How Can You Determine if Your Allergy Will Lead to Anaphylaxis?

Oct 09, 2023
How Can You Determine if Your Allergy Will Lead to Anaphylaxis?
If you struggle with allergies, you might be wondering if you have to worry about anaphylaxis. Here, we review what typically triggers anaphylaxis and how to manage and treat it.

Anaphylaxis is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that can be triggered minutes — or even seconds — after you’ve been exposed to something you’re allergic to. 

Typically, when you’re allergic to something, your immune system reacts as if the substance is trying to harm your body. Your body releases a chemical known as histamine, which causes symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes and a runny nose. 

However, this reaction can end up being much more severe and affect multiple systems in your body resulting in wheezing, shortness of breath, swelling, difficulty swallowing, heart racing, heart slowing and sometimes loss of consciousness.

If you struggle with allergies, you might be worried that what you’re allergic to can cause anaphylaxis. That’s why our team led by Chad W. Mayer, DO, FAAAAI, FAAP, and Ronda Barak-Norris, MD, FACAAI, here at Allergy and Asthma Institute of Southeast Michigan located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, want to review what allergies might lead to anaphylaxis.

What allergies can cause anaphylaxis?

The most commonly seen cause of anaphylaxis — especially in children — is food allergies. Foods that can often trigger this severe allergic reaction include:

  • Cow’s milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Tree nuts 
  • Wheat

Other things that can also cause anaphylaxis include: 

  • Certain medications, such as antibiotics, aspirin, and some IV contrast dyes 
  • Latex, found in disposable gloves and adhesive tape
  • Insect venom that comes from getting stung by bees, wasps, or hornets

Although it’s not commonly reported, aerobic exercises like jogging can also bring on anaphylaxis. Eating a certain food before you start exercising can trigger it; however, the weather being too cold or too hot can also be a factor.

How to manage allergies that cause anaphylaxis

You are most at risk for developing anaphylaxis if you’ve had an allergic reaction to certain foods or insect stings or if you struggle with asthma. In addition, if you’ve had a case of anaphylaxis before, you’re more likely to develop it again. 

If you suspect that you’ve had anaphylaxis before, you should immediately come in and see our team for allergy diagnosis. Taking this step could save your life.

To lower your risk for anaphylaxis, you first need to identify what triggers your severe allergic reaction. This is extremely important so you can avoid that allergen at all costs. You also need to be prepared at all times for anaphylaxis. Make sure your family and friends recognize the symptoms, so they can contact medical help right away.

Our team also prescribes you an epinephrine injector. This is the size of a large marker and needs to be carried around with you at all times. If you ever start to experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis, simply inject the medication into your thigh to reverse the allergic reaction.

Take steps to protect yourself against anaphylaxis

If you think you’ve had anaphylaxis before, you have a family history of anaphylaxis, or if you simply struggle with allergies, reach out to our team for an accurate diagnosis of your allergies and a personalized treatment plan. 

To schedule an appointment with our allergy experts, you can call our office at 248-363-3232 or book online with us today.