What are the most common symptoms of anaphylaxis


What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis is a sudden, severe, and widespread allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Causes and triggers of anaphylaxis vary from person to person, but are often commonplace things like nuts, insect bites, and medications. The symptoms that progress rapidly are an itchy red rash, cough or wheezing and heavy breathing, and eventually collapse and loss of consciousness. For people at increased risk, it is often an advantage to have an emergency kit with you, especially when traveling to areas where medical help is not immediately available. Most people recover well from anaphylaxis with quick and immediate treatment.

Another name for anaphylaxis: Severe, widespread allergic reaction.


Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a normally harmless substance. These substances are known as allergens or triggers. In anaphylaxis, the reaction affects the whole body and causes swelling in various areas, including the airways.

The triggers for these reactions are different. About 1-2% of all people will have an anaphylactic reaction during their lifetime. Anaphylactic reactions are more common in children and adolescents, although adults can have reactions when exposed to a trigger.


Symptoms of anaphylaxis often come on suddenly and can quickly become life-threatening. The early symptoms of anaphylaxis are an itchy, pink or red rash, usually with a cough and a fast heartbeat.

As anaphylaxis progresses, the affected person may:

  • Shortness of breath,
  • low blood pressure
  • Dizziness,
  • Abdominal pain and one
  • develop a sudden urge to defecate.

Ultimately, those affected can collapse, become unable to breathe, and lose consciousness.

If you are unsure whether these symptoms apply to you, start a symptom analysis.


Diagnosis is made based on a person's medical history and a physical exam. Treatment is not delayed for further diagnostic tests as an anaphylactic reaction can become dangerous very quickly.


The trigger of the anaphylaxis needs to be identified and removed as soon as possible. If you feel dizzy due to low blood pressure, it can help to put your legs up.

The ambulance often uses IV fluids and adrenaline to raise blood pressure. Steroids and antihistamines are given to stop the excessive defense reaction. Oxygen and inhalants are used when there is difficulty in breathing. In severe cases, ventilation may be necessary until the reaction subsides.


Anaphylaxis can be a life-threatening situation and requires emergency treatment. Most people recover well with immediate treatment.


Avoiding known triggers is important in avoiding anaphylaxis. Lots of people who suffered from anaphylaxis after taking certain substances or drugs, wear a piece of jewelry (usually a bracelet) on which their allergy is engraved, to make medical personnel aware of this in an emergency.

Some people can get one Desensitization therapy in which the body is slowly exposed to the trigger responsible for anaphylaxis. This causes the immune system to slowly get used to the trigger, so that the allergic reaction is less severe in the future.

People who are at increased risk of severe reactions should also take a Allergy action plan for your school or workplace that includes information on avoidance and the correct response in the event of anaphylaxis. Emergency kits can be prescribed in some cases.