Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA)

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 1999 Winter;17(4):413-24. doi: 10.1007/BF02737646.


EIA is a unique physical allergy with increasing incidence as the exercising population increases. Clinical features are indistinguishable from IgE-mediated anaphylaxis in which the offending allergens are known (food or insect stings). Recognition of the association with exercise is crucial. A wide variety of exercises can induce the symptoms, including brisk walking. Symptoms may not be always reproduced by the same amount and type of exercise in a given patient suggesting that associated factors are also needed. Food is an associated factor recognized with increasing frequency, and in the last 5 yr, wheat has been the most frequently associated. Avoidance of the known associated factors, such as food or nonsteroidals, induces a long-lasting remission of EIA. Treatment does not differ from that of anaphylaxis of any other cause. General recommendations for patients with EIA include avoidance of exercise 4-6 h after eating, avoidance of aspirin and nonsteroidals before exercise, and avoidance of all associated conditions known to trigger attacks in each particular patient. Discontinuation of exercise at the earliest warning symptom is critical.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / epidemiology
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / therapy
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male