Exercise-induced asthma, anaphylaxis, and urticaria

Prim Care. 1991 Dec;18(4):809-31.


Exercise-induced asthma is a common but frequently undiagnosed problem. The patient may not wheeze, but rather have shortness of breath, chest tightening, and coughing. The coach and the physician must be particularly alert to the signs and symptoms of exercise-induced asthma to recognize this syndrome. Proper conditioning, warming up, inducing refractoriness, participating in sports less likely to provoke exercise-induced asthma, and the aggressive use of appropriate medications allow patients to enjoy sports and compete effectively. A rare but potentially fatal syndrome is exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Accurate diagnosis and differentiation from other exertion-related syndromes are critical, and appropriate precautions are necessary. A third clinical entity, exercise-induced cholinergic urticaria, although not life-threatening, can be quite annoying. Aggravating factors, such as increased heat, compound the problems. In summary, exercise-induced allergic phenomena are common and should be recognized by the practicing physician.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / therapy
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / diagnosis
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / etiology*
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / therapy
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Urticaria / etiology*
  • Urticaria / therapy