Exercise-induced anaphylaxis: an update on diagnosis and treatment

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2011 Feb;11(1):45-51. doi: 10.1007/s11882-010-0150-y.


Exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA) and food-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) are rare but potentially life-threatening clinical syndromes in which association with exercise is crucial. The range of triggering physical activities is broad, including as mild an effort as a stroll. EIA is not fully repeatable (ie, the same exercise may not always result in anaphylaxis in a given patient). In FDEIA, the combined ingestion of sensitizing food and exercise is necessary to precipitate symptoms. Clinical features and management do not differ significantly from other types of anaphylaxis. The pathophysiology of EIA and FDEIA is not fully understood. Different hypotheses concerning the possible influence of exercise on the development of anaphylactic symptoms are taken into consideration. These include increased gastrointestinal permeability, blood flow redistribution, and most likely increased osmolality. This article also describes current diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities, including changes in lifestyle and preventive properties of antiallergic drugs as well as acute treatment of these dangerous syndromes.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology*
  • Anaphylaxis / physiopathology
  • Anaphylaxis / therapy
  • Basophils
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells
  • Osmolar Concentration


  • Allergens