What causes exercise induced allergies

About one in five people will develop hives at some point in their lives, but a much smaller number will get physical urticarias (urticaria is another expression for hives) when they contact or experience some extremely ordinary things.

«If you put an ice cube on somebody that has freezing urticaria, they’re going to own a large welt correct where the ice cube was,» said Casale. And it’s not just the freezing. «It could be heat, could be sunlight. It could be vibration. It could be pressure.»

In fact, some cases of heat-induced hives might be confused with exercise-induced anaphylaxis because exercise can lift body temperature.

Casale found the two could be distinguished for diagnosis by either heating the patient using a warming blanket or placing the patient’s hand or leg in boiling water. Only those with heat urticaria will develop hives.

An even smaller number of people with the condition may be diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, meaning they are allergic to water.

«I actually saw a patient probably six or seven years ago. We put water on her and, boy, she just broke out in hives where the water hit her,» said Casale, although he thought the reaction might own been provoked more so by the temperature of the water than the water itself.

There’s no treatment for physical urticaria and «we still don’t own a really excellent clue as to how [the hives] come about,» said Casale. «These syndromes aren’t extremely common and they’re extremely hard to study.»

It probably won't go away

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent EIA is by exercising at a lower intensity. Or, you can change the type of exercise you do, as swimming hasn't been associated with EIA.

If you suspect food is inducing the reaction, the medical recommendation is to stop eating six to eight hours before exercising. Extremely boiling or freezing weather can also worsen the reaction, so avoid working out during those times.

Depending on the severity of your reaction, it might also be a excellent thought to see a doctor and get an Epipen, which is filled with emergency injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) that stops the reaction.

Being out of breath after a jog does not mean you have exercise-induced anaphylaxis.

In fact, the condition probably only affects about 2% of the western population, according to a study published in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports. 

Some people specifically suffer from food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA). The symptoms happen when a specific food, commonly wheat or shellfish, is eaten before or after exercise. 

It probably won't go away

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent EIA is by exercising at a lower intensity. Or, you can change the type of exercise you do, as swimming hasn't been associated with EIA.

If you suspect food is inducing the reaction, the medical recommendation is to stop eating six to eight hours before exercising.

What causes exercise induced allergies

Extremely boiling or freezing weather can also worsen the reaction, so avoid working out during those times.

Depending on the severity of your reaction, it might also be a excellent thought to see a doctor and get an Epipen, which is filled with emergency injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) that stops the reaction.

The INSIDER Summary: 

  1. For some people, symptoms surface after eating a particular food before or after physical activity.
  2. An exercise-induced allergic reaction can happen during or after exercise. 
  3. The rare allergy is still being tested and should be treated love other conditions. 


Being tired, not having enough time, or being extremely sore are common excuses for skipping a workout.

One reason you might not hear of so often is being allergic to exercise. Although that sounds love BS, it is a genuine, and somewhat serious condition. 

According to Cosmopolitan, exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA), which occurs during or after exercise, can result in flushing, wheezing, hives, swelling, and nausea among other symptoms. Vigorous forms of physical activity love jogging, tennis, and bicycling are often associated with the allergy, but so are things that take less energy love walking or doing yard work, Medscape reports.

Scientist are still determining the cause of the allergy. 

The allergy is not fully understood, and scientists are still testing theories. Maria Castells, an allergist at Brigham and Women&#x;s Hospital, told Favorite Science that it is especially hard to re-create the scenario for testing. "There&#x;s no mouse model and no human model of the ideas," she said. 

Scientists do know that the same exercises won't always own the same allergic result, according to a study published in Current Allergy and Asthma ReportsIf you are diagnosed with the allergy, the only form of exercise that hasn't been associated with a bad reaction is swimming. 

Treatment includes avoiding "trigger foods" and keeping an EpiPen with you for emergencies. 

Medical experts recommend avoiding "trigger foods" love wheat or shellfish that are associated with FDEIA, especially when you know you'll be exercising.

Cosmopolitan reports that keeping an EpiPen on your person is excellent for emergencies. 

If none of the symptoms sound love something you've experienced, then hold up with your regular exercise routine. Not everyone is privileged enough to be capable to workout without health issues, so take advantage of taking care of yourself and discover a physical activity that works for you.  

March 3, — In the world of allergies, there are a few common culprits to which numerous sufferers can relate. Pollen, peanuts and even egg and wheat are some that are widely known and, hence, widely understood.

They’re annoying for certain, but at least their victims can take solace in the fact that they are not alone in their distress.

But what of those whose allergies drop exterior of the mainstream. For example, those allergic to meat?

«We’ve been looking into this for a couple of years, but it was really unclear how widespread it was,» said Dr. Scott Commins, an allergist and immunologist at the University of Virginia. On Sunday, Commins presented the findings of his latest research on meat allergies before those gathered at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in New Orleans.

What Commins and his colleagues found in their preliminary study of 60 patients was that some people may own an allergy to a carbohydrate naturally found within meat.

He said that while allergies to certain proteins in meat has been documented before, such cases are extremely rare. But the thought that there is another component of meat that can spur allergies means that the pool of people within the population who own a meat allergy may be more than previously suspected.

It gets stranger. Commins said the patients with this allergy that he studied experienced a peculiar delay in symptoms.

«Initially they will experience nothing,» he said.

What causes exercise induced allergies

«About three to four hours in, they’ll start experiencing some itching, which often proceeds to hives.»

Commins said that in some patients the reaction can get even worse, progressing to breathing difficulties, acute onset diarrhea and cramping.

While more details on this allergy will only come with additional research, Commins said the preliminary results propose that people with certain blood types — specifically B and AB — may be less likely to own this type of allergy than those with other blood types. He also said the research shows that those who own been bitten by ticks or certain other blood-sucking insects may be more likely to own this allergy.

«What is it about tick or chigger bites that causes the production of this antibody?» he said. «We don’t ponder it is something infectious, as with Lyme disease and other conditions, but we are certainly keeping an open mind.»

Dr. Clifford Bassett, assistant clinical professor of medicine and otolaryngology at The Endless Island College Hospital, SUNY-HSCB, in Brooklyn, N.Y., who was not involved with the research, called the study «thought-provoking,» particularly in patients whose allergies own no conventional explanation, a condition shelved under the description «idiopathic anaphylaxis.»

«This condition, idiopathic anaphylaxis, often goes with no concrete cause for it,» he said.

«We should consider this [research] in evaluating this condition.»

Under, we explore 11 other unusual allergies with which a few must contend — in some cases on a daily basis.


Imagine being allergic to a substance that makes up about 70 percent of the ground and almost as much of our bodies. But for some, a rare allergy to water is harsh reality.

Michaela Dutton, 21, has aquagenic urticaria, which causes her to get hives when her skin comes in contact with water. While physical urticarias are not unusual — people can develop hives within minutes in response to ordinary stimuli including heat, freezing and pressure — sensitivity to water is far less common.

Dutton said she broke out in a red rash and white blisters after she took a bath about a week after her son was born three years ago.

What causes exercise induced allergies

Although she ignored the reactions at first, her symptoms worsened and she went to see a doctor and a dermatologist who told her she had a water allergy.

«It’s horrible,» Dutton said. «I couldn’t believe it at first,» Dutton said.

«Water induced urticaria is extremely unusual — there are not numerous cases ever reported,» said Dr. Thomas Casale, chief of allergy and immunology at Creighton University and executive vice president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. «The mechanism has not really been defined.»

It is certain, however, that people with aquagenic urticaria produce histamine from mast cells in the skin which causes redness, rashes and hives if they touch water.

Dutton’s sensitivity is such that she can only bathe for about 10 seconds each week and cannot drink water, juice, tea or coffee, opting for diet cola instead. She is also restricted from eating certain fruits and vegetables.

«It’s not a problem with water in the body. It’s when [water] is applied on top of the body,» Casale said, citing additives as a possible cause for the allergic reaction seen on the skin.

Dutton, who lives in Walsall in the UK, also must be careful when holding her 3-year-old son. Her allergy was triggered after his birth and even his tears can cause hives.

«He doesn’t really understand,» Dutton said.

«If he falls asleep I own to watch he doesn’t dribble on me.»

Physical urticarias tend to happen in individuals starting in their 20s and 30s but it is impossible to predict how endless the condition will final.

«Some of these can be time limited but some can final for fairly a few years,» Casale said.

Most urticarias are treated with antihistamines but Casale said that because they are so rare, there own been no major breakthroughs in treatments.

Cell Phones

Normally we’re beautiful careful about the kinds of things we let touch our faces, but how often has that concern come to mind when that thing is your cell phone?

In recent years, dermatologists own begun to see an increasing number of contact dermatitis patients who are allergic to their cell phones, or more specifically the nickel in their cell phones.

«Some people are extremely nickel-sensitive,» said Dr. Lionel Bercovitch, a professor of dermatology at Brown Medical School.

Nickel is a metal that’s used in a wide variety of products, including jewelry, belt buckles and watch bands. It’s the most common cause of contact dermatitis in the developed world.

The symptoms of a nickel reaction range from redness to a more obvious rash, even blisters. Bercovitch suspects some cases involving cell phones are not being reported because the symptoms are being confused with facial eczema.

«My guess is that it’s probably more common than we ponder, but it’s just not widely recognized,» he said.

Not every cell phones contain nickel. In an attempt to get an thought of how numerous phones might own the metal, Bercovitch tested 22 models and published the results in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in January

Ten devices were positive for the metal.

What causes exercise induced allergies

In some, the nickel showed up around the menu buttons. In others, it appeared near the decorative logos, around the edge of the screen or on a part of the handset where paint was chipped.

See Video That Shows You How to Test Your Cell Phone for Nickel

«I ponder you need the perfect storm of somebody who’s allergic to nickel in the first put, and somebody who uses the cell phone a lot, and a cell phone that has an exposed nickel area,» said Bercovitch.

It might be caused by your diet

Doctors don't always know what causes it.

In numerous cases, people experience a subset of EIA called food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA).

This is when you exercise soon after eating a specific food, and it causes a reaction.

You might not generally own any allergic symptoms when you eat the food normally, but something about the combination of physical exertion and the food sets off your immune system.

According to Medscape, the most common foods linked to FDEIA are wheat, shellfish, tomatoes, peanuts, and corn. But other foods own been reported to own an impact too, love meat, fruit, seeds, milk, soy, lettuce, peas, beans, and rice.

It might not be as simple as avoiding these foods, though, as there is also a nonspecific form of FDEIA, where eating any food before exercise can kick off a reaction.

There's also a chance it is something you're breathing in, such as dust mite debris, or mould spores.

Chairs, Flutes and Other Items With Nickel

The unexpected allergic reactions to nickel don’t stop at cell phones.

«We’re starting to see people who own rashes in other places because of the unexpected content of nickel in those items,» said Dr. Sharon Jacob, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of California at San Diego.

Jacob notes she’s cared for children who’ve developed rashes on the back of their legs due to contact with nickel-plated studs on the seats of their classroom chairs.

«You can get blisters, you can get scarring,» said Jacob.

«We’re seeing children as young as 4, and they’re becoming scarred from this.»

Other patients own more challenging cases to solve.

What causes exercise induced allergies

Jacob once treated a girl who developed severe lip dermatitis after playing a flute containing the metal.

One problem with diagnosing the allergy is the rash could come a week after contact with nickel, so not everyone associates the symptoms with the potentially problematic object, said Jacob.

The number of allergy patients testing positive for a nickel reaction is on the rise in the United States.

Numerous clinicians own attributed the increase, especially in men, to a growing number of ear and other piercings.

About 19 percent of patients with allergic dermatitis are sensitized to nickel, reported the North American Contact Dermatitis Group in data from The number of such patients was much smaller in — about 11 percent.

How does one become sensitized to nickel? As Jacob explains it, for some people the intimate contact between the skin and the nickel used in earrings and ear posts can do the trick.

«In general, the first time you’re in contact with nickel, you don’t get a rash,» said Jacob. But your immune system remembers the metal and eventually, after more exposure, you reach an «elicitation threshold» when «your skin is primed to react.»

Jacob says she wants the American Academy of Dermatology to assist shove for regulations to limit the quantity of nickel in products with prolonged skin contact, just as was done in Europe in the early ’90s.

Black Henna Tattoos

For thousands of years, people in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia own decorated their bodies with henna, but in recent decades, adulterations in the dye used for these temporary tattoos own resulted in painful allergic reactions.

Henna is a normally reddish-brown or greenish-brown vegetable coloring derived from lawsone, an ingredient found in the leaves of the henna shrub.

Normal henna rarely causes allergic contact dermatitis, but darker henna containing an added chemical also found in hair dye called p-phenylenediamine, or PPD, can instigate severe skin problems and additional allergies.

In some cases, the tattooed skin of those who are allergic to PPD will swell and blister, with the contours of the bumpy skin conforming to the shape of the original tattoo.

«When they add the black hair dye at significant concentrations … we’re seeing people with blistering and scarring to it,» said Jacob.

It’s not unusual for people who react to black henna to also react to hair dye, sometimes as a result of the black henna encounter.

While PPD in little amounts is still allowed in hair dyes, it has been banned from skin products in the United States since Still, henna artists hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the black coloring can stir the dangerous paste on their own.

«When you see somebody with a stand that says ‘henna,’ enquire them what color the stain is when the paste comes off the skin,» explained Catherine Cartwright-Jones, a retired henna artist and webmaster for the Henna Sheet.

What causes exercise induced allergies

If the stain on your skin is black, «you’ve got a problem.»