Monday, December 1, 2008

Why am I so itchy?

I went for a great run this Saturday. In my mind, it was the beginning of my 18 week marathon to the marathon. I decided to go for the 6 miles that Hot Hal recommended. I have to be honest that it seemed to go on for a while longer than I would have liked. Particularly when my hands began to itch so badly that I wanted to take the skin right off and throw it into the Oatka Creek. Seriously, when I say the itched, they ITCHED! When I got home, I also noticed that my feet were itchy, too. I thought that perhaps the extreme cold was causing this discomfort however, I jumped on the Internet and did some googling (is that a word?). I came across a medical journal that claims that there is such a thing as exercise induced anaphylaxis. WHAT? I said? I am allergic to running? That would put a serious damper on the training, I think. I read some more and came across a few indicators that pointed to this mysterious ailment. (1) running in extreme cold or heat; (2) consuming food that is know to contain allergens (shellfish, nuts, wheat, etc.); (3) taking an non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (ie: Tylenol or aspirin) and; (4) being of the female gender. Alright, I said. This is just too crazy. (did I mention that I was also breaking out in hives along my torso?) (1) RAN in extreme cold; (2) shellfish allergies run in my family, although I have never experienced it. I had shrimp at Thanksgiving dinner. (3) I had a headache and took some Tylenol shortly before my run. (4) Alright, that one fits, too. SOOOO needless to say, I took some benadryl and watched the hives and felt the itching melt away.

I have an epipen for bee stings, I better start taking it with me on all my runs. But I must ask, has anyone ever heard of such a thing before? I must admit that the mere name of the syndrome makes me nervous - hypochondriac? perhaps.


  1. You can be allergic to cold.

    I don't think you'll go into anaphylactic shock, though...maybe just take benadryl before a run? I only use the epi-pen on Beavis (for food allergies) if his throat begins to close...don't know if it is different for bee stings!

  2. You know what...I thought about your post again and I remembered that I had exercise-induced asthma one summer and actually had to use an inhaler. They said it was because it was so humid and hot that year. Weird!