Do I Have Anaphylaxis? Symptoms And Causes Of Anaphylaxis

Allergies are a very common occurrence, with up to a quarter of the world’s population suffering from this condition. Most people who tend to suffer from severe allergic reactions can suffer from a life threatening emergency known as anaphylaxis. The recognition of symptoms and prompt response of taking the patient to an allergy clinic by peers and family members can make all the difference between life and death.

Here is a brief informative guide on what exactly is anaphylaxis? What are the symptoms you should look out for? What can cause such a severe life threatening condition? And how to respond efficiently.

What Is Anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening and potentially fatal condition in those who suffer from allergies with little to no control on symptoms, and suffer from severe allergic attacks. It can occur within seconds to minutes of exposure to a potential allergen, such as fur, pollen or any other harmful chemicals.

When exposed to a potential allergen, the patient’s immune system releases massive amounts of histamine all across the body that causes your system to enter a state of shock- lowering of the blood pressure, a fast beating heart, inability to breathe due to narrowing of the airways. Some patients also develop a peculiar rash, along with signs of nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms Of Anaphylaxis

As mentioned before, symptoms can rapidly develop within minutes after the exposure to the inciting agent. Sometimes, it may take a few hours for symptoms to develop. Owing to the sensitivity of the condition, both the patient and the family members must keep an eye out for any development of the following symptoms:

  • Lowering of the blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Inability to breathe, due to narrowing of the airways
  • If you see the patient having difficulty in breathing, take a quick look inside the oral cavity for possible swelling and redness of the tongue and throat.
  • Whistle like sounds as the patient tries to catch their breath (wheezing in particular for asthma patients)
  • A rapid or weak pulse
  • A possible skin reaction after exposure to the allergen, in the form of hives, itching or merely flushing
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness in severe cases

Causes Of Anaphylaxis

In normal physiology, the immune system tends to produce a series of antibodies and chemicals that help the body to combat the negative effects of a foreign inciting agent.  This is a perfectly normal protective mechanism if the foreign substance is actually harmful.

In people who suffer from severe allergic reactions, the immune system tends to exhibit an exaggerated response to the allergens. The protective mechanism suddenly becomes life threatening.

If you suffer from moderate to severe allergies, your general physician might have made you undergo an allergic testing system that identifies potential allergens and foods that you must avoid.

In children, the most common allergens that can induce an anaphylactic shock are food allergies to tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish and milk.

In adults, apart from the food allergies, mentioned above, possible triggers include certain medications such as over the counter medicines, aspirin and antibiotics to name a few(Intravenous as well as oral drugs). Another very common cause of anaphylaxis are stings from bees, wasps, yellow jackets, ants and hornets. Other less common causes include exposure to latex and snake bites with possible exposure to venom.

Other less known inciting triggers may be as mundane as cold and hot weathers or aerobic exercise. Yes, studies have found a correlation with the occurrence of anaphylaxis and exercising. Asthma sufferers should take deep precautions when exercising outside or going for a stroll.

How To Respond?

As part of the ACLS protocol, the first thing to do is keep the patient safe and call an ambulance. If you’re a commoner, just check if the patient breathing and the heartbeat is audible.

Anaphylaxis cannot be managed at home, and should be treated at a proper facility with monitoring. A simple shot of epinephrine is all that can make the difference between life and death.

So here we go folks! Do follow these tips to know how to respond in a situation like this. If you suffer from allergies, I highly recommend getting an allergen test done from the best allergist Manassas, because prevention is always better than cure.

Common Things You Could Be Allergic To

Allergen or irritant are substance that you get allergic to, such as food, medications, plants etc. If you are over sensitive and you get effected pretty easily, you should check in at the allergy clinic and have an allergy doctor deduce your triggers. Example: being a lactose intolerant, I get diarrhea when I have milk.

Most common allergens

Here are common foods and other allergen that can trigger certain allergies in certain people.

  1. Food Items

There are times when our immune system mis-takes harmless food as a threat to our body, and starts fighting against it. This is the time when the body gets a rash or red swollen eye, in extreme cases you could have a hard time breathing. Here are some foods that can trigger allergies for some. These items are known to cause allergies in 90 percent of the reported cases.

  1. Milk (to people who are lactose intolerant it causes diarrhea)
  2. Eggs (white and yolk both)
  3. Peanuts
  4. Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans
  5. Soy
  6. Wheat and other grains with gluten, such as barley, rye, and oats
  7. Fish (certain kind)
  8. Shellfish (triggers mostly adults)
  9. The less common food that may trigger allergies are:
  10. Corn
  11. Gelatin
  12. Meat (beef, chicken, mutton, and pork)
  13. Seeds, such as sesame, sunflower, and poppy
  14. Spices, including, coriander, garlic, and mustard

Food Allergy Symptoms

Sometimes the effect becomes apparent in minutes and sometimes it can take hours to show-up Every day symptoms are hard to associate to foods, so it’s hard to determine the trigger. Every-day symptoms are:

  1. Red, puffy, parched, or prickly skin rash in case of hives or eczema
  2. Runny or stuffy nose, or dry cough
  3. Itchy, watery, red eyes
  4. Scratchy mouth or hot ear
  5. Peculiar taste in your mouth
  6. Upset stomach, cramps
  7. Vomiting, or diarrhea
  8. Severe symptoms that might need a visit to the ER are:
  9. Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  10. Puffy lips, tongue, or throat
  11. weakness, confusion, or light-headedness, or fainting.
  12. Chest aching or a frail, irregular heartbeat
  13. No matter how server or mild the allergy is it’s better to consult an allergy doctor at the allergy clinic.

Other than food you can get allergic to the following things as well:

  1. Wet Perfumed Wipes

It’s very convenient to use wet wipes to clean up a small mess, or wiping your face when it gets oily, but sometimes they can give you a horrible rash. Yes, they have appropriate substance to clean your face but they also contain perfume and preservatives that you might get allergic to. It’s better to get non-perfumed ones to avoid getting a rash or make DIY wet wipes at home with ingredients that suits your skin.

  1. Your Favorite Lotion

You might be breaking in to hives because of your daily lotion and you wouldn’t even know, unless you start observing. Most of the time the rash doesn’t become apparent immediately, it might take a day or couple of hours for it to become apparent, as some rashes become apparent only when the skin is exposed to sun. So, you won’t even suspect your lotion. Lotions, day creams and sun screens, any of these can give you a rash when exposed to sun. The only thing you can do is give it up. There is no other precaution or cure of this type of reaction.

  1. Soft Toys

Your kind might be coughing or wheezing you can’t put a finger on what’s causing it, take a look at his toys, if you baby has cuddly toys, throw them out at once. Soft cuddly toys harbor dust mitts that can cause allergies given the kids, runny nose, cough, dry mouth or itchy skin. Similar reactions are also cause by, carpets, sofas and cushions. You can’t get rid of all this so, you need to wash them every now and then to get rid of the dust mitts and dead skin cells.

  1. Jewelry

Contact dermatitis can be caused when the body comes in contact with a certain type of jewelry like artificial or silver. These may leave scars if not treated on time.

Prevention is better than cure, seeing an allergy doctor Manassas VA at registered allergy clinic, and knowing your triggers can keep you from getting effected.