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Anaphylaxis- A Life Threatening Allergy

by Shilpa


Anaphylaxis is a life threatening allergy. It can develop in response to any allergen. It develops due to the systematic allergic reactions that are caused by an antibody known as immunoglobulin (IgE). Immunoglobulin is the allergen that attacks the body and as a result the histamines are released. Anaphylaxis is the most dangerous type of allergy and it is not very common.

Causes of Anaphylaxis

Basically anaphylaxis is caused due to any allergen. Human body has an amazing defensive system against dangerous bacteria and viruses. The immune system of some people is so sensitive that when they are open to the elements like animal dander, dust, peanuts, pollen or shell fish an antibody Immunoglobulin is produced in the body. These antibodies are attached to blood cells known as mast cells. When the allergic patients are open to an allergen the immune system assembles its defense and the chemical weapons are launched to attack the enemies. The allergens are sticking to the IgE and IgE are attached to the mast cells. This enhances reaction in which the mast cells release chemicals that includes Histamine. It causes the symptoms of an allergy. Histamines are attached to the receptors in the blood vessels. It also sticks to other receptors that causes swelling, itching, runny nose etc in this conditions unpleasant and the life threatening symptoms can also be occurred.

Penicillin, peanuts and bee sting can be allergens that can cause serious reactions in the whole body and can ultimately result in anaphylaxis. Sometimes the causes of anaphylaxis are unknown.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

The symptoms of anaphylaxis can be mild, moderate or severe.

1. Mild Symptoms
Mild symptoms affect the skin and the layers just underneath the skin and causes itchy and watery eyes.

2. Moderate Symptoms
Moderate symptoms affect the respiratory systems and cardiovascular system that causes difficulty breathing and the vomiting.

3. Severe Symptoms
Severe symptoms include low blood pressure, confusion and loss of consciousness.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe type of allergy. It causes drop in blood pressure and the bronchial tubes get narrow which causes slowness, confusion, difficulty breathing or even death.

Anaphylactic allergy can occur in minutes after exposure to the allergens and the symptoms may occur in 4-8 hours.

Treatment of Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is generally treated by a medicine called Epinephrine. If it is injected at an initial stage, it acts as a life saving drug.

Managing Anaphylaxis

One should know the symptoms of allergy to respond quickly and effectively when allergic reactions take place. It is important to keep medications with you for an emergency situation. It is very important to take all preventive measures in order to be safe from life threatening allergens.

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1 comment

Deadliest Food Allergies March 29, 2011 - 3:36 am

[…] 3. Fish An allergy caused by fish is different from shell fish allergy and if someone has one it is not necessary that he/she will have another. Parents should also know that allergy due to fish is not only caused by eating fish but it can also be caused by eating other food items cooked in the pan or oil used to prepare fish. Reaction caused due to fish allergy includes hives, asthma or even Anaphylaxis- a life threatening allergy. […]

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