In a nutshell, having anaphylactic hypersensitivity means being prone to anaphylactic shocks due to allergy. Studies from 2011 and 2015 estimate that anaphylaxis affects between 4 and 100 people out of 100,000.
According to the 7th edition of Patterson’s Allergic Diseases, the average lifetime risk is between 0.05 and 2 percent. With that in mind, it’s important to know the basics of this condition, its main causes and symptoms, and natural ways to fight it. Let’s take a closer look.
What Is It?
What separates the standard allergic reaction from an anaphylactic shock is that the standard allergic reaction manifests locally, while an anaphylactic shock will attack multiple parts of the body. This commonly includes the respiratory system.
First, it is important to know that there are three main types of an anaphylactic shock – mild, moderate to severe, and severe. If proper help is not administered on time, all three can be dangerous and potentially lethal.
Many things can cause an anaphylactic shock, here are only some of the most common causes.
One of the most common causes of anaphylactic hypersensitivity is food. Various glycoproteins found in food cause anaphylactic reactions. Here’s a list of some common food items that tend to cause allergies.
- Various types of fish
- Cow and goat milk
- Chicken eggs
- Sesame and cotton seeds
- Various vegetables and fruits
- Many types of shellfish – shrimp, lobster, crab
- Many types of nuts – almond, peanut, walnut, pistachio, hazel
Potassium and sodium sulfites, as well as a range of other preservatives, are known to cause anaphylactic reactions in both adults and children. For those with severe food allergies, even inhaling the smell of the food could cause a dangerous reaction.
Pollen is also a frequent culprit. It can easily cause an anaphylactic reaction in hypersensitive adults and children. Birch pollen is found in hazelnuts, carrots, apples, and raw potatoes. Ragweed pollen can be found in melons and bananas. Mugwort pollen is present in kiwifruit, apple, and celery.
Some people have severe allergic reactions to certain types of drugs. The most prominent group here is penicillin. What’s interesting is that the chances of anaphylactic reaction are much higher with intramuscular or intravenous intake than they are with oral ingestion. Other antibiotics are also known to cause anaphylactic reactions.
Muscle relaxants – such as atracurium, vecuronium, suxamethonium, and so on – can also cause problems for people allergic to this type of drugs. The largest percentage of shock reactions happens during general anesthesia. They’re induced by an instant IgE-mediated reaction.
NSAIDs, ibuprofen, and aspirin can also cause anaphylactic reactions. There are no antibodies for NSAIDs and aspirin, so people sensitive to them should be very careful.
The bites and stings of some insects can also elicit an anaphylactic reaction, most prominently by fire ants, wasps, hornets, and bees. The venoms of these insects have enzymes such as hyaluronidases and phospholipases, as well as a host of other proteins that can cause allergic reactions.
Latex is also known to cause an anaphylactic reaction in people who are allergic to it. Medical staff and dentists are especially prone to latex allergies, as well as other people who often wear latex gloves or other items made of this rubbery material. There is also a connection between latex and fruit allergies.
Some people might get anaphylactic reactions from exercise alone. This 2016 study found that 1 in 2,000 young exercisers get anaphylactic reactions. Also, some women are allergic to the secretion of endogenous progesterone which can trigger reactions during PMS. Finally, some people can also experience anaphylactic reactions without an apparent reason.
Signs and Symptoms
Here’s a list of the most common symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction.
- Skin rash or flushes
- Skin hives
- Face, tongue, throat, or lip swelling
- Mouth tingling
- Lightheadedness and losing consciousness
- Wheezing and coughing
- Troubled breathing
How to Battle This Hypersensitivity
In this section, we’ll discuss some of the best and most effective ways to combat anaphylactic hypersensitivity.
Avoid the Cause
The main way to combat hypersensitivity of any kind, especially anaphylactic, is to avoid the cause altogether.
If you’re getting anaphylactic reactions from exercise, modify or completely avoid intense workouts. There are less intensive ways of staying in shape and maintaining a healthy body.
Various drugs can cause an anaphylactic shock. Be very careful to avoid the ones you know you’re allergic to. This is especially important if you’re allergic to penicillin, aspirin, and ibuprofen. There still aren’t antibodies for the latter two.
Also, avoid places where there are bees and wasps if you’re allergic to their venom. Finally, don’t use latex gloves if the material causes any kinds of problems.
Those with severe food allergies should do their best to cut the problematic foods from their menus completely. Focus on foods that don’t irritate you or find natural and safe substitutions.
Adjust Your Diet
Many foods can cause an anaphylactic shock. It is important to identify them quickly and remove them from your diet altogether. If peanuts and almonds are giving you trouble, avoid cakes and snacks that contain them. With vegetables and fruits, this might be a bit harder, but the key is in discipline.
Every warrior needs to be disciplined in order to triumph over his or her enemy. This definitely includes autoimmune warriors. It might take time to figure out the best dietary plan, but once you create it, stick to it. Don’t hesitate to make others aware of your dietary needs.
There are numerous substitutes for gluten, milk, and other allergy-inducing foods and food items. Research your options and go for natural, organic options.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Remedies
A 2014 study conducted by Julie Wang, MD, found that Chinese herbal remedies are safe and effective when it comes to treating food allergies. The study examined the effect of the FAHF-2 herbal formula on food allergies. It started with tests on mice but moved on to clinical trials on humans.
Though not a remedy or cure in itself, a HEPA filter on your window can help keep many airborne allergens from your home. It can filter out pollen, pet dander, and dust, thus helping you avoid the risk of anaphylaxis.
The Final Word
Anaphylactic reactions should be treated with immediate urgency.
Autoimmune warriors should rally all their resources and methods to stave off the possibility of an anaphylactic shock. The recommended methods include avoiding the cause, adjusting your diet and daily routine, and taking traditional herbal remedies. HEPA filters on your windows can also help stave off the airborne allergens.References:
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