A Dublin doctor recently shared his observations about food allergies at the World Allergy Conference.
OhioHealth Doctor Summit Shah said that he has seen a rise in intermittent food allergies. The allergic reactions appear when patients exercise right after eating.
“When they eat that food independent of exercise, they're fine. When they exercise independently, without eating any meals or anything like that, they're fine. When they combine eating a certain, specific food and then exercising right after, they have an anaphylactic or otherwise known as a severe allergic reaction,” Shah said.
Shah said that exercise increases the blood flow and absorption in the stomach, which could play a role in the allergic reaction.
The doctor said that some of the foods associated with the condition are unusual, like celery, bread and fruit.
Donna DePalma went to Shah to be tested for food allergies. She said that hers comes and goes. Recently, she felt the effects after eating pasta and then running on a treadmill.
“I scratched my eyes a little bit, and within about five minutes, my eyes started swelling up, quite a bit, to the point where it actually obstructed my vision,” DePalma said.
DePalma found that if she ate wheat products and then did not exercise, she had no problem.
Weeks later, it happened again.
“Within a few minutes my eyes started to swell, and this time my throat got itchy, my feet got itchy, and again it took 24 to 48 hours for that to go away.” She said.
That’s when she sought medical help.
Shah offered some advice to his patients: don’t do it.
“We ideally would like them to exercise on an empty stomach and definitely not after eating those specific causative foods,” Shah said.
DePalma said that she had not had a problem since.
“I am a little paranoid,” DePalma said.
Shah said that only a small number of his patients have shown signs of the intermittent food allergies.
He said that if your eyes or throat itch after eating, or you experience stomach pains, you should see an allergist to get tested for possible food allergies.
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