Anaphylaxis & Anaphylactic Shock
When you are exposed to an allergen, your white blood cells produce antibodies. The antibodies trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals in your blood called mediators. The mediators cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction. The majority of allergic reactions are not life threatening.
Exercise can cause anaphylaxis. The type of exercise that causes a reaction differs among people. Aerobic exercise; exercising in cold, hot, or humid temperatures; eating before exercising; or just general activity can cause anaphylaxis. In some cases, the cause is unknown (idiopathic anaphylaxis).
Anaphylaxis is potentially life threatening. A severe anaphylaxis reaction can cause a person to develop anaphylactic shock and stop breathing or stop the heart. Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include a sudden drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and a loss of consciousness. Again, 911 should be called and emergency medical treatment received if a person is experiencing anaphylaxis. Although it is rare, death can result.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), artificial respiratory methods, and other emergency medical care may be necessary for people with life-threatening symptoms. These people are admitted to the hospital. Following an anaphylaxis event, follow-up evaluation and care by an allergist is recommended.
Am I at Risk
You may have an increased risk of anaphylaxis if:
• You have had an anaphylactic reaction before.
• You have had a severe allergic reaction in the past.
• You have allergies or asthma.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.