What Is Idiopathic Anaphylaxis?


Quick Answer

Idiopathic anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening reaction to an unknown allergen that a doctor cannot identify, according to Mayo Clinic. An individual may go into shock during an anaphylactic reaction as the blood pressure drops, airways narrow and breathing is interrupted. Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment to ensure that an individual’s heartbeat and breathing do not stop, resulting in unconsciousness or death.

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An anaphylactic reaction typically occurs minutes after exposure to an offending allergen, but sometimes 30 minutes or longer may elapse, explains Mayo Clinic. Anaphylaxis symptoms include pale or flushed skin, hives and itching, airway constriction, dizziness and nausea. The individual often feels warm, has a weak or rapid pulse, and may vomit or faint. The tongue or throat may swell, causing wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Common food triggers of anaphylaxis include peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and shellfish, notes Mayo Clinic. Stings from wasps, hornets, bees, yellow jackets and fire ants are also common allergens. Some individuals are allergic to penicillin, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and latex. While rare, intense aerobic exercise, such as jogging, can trigger anaphylaxis in some individuals, while others can have a severe reaction to moderate walking. The combinations of certain foods with exercise, or temperature extremes during exercise, are sometimes associated with anaphylactic reactions.

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