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ANAPHYLAXIS

ANAPHYLAXIS

What is Anaphylaxis?

A severe, life-threatening allergic reaction after an exposure to the allergen is called as anaphylaxis. Most of the times, people with allergies develop mild symptoms like running nose, sneezing, or skin rash; but in rare cases, certain chemicals released by a specific allergen can cause the life-threatening reaction leading to shock.

Anaphylactic reactions are mostly caused by an insect bite, certain foods, some medications, and latex.

Symptoms of Anaphylaxis

The symptoms of anaphylaxis come on suddenly and progress quickly. Sometimes the symptoms can occur after half an hour of exposure to the allergen. In the beginning, the symptoms are mild to moderate and then it can become severe and life threatening.

The symptoms of anaphylaxis are:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Tightness in the throat with choking sensation and wheezing
  • Skin rash with severe itching and redness or paleness of the skin
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Uneasiness

The people who have had an attack of anaphylaxis, are at risk of having similar attacks in the future. Even if the first episode is mild, future reactions can be severe and life-threatening.

Causes of Anaphylaxis

The immune system in the body produces antibodies against any foreign substances that enter the body. If the foreign substances are harmful to our body, the antibodies that are produced in the body try to kill the harmful foreign substances. This is helpful only if the substance to which the body reacts is harmful.

Sometimes the body overreacts and the immune system produces antibodies against certain substances which are not harmful to the body or against the substances which should not cause any reaction. This leads to the symptoms of allergy like running nose, sneezing, etc. normally these allergy symptoms are not very severe; however sometimes there can be severe reactions leading to anaphylaxis.

Many substances can trigger anaphylaxis. They are:

  • Medications like penicillin
  • Certain foods like peanuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, fish etc.
  • Insect bites such as that from bees, wasps, etc.
  • Latex
  • Certain exercises like jogging, walking or eating certain foods before or after exercises or exercising in hot, cold or humid weather
  • Drugs used for anesthesia.

Risk factors:

  • Personal history of anaphylaxis
  • People having any other allergic conditions like asthma are at high risk of developing anaphylaxis.
  • The family history of having anaphylactic episodes makes the person more prone to develop anaphylaxis.

Diagnosis of Anaphylaxis

Proper information about any history of allergies in the past or any allergic reactions that may have occurred before is to be asked to the patient.

The questions that can be asked are:

  • Whether any foods have caused a reaction before
  • Whether the patient takes any medications and he had an allergic reaction to it in the past
  • Whether the patient had allergic reaction before when he was exposed to latex
  • Whether the patient had allergic reaction after being bitten by any particular insect

The diagnosis can be confirmed by doing the skin prick test or blood tests and also the patient can be told to eat certain foods and stop eating the foods that he eats daily for some period of time.

Self help

  • Avoid the things to which the person is allergic.
  • Use full sleeves clothes and full pants while walking through the grassy areas. This will prevent the contact with any insects which can cause an anaphylactic reaction.
  • Read or properly inquire about the ingredients of foods or eatables before having it to avoid anaphylaxis to certain foods to which the person is allergic.

Homoeopathic Management in Anaphylaxis

Homoeopathic Medicines can be given to relieve the inflammation, swelling congestion and restore the person’s condition without any additional side effects

Apis Mellifica

  • Anti-inflammatory and Anti-histamine.
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. The hypersensitive and anaphylactic shock from allergens, chemicals, antibiotics such as penicillin, and certain foods like nuts.
  • swelling of tongue, lips, eyelids
  • difficulty breathing.
  • A sore throat due to allergy; back of throat bright red, swollen uvula.
  • pain is burning and stinging.
  • mouth is dry, without thirst, tongue and throat are red.
  • Tongue dryness; scalded feeling with burning pain as if burnt.
  • Coughs short dry, hollow cough from allergies and pollutants; from irritation in throat-pit; suffocative; with crawling sensation and tickling in the chest that prevents sleep.
  • Allergic reaction to insect stings and bites from bees, wasps, spider, mosquito, and jellyfish; with rapid swelling and large shiny red lumps that itch, burn or sting.
  • < heat and touch, > from cold applications and air.

Arsenic Album

  • Prone to allergies and the toxic effects of pesticides, chemicals
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities with extreme sensitivity to pollutants, and other toxic elements with anaphylaxis reaction.
  • Food allergies especially to milk, wheat, sugar, ice cream, with hypoglycemia.
  • Very sensitive to odors with an acute sense of smell, and also imagines odors.
  • Symptoms are worse from cold, wet weather, after midnight, and better from heat, in the morning. and elevating head.
  • Sneezing without relief
  • Burning and bleeding
  • Air-passages constricted. Asthma worse midnight.
  • A cough worse after midnight; worse lying on back.
  • Expectoration scanty, frothy.

Phosphorus

  • Toxic Poisoning from chemical fumes; chloroform; with panting and gasping for air.
  • Hypersensitive to strong odors, and highly aromatic such as flowers, or of chemicals and gases.
  • Asthma related to allergies, worse from humid weather.
  • Coughs and headaches from strong odors; sinusitis; very sensitive to gas fumes.
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities especially those with reactions to strong odors and respiratory problems
  • Ailments from electric shocks, being struck by lightning
  • Symptoms are worse from electrical changes, twilight, left the side, cold, and better from sympathy, and warmth.

Sulphur

  • all those cases of skin allergy where excessive itching with the extreme burning
  • Skin usually remains dry. The patient scratches the skin and gets relief.
  • aversion to bathing,
  • unhealthy dirty looking skin,
  • craving for sweets
  • Hot Patient

Carbo Veg

  • Asphyxia from carbon monoxide
  • Disintegration and imperfect oxidation
  • Blood seems to stagnate in the capillaries, causing blueness, coldness, and ecchymosis. The body becomes blue, icy-cold.
  • The patient may be almost lifeless, but the head is hot; coldness, breath cool, pulse imperceptible, oppressed and quickened respiration, and must have air, must be fanned hard, must have all the windows open.
  • The patient faints easily, is worn out, and must have fresh air.
  • Hćmorrhage from any mucous surface. Very debilitated. Patient seems to be too weak to hold out.
  • Persons who have never fully recovered from the effects of some previous illness