- by BGS Gleneagles Global Hospitals
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- Jan 11 2018
ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT
Anaphylaxis is a condition in which a person when exposed to something they are allergic to, experience a potentially life threatening reaction. This results in their immune system, releasing chemicals that flood the body, causing an anaphylactic shock. Your blood pressure levels drop and airways narrow, blocking normal breathing.
Anaphylaxis is caused by an overreaction of your immune system to something that it considers harmful (allergen). It then releases antibodies to fight against the infection. Food allergy is one of the most common reason behind an anaphylactic shock for children and adults. Medication can be another cause behind an anaphylactic shock. It is not necessary that every time you come in contact with an allergen, you develop an anaphylactic shock, but it can develop overtime.
Common triggers for anaphylaxis include:
- Certain medications such as penicillin
- Insect stings
- Allergy to certain foods such as peanuts, soy, shellfish, gluten
- Agents used in immunotherapy
The common symptoms of an anaphylaxis reaction include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Fainting, dizziness and weakness
- Hives, rash, itchy or red skin
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or cramps
- Weak and rapid pulse
- Tingling sensation in the hands, feet, mouth and scalp
Anaphylaxis can be life threatening and can cause some serious health risks:
Cardiogenic shock, a condition that causes the heart to not pump enough blood
Arrhythmias, a heartbeat that is either too fast or too slow
Epinephrine shots are the first step towards managing an anaphylactic shock. Injecting epinephrine can reduce the severity of the allergic reaction.
Anaphylaxis is an extremely dangerous and fatal condition that requires immediate medical attention. If you are allergic to certain food or any other substances, try avoiding them completely. You can talk to your doctor and carry emergency medications or epinephrine shots in case of any future attack.
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