Many people have heard of the term Anaphylaxis but they are not 100% sure what it actually is. Anaphylaxis a very serious allergic reaction to some sort of substance, it can be food, insect stinging, or some other substances which is normally harmless. If this is not treated quickly this condition could cause very serious injury or death, so make sure it is treated immediately.
Anaphylaxis Explained in Detail
Anaphylaxis happens when your body’s immune system develops an antibody called immunoglobulin E or IgE. Most of the things that triggers this reaction are normally harmless to most humans, however in specific cases individually may developed this reaction where an extremely large amount of immunoglobulin or lgE is produced. Once your immune system comes in contact with these substances and this antibody is created it binds with the substance and starts to produce a protein called histamine.
When there is too much histamine in the body it begins to cause the allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. In short what this reaction does it lowers the blood pressure and essentially starves the brain of blood and oxygen. On top of that the lung may become inflamed and will make it very difficult for the person to breathe.
These two reactions combined can be very fatal if not treated urgently.
The reaction may begin with something very minor such as itching of the skin or eyes, however once this has started it can quickly (within minutes) develop into more serious symptoms. Some of the more serious symptoms of Anaphylaxis are located below:
Difficulties Breathing or Swallowing
- Severe Stomach Cramps
- Pain in the Abdominal Region
Swelling under the skin
If these symptoms come on you need to seek emergency help immediately because you could (at any moment) experience any of the following fatal symptoms:
- Increased and Rapid Heart Beat and Arrhythmia
- Sudden Weakness and inability to stand
- Going into Shock
- Drop in Blood Pressure
Common Types of Substances that Cause Anaphylaxis
There are many things that can cause an individual to go into anaphylactic shock, however there have been numerous of test ran on a variety of substances and certain ones seem to cause the allergic reaction at a higher percentage than others. Most of substances that cause this reaction come from (Food Substances, Insects and Bugs, Medications and Pollen/Mold).
However, out of these main categories Food Substances have the highest percentage of causing the infection. Many of the common food allergies are listed below:
- Shellfish (Lobsters, Crabs, Shrimp, etc)
- Dairy Products
- Egg Whites
- Sesame Seeds
Wasp and Bee Stings are among the other things that have a higher chance to cause the allergic reaction.
Prevention of Anaphylactic Shock
There is no hard evidence test to determine rather or not you will have this type of reaction, the medical condition is diagnosed strictly based on its symptoms. However, if you or someone in your family has a history of constant allergic reactions to things, you may stand a greater risk of developing anaphylaxis.
Some people recommend “Skin Testing” to test for the symptoms however, this is not actually recommended as it could lead to the onset of anaphylaxis and if you are not in an environment where immediately help is available it could be fatal.
Treatment Options for Anaphylaxis
If a person has already gone into anaphylactic shock then the only treatment option is epinephrine. Epinephrine works by attacking the hormones and protein cells that is caused by the anaphylaxis, or in normal terms it basically just reverses the effects of anaphylaxis.
The only way to receive epinephrine is through an injection or IV. The injection is normally given to the patient in the thigh.
If the person actually goes into shock then they may also require an IV and receive fluids through the IV along with medication which is used to stabilize the heart and other vital body systems.
Be Prepared – How to Prepare Yourself in case you Experience Anaphylaxis
If you have endured anaphylaxis in the past and know for sure that you have these types of allergies then you can consult with your doctor and they are able to prescribe you a Epinephrine injection kit which you are able to keep with you at all times in case of an emergency.
If your allergy is to medication they make specific wrist bands that you can wear to indicate to others and medical staff what type of allergies you have.