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Food-dependent exercise-induced reactions: lessons from a 15-year retrospective study



Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) is a life-threatening disorder in which the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis occur if physical exertion occurs within a few hours of exposure to a food.


The aim of this study was to characterise patients diagnosed with FDEIA and related disorders.


A retrospective review of electronic clinical data from 2001 to 2016 was carried out. Fifty-seven cases were identified and analysed to establish clinical features, triggering factors and sensitisation patterns.


The number of patients per annum diagnosed with FDEIA or related reactions increased from 1 in 2001 to 18 patients in 2016. Sixty-nine percent reported systemic symptoms consistent with anaphylaxis, and 31% had skin manifestations only. In 33% of cases, the level of triggering exercise was mild. Forty-four percent of patients were sensitised to the omega-5-gliadin fraction of wheat.


FDEIA is an increasingly recognised serious allergic disease. The clinical diagnosis is supported by targeted sensitisation testing and molecular-based allergy diagnostics. These tools allow implementation of effective dietary and lifestyle modifications that mitigate against future serious reactions. Given the limited access to physicians with specialist allergy training in Ireland, increased awareness of this condition amongst sports medicine specialists and general physicians is required.

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Correspondence to Aisling Farrell.

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Ethical statement

This study was approved by the research ethics committee in St James’s Hospital and informed consent was obtained. The authors state full compliance with ethical standards in completing this study.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Farrell, A., Judge, C., Redenbaugh, V. et al. Food-dependent exercise-induced reactions: lessons from a 15-year retrospective study. Ir J Med Sci 188, 815–819 (2019).

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  • Allergy
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Exercise-induced anaphylaxis
  • Food allergy
  • Food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis