Forever Allergic to Exercise

December 2007: A few days had gone by and I was back to normal, no more heart palpitations and I felt fine. I had set up an appointment with an Allergist at Kaiser Permanente, Dr. Lippert.  I met Dr. Lippert, told him about my Georgia anaphylaxis episode.  We talked about in great detail about my Mount Tamalpais episode.  At this point, we still did not know it was Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis (EIA), all Dr. Lippert determined was that I was terribly allergic to something and with each episode that occurred we could determine a pattern and hopefully someday find out what caused my extreme allergy. Process of elimination.  At this point we still thought it was something environmental.  That was it.

May 2008: Once again I had woken up with a migraine, took some ibuprofen and went to work. My husband, Jesse and I had recently signed up for a local Krav Maga class.  I had taken another ibuprofen earlier in the day and it finally made my migraine away, so after work we went to kick some butt at Krav Maga.  Ten minutes into this high intensity class, I immediately felt the burning hands, feet, and throat closing.  I ran over to Jesse and said, "It's happening again..." and we ran out of the class to go to the Fremont Kaiser Emergency Room. I had my Epi-Pens with me and I tried not to use it, because who really wants to stab themselves in the thigh with a needle?

As soon as thought that, the burning sensation spread throughout my body like wildfire and I started gasping for air so I did it, stabbed myself in the right thigh.  Jesse dragged me into the ER, the medical personnel rushed me into the back and did not let Jesse come with me until he paid our ER co-pay....I'm still a little irritated about that.  That's Kaiser Permanente for you.

The ER doctor coached me into catching my breath and helped me control my breathing so I could slow down my heart. The front personnel eventually let Jesse in, the nurses pumped me full of Benadryl and proceeded to ask me a barrage of questions. What the ER doctor eventually concluded was I needed to go see my specialist again and not take ibuprofen anymore.

A few days later I met with Dr. Lippert and we talked in detail everything I ate and did, etc. He conducted a skin test but I was not allergic to any of the pricks. Dr. Lippert then suggested there had been a few cases of food ingested EIA, and thought that could be a possibilty but none of the skin pricks came back positive. Dr. Lippert also suggested that I no longer take ibuprofen just to be safe. He said that maybe we could possibly trigger an episode by taking some Ibuprofen and exercising, but it was up to me because he was not going to force me into another anaphylaxis episode.

A few weeks later we tried triggering an episode.  I took some ibuprofen came to his office and ran up and down stairs but of course nothing happened. He thought maybe the dosage was to low or maybe it was food induced. Who knew at this point? He mentioned that I might never know and I would have to walk around with Epi-Pens my entire life.

I asked if it could be anything else and Dr. Lippert had read about rare cases of EIA occurring due to a raise in body temperature during hormonal changes but that was extremely rare. Little did he know....

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