Food-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis

Yep, that is the name of my soul-crushing diagnosis. Please forgive the dramatics but I’m currently feeling very frustrated.

For the past few years, every so often I would experience an allergic reaction immediately following a workout (usually a run). With the combined facts of  having a mother who has allergies to nearly every plant-based protein under the sun (and a few very severe ones), and being a person prone to anxiety and over-thinking, I took these occasions to mean clearly I had developed some similar allergies – namely beans and almonds- and took to avoiding pretty much anything with nuts or beans in it. I know that the only way to discover allergies is to unfortunately expose yourself to things and “see what happens”, but in conjunction to being both an anxious person and an over-thinker, I am also stubborn. and I really hated the feeling of my body having reactions beyond my control, and scary ones at that. So I avoided.

And after an exercise-induced reaction to reliable food choices that have never let me down before, I had an allergic reaction that prompted me to (after about 4 years *sigh*) finally get a referral to an allergist (see, I’m not just anxious, over-thinking and stubborn, I also procrastinate). So that’s what I did today.

So now I have to carry an EpiPen, and to be honest, I’m really scared to exercise now due to this condition. To add insult to injury (or should I say condition?), I was just starting to get back into running regularly, and doing some yoga and strength exercises on the regular and I was feeling pretty good about that. It now seems that I cannot exercise if I have eaten 4 hours prior to physical activity, which is nearly impossible to make happen. I work a job where I have to start at 6:30am. So what should I do, wake up at 3am to go for a run?! Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I’ve been doing research the past few hours trying to find out how best to deal with this diagnosis, and I came across a forum that was pretty damn bleak. It was filled with people who loved working out, people for whom running was their primary method of working out and they all said variations of how this diagnosis made them feel hopeless.

Sorry for the dreary tone, but that’s just where I am right now. But…onwards I guess, right?

“The hardest thing is this world is to live in it”.

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