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Anaphylaxis is a critical and potentially fatal allergic reaction that affects the entire body within a few minutes of exposure to the allergens. In anaphylaxis, the body’s immune system releases chemicals in response to the external factors. The most common factors that can cause anaphylaxis are food, insect stings, latex, and medications. The abnormal release of chemicals into the blood would decrease the blood pressure levels and causes difficulty in breathing.
Certain drugs like morphine, aspirin, and X-ray dyes may also cause allergic reactions, which are similar to that of anaphylaxis. These reactions do not occur due to the response of the immune system. However, the treatment and the symptoms remain same for both the types of allergic reactions. Individuals with weak immune system are more susceptible to a serious anaphylactic reaction.
The most common signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
The most common triggers that can cause anaphylaxis are food allergens, wasp stings, bee stings, and latex. Certain agents used in immunotherapy and medications such as penicillin can also produce a severe allergic reaction. In some people, an intense exercise in combination with certain types of food substances can trigger allergic reactions.
Foods that account for allergic reactions include peanuts, dairy products, wheat, fish, sesame, and eggs. Disposable gloves, adhesive tapes, syringes, intravenous tubes are few latex substances that can cause anaphylaxis. Rarely, dust, pollen, and certain substances in the air can also cause anaphylactic shock.
The following are the factors that increase the risk of anaphylaxis:
Anaphylaxis can contribute to certain potential complications such as:
Moreover, anaphylaxis can cause damage to the lungs in the people who are suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). It can also worsen the symptoms in individuals who have multiple sclerosis.
The doctor would review the medical history of allergic reactions and recommend certain diagnostic tests. The following are the diagnostic tests to determine the triggers that cause allergy:
Early diagnosis and treatment reduce the risk of developing the complications associated with anaphylaxis. The anaphylactic shock is immediately treated with epinephrine (adrenaline) injection to reduce the severity of the condition. Antihistamines and cortisone medications help in reducing the inflammation in airway passages. Corticosteroid drugs reduce the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. A beta-agonist such as albuterol is prescribed to reduce the breathing symptoms.
The following are the tips that prevent anaphylaxis:
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