Allergic To Exercise
Allergic To Exercise

Allergic To Exercise: 3 Types, Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Exercise is one of the ways that is done to get a healthy and fit body. Exercising regularly –at least three times a week– is expected to ward off the disease. Some of the benefits that can be obtained from exercising include ideal weight, decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels, lower the risk of heart disease, and improve mood and energy.

Do not be surprised, especially when you meet someone who claims to be allergic to exercise. It could be that he’s not joking, because a number of people have this type of allergy.

Usually, people with allergic to exercise will experience skin rashes, hives, and redness after they perform physical activity. And this allergy occurs due to an increase in chemicals released in the body, namely histamine, during exercise. In addition, sports allergies can occur due to widening of the blood capillary and leakage of fluid into the dermis of the skin.

At a relatively mild stage, allergies to any type of physical activity only cause rashes or indigestion. However, in some cases, it can turn “malignant” which is life-threatening. Or commonly referred to as anaphylaxis.

Allergic To Exercise Types


Hives or in medical terms called urticaria – is a bump on the skin that is pale or red and itchy. If the hives caused by drug or food allergies are generally large, hives due to exercise are usually mini size (diameter 2-5 mm). Hives caused by exercise are recorded experienced by 10-20% of people around the world.

Hives due to exercise generally, arises in the neck and upper chest area. But it does not close the possibility of spreading throughout the body. A small amount of hives can disappear by itself in 15-20 minutes. However, hives covering almost the entire body can be lost for the next few hours.


About 90% of asthmatics may relapse while exercising. Asthma symptoms can occur some time after starting the exercise and last up to 30 minutes after the exercise is stopped. In fact, some people can have a second asthma attack within 4-12 hours after the first attack. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.

Exercise is more likely to trigger asthma if you do it in cold, dry temperatures and have high pollution levels. Exercise too hard which makes you breathe faster, or breathe through the mouth is thought to also make asthma relapse.

Anaphylactic Shock

Cases of anaphylactic shock due to exercise are extremely rare, recorded only a thousand cases since the 1970s. Anaphylactic shock itself is the most severe form of allergy. The symptoms are itching of the whole body, shortness of breath, wheezing, feeling like suffocating, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, headache, decreased blood pressure, fainting, to cause death.

Jogging and running are the types of exercise that most often cause anaphylactic shock. The next sequence is occupied by dancing, playing volleyball, as well as skiing. In addition, the consumption of certain types of foods or medications before exercising can also trigger them.

The reason why some people are allergic to exercise

An increase in histamine

Allergies due to exercise can occur due to an increase in histamine during exercise. Histamine is a chemical released in the body as part of an allergic reaction.

Widening of the blood capillary and leakage of fluid into the dermis of the skin also plays a role.

There is indeed an allergic to exercise

There is indeed an allergic to exercise and it is experienced by about 2% of the total population.

Described in the spectrum for its leveling, exercise-induced anaphylaxis or better known as EIA does exist. Often, this happens as a result of excessive activity while jogging, playing tennis, dancing or cycling. But in some cases, light exercise such as walking can cause it. Sometimes, EIA can also be triggered by food consumed before a workout session.

The term EIA first appeared in 1979. The condition is experienced by nearly two percent of the world’s population. 

Antibodies will be produced to fight something

When someone who has an EIA exercises, antibodies will be produced to fight something, even though it is not being needed

Allergic To Exercise Symptoms

If you experience allergic symptoms such as skin rashes or itching while exercising, you may suffer from a condition called exercise urticaria. These symptoms can develop during or after exercise and leave signs such as flat bumps or marks on the skin, red spots or blisters.

Allergic To Exercise Prevention

The only way to prevent EIA is to reduce the intensity of exercise or change the type of exercise that sufferers previously did. If you still want to exercise, EIA sufferers can choose swimming options. To date, research has not found a link between EIA and swimming.

EIA sufferers who feel their condition is triggered by certain foods should not eat six to eight hours before exercise. Also, avoid exercise in extreme weather conditions.

Last Updated on December 7, 2020 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team