Anaphylaxis is condition when suddenly allergic reaction unpredictably reaches at the extremely dangerous stage and may put life at risk in a fraction of seconds or in a couple of minutes.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis generally include two or more of these body systems.
- Respiratory (breathing): coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain/tightness, throat tightness, hoarse voice, nasal congestion or hay fever-like symptoms (runny itchy nose and watery eyes, sneezing), trouble swallowing
- Skin: hives, swelling (face, lips, tongue), itching, warmth, redness
- Cardiovascular (heart): paler than normal skin colour/blue colour, weak pulse, passing out, dizziness or lightheadedness, shock
- Gastrointestinal (stomach): nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhea
- Other: anxiety, sense of doom (the feeling that something bad is about to happen), headache, uterine cramps, metallic taste
Sometimes a drop in blood pressure without other symptoms may also indicate anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can occur without hives.
It happens due to intake of nuts, soy, milk and dairy, sea food, eggs, meat, insect stings.
Some drugs such as non-beta antibiotics and hypnotics are also responsible for allergic reactions.
The risk factors for food allergy include:
- Age: Food allergy is more common in young children than in older children or adults.
- Family history: You’re more likely to have a food allergy if your parent or sibling has one.
- Another food allergy: If you have a food allergy, you’re at greater risk for developing another.
- Related medical conditions: Your risk is increased if you have an allergic disease such as asthma, eczema, or hay fever.
More about Treatment
- If an emergency occurs and a person's condition is unpredictable then epinephrine medication is highly recommended. Epinephrine is first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, and epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g. EpiPen, ALLERJECT) contain a pre-measured dose of the medication. Antihistamines and asthma medications shouldn’t be used instead of epinephrine for treating anaphylaxis, but can be given as secondary medications. After receiving epinephrine, a person should go to hospital, ideally by ambulance, for observation and/or further treatment.
- Oxygen inhalers should be available.
- Beta- agonists can be a life saviour, should be there when need arises.
- Most essential thing is to avoid allergic food and not to come in contact with allergic triggers even remotely.
· How fast can a reaction to a food occur?
- Most allergic reactions happen within minutes, but some can occur a few hours after exposure.
· How much of a food allergen does it take to cause a reaction?
- Even a very small amount ‘hidden’ in a food or a trace amount of an allergen transferred to a serving utensil has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction. It’s important to know how to avoid cross – conta
· Can someone have a reaction without ingesting their allergen?
- For most people, accidentally eating a food containing their allergen poses the greatest risk. Allergic reactions to foods are caused by specific food proteins. Since food odors do not contain protein, they cannot cause reactions. People can have reactions when they inhale food proteins to which they are allergic, such as in the steam produced while cooking certain foods, like fish.
· Can someone who is allergic to a food have an allergic reaction after kissing someone who has eaten that food?
- People at risk need to tell their friends and partners about their food allergies to avoid accidental exposure, as small amounts of food can be transferred from one person to another through kissing.
· How are allergic reactions avoided?
- Reading ingredient labels on foods, taking special precautions in food preparation and ensuring proper hand washing and cleaning go a long way toward reducing the risk of an accidental exposure.
· Does anaphylaxis get worse each time?
- Yes, in most of the cases it does and it also depends on how much you come in contact with your allergic things and how often you touch it, smell it or eat it decides its reaction level.
· Will Benadryl stop Anaphylaxis?
- If the allergy is severe then it will not help but it works well with mild or moderate allergy.
· Can anaphylaxis be caused by stress?
- Mostly it doesn’t but it is totally responsible to make it worse because of histamine, which it released due to high stress levels in the body.
· Can anaphylaxis go away on its own?
- If a person takes care and visits a doctor for regular check-ups then it is possible, for sure. Left untreated it can at times even prove lethal. It has been estimated to be fatal in 0.7 to 2 % of the cases.
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