Exercise allergy? What does the science say about anaphylaxis | Digital Trends Spanish


The combination was supposed to be dangerous, but it wasn’t that bad. So after that night of drinking, allergist Andrew Murphy’s patient took ibuprofen and went for a run. Within minutes, the woman had an allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis, which is commonly known as an exercise allergy. However, the statement is imprecise.

According to the allergist from Suburban Allergy Consultants in Pennsylvania, anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction triggered by eating food followed by an exercise routine. In the case of his patient, the food was alcohol and ibuprofen.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

The specialist recalls that allergies are bodily reactions to an immune response caused by an allergen, present in food, such as peanuts, or objects, such as cat hair. Because of this, it is not correct to say that a person is allergic to exercise, as physical activity itself does not create an interaction between an allergen and a person.

However, Murphy indicates that in the case of anaphylaxis, exercise acts as a trigger for an allergic reaction for which the mechanism of action is unknown until now. Some theories suggest that exercise triggers a release of endorphins, which causes some cells to release chemicals like histamine.

The mechanism that triggers this allergic reaction is also not known, although some studies suggest that physical activity makes the gastrointestinal tract more permeable, allowing allergens to enter the immune system more easily.

In any case, specialists emphasize that anaphylaxis is a relatively rare condition. Its prevalence is 2 percent and, of that percentage, between 5 and 15 percent is induced by exercise. The allergic reaction is not entirely severe either, usually it is skin symptoms such as hives or swollen lips.

And what to do to prevent it? Experts ask to avoid eating food four hours before and after exercise.

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