Patient Comments: Anaphylaxis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with anaphylaxis.

Comment from: rleo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have had four episodes of what I thought was anaphylaxis in the past month. Each time I had a pretty quick response to foods I had suspected were a problem before. I went to the doctor yesterday after an episode the night before and she didn't seem all that interested and asked me what I expected her to do at this point (after the worst was over). So, I don't even know if it was actually anaphylaxis. Here is what happened all four times: I suddenly felt like a had a huge lump in my throat (I described it as feeling like someone was pushing their knee into my throat), I felt like someone was sitting on my chest all three times and the last time I felt a sudden and severe pain between my shoulder blades that went through down into my stomach. I vomited repeatedly, I felt panicky, I had hives on my neck and chest, my ear canals itched like mad, and my scalp itched, I felt claustrophobic, and I guess lightheaded though I was so distracted by all the other symptoms that that didn't seem too bad. My doctor said if I had shortness of breath I should have gone to the doctor and I kind of got the feeling that she suspected a panic attack and that if I didn't die then it wasn't anaphylaxis. I don't believe it was a panic attack. I took several doses of Benadryl throughout the night. I just am unsure about the shortness of breath issue. I guess I did feel shortness of breath, but I wasn't gasping for breath. I didn't go to the emergency room because I can't afford it, but I think the doctor blew me off because I didn't call an ambulance or something.

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Comment from: Cllayton, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I went into anaphylaxis shock in May of 2011. My hands and feet started to burn like when your hands get too cold. Then I had cramping in my bowels and the whites of my eyes turned red, hands and wrist began to swell, then my tongue started to swell to the point I could hardly talk. All this that happened, according to my doctors, was due to allergic reaction to pollens and animal dander. They tell me this is very rare.

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Comment from: Lizzy#1460, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I ate some broiled lobster tails and less than an hour later I was nauseated and dizzy and fainted on the way to the bathroom. I had tongue and facial swelling, vomiting and diarrhea. I was given Benadryl and an injection with steroids and medication for nausea.

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Comment from: living with it, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

I have been living with severe allergies all of my life. I have found it amazing what you can get used to. There is no telling when I will have a reaction. Luckily, as I have gotten older I am not allergic to as many foods as I once was. But I never let my guard down. I've simply been so terrified, after years and years of emergency room visits, and never knowing if the next will be my last. I'm currently only known to be severely allergic to fish and certain nuts. Until the age of 12/13, there were only about 10 to 15 foods that I could actually eat. I look back at my boyhood and wonder how I survived at all. I know my own parents wonder the same. I also know that I suffer from the mental trauma of dealing with this for so many years. I am extremely thankful that I am much better than that kid I once was. But to this day, I can't think of anything that is more frightening than the next time I have a reaction. I also developed asthma around the age of 6 and eczema, of course.

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Comment from: Inam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

With anaphylaxis I thought I won't breathe the next second. I was choking, coughing and really miserable. My chest was really tight and felt that it was not accepting any oxygen intake. My heart beat was so loud that I could hear it in my ears.

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Comment from: Scared, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I have allergies and asthma. I was eating my meal when I 'shut down'. I tried to relax but the experience was so fast. I either passed out or blacked out. I couldn't move however, my legs were jumping up and down. Being alone, I couldn't get my EpiPen. I heard my dog bark at me and brought me out of the anaphylaxis attack although my legs were still jumping, numb and picky. Very scary, especially when you're lone.

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Comment from: michaels, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: April 17

I"m happy I found this thread, if only because it explains what"s happening to me right now. I"ve been getting allergy shot treatment for a few months now and recently the dosage was increased. Last night, shortly after getting the shots, I had a brisk mile walk to get to a movie screening I had to be at for work. Midway through the movie, my face became extremely hot, almost on fire, especially around my ears. By the time I got home, I had severe abdominal pain, pain in my anus (probably due to swelling), trouble breathing, swollen throat glands and hives/swelling on my arms and face around my mouth and eyes.

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Patient Comments

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Anaphylaxis - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis - Possible Causes Question: Do you know what caused your case of anaphylaxis? Please share your experience.
Anaphylaxis - Diagnosis Question: Discuss the events that led to a diagnosis of anaphylaxis. Did you end up in the ER?
Anaphylaxis - Prevention Question: If you've experienced anaphylaxis, how do you prevent another occurrence? Do you have an EpiPen?
Anaphylaxis - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment did you get for anaphylaxis?

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