What is Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a very severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction. It can happen with seconds or minutes of exposure to something you are allergic to, such as a peanut or the toxin from a bee sting.

The flood of chemicals released by your immune system during anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock, and your blood pressure will suddenly drop, and the airways become narrow. Blocking normal breathing, Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include a rate, weak pulse, a skin rash, and nausea and vomiting. Common triggers can include medication, certain foods and insect venom, and latex.

Anaphylaxis requires an immediate trip to the emergency department and an injection of epinephrine. If anaphylaxis is not managed immediately, It can lead to unconsciousness or fatality.

anaphylaxisSymptoms of Anaphylaxis symptoms

Anaphylaxis symptoms normally occur within minutes of exposure to the allergen. On certain occasions, however, anaphylaxis can happen a half-hour or longer after exposure. Anaphylaxis symptoms include:

  • Skin reactions, including hives forward with itching, and flushed or pale skin ( almost always present with anaphylaxis)
  • A feeling of heat or warmth
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Constriction of the airways and a swollen tough or throat which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing

anaphylaxis-1When Should You See a Doctor?
You should see medical professional if you or your child has a severe allergy attack or any signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis in the past.
The analysis and long-term management of anaphylaxis are complicated, you will probably need to see a doctor

The Cause of Anaphylaxis
Your immune system generates antibodies that defend against foreign substances. This is good when a foreign substance is harmful ( such as certain bacteria or viruses). However, some people immune system overact to substances that should not cause an allergic reaction. When this happens, the immune system sets off a chemicals chain reaction, leading to allergic symptoms. Normally allergy symptoms are life-threatening. However, some people have a very severed allergic reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis. Even if you or your child has had only a mild anaphylactic reaction in the past, there still a risk of more severe anaphylaxis.

There severe allergens that can trigger anaphylaxis depending on what you allergic to.
Common anaphylaxis trigger include:

  • Insect stings form yellow jacket, wasp, hornets, and fire ants,
  • Certain medications, especially penicillin
  • Food such as peanuts, tree nuts ( walnuts, almonds, cashews, wheat in children, including milk and eggs and fish and shellfish.

Less common cause of anaphylaxis include:
Medication sued in anesthesia

Anaphylaxis symptoms are sometime caused by aspirin and other drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and naproxen (Aleve, Midol Extended Relief) and intravenous (IV) contrast use in some X-ray imaging test. Although similar to allergy- induce anaphylaxis, this type of reaction is not produced by allergy antibodies.

Anaphylaxis triggered by exercise is not universal and varies from person to person. IN some people aerobic activity, such as jogging, trigger anaphylaxis. IN others, less strenuous physical activity, such as walking, can trigger a reaction. Eating several foods before exercise or exercising when the weather is hot, cold or humid also has been associated with anaphylaxis in some people. Talk with your doctor about any precautions you should take when exercising.

If you do not know what the triggers are for your allergic attack, you doctor may do a test to try to identify the offending allergen. IN some cases, the cause of anaphylaxis is never identified. This is also known as idiopathic anaphylaxis.

anaphylaxis-q-a-figure-3Risk Factors

There are not many risk factors known as anaphylaxis, but some things may increase your risk may include:
A personal history of analysis. If you have expired anaphylaxis once, your risk of having this serious reaction increases, future reactions may be mores severe than the first response.
Allergies of asthma. People who have either condition are at increased risk of having anaphylaxis.
Family members who’ve expired exercise -induced anaphylaxis, your risk of contracting this type of anaphylaxis is higher than it is for someone without a family history.

An anaphylactic response can be life-threatening when a critical attack occurs; it can stop breathing or stop your heartbeat. In this case, you; ll need cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR the other emergency treatment right away.

Test and Diagnosis.

Your doctor will ask you various questions about your allergies or any previous allergic reactions you have had. This evaluation will include questions about:

Whether any distinct foods seem to cause a reaction. Any medications you take, and if certain drug seems linked to your symptoms.
If you have allergic signs when your skin has been exposed to latex.
If you sting from any particular insect, seem to cause your symptoms.

To assist confirm the diagnosis.

You may be tested for allergies with skin test of blood test
You may also be asked to keep a detailed list of what you eat or to top eating certain foods a time.

You doctor will want to rule out other condition as a possible cause of your symptoms, including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • A condition other than allergies that cause flushing or other skin symptoms
  • Psychological issues, such as panic attacks
  • Heart or lung problems
  • Mastocytosis, an immune system disorder.

Treatments and Drugs,

When an anaphylactic attack occurs, an emergency medical team can perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if you stop breathing, or your heart stops beating. You may provide medications including:
Epinephrine (adrenaline) to reduce your body;s allergic response.
Oxygen, to help compensate for restricted breathing
Intravenous (IV) antihistamines and cortisone to decrease inflammation of your air passages and improve breathing

What Should you do in an emergency

If you are with someone who is having an allergic reaction in shows symptoms of shock triggered by anaphylaxis, you should act quickly. Signa of shock caused by anaphylaxis include pale, cool and clammy skin, weak and rapid, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness, weak and rapid pulse. If you are not sure symptoms are produced by anaphylaxis, take the following steps immediately.

  • Call 911 or emergency medical help
  • Check te person pulses ad breathing and, if necessary administer CPR or other first aid measures
  • Get the person in a relaxed position and elevate his or her legs
  • Give medications to treat an allergy attack, such as an epinephrine autoinjector or antihistamines, if the person has them.

Using an autoinjector
Many people who are at risk for anaphylaxis carry an autoinjector. This device is a combined syringe and concealed needed that injects a single dose of medication when passed aginst your thing, always be sure be replace epinephrine before its expiration date, or it may not work properly.

You should know how to use an autoinjector. You should make sure the people who near and close to you know how to administer the drug if they are with you during an anaphylactic emergency, one of them could save your life. Medical personnel called into reason to a severe anaphylactic reaction also may give you an epinephrine shot or another medication to treat your symptoms

Long-term treatment

If insect stings generate your anaphylactic response, your be able to get a group of allergy shots (immunotherapy) to decrease your body’s allergic response and stop a severe reaction in the future.

Informally, in other cases there is no way to treat the underlying immune system condition that can lead to anaphylaxis. However, you can take prevent a future attack – and the prepared in the event one does occur,

Avoid your known allergic triggers as much as you can. You may need to carry self -administered epinephrine. In the event of an anaphylactic attack, you can give yourself the medication utilizing an autoinjector (EpiPen, EpiPen Jr or Twinject)
Your doctor may suggest taking prednisone or antihistamines.


The best way to stop an anaphylaxis is to avoid substances that you know trigger this severe reaction. Follow these steps:

Wear a medical alert necklace or bracelet to indicate if you have an allergic to specific drugs or other substances

  • Alert the doctor if you have drug allergies before having any medical treatments. If you receive allergy shots, always wait at least 30 minutes before leaving the clinic so that you can receive prompt treatment if you have a critical reaction after the allergy shot
  • Keep a properly stocked emergency kit with prescribed medication available at all times. Your doctor can guide you on the appropriate contents. This may comprise of an epinephrine autoinjector. Ensure your autoinjector has not expired, these medications last 18 months.
  • If you are allergic to stinging insects exercise caution when they are nearby, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and don;t wear sandals or walk barefoot in the rest.
  • If you have specific food allergies, carefully read the labels or all the foods your buy and eat, Manufacturing processes can change, so it is important to check labels and foods you commonly eat.
  • When you are eating out, you should ask about ingredients in the food, and ask about food preparation since even small amounts of the food that you are allergic to can cause a severe reaction.
Health Life Media Team