complications. After the anaphylactic shock is stabilized, the physician may prescribe some other medications and treatments.

Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis – Prevention

The best way to prevent EIA is to avoid exposure to the allergen causing it and take proper precautionary measures. Here are a few precautions that can help you in avoiding EIA:

  • Avoid eating foods at least twelve hours before exercise or any physical activity that can or else trigger allergic reactions
  • If you are unaware of foods that induce allergic reactions, avoid eating any kinds of food for at leats 6 – 7 hours before exercising.
  • Do not perform any exercise in extreme weather conditions of cold, humid and hot.

Exercise is the only best way to keep your body and mind healthy and fit. Therefore, do not quit exercising. But try to follow these precautions to keep yourself healthy. Avoid performing vigorous exercises or any physical activities. If you notice any of these EIA symptoms, contact a physician immediately.

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