Exercise induced anaphylaxis- What does it mean?

Published on Nov 17, 2023 by


Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. EIA is a type of anaphylaxis that occurs during and after exercise or physical activity. It is a rare but serious condition.

It can happen to anyone, but it’s more common in people with allergies and asthma and people who are overweight or have other health conditions. It is, however, more common in women than men. If you experience its symptoms, seek emergency medical assistance immediately from an ENT doctor in Philadelphia.

Symptoms of exercise-induced anaphylaxis are:

While the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced anaphylaxis are similar to those of a food allergy, there are some differences.


The most common symptom of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is vomiting. This can occur as a result of many different causes and may include nausea or even vomiting that looks like food. Vomiting is usually the first sign to appear in milder cases of exercise-induced anaphylaxis and may occur before any other symptoms appear.


Coughing is another common sign that appears with milder cases of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. The cough may be caused by the release of histamine in your body’s reaction to the stress of exercise. Coughing can occur after eating or exercising and may be accompanied by wheezing and chest tightness. It’s also possible for coughing to occur without wheezing unless there are other symptoms present.

Difficulty breathing

If you have difficulty breathing, it could indicate an increase in blood pressure or heart rate during exercise. This increase in intensity can lead to increased levels of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) that trigger a cascade of chemical reactions that result in trouble breathing, and more severe symptoms than those experienced with a milder response to stress.


Itching and hives are also common symptoms of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. The itching usually occurs first as large red welts appear on your skin before spreading outwards over several hours or days, depending on what triggers your allergic reaction.


Some people faint when they have anaphylaxis. When you faint, your body goes into a sudden and brief period of unconsciousness with no warning. This is known as syncope (from the Greek word for “fall”). If you faint during exercise-induced anaphylaxis, move quickly to a sitting position, so your blood pressure does not fall too low.


This is the most common symptom of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. It usually starts with an itching or tingling at the site of the injection. The itching usually worsens until it becomes a rash that may spread around the body.

Trouble swallowing

Swallowing can become very difficult in severe cases of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Tingling and swelling in the mouth, throat, and tongue may occur together with this symptom. Swallow hard enough to expel any food stuck in your throat if you start feeling this way during exercise-induced anaphylaxis.


A wheeze is a type of breathing in which air flows in and out of the lungs in rapid succession. Wheezing is usually the first sign of exercise-induced anaphylaxis. When you wheeze, it can be hard to breathe because the airway gets blocked by mucus in the throat.

Chest tightness

Your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure rises when you exercise. This can make your chest feel tight or uncomfortable. Your symptoms may worsen after a more extended period of exercise when the effects of heat or humidity are added to the mix.

Throat pain

If you have an anaphylactic reaction during or after exercising, your throat may become painful because it’s inflamed. If this happens, you’ll probably cough and gasp for air and wheeze occasionally.

Some people are more prone to exercise-induced anaphylaxis than others. These people are often thought of as having a “trigger” or “high risk” for anaphylaxis, but the trigger can be anything that puts the person at increased risk for anaphylaxis. It could be a specific food or chemical, exposure to a particular environment or type of exercise, or even something as simple as depression.

The most common triggers are:


The most common trigger of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is exercise. Exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which can cause allergic reactions such as hives and rashes when exposed to a trigger such as pollen. Individuals who engage in strenuous exercise can have anaphylaxis caused by adrenaline released from their adrenal glands.

Adrenaline causes the release of compounds called histamines which cause swelling, constriction of blood vessels, and changes in blood pressure leading to hypotension (low blood pressure). A person who has exercise-induced anaphylaxis does not necessarily have a food allergy. The most common cause of exercise-induced anaphylaxis is exercise, but it can also occur after eating certain foods and taking certain medications.


Many people have a reaction to one food or another. This is especially true if it happens in response to exercise, during which time you may have eaten particular foods. For example, some people have severe reactions when exercising on an empty stomach because this helps trigger mast cells and basophils in their bodies. Some people will experience mild symptoms when exercising on a full stomach because that helps relieve the pressure on their airways, so they don’t become inflamed as easily.

It’s important to note that everyone is different, and there may not be one specific trigger that you can identify with your own life story. However, if you experience a severe reaction while exercising while eating certain foods, you must stop immediately and see if this reaction occurs again after eating something else.


Medications such as antibiotics, steroids, and antihistamines can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them. These medications are usually taken for a short period and may not always be listed on the label, so it’s essential to read them closely before taking them.

Insect bites

If you’re allergic to insect bites, you may be more likely to experience life-threatening anaphylaxis. Insects include bees, wasps, and ants. It’s possible that an insect bite could cause problems for someone who has a severe allergy to them.

It’s important to know that exercise-induced anaphylaxis may only be mild and does not always cause death. However, it’s best to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after exercising.

About the Author: Alishba Rajput

Alishba Rajput is a content writer specializing in various niches. With a passion for storytelling, Alishba captivates readers with her engaging articles. Her dedication to delivering high-quality and informative content has earned her a reputable standing in the industry. Alishba's proficiency in crafting compelling narratives sets her apart as a skilled writer.

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