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Are some people really allergic to exercise?

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Generally, when people speak of an exercise allergy they are making a joke about someone’s weight, but it really does exist.
The term for being allergic to exercise is exercise-induced anaphylaxis or EIA, and though it is rare it is a life threatening condition.
According to study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology done by Doctor Albert L. Sheffer, people with exercise-induced anaphylaxis may pass out, have an asthma attack, swell, develop hives, or most likely a combination of the above.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine or ACSM, only 1 to 15 percent of the population is at risk of having or developing this allergy.
“Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment,” stated an ACSM release. “While there are a number of causes of anaphylaxis, exercise is an unpredictable cause.”
EIA can occur every time a person with the allergy exerts themselves beyond a certain threshold or just sometimes according to the ACSM.
“The exact mechanism is not fully understood,” said the ACSM. “However, it is known that specific cells in the body break down, releasing histamine and other chemicals, leading to anaphylaxis symptoms. If it is a form of food-dependent EIA, this process is influenced by a sensitization by a known or unknown food.”
There is also a type of EIA where a person may take a medicine and not know they are allergic to it until it is stored in their cells and broken down for energy during exercise or exertion according to the ACSM.
Some other factors that may bring about a reaction similar to anaphylaxis include extreme heat or cold, humidity, hormones in women, or a family history or work out related symptoms.
“Typical activities known to trigger EIA include running, cycling, swimming, and even yard work,” said the ACSM.
It is hard to determine the exact amount of people suffering from this condition, because every rash is not reported. Not every adult is physically active, and there are so many foods, pollen, mold, grass, dust mites, animal dander, or other allergens that might be blamed for an allergic reaction.
In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, only about 20 percent of adults are meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic physical and muscle-strengthening activity.
The Physical Activity Guidelines are set by the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and include 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity of at least 10 minute intervals at a time and strength-training twice a week.
The good news is that exercise-induced anaphylaxis can be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. Getting to a doctor or allergist is the first step to treatment.
Those who do have EIA live normal lives and are capable of regular exercise with treatment.

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