Causes and triggers of anaphylaxis in Atlanta allergy sufferers.

What Are the Dangers of Anaphylaxis

Most allergies result in discomfort that does not bring severe risk. But without adequate treatment for a food allergy, you could be risking a life-threatening allergic response – it’s known as anaphylaxis. As your body goes into shock from exposure to an allergen, your airways can become constricted. In this case, immediate treatment is required. Atlanta-area allergy sufferers should understand the dangers of anaphylaxis, and what actions to take in an emergency.

What Are the Causes of Anaphylaxis?

Allergic reactions are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances usually considered harmless. These antibodies are essential for treating viruses and other dangers, but cause an allergic reaction when trying to fight foods, medications and other elements that are not a threat. In most cases the result is a mild to moderate reaction, including skin rashes, mucus production, a cough and other symptoms.

Anaphylaxis is a far more severe reaction that leads to many of the same symptoms, but it also sends the body into shock. Without a fast response using an epinephrine auto-injector, there are serious risks of blocked airways and even cardiac arrest. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can cause death within minutes or hours.

What Foods Cause Anaphylaxis?

Any food has the potential to cause an allergic reaction that could lead to anaphylaxis. However, the vast majority of allergies are caused by eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, sesame seeds and wheat. Many of these food types appear as ingredients in common products, making it crucial to know what you are consuming.

It’s also important to note that anaphylactic shock won’t always occur the first time you eat a food. Reactions can become more severe over time, adding to the need for a medical examination after experiencing symptoms. Allergy testing can pinpoint the allergen or allergens that are at fault – and ensure you or your child are prepared for emergencies with an EpiPen®.

How Can You Treat Anaphylaxis?

A person suffering from anaphylaxis will usually show signs of dizziness, problems with breathing, a fast pulse and clammy skin. While symptoms could be delayed, they will usually appear within minutes of eating. However, be aware that anaphylaxis can also occur from medications, latex, insect stings and other substances.

If someone you know appears to be in anaphylactic shock, you must call 911. Time is a critical factor in treating the results of a severe allergic reaction. Use an epinephrine auto-injector if one is available, and follow general first-aid procedures.

Taking a long-term approach, immunotherapy treatment is an effective way to desensitize the immune system to allergens. This approach reduces the likelihood of anaphylaxis if you mistakenly are exposed to an allergen. For example, to treat a peanut allergy our doctors would use oral immunotherapy (OIT). OIT would involve consuming traces of peanut until tolerance has been developed.

Start Treating Your Food Allergies

Are you concerned about anaphylaxis and food allergies? Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center diagnoses and treats food allergies from locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid HillsDuluth and Johns Creek. Request an appointment online or by calling 678-668-4688.

Image Credit – bangoland/