Patient Comments: Anaphylaxis - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with anaphylaxis.

Comment from: juliaATdfl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I developed an allergy to the allium (onion) family three years ago. I have a severe sensitivity and will react to the inhalation of the allergen. My symptoms have been diagnosed by an immunologist as anaphylactic. I become confused, disconnected, have blurred vision and a drop in blood pressure causing collapse. If ingested, my tongue feels burned; my lips, face, and nose swell; I get asthma; and I get a sense that my vocal chords have been seized. I might itch intensely under the skin, but I have no hives. With a bad reaction, my limbs feel heavy, and fluid streams from eyes and nose. I have no sense of impending doom. I respond well to adrenaline and oxygen and find additional IV fluids very helpful. I carry four EpiPens, steroids, liquid antihistamines and wear a Medi Alert bracelet.

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Comment from: Bubbles, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I actually had an anaphylactic reaction while getting allergy testing done. After the first 20 were given to me I started having a flushed, warm feeling. I then became itchy to my ears, eyes and throat. My skin was cool, pale, and clammy. My blood pressure dropped to 90/50. Within three to four minutes I started having intense abdominal and uterine cramps. Every time I sat up I was feeling faint. I was extremely nauseous. The ENT doctor called it a vagal reaction, but I insisted on 911 since he refused to give me Epipen or Benadryl. Once I arrived to the ER I had hives from my head to my pelvic area, my chest was bright red and I was extremely anxious. I am so glad I sought higher medical attention because I felt like I was going to die in that doctor's office.

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Comment from: Annemarie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I had my first anaphylaxis shock when I was on holiday in the U.S. I am from England. I was in a restaurant and had eaten coconut shrimp. By the time the main course arrived, I couldn't breath. I went to a hospital and thought it was just a one-time thing. Then one day, I ate a chocolate that contained coconut and within minutes, I was itching all over and I collapsed. I was rushed to the hospital, and I had another attack in the hospital. It turned out after tests that I was allergic to soya and coconut. I now carry two Epipens with me at all times. I had a third shock again in a restaurant. I did not realize that the food had been cooked in soya oil. Again it started with flushing and problems being able to breathe. I was rushed to a hospital and thankfully, I never had a second attack. I had another attack two weeks ago. I'm not sure at all what caused it, but I had just eaten some cake, which I guess may have contained soya. This time I administered my Epipen myself. That feeling when you can't get your breathe is terrifying, yet in a strange way, a calmness comes over you. Everyone else around is panicking, but you learn to stay calm. It's not a pleasant thing to have because it can be so frightening when it first happens, but it is something you learn to manage.

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Comment from: Maggie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I was recently prescribed a drug called Ketek to cure chronic sinusitis. (This drug, like all, has a million possible reactions, but I did not think that I would fit into the "Allergy - Very Rare Severe Allergenic Reactions” category that included angioedema and anaphylaxis, neither of which I had ever heard of. Within three days, I felt my sinus problem was not improving and was in fact getting worse. By day four, I thought I perhaps had pneumonia or definitely bronchitis. I had difficulty breathing, a terrible cough, and constant severe heartburn. Thinking that I must have let the antibiotic run its course, and because it was the weekend and my general practitioner was not working, I purchased a cough medicine that helped slightly. My chest was gurgling and rattling, and breathing was difficult. On the Monday when I visited my general practitioner, she was alarmed at the condition of my chest and immediately put me on a drip and nebulizer to try to correct my breathing and release the mucous. I am to continue with antibiotic injections for three days, plus now I am on a different antibiotic to alleviate the original problem of sinusitis.

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Comment from: dirtflirt, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 26

I'm a 37-year-old mom who has suffered with anaphylaxis all my life. I have had so many episodes, I have lost count! I'm allergic to lots of foods (too many to mention), and it's gotten to the stage where I can eat cooked carrots, but not raw. I can eat roast pork but not a pork chop. What scares me is, my body temperature rises for no reason, and my body reacts with anaphylaxis. I manage day to day the best I can and live as normal life as possible. I know what I can and can't eat. I occasionally stumble across something new that I become allergic to. I spent the day in the hospital today. The doctors don't know what set this anaphylaxis off this time, as I didn't do anything different.

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Comment from: Andres, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 25

I am an auto repair mechanic. I've had four anaphylactic episodes during the last five years at work. I've had all the symptoms: difficulty breathing and swallowing, hives, itchy eyes, pale skin, heavy sweating, anxiety, and a heavy, swollen face. I suspect radiator antifreeze to be the cause although I have not been able to isolate it as the only one. I know for a fact that I am very allergic to antifreeze, but when these episodes have happened, I have not had my hands on it. I believe heavy evaporated concentrations of antifreeze in the air are the possible cause. I have handled antifreeze for a long time and on a regular basis, but there are only these few times where I've had this terrible reaction. My disadvantage is that I completely lost my sense of smell a few years back, so it is difficult to know how to avoid whatever is causing this to happen.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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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