Anaphylaxis represents an allergic reaction that can be life threatening. The reactions that occur the most rapidly are usually the ones that are the most severe.
Causes of Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is an allergic response to some substance that has been ingested, injected, absorbed or inhaled. It produces a rapid, severe, life threatening response. Things causing these reactions are: medications, especially penicillin (injections are far more threatening than oral or topical), stings or bites from insects, such as bees, wasps, hornets, ants, some spiders, vaccines, pollen, injected chemical used in x-ray studies, foods, especially eggs, beans, seafood, fruit, and lastly exercise.
Signs and Symptoms of Anaphylaxis
The following symptoms may occur within seconds to a few minutes after exposure to the allergen: tingling or numbness of mouth, anxiety, weakness, rapid pulse, stomach cramps, swelling of face or hands, itching accompanied by hives, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, pounding heart, faintness, and loss of consciousness. You may not have all of these symptoms. Due to the seriousness of this condition, you should seek immediate medical attention.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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