Anaphylaxis – Symptoms And What You Can Do
Anaphylactic crisis occurs during immediate serious allergic reactions. Antigens responsible for hypersensitivity and allergic reactions are very varied in chemical structure: protein, lipid-protein complexes, carbohydrate compounds, enzymes, proteins and different drugs. Anaphylactic crisis more frequently in the following circumstances:
- Drug allergy
- Insect bites
- Food Allergy
Anaphylactic crisis symptoms usually occur after few minutes after exposure to an allergen. There are cases when anaphylactic crisis can occur after a longer period of time (half of hour or longer)
In a study of 350 allergic patients, 207 cases (50.9%) were diagnosed with allergic reactions to drugs of which 140 cases with allergic shock. Anaphylactic crisis due to drugs is more common in women than in men with a ratio of 3 / 1. In the first place as allergens leading to anaphylactic shock we note penicillin and streptomycin. The main pathogenic factor in the anaphylactic crisis is represented by an immune mediated reaction. This reaction occurs when an antigen reacts with IgE antibodies attached to the surface of cells of the connective tissues and mast cell surface. The reaction results in release of histamine, serotonin and other biological active substances. These substances produce a sudden increase in capillary permeability, smooth muscle contraction and some times sudden vasodilatation. Vasodilation that occurs in anaphylactic crisis leads to a collapse in blood pressure.
Signs And Symptoms
Skin rash is commonly encountered and is present in various shapes and sizes in an anaphylactic crisis such as: diffuse erythema accompanied or unaccompanied by pruritus (itching), rash and swelling. Respiratory manifestations are present in severe cases with laryngeal edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or in mild cases with attacks of breathlessness caused by bronchoconstriction. Cardio-vascular disorders are characterized by hypotension. Blood pressure often falls dramatically, and tachycardia pulse becomes difficult to discover. A steady hypothermia and the pale skin is replaced by cyanosis. Hypotension may be short-lived and that is why not all patients are hypotensive when they reach the emergency room after an anaphylactic crisis. The nervous disorders consist in neurotic anxiety, tinnitus (perception of sound of the human ear Without Any external sound), and vertigo (dizziness), disturbance of consciousness, with stupor and coma in extreme cases. Patients also show nausea, vomiting, sometimes severe abdominal pain, accompanied by diarrhea, which in rare cases may be hemorrhagic. Rarely a patient may suddenly lose feces and urine during a anaphylactic crisis.
What You Can Do
Among the most important things you can do if you suffer from food allergies or you are allergic to insect bites, or drugs is to always carry with you an EpiPen. Epipen is an injection device containing a drug called epinephrine, used to treat allergic reactions. EpiPen use is enough to remove symptoms for a short period of time. Medical aid is still needed. EpiPen is used to help you gain valuable time to get help before symptoms worsen and and put your life in serious danger.
If you know what you or your child is allergic to, you should always be prepared for a crisis and you should instruct and explain people that are close to you how to deal with anaphylactic crisis.
Avoid allergens you know . If you do not know to what you are allergic, go to the doctor and ask for a skin test for allergens. Knowing the allergen is the most important thing you can do to prevent a possible anaphylactic crisis.