Exercise Induced Allergies

Exercise induced allergies are an example of symptoms being provoked only when two (or more) factors are present at the same time. This makes it much harder to tease out the cause(s).

Food dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) was first described in a case study in 1979, which seems fairly recent by medical standards. In comparison, Aspergers (now high functioning Autism) was first described in 1944.

Wheat allergy and delayed migraine connection was first confirmed through DBPCFC (double blind placebo controlled food challenge: the “gold standard”) in 2006.

Other possibilities such as free glutamates (MSG), NSAIDs amplifying allergic reaction have been described.

A study of WDEIA (wheat dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis)* shows that both aspirin and exercise increase the presence of gliadin in the blood stream** and the chronic induced behavior may extend to NSAIDs, MSG, Benzoate and other synthetic chemical food additives.

*Or GDEIA (gluten dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis)

**Morita E, Kunie K, Matsuo H (2007). “Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis”. J. Dermatol. Sci. 47 (2): 109–17. doi:10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.03.004. PMID 17507204.

Exercise Woes in the Past

All throughout my teens and twenties jogging caused abdominal pain. I could feel my intestines painfully juggling inside me quite frequently leading to diarrhea. If I jogged everyday, it seemed my body adapted the best it could so this problem would reduce. But, if I even skipped a couple of days the pain would come right back.

Occasionally this led to nearly passing out and vomiting. Understandably some companions were spooked and never asked me to work out together again.

Any exercise with enough intensity to cause me to sweat would make me itch all over.

Uphill hiking, moderate to intense, more than an hour long, would cause additional problems. I would become swollen, pale, and nauseated. At first I thought I was weak and didn’t have endurance, but the odd thing was that I wasn’t out of breath and I was entirely fine the next day when others who seemed fine on the mountain might be suffering from muscle aches and fatigue.

In the recent past, 1/4 of the time I did not feel well enough to exercise, either due to hormones and/or use of NSAIDs*. Out of the 3/4 of the time I could exercise, 1/3 of the time I suffered severe migraine immediately after and 3/3 itchiness.

All these symptoms became a thing of the past once I became aware of my allergies, which truly brought back the joy in moving my body.

* NSAIDs: NonSteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve).