exercise-induced anaphylaxis

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A life-threatening exercise-associated syndrome similar to anaphylaxis. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis is characterized by the onset during exercise (usually the first = min) of severe redness and blistering of the skin (see also urticaria). It may be associated with cardiovascular collapse, severe respiratory distress, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, and headaches which persist for up to three days after the initial attack. Exercise-induced anaphylaxis appears to occur when exercise follows exposure to specific substances (allergens) to which the exerciser is sensitive. Sources of allergens that have acted as co-precipitators of exercise-induced anaphylaxis include raw celery, alcohol, cabbage, wheat, shellfish, caffeine, aspirin, and alcohol. Attacks are unpredictable; they do not occur with every exercise session. Reported frequencies range from once a month to once every decade. Immediate treatment given to relieve shock and respiratory distress includes the subcutaneous injection of adrenaline and intravenous injection of antihistamine drugs. Prevention depends on the identification and avoidance of the allergen for about 6 h before exercise. Individuals with exercise-induced anaphylaxis are generally advised not to exercise alone and to carry epinephrine (adrenaline) during exercise.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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