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An excuse to skip gym?

You might have a valid excuse to not train legs today.

In some people, exercise can trigger an allergy attack. Doctors call it exercise-induced anaphylaxis where a reaction to an allergen happens in conjunction with exercise.

First discovered in the 1970s the condition affects around 50 in every 100,000 people. For some the reaction comes from combining certain types of food and exercise and for others strenuous activity triggers a response to drugs such as aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Some women get an attack while exercising when they have high levels of the hormone estrogen because it can bind to the cells involved with an allergic reaction.

The amount of exercise needed to trigger an allergic reaction varies from individual to individual. Scientists are still not certain what causes the connection between exercise and anaphylaxis as the condition is difficult to recreate in a laboratory setting.

If you are susceptible to an allergic reaction when you train you must avoid allergens all together. The foods most commonly implicated in exercise-induced anaphylaxis are peanuts, corn, wheat, shellfish and tomatoes. The disorder has also been reported in a wide variety of other foods including soybean, milk, lettuce, peas, beans, rice, fruits and various meats.

Symptoms may include hives and itchy skin, swelling in the eyes or mouth, difficulty in breathing or wheezing, gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

A food diary may be helpful if you are unsure. One of the best preventive strategies is to eliminate certain food types before exercise.

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