Anaphylaxis is a systemic reaction, which means that many parts of the
body are affected.
The time lapse between ingestion/or contact with the allergen and
anaphylactic symptoms varies among individuals. Symptoms can appear immediately
or can be delayed from 30 minutes to one hour after exposure. Symptoms may also
disappear and then recur hours later. Once symptoms arise, they progress
Symptoms of anaphylaxis can vary from mild to severe and are potentially
deadly. The most dangerous symptoms are low blood pressure, breathing
difficulties, shock and loss of consciousness, all of which can be fatal.
Cardiovascular: Reported symptoms include, hypotension, chest pain or
tightness, cardiac arrest, faint pulse and shock.
Dermatologic: Reported symptoms include, urticaria, swelling, itchy
skin, sensation of warmth, reddening of the skin, flushing, angioedema and
Gastrointestinal: Nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, itchy
Pulmonary: Histamine can induce vasodilatation of arterioles and
constriction of bronchioles in the lungs, also known as bronchospasm. Other
symptoms may include respiratory distress, throat tightness, hoarse voice,
cough, nasal congestion, trouble swallowing, fainting, light-headedness,
unconsciousness, angioedema, wheezing, respiratory arrest and death.
Other: Other possible symptoms include anxiety, hay fever-like symptoms,
red/itchy/watery eyes, headache and cramping of the uterus.
This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to
the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).
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- MedlinePlus. Anaphylaxis. www.nlm.nih.gov.
- Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
www.naturalstandard.com. Copyright © 2008.
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- The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. www.foodallergy.org.
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