Allergies and allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis but how can we differentiate between allergy attacks and anaphylaxis?
According to studies, allergies can develop due to too much exposure to an allergen. For example, a child who eats too much shellfish can later develop allergies when they grow old and cannot eat shellfish anymore. It’s like our body is telling us that we had too much and sees these substances as threats and therefore develops an immune defense against it, hence the reactions. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction when exposed to these allergens and it can lead to a life-threatening situation. This severe allergic reaction is the overreaction of our immune system. For example, an allergic reaction only affects one part of the body, but anaphylaxis affects multiple parts of the body at the same time.
Anaphylaxis symptoms affect 4 organ systems in the body:
1. Skin – 90% of the time anaphylaxis symptoms manifests in our skin in the form of itchiness and hives. It can also affect the skin inside your mouth, nose, ears, or throat that include swelling including the tongue, lips, and eyes.
2. Respiratory – Breathing difficulty, throat tightness, and wheezing.
3. Gastrointestinal Tract – Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
4. Cardiovascular – Feeling of faint, fast heart rate, and low blood pressure.
Importance of knowing the signs
Medical experts say that children who have anaphylaxis never outgrow it and since it can end someone’s life, we need to be familiar and watch out for its signs and symptoms. Always keep in mind that these symptoms can start from a simple allergic reaction to abrupt allergic reaction, quickly escalating the allergen exposure to anaphylaxis.
The best way to diagnose your anaphylaxis is to consult an allergist/immunologist to determine if your previous symptoms were related to it.
Prevention, Medication, and Preparation
According to Jennifer Shih, MD from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, in an interview that she conducted with WebMD, In cases of anaphylaxis antihistamine like Diphenhydramine can help with the symptoms but she strongly advised the use of Epinephrine auto-injectors as this is the only thing that can help prevent the continued progression of anaphylaxis as it happens and buy us time to rush our loved ones to the hospital. We strongly advised calling 911 in the event of an anaphylaxis attack.
This is why we designed and developed our Sammie Medicine Cases. Since Epinephrine Auto-Injectors (EpiPen, Auvi-Q) is our only weapon to stop anaphylaxis and buy us some time to go to the hospital, we made sure that our medicine cases are not only durable, compact, and well insulated to take care of our auto-injectors against sunlight and sudden change in temperature.
We used high-quality materials, including the fabric. The external fabric is top of the range Polyester 1680D that we reinforced with YKK zippers. Our bags are well insulated, it is padded with 5mm PE foam and its lining is made with Polyester 210T fabric to moderate internal temperature. It’s water resistant to ensure that our medicines and other essentials are protected from sudden wetness like unexpected rain or any type of water spills. There’s also an optional ice pocket lined with PEVA (food grade) in case you need to carry an ice pack with you.
Our Sammie Medicine Case comes in 5 different colors that both parents and kids will surely love. We also ensure that our designs will fit everyone’s lifestyle and you won’t hesitate to carry it around as a wristlet, on your belt, or simply hand carrying it.
Awareness and knowledge are also one of our best defenses against severe allergy attacks. Knowing more about these conditions and the possibilities of anaphylaxis happening to our friends, loved ones, or even ourselves will equip us with what may become life-saving tools. During these attacks, proper response and timing of the use of Epinephrine during its occurrence are vital.
We advise that you carry our auto-injectors with us at all times or have it at arms reach anywhere you are. Our EpiPen Holder belt is the perfect accessory for this.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (http://www.aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx)
Mayo Clinic (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20371835)
Webmd (https://www.webmd.com/allergies/latex-allergy-faq, https://www.webmd.com/allergies/video/what-is-anaphylaxis, https://www.webmd.com/allergies/video/video-allergy-or-anaphylaxis)
American Academy of Allergy and Asthma Immunology AAAAI (https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/anaphylaxis)