Exercise-induced Urticaria

What the heck is that, you ask?

Hives.  Caused by exercise.

I have this.  No.  I didn’t need to go to the doctor.  No, I’m not a hypochondriac.  But it’s pretty frickin’ obvious.  About 4-6 times per year, this happens.  I talked to my doc about it and he just said to watch it and try to take notes on when it happens, what/when I ate, what I was doing, what my physical state was, etc.

Last night was the scariest event so far.  I had hives on 100% of my body (and I DO mean 100%).  My mouth felt swollen and so did my tongue.  It was awful.

I can usually tell when I’m going to get them.  It starts out with itchy, red hands and a few hives on my head.  Then it spreads to my body.  I can’t itch anything or it’s like I set it on fire.  All I can do is stop exercising immediately when I feel it and go take a Benadryl.  It usually goes away in an hour or so.

Unfortunately, last night I didn’t recognize it until it was too late.  I was running HARD on the treadmill (6:30 pace) and missed the itchy hands.  By the time I got back to my room, I was covered.  It was quite frightening.  I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance.  It took over an hour for it to go away.  And I still had some lingering discomfort this morning.

The odd part of it is that I don’t see any obvious triggers.  It just seems random.  And once it happens, it goes away for several months and I’m fine.  I ran again this afternoon and put in 5.7 miles of tough hills with no adverse affects.  There is no rhyme or reason to it at all.  Ungodly frustrating.

I guess the only thing to do is to take allergy medications (already prescribed by an allergy doc for seasonal allergies) more regularly and hope that keeps it from happening.

…of all the stupid crap…

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One Response to Exercise-induced Urticaria

  1. Marla says:

    Same thing happened to me about a year and a half ago — treadmill, itchy palms – I ignored them, and then hives/itching raced through my body like fire! Stupidly, I jumped in the shower. Made it worse. I wound up having to go to the hospital as I developed symptoms of anaphalaxys (sp?) — nausea, wheezing, airway obstruction. In short – loads of fun. Now, I carry and epi pen (highly recommend). I still run, but when I start feeling itchy (which isn’t always) I stop and try to remain calm — seems to work so far as I haven’t had another MAJOR episode. Oh, and I take Allegra – 60 mg 3x/day. Good luck!


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