One of the biggest jokes among those who don’t enjoy exercising is that they are ‘allergic to exercise’. After reading this, you may not find it to be quite so funny any longer. Most people will tell you that it is a poor excuse but there may be more to the story.
First of all, let’s get the positive things out of the way. Exercise can increase your energy, put you in a better mood, help you sleep better at night, allow you to avoid chronic disease, decrease your risk of osteoporosis and make you lose weight. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
There are also times when being lazy might just be a better idea. That would be the case if you actually did have an allergy to exercise.
Most of us would readily admit that people can be allergic to things such as household cleaners, pollen and shellfish. It also seems as if some people are allergic to strenuous activity.
It is known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA) and yes, it is a real thing.
Only about 2% of the population in the Western world has this rare condition. That being said, it is a very serious condition for those who suffer from it. It could lead to itching, swelling and a problem with breathing.
Our allergy cells release a chemical that is known as histamine. It is what helps your body to deal with allergens.
“When someone goes into anaphylactic shock, their bloodstream is flooded with inflammatory cells that overwhelm the body, bringing on itching, nausea, and making it hard to breathe,” Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist with the Allergy & Asthma Network said in an interview.
The act of exercise is not what causes the allergic response. It is the physical activity taking place after consuming certain foods and it could be deadly.
“It’s typically foods they could eat normally with no reaction, but working out with those foods in their system is what triggers the reaction,” Parikh explained.
One example was published in Popular Science. It involved a man who ate pizza with tomatoes and peppers before he got on the elliptical machine for half an hour. He now knows that if he eats certain foods and then exercises, he could have an anaphylactic reaction.
It isn’t just pizza with peppers, EIA may be a problem with any food for those who suffer from the condition. When you have it, an allergist should be consulted to determine the underlying problem.
In addition, the belief that women should exercise when they are having their period might not be the best choice. Some women may experience EIA if they exercise while menstruating. Due to the high level of estrogen, it can bind to the cells and lead to an allergic reaction.
For some people, taking over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin and then exercising could lead to EIA.
Fortunately, it is a very rare condition and affects about 50 out of every 100,000 people. It’s good to know about it, but more than likely, it isn’t a real excuse for you to skip the gym.
Source: Popular Science