Allergic shock, known as anaphylaxis caused by allergic reactions, creates a life-threatening risk in cases where medical intervention is not taken. President of Allergy and Asthma Association Prof. Dr. Ahmet Akçay stated that the causes of allergic shock can be determined in great detail with molecular allergy tests and measures can be taken against the risks that may occur.
What is Allergic Shock (Anaphylaxis)?
People with severe allergies can react very violently when exposed to something they're allergic to. In allergic reactions, the overreaction of the immune system can cause anaphylaxis, that is, allergic shock. Allergic shock is a very serious condition and can have fatal consequences if not treated immediately. When your body goes into allergic shock, there is a sudden drop in blood pressure, your airways narrow and you have trouble breathing. Not having had anaphylaxis in previous allergic reactions does not mean that allergic shock will not occur in the next allergic reaction. People with a moderate allergic reaction may have their next reaction in the form of allergic shock.
What are the Symptoms of Allergic Shock?
In case of allergic shock, you will experience some symptoms. These symptoms should not be ignored. The sooner you notice symptoms and start treatment, the sooner you can prevent fatal outcomes. Symptoms of allergic shock include:
- Skin reactions such as hives, rash or pallor
- Itchy swelling of the lips on the tongue
- Feeling like a lump in our throat or difficulty swallowing
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain,
- Fast or weak heart rate, low blood pressure
- Runny nose, sneezing,
- Swelling of the tongue and lips
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing,
- A feeling that there is a problem in your body
- Tingling sensation in the hands, feet, mouth, and scalp.
If anaphylactic shock has progressed, symptoms such as struggling to breathe, dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness occur.
What Are Allergies That Cause Allergic Shock?
There are many types of allergies that cause allergic shock. However, there are some allergies that commonly cause anaphylaxis. Among food allergies, nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat fish allergies, shellfish and some fruit allergies are common allergies that cause anaphylaxis. Insect stings, especially wasp or bee stings, are also risky allergies in terms of anaphylaxis. Anaphylactic shock caused by aspirin, some antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory drugs are also common conditions. People with anaphylactic shock, family history of anaphylaxis, and people with allergies or asthma are at risk for allergic shock.
Can Allergic Shock Be Known Beforehand?
Allergic shock develops very rapidly and it cannot be predicted exactly when it will happen. However, the severity of allergies of people with allergies can be measured and the risk of the person in terms of allergic shock can be calculated. It is possible to measure the severity of the allergy with molecular allergy tests. The molecular allergy test looks at the substance causing the allergy from the blood and can pinpoint the substance causing the allergy. Molecular allergy test is also a new generation allergy test that can show the allergic structure of the body, which we call total IgE, and reveal the allergy level. Since the severity of the allergy can be determined, allergic shock potentials also occur. While very high allergies have the potential for allergic shock, it is necessary to determine whether allergy symptoms develop by testing for low-level allergies.
Molecular Allergy Test Reveals Reasons of Allergic Shock in Detail
For children and adults with allergic shock, it is very important to determine the allergens that cause allergic shock in great detail. Because people with allergic shock and their families of children see the symptoms of allergic shock, they are psychologically very worried. They want to know in detail what other causes cause allergic shock. Molecular allergy testing can determine which other foods may develop allergic shock, as it reveals very detailed the ingredients in the foods that cause allergic shock. Because, besides evaluating whether there is an allergy to 300 different allergens at the same time, it can also reveal the molecule in the food that causes the allergy, so it can also reveal foods containing this molecule.
Risk of allergic shock due to bee sting may occur
The risk of allergic shock due to bee allergy can be revealed in detail by molecular allergy testing. Administration of allergy vaccine to patients who develop allergic shock due to bee sting is a very useful treatment. With the molecular allergy test, it is possible to have an idea about which bee allergy vaccine to be made.
Does Baking Foods That Cause Allergic Shock Prevent Allergic Shock?
Another good piece of information revealed by the molecular allergy test is that it reveals whether baking foods can prevent allergic shock. Because if the component in the food that causes allergy is sensitive to heat, it can be understood whether there is a risk by baking. It should be known that foods that cause allergic shock such as nuts increase the risk of allergic shock when baking. Foods that cause allergic shocks in milk, eggs, vegetables and fruits can be consumed by baking.
Can Allergic Shock Against Drugs Be Understood By Molecular Test?
Incomprehensible. Drug allergies are not detected by molecular allergy testing. The drug allergy test is understood by testing with small doses of the drug, which we call skin test and drug loading, with tests other than blood. As a result, drug allergy is not detected with molecular allergy test.
Can Allergic Shock Be Treated?
In order to prevent the development of allergic shock, allergic causes should be avoided. Particularly, patients with nut allergies or seafood allergies need to be very careful. If the severity of the allergy is high, even the smell can cause allergies and cause shortness of breath. For this reason, it is very important for those who are allergic to seafood to stay away from fish restaurants. The food that children attending school are allergic to should be reported to the school in detail, and a written action plan showing what to do in case of allergic shock symptoms and how and when to apply the adrenaline auto injector, which is an emergency treatment kit, should be prepared by the allergy doctor and given to the teacher at the school. In case of accidental consumption of allergic food, making an emergency treatment plan and calling an ambulance within one hour will be life-saving.
Prof. Dr. Ahmet AKÇAY stated that it is very important to provide training on how to perform emergency treatment, since emergency treatment plan for children and adults with allergic shock symptoms is life-saving until the ambulance arrives. He also stated that he thinks allergic shock action plans in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of National Education are very important to make educational plans in schools and to train teachers.
Children and adults with symptoms of allergic shock should be intervened by lying down immediately. It is necessary to raise it by putting a pillow under the feet. In this way, the amount of blood coming to the heart is increased. It is very important for every patient at risk of allergic shock to have an adrenaline auto injector that they can use in case of allergic shock. This emergency medicine should be kept at room temperature, with them at all times, and also in children's schools.