Anaphylaxis: Signs, Causes, and Prevention

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that could become life-threatening. Up to 5% of the United States population experience anaphylaxis.However, despite its life-threatening background, the fatal outcome of anaphylaxis is rare. The overall mortality risk percentage of anaphylaxis is only less than  1%.

But despite the fact that death from anaphylaxis is rare, you must still educate yourself about this medical emergency and know how to address it when it occur. You don’t want to be a part of that 1% mortality risk. Therefore, you better learn more about anaphylaxis, its signs, causes, and how to prevent it.


Signs of Anaphylaxis 

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that anaphylactic shock happens suddenly and could exacerbate quickly. You should also be quick in determining the condition of the patient by knowing the common signs of anaphylaxis, such as:

Skin reactions: paling or flushing of skin, itching, rashes
Weak or fast pulse
Hypotension or decreasing of blood pressure
Rapid heartbeat
Difficulty in breathing

The mentioned signs of anaphylaxis aren’t only the symptoms that you must watch out for. Other allergy symptoms that aren’t listed could also be a sign of anaphylaxis so beware.

Common Causes of Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis occurs when certain triggers compromise your immune system. You will notice that these triggers are the same as your allergy triggers, but not all the time. To have a complete awareness of the possible triggers for anaphylaxis, here is a list of common things that you should keep in mind:


  • Food triggers: shellfish, nuts, eggs, fish, milk, and some fruits
  • Contrast agents: medical test dyes to help with diagnosis
  • Latex: condoms or gloves
  • Insect stings: bee or wasps
  • General anesthetic
  • Certain medicines: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics


Take note of your allergy triggers and add the mentioned triggers to the list of things you must watch out for. But sometimes, anaphylaxis occurs without any obvious reason. This condition is called idiopathic anaphylaxis.


Tips to Prevent Anaphylaxis 

Let’s move on to how to prevent anaphylaxis since you already know the signs and causes of this condition. And because prevention is always better than cure, you should keep these tips in mind before anything goes out of hand:


Identify Your Triggers

If you already know what triggers your allergy, the same thing will likely cause anaphylaxis. However, you can visit an allergy clinic for allergy tests if you still don’t know your triggers or have an allergy. 


It will help you know what triggers you will need to avoid to prevent allergy or, worst anaphylactic shock from happening. It is also advised that your entire family run the test to ensure each family member is safe from anaphylaxis. 


Double-check What You’re Consuming

Always watch out for your trigger and avoid them at all costs once you figure them out. Take time to take time to double-check what you are eating because the most common trigger for allergies and anaphylaxis is food. Don’t be shy to ask or to take time to read the label one ingredient at a time. 


It is crucial if you care for a child with known allergies. When eating in a restaurant or at a friend’s home, remind the host or the chef that you have a food allergy and disclose the type of triggers that causes your allergy to ensure you will not be served with such items. 


Wear a Medical Tag 

A medical tag is an effective way to inform everyone that you have an allergy. It will help the people around you to be careful in giving you food or exposing you to other possible triggers. 


Medical tags come in different forms. It can be worn as a necklace, an emblem, or a bracelet. 

Some even wear t-shirts as medical tags. You can be creative about wearing your medical tag as long as it sends the right message about your condition. 


Carry Your Allergy Medicine Everywhere

This tip should be a part of your routine. Always carry your allergy medicine everywhere you go. No matter how well you avoid triggers, there will be times that your allergy will kick in due to new or unknown triggers. 


Having your medication with you will help you manage your allergy immediately. It’s also advisable to always refill your allergy medicine. If the time comes that purchasing an allergy medicine becomes a financial burden, you can always opt to get a prescription drug coupon.


For example, Loratadine Coupon helps patients with allergies save up to 80% of their medical expenses. You better get one to ensure you won’t run out of allergy medicine that could save your life. 


Avoid Sharing Your Epi-Pen 

If you or other family members have allergies, it’s advisable to always have an epi-pen at home or on your travel kit. However, remember that you shouldn’t share your epi-pen with someone else. 


If you do, you will be putting the patient’s life in danger, especially if you aren’t sure if the person needs it or not. Plus, you will only exhaust your medication. 


In Conclusion 

You can prevent anaphylaxis from happening if you educate yourself. Identify the signs and causes of anaphylaxis to help you prevent it from happening altogether. You can use this article as a medium to help you understand anaphylaxis and educate yourself.