Food Allergy? 4 Things You Should Never Do While Experiencing An Allergic Reaction

Health & Medical Blog

Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, and that number is expected to continue to rise as new cases are increasing dramatically, a phenomenon that experts have yet to explain. While many allergic reactions are mild, causing symptoms like itching and sneezing, some are life threatening. Serious allergic reactions result in more than 200,000 emergency room visits per year. 

If you have food allergies and experience a severe allergic reaction, you must seek treatment immediately. You should also avoid making mistakes that could put you in harm's way. Following are four things you should never do while experiencing an allergic reaction.

Not Tell Someone

It's understandable that you might be embarrassed or nervous to tell those around you that you're having a reaction, especially if you're surrounded by strangers. However, you must tell someone that you're getting ill at the very first sign of a reaction. Since anaphylaxis can cause death in as little as 15 minutes, it's imperative that those around you know you're in distress and why you're in distress. It could save your life. 

Avoid Going to The Hospital

An on-site injection of epinephrine is not intended to treat severe allergic reactions. It is merely a means to delay life-threatening symptoms until you can get proper medical treatment. If you have had a severe allergic reaction, you should always go to the emergency room even if you feel better. You might need other types of medications, such as steroids, antihistamines and/or breathing treatments to fully recover from your allergic reaction.

Think a Reaction Is Over

Life-threatening symptoms, such as anaphylaxis, can keep recurring for hours after an episode. In fact, reactions can recur for up to 12 hours after an initial reaction. For this reason, you should never assume that a reaction is over. It's vital that you pay extra close attention to your body for several hours after an allergic reaction so you can get immediate help for a recurrence. 

Not Find Out What You Ate

If you have a known allergy to peanuts, you should not assume that there were peanuts in the food that you reacted to. You may have other allergies you don't know about or you may have developed an allergy to another type of food. Always ask for a complete list of ingredients of any dish that you've reacted to. You should also ask what types of food products are commonly prepared in the kitchen.

Severe allergic reactions are scary, and it's very easy to make a mistake while having one. However, you have to make sure you do all you can to stay healthy by seeking the proper medical attention and following up after your reaction. If you are unable to do so for yourself, appoint a close friend or family member to be your advocate. Always work closely with a physician, like Alidina Laila MD, when dealing with food allergies.


18 June 2015