Symptoms caused by a food allergic reaction can vary from mild to deadly; the intensity of each reaction is unforeseeable. People who have formerly experienced only mild symptoms may suddenly experience a dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis, which can, to name a few things, hinder breathing and cause an abrupt drop in blood pressure.
This is why allergists do not prefer to categorize somebody as “slightly” or “significantly” food allergic – there is just no other way to tell what may occur with the next response. In the U.S., food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the medical facility setting.
What to do when Anaphylaxis Occurs
Epinephrine (adrenaline) is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which results when direct exposure to an allergen activates a flood of chemicals that can send your body into shock. Anaphylaxis can take place within seconds or minutes of direct exposure to the irritant, can worsen quickly and can be fatal.
When you’ve been identified with a food allergic reaction, your specialist ought to recommend an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it. You should likewise be given a written treatment plan explaining what medications you’ve been recommended when they should be used. Inspect the expiration date of your auto-injector, keep in mind the expiration date on your calendar and ask your pharmacy about reminder services for prescription renewals.
Anyone with a food allergy ought to constantly have his or her auto-injector close at hand. Make sure to have two doses readily available, as the severe reaction can recur in about 20 percent of individuals. There are no information to help anticipate who may require a second dosage of epinephrine, so this recommendation applies to all patients with a food allergy.
See also: How to Know If You Have a Soy Allergy
Use epinephrine instantly if you experience severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, repeated coughing, weak pulse, hives, tightness in your throat, trouble breathing or swallowing, or a combination of symptoms from different body areas, such as hives, rashes or swelling on the skin coupled with vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.
Repeated doses may be needed. You must require an ambulance (or have someone nearby do so) and inform the dispatcher that epinephrine was administered and more might be required. You should be required to the emergency room; policies for monitoring patients who have been provided epinephrine vary by healthcare facility.
If you doubt whether a response warrants epinephrine, use it immediately; the benefits of epinephrine far outweigh the risk that a dosage might not have been needed.
Common side effects of epinephrine might include anxiety, uneasyness, dizziness and restlessness. In really rare circumstances, the medication can lead to unusual heart rate or rhythm, cardiac arrest, a sharp increase in blood pressure and fluid buildup in the lungs. If you have particular pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, you might be at a higher risk for unfavorable results from epinephrine. Still, epinephrine is considered very safe and is the most reliable medicine to treat severe allergies.
Other medications might be recommended to treat symptoms of a food allergic reaction, however it is essential to note that there is no substitute for epinephrine: It is the only medication that can reverse the deadly symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Can food allergic reactions be avoided?
In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a research study that supported earlier research recommending that feeding solid foods to extremely young infants might promote allergic reactions. It advises against introducing solid foods to children younger than 17 weeks. It also recommends solely breast-feeding “for as long as possible,” however stops brief of supporteding earlier research supporting 6 months of exclusive breast-feeding.
Research on the advantages of feeding hypoallergenic solutions to high-risk children – those born into households with a strong history of allergic illness – is blended.
The timing of introduction of particular foods is likewise being examined as a method of prevention. The basic practice in the United States and other Western nations is to delay the introduction of highly allergenic foods, such as peanuts, tree nuts and seafood, until after age 3. There is newer however not yet proven information recommending that presenting these foods in a baby’s first year might help the child tolerate the food.
The bottom line is that the timing of when to present foods remains complicated and rather questionable.