Dr. Andrew Murphy, an allergist at Suburban Allergy Consultants in Pennsylvania, was told of a woman who “had a few drinks one night. The next morning she took ibuprofen to ease her hangover, and minutes later she went for a run. She had never had problems with alcohol, ibuprofen, and much less with exercise, ”reported the GM portal.

The woman presenteda life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis”, which generated the doubt if a person can be allergic to exercise.

Not technically,” Murphy replied.. “When a person is exposed to something they are allergic to, a protein from the allergen (for example: nuts, milk, or shellfish) interacts with antibodies on their body’s immune cells. These cells expel chemicals such as histamine, which cause sneezing, hives, wheezing, and other symptoms. There is no protein that enters the body while a person is exercising, so it is impossible to be allergic to running”, in words collected by GM.

The specialist explained that there is a “strange condition known as anaphylaxis, induced by exercise. It’s not necessarily antibody-mediated, but exercise is a trigger and the allergic immune cells are still activated,” Murphy told LiveScience.

A theory about a possible allergy to exercise explained by a 2010 review in the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, indicates that this may occur because “exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which leads certain immune cells to release chemicals such as histamine”.

In the case analyzed by Dr. Andrew Murphy, anaphylaxis occurred due to “eating certain foods before exercising that can cause symptoms such as wheezing or hives, they can even react to these foods when they are already resting,” indicated the GM portal.

According to experts, cases of anaphylaxis are very rare, it is said that “approximately 2% of people in the Western world experience anaphylaxis, and between 5% and 15% of cases are exercise-induced,” he explains. the GM website.

In the case of Dr. Murphy’s patient, the reaction was triggered by “alcohol or ibuprofen, or a combination of the two,” highlighted the aforementioned portal.

The MSD Manual portal also points out that there are few cases in which this allergy to exercise occurs. “Some people have this reaction only when they eat a specific food (especially wheat or shrimp) before exercising. Breathing becomes difficult or blood pressure drops, leading to dizziness and collapse. The anaphylactic reaction is life-threatening,” he explains.

Side plank exercise Photo: Getty Images
A serious allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, which causes symptoms such as shortness of breath and choking, dizziness and nausea Photo: Getty Images – Photo: Getty Images

According to Cuídate plus, “exercise-induced allergy can appear at any age. The factor that has to be given is that there is sensitivity to a food, wheat being the most frequent. In a normal state, this food does not cause an allergic reaction, but it does produce one when doing physical exercise one or two hours after eating it.

Just as the MSD Manual and Cuídate Plus point out about the risk of wheat as a food that can generate this affectation, there are also others that can cause allergies. “This is the case of foods that contain lipid transporting proteins (LTP), such as peaches. Other plants may also be involved, ”explained Ángela Meijide, spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (Seaic).

The allergists advise “avoiding the intake of food or medicine (which has been determined to cause the allergy) during the two hours prior to physical exercise or the two hours after this practice”, they also indicate that “the patient must have a emergency kit, with antihistamines, corticosteroids and adrenaline”.

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