Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock occurs in the case of a severe allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if medical attention is not sought quickly enough. Most commonly anaphylaxis occurs to food items, medications and insect bites.
In a typical allergic reaction, symptoms occur in one location in the body as histamine is released into the tissues, however in anaphylactic shock the reaction affects multiple parts of the body, due to histamine and other inflammatory molecules being released into the blood stream.
Anaphylactic symptoms usually occur within minutes of exposure to the allergen but can occur up to 1-2 hours later. In this type of reaction, symptoms could include swelling of the throat or tongue causing the individual to sound hoarse and have difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms include a rash or swelling of parts of the face; breathing difficulties or wheezing; low blood pressure causing dizziness or fainting, and possible abdominal pain or vomiting.
If you, a family member or a friend are at risk of an anaphylactic reaction, it is very important that you know the early signs to look out for and call for help. The at-risk individual may carry an epinephrine pen, which carries adrenaline, to administer in the incidence of a reaction, and again it is important to understand how and when to use this. If you would like more information on this please go to https://www.anaphylaxis.org.uk.