Skip Nav
Healthy Eating Tips
10 Healthy Reasons to Start Squeezing Lemons
Healthy Recipes
18 Whole30 Dinners You'll Make Well After Your Diet Ends
Healthy Recipes
These Hearty Green Soups Are as Healthy as They Are Beautiful

Allergic to Exercise?

I've heard of allergies to nuts, or bees, or cats, but an allergy to exercise? Come on, that's just an excuse not to work out, right? Unfortunately there is such a thing as an allergy to exercise known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA). Although it's a pretty rare condition, it still exists for some unlucky few. A person with EIA may feel tired, itchy, or warm within the first few minutes of exercise, and then symptoms can quickly progress to swollen lips, eyes, and throat. Other symptoms can include hives, fainting, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Sometimes symptoms don't show up for up to four hours after exercising.

Only 1,000 cases of exercise-induced anaphylaxis have been documented since the 70s, and of those cases only one resulted in death. There's also a less severe and more common exercise- triggered allergy that 10 to 20 percent of the population will experience sometime during their lives. To find out what it is,


Cholinergic urticaria, is a common type of heat rash, that many people may experience when they work out that is reddish, and may cause a burning or itchy sensation. This type of skin reaction can also be caused by a combination of both exercise and these triggers: sun exposure, certain foods, certain medications, alcohol, menstruation, cold weather, or getting emotionally worked up. If you think you may have symptoms that are triggered by exercise, definitely make an appointment with your doctor.


Join The Conversation
2muchtv 2muchtv 7 years
If you have FT-EIA, it's not so bad, so long as you exercise in the morning. However, the thing that sux is that a light stroll counts as exercise. I've had it go off from basically standing for a long time, walking home (leisurely pace), and shopping. It's just easier to treat it as a complete allergy (since the foods make my throat itchy anyways), than to indulge and not exercise. Apparently, my definition of exercise is different from my body's definition. *humph*
fmradio201 fmradio201 8 years
I am one of the now 1,004 Americans with Exercised Induced Anaphylaxis. I've had it for about 4 years now. I actually have an even more rare form of EIA, it's called FT-EIA, or Food Triggered Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis. If I eat a certain amount of wheat and then exercise within 2-4 hours afterwards, I get hives, flushed red skin, then ghostly pale skin, fatally low blood pressure. Twice I've passed out to unconsciousness and the paramedics arrived and could not find a pulse either time, by hand or by stethoscope. I had a blood pressure reading of 27/62, with "normal" being 80/120. I was in and out of consciousness, but I managed to survive coming within seconds of death. For which I'm grateful for. Luckily you outgrow the condition, and It doesn't really hamper my life all that much anyways. :)
enSue enSue 9 years
So that's what the red blotches are on my thighs when I jog/walk after being sedentary for too long. I've had that since I was a child. I am allergic to a ton of indoor and outdoor pathogens, and suffered from anaphylaxis 2 months ago (mostly from cat dander) that was exacerbated by moderate activity at work. Since then, I tend to get mild allergic reactions, including itching and asthma/wheezing, whenever I do almost any physical activity (especially in humid and/or hot weather).
redjr redjr 9 years
This EIA is not all that uncommon. I have a form of it. Food dependent EIA. If I eat wheat then exercise I get hives over a large enough portion of my body that I go into shock. My solution is not to eat wheat. Watch me in the Sea to Sea bike tour starting next week.
melizzle melizzle 9 years
This has happened to me... after a particularly hard run following a dry stretch. I'll get all red and itchy.
Alicila Alicila 9 years
Man, that would be my luck to have an exercise allergy. My legs and arms always itch like crazy when I work out. And I woke up with swollen lips this morning after a hard work out last night.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I'd be so depressed if I couldn't work out! I've also heard of a condition where you don't sweat, which means you can't let yourself get too overheated because you can't cool yourself down. That would also suck.
Lilavati Lilavati 9 years
There's also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome... went through that, it's so depressing...
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i agree - i don't know what i would do with myslef if i couldn't work out. ugh..that would really suck. i wonder how you would really be able to diagnose that one. i wouldn't know how to approach my dr with that - to tell him that i was feeling all these symptoms and they only appear when i'm working out or doing some type of physical activity.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
That would be so terrible! I can't imagine not being able to exercise. Good thing it's so rare!
jkat jkat 9 years
If I have been on a running hiatus and start back up again, I often get hot, intensely itchy blotches. I only seem to get them for a week or so, until I start getting in better shape again. They are really annoying.
How to Buy the Right Sports Bra For Big Busts
Jennifer Lopez Working Out With David Kirsch Video
Tarte Lifted Mascara Review
How Do You Do Chaturanga?
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds