Food allergies are a common cause of anaphylaxis, but not everyone will react to the same foods. Allergic reactions can be mild, moderate, or severe. Food allergies can range from mild to life-threatening, and the severity of the reaction can depend upon the allergen, the individual’s age, and the individual’s genetic makeup.
The following is a list of foods that can cause allergic reactions.
- Tree nuts
- Fish (e.g., eel, tuna, herring, anchovies, sardines, etc.)
- Tree fruits (e.g., figs, apricots, etc.)
What can cause a food allergy?
Allergic reactions are caused by a reaction to certain foods. There are more than 40 different types of food allergies. The most common food allergies are to milk, eggs, wheat, and peanuts.
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can result in a drop in blood pressure, swelling of the throat and tongue, and even death. Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis symptoms include:
- Itchy throat and tongue, sometimes accompanied by hives
- Tightness and swelling of the throat and tongue
- Rapid breathing
- A flushing of the face
- A change in skin color (from pink to red)
How to prevent a food allergy?
People who have a food allergy or intolerance can prevent reactions to the following foods:
- Avoid foods that contain the allergen
- Keep the food at room temperature
- Refrigerate or freeze the food
- If the person cannot tolerate the food, the person should not eat it.
Most people are familiar with the symptoms of anaphylaxis, but it is important to note that the symptoms of anaphylaxis can be mild if the person is not allergic or sensitive to the food.
People who have a food intolerance or allergy can prevent reactions by avoiding the food. This can be done by:
- Avoiding foods that contain the allergen
- Refrigerating or freezing the food
Anaphylaxis can occur after ingesting even small amounts of a food. It is very important to be able to recognize the symptoms of anaphylaxis so that the person can get emergency medical attention.
Anyone who thinks they may have a food allergy should contact a doctor or health care professional as soon as possible. The doctor can confirm a food allergy or intolerance by performing a skin prick test or blood test to determine if the individual has an allergy to the food that causes the reaction.
What can I do if someone is having anaphylactic shock?
If you or someone you know is having anaphylaxis, do not try to administer epinephrine. Do not give an injection of epinephrine if you or someone you know may have a severe allergic reaction to it.
Instead, call 911 for assistance.
You can also go to a hospital’s emergency department if you or a loved one is having anaphylactic shock.
If you or a loved one is experiencing anaphylaxis, the emergency department staff will need to assess the person to determine if epinephrine is necessary. The staff will perform a breathing test to assess the person’s breathing and oxygen saturation.
In some cases, the staff may need to administer epinephrine if they suspect that the person only has an epinephrine allergy.
If you or a loved one is having anaphylactic shock, you should take the following steps.
- Immediately call 911 and follow their instructions to help maintain oxygen levels and prevent further breathing problems.
- Do not try to administer epinephrine by yourself.
- Do not try to call 911, except if you or a loved one is having a severe allergic reaction.
Epinephrine is a medication that can be given by injection. It will help treat anaphylaxis and prevent death.
A person should not try to give their own epinephrine because they have a fear of needles. The person should immediately get the epinephrine from the emergency department.
What can I do if someone is having a severe allergic reaction?
If you or a loved one is having a severe allergic reaction, do not try to administer epinephrine. Do not try to call 911 for assistance.
Instead, go to an emergency department and have someone assess the person.
The person’s doctor will need to confirm if the person is having a severe allergic reaction. If the doctor believes that an epinephrine injection is necessary, the doctor will give the injection.
If the person is having a severe allergic reaction and has taken an epinephrine injection, the person may have a change in skin color. This is known as anaphylactic shock. In this case, the doctor will need to check the person’s pulse and oxygen saturation level.
What can I do if the person has anaphylactic shock?
If you are in anaphylactic shock, do not try to administer epinephrine.
Instead, call 911 and go to the emergency room.
If you are at home and have anaphylactic shock, you can call an ambulance.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency.
What to do if a loved one is having anaphylactic shock?
If a loved one is having anaphylactic shock, the person should go to the emergency unit of a hospital.
The person may be given epinephrine by injection. In some cases, the person may need oxygen therapy.
If the person has anaphylactic shock, the doctor may also be able to treat the person with antihistamines to prevent the person from having a reaction to the food in the future.
If the person is unconscious and not breathing, the doctor may need to use CPR to help the person stay alive until help can arrive.
What to do if the person is having a severe allergic reaction?
If you are in anaphylactic shock, you should go to the emergency unit of a hospital.
The doctor may need to perform breathing tests to assess the person’s breathing or oxygen saturation level. This is called an in-hospital anaphylaxis workup.
In some cases, the doctor may need to inject epinephrine to treat the person’s anaphylaxis. If the doctor requires an epinephrine injection, they will only give the person one.
If the doctor does not require epinephrine, they may give the person antihistamines to prevent future reactions to the food.
Over to you
If you are having an allergic reaction to a food, the best thing to do is to do what you can to avoid that food.
If you have a severe allergic reaction, it is important to call 911 or go to the emergency unit of a hospital.
The staff will make sure that you or a loved one is given epinephrine. They will also check your breathing and oxygen level.
Images by Freepik
Generated by AI