I have heard too many stories of dismissive doctors concluding allergic reactions to certain foods as non-problematic. In addition to dismissal, I have heard mixed advice from the medical community on when emergency treatment should be given to people having an allergic reaction. For this reason, I want to outline the list of allergic reaction symptoms that are typical.
Note: Not all symptoms will occur for all people every time. Every reaction is different. Do not rely solely on what has happened in the past, or never happened at all. And remember, time is very crucial when dealing with severe allergic reactions. You can read previous posts on my son’s anaphylactic reactions.
When a food has been consumed to which a person is allergic, the following symptoms may occur within minutes to 1-2 hours:
- Itching in the mouth and difficulty swallowing and breathing. (My son has complained of a sore throat).
- As the food starts to digest, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain. (My son has experienced both vomiting and stomach pain.)
- As the allergen hits the bloodstream, it reaches the skin causing hives or eczema. (My son has had hives initially as a reaction as well as a delayed sign. Eczema typically has not presented itself until a day later.)
- When the allergen hits the airways, an asthmatic reaction can occur. (While wheezing has never been an acute symptom for my son, he has always been treated with respiratory response in the ER.)
- As the allergen continues to travel through the bloodstream, lightheadedness and weakness can occur. (One of the scariest reactions my son ever had was when his eyes were rolling back in his head, his body was limp and he was faint.)
- Anaphylaxis, which is a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylactic reactions can be severe even when few or mild symptoms present themselves initially. (This is nothing to play around with. EpiPen should have already been injected by this point or be injected NOW and be en route to the ER. Anytime an EpiPen is administered, an ER visit is paramount. If EpiPen is not injected but severe allergic reaction is evident, ER visit is paramount.)
Are there any allergic reaction symptoms that you have experienced that are not listed above?
I plan to go through a series on the specifics of food allergies over the next few weeks including, treatment options, testing options, and other nuances of food allergies. Let me know if there is a specific topic or question that you would like covered.