Home Page
Consumers' Section

E-mail this page   Printable View

Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy: Symptoms and Risk Factors

Anaphylaxis is a rapid, life–threatening allergic reaction in which an allergen triggers a cascade of inflammation that affects the skin and the respiratory, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal systems. Common triggers include certain foods (such as eggs, peanuts, dairy products, fish and shellfish, and tree nuts), drugs, blood products, dyes, and insect stings.


  • Flushing of the skin
  • Rash
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Profuse sweating
  • Low blood pressure
  • Change of mental status
  • Incontinence

Risk Factors

  • History of allergic disease, including asthma and eczema (a skin disorder characterized by inflammation, itching, and the formation of scales)
  • History of exposure to allergens
  • History of anaphylaxis: Previous (especially recent) anaphylaxis is a risk factor for recurrence.


Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy: Diagnosis and Treatment >>