Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Ok, so I have to preface this post by saying that I never knew such a thing existed and I didn't know I had allergies really (I am sensitive to milk and have sensitive skin, but nothing anaphylactic).

All my life when I have done vigourous physical activity I break out in red, raised, itchy hives. I always thought it was the sizing in the clothes and made sure to wash them before wearing, but even that didn't seem to make a difference. I have avoided things that make me really sweat because of this... it is quite uncomfortable.

I have been trying hard to be more active, get more exercise and to just improve my overall health. I've been power-walking and break out in hives (usually on my chest, neck and legs), Jumped on the rebounder inside, hives, used the vibrational trainer, hives.

Last night I did 15 minutes of heavy activity and by the time I was done my arms, chest and neck were RED, itchy and my lips felt swollen.

I posted this on my facebook and a little while later thought to look it up (what would we do without google or Wikipedia?).

Exercise Urticaria

Exercise urticaria, sometimes mistaken as exercise allergy, itchy legs, itchy legs syndrome or itchy pants syndrome, is a form of urticaria that happens during exercise. It is characterized by itching, swelling or hives on the legs, arms, torso or neck during or after exercise.

Cholinergic urticaria is brought on by a physical stimulus. Although the physical stimulus might be considered to be sweat, the actual precipitating cause is increased body temperature. Lesions usually appear within a few minutes of sweating, and may last for 30 minutes to over an hour.
In extreme cases, the condition can progress to an anaphylactic reaction, causing the person to pass out or suffocate due to blocked airways. People suffering from cholinergic urticaria may carry an epinephrine autoinjector (such as an EpiPen) in case of anaphylaxis.

Exercise-induced anaphylaxis
A life-threatening drop in blood pressure that can be fatal in major allergic reactions. Seen commonly when a person allergic to certain foods or medications exercises immediately after ingesting them. Symptoms are:
Unusual warmth
Inflammation of the skin progressing to large hives
Collapse and unconsciousness
Swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing or choking
Treatments include:
A self-injectable epinephrine kit prescribed by a doctor
Avoiding the triggering food or medication at least a day before vigorous exercise.
Medical alert jewelry or ID tags describing the condition and sensitive substances.
Accompaniment by someone informed of condition able to contact emergency service, like with an emergency telephone number.

I was shocked to learn that this is an actual disorder!?

I have no idea what I could have eaten yesterday that might have caused this.

I took two antihistamines and went to bed.

Does this ever happen to YOU? Is this common? I couldn't find any more information out about it.

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