Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction that can occur after being exposed to certain including foods, insect stings, medications, or latex. Anaphylactic reactions often involve swelling, hives, reduced blood pressure, and in some severe cases, shock. Warning signs include rash, flushing, swelling, wheezing, lightheadedness, chest or throat tightening, trouble breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you have had an anaphylactic reaction in the past, the best ways to avoid a future emergency are to avoid your known allergens, and to keep autoinjectible epinephrine (an Epi Pen) on hand.
Avoiding allergens can be easier said than done. Click here for tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology on how to avoid common food allergens.