Did you know that Food Allergy is the most frequent cause of Anaphylaxis at any age? (1)
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is the most serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction if not treated promptly. It usually starts a few minutes after exposure to an allergen, but in some cases it can start a few hours later. It involves two or more organs/systems simultaneously, including skin and mucous membranes, respiratory tract, cardiovascular or gastrointestinal system. (1, 2)
What are the symptoms of an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis to watch out for?
The onset of an allergic reaction may have sudden mild symptoms, including:
a) in the nose - itching, dripping, sneezing;
b) in the mouth - itching;
c) in the belly - nausea, light sickness, discomfort;
d) on the skin - pimples, itching.
Anaphylaxis occurs if symptoms worsen or new symptoms appear, including:
a) in breathing - shortness of breath, wheezing, persistent cough;
b) in circulation - pallor or bluish skin, dizziness, fainting;
c) in the throat - tightness, hoarseness, difficulty in swallowing;
d) in the mouth - significant swelling of the lips or tongue;
e) on the skin - itching all over the body, redness, many pimples;
f) in the belly - severe vomiting or diarrhea;
g) others - anxiety, confusion;
h) or 2 or more symptoms occur simultaneously. (two)
It is important that the first symptoms of an allergic reaction are recognized promptly so that treatment can begin without delay. (1)
What is the treatment and care to take in an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis?
When there is a risk of anaphylaxis, a self-injectable epinephrine device is usually prescribed by the doctor in addition to the other emergency medication (antihistamine and corticosteroid), which must be accompanied by a written emergency plan, with the details of the administration of the different medications. , depending on the severity of the symptoms presented.
In addition to family members, all those who have daily contact with a person with severe food allergy must be aware of their allergy, and must be familiar with the emergency plan, the recognition of the signs and symptoms of allergy and particularly with the administration of injectable adrenaline. This teaching should be provided at school, at work or other places where the allergic person frequents.
It is important to bear in mind that, even with all precautions, an accidental ingestion may occur, therefore, it is important for the allergic person to always carry the adrenaline that has been prescribed. (1)
The Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (SPAIC) provides informative material on anaphylaxis for doctors and patients, namely Emergency Anaphylaxis Plans and Self-Injectable Adrenaline Carrier Declaration, click HERE to see.
At Fidu we take food allergies very seriously and we know that the smallest amount of allergen can trigger a serious allergic reaction in the most sensitive people. Therefore, we make a rigorous selection of our raw materials in order to guarantee the exemption of the 14 main allergens and we do not handle any of these allergens in our facilities. This way we can guarantee that our products are safe, free from allergens and their traces.
Important note: The content of this article is merely informative and should not replace medical advice.
(1) SPAIC Food Allergy Interest Group (2019). Food Allergy: Concepts and Advice and Precautions, 2nd Edition. Lisbon: Portuguese Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology with support from Thermo Fisher Scientific and BIAL Laboratories.
(2) Carneiro-Leão, L., Santos, N., Gaspar, Â., & SPAIC Anaphylaxis and Fatal Immunoallergic Diseases Interest Group. (2018). Anaphylaxis, Diagnosis and Treatment. Portuguese Medical Acta, 31(2), 134–135.