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Allergy Test Tips

Anaphylaxis - Know More About It!

Dr. Radhika A (Md) 92% (13 ratings)
MD - Acupuncture, Diploma In Accupuncture, Advanced Diploma In Accupuncture
Acupuncturist, Delhi
Anaphylaxis - Know More About It!

 

Anaphylaxis Definition:
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be life-threatening if not treated right away. It can occur on your body within no time. It generally occurs when you get exposed to something with which you have an allergy including bee stings or peanuts. Due to anaphylaxis, the immune system of a person can release a lot of chemicals that can cause the person to anaphylactic shock. Because of this, there can be a sudden drop in blood pressure, blockage in breathing, and airways can become narrow. Vomiting, weak or rapid pulse, nausea and a skin rash are some of the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis. In order to treat anaphylaxis, a person needs an immediate injection of epinephrine or adrenaline. If adrenaline injection is not available, then the person should be taken to an emergency unit. Sometimes, it can be life-threatening if not treated properly on time.

 

Anaphylaxis Symptoms:
Symptoms of anaphylaxis can be noticed within some minutes of being exposed to an allergen. The symptoms can also appear around or after half an hour of the exposure to an allergen. Check out the various signs that may occur due to anaphylaxis:

-  You can have various skin reactions due to anaphylaxis including itching, pale skin, and hives.

-  Your airways can become narrow and throat or tongue can swell which can lead to trouble in breathing or can cause wheezing.

-  Weak or rapid pulse is a common symptom of anaphylaxis.

-  Anaphylaxis can lead to nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting.

-  You may suffer from hypotension or low blood pressure due to this allergic reaction.

-  You may have a feeling of fainting or dizziness in anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis Causes:
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction. Generally, this problem occurs in children due to an allergy from certain food items including fish, peanuts, milk, and shellfish. Besides all these food items, anaphylaxis can occur in adults due to various reasons including:

-  There are some medicines that cause you anaphylaxis including aspirin, antibiotics and some over-the-counter medications.

-  There are some imaging tests that use intravenous contrast IV that may lead to anaphylaxis.

-  The allergy can occur due to proteins found in natural rubber latex may lead to anaphylaxis.

-  Stings from yellowjackets, stings, fire ants, wasps, and hornets are also the causes of anaphylaxis

-  It is not common but there is a possibility that people can get anaphylaxis from doing aerobics or exercises that may include jogging and even from the exercise which is less intense like walking. Some people can catch anaphylaxis if they eat certain food items before exercising in cold, humid or hot weather. You should talk to your doctor about the precautions that you need to take when you are exercising.

There are various tests that help to rule out the allergen that caused you an allergic reaction. Sometimes, the exact cause of anaphylaxis is not known.

How is it diagnosed?
As soon as you experience the symptoms or signs of anaphylaxis, you should visit the best doctor for the diagnosis as anaphylaxis is a serious problem and can threaten your life. Your doctor will do a physical examination and he or she will ask you about the previous history of allergic reactions. Your doctor will check from you if you are allergic to certain food items, insect stings, latex or some medicines. If you have a history of allergic reactions than there are chances that you will have a reaction in the future. Your doctor might ask you to go for some tests in order to be sure about the diagnosis. For this purpose, some skin or blood tests can be done. A test can be done in which you are exposed to a bit of thing that can be a reason for your allergy. Check out the various tests that can be done for the diagnosis:

-  Allergy skin prick or scratch test: It is a common method used for testing an allergy. In this test, a small amount of substance is placed on your skin that has been suspected to be a reason for your allergy. After the placement of substance, your doctor pricks or scratches your skin in order to introduce the substance under your skin surface. Then the skin is closely noticed by your doctor for a reaction which can include redness or swelling.

-  Percutaneous or intradermal testing: It is also a skin testing method used for confirming the presence of the disease. In percutaneous testing, a needle is introduced into the outer layers of the skin for injecting a drop of allergen and then the epidermis is lifted up gently. In intracutaneous testing, a small amount of allergen is injected into your dermis.

Others conditions can also have symptoms of anaphylaxis. Your doctor will do his or her best in order to find out other conditions too.

Prevention of Anaphylaxis:
It is a rare but serious allergy that can even threaten your life. This allergy can occur to you all of a sudden. Check out some of the ways that will help you to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis:

-  Tell your friends and family about the substances with which you are allergic so that they do not mix those substances in the food that they cook for you.

-  Grab your own food when you are going to some unknown place and you have no idea about their meal plan.

-  Sometimes, allergy can also occur due to touching the food items with which you are allergic. Before grabbing a seat, you should be sure that the area around you is clean and does have any evidence of food that can give you an allergy.

-  Check the ingredients of packaged food items before buying and make sure that they do not include the items with which you are allergic.

-  You can wear a medical bracelet that alerts you about the allergies.

-  If you are allergic to stings of insects then you should wear clothes that cover you completely whenever you go outside.

-  Always keep epinephrine or adrenaline injection kits with you.

 

Treatment of Anaphylaxis:
Check out various treatment options that are available for the patients affected by anaphylaxis:

-  Epinephrine or adrenaline: It is generally used as an initial drug in case of anaphylaxis. It is more effective when injected just after the exposure to an allergen. If not injected at the earliest then it can lead to complications even death. It is used to minimize the allergic response in your body.

-  Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR): It is an emergency procedure that can be used when you have an attack of anaphylactic due to which you are not able to breathe and your heart is not beating.

-  Cortisone and intravenous (IV) antihistamines: These are used to minimize the inflammation or swelling in your air passages and also to help you in improving your breathing.

-  Oxygen: If a patient affected by anaphylaxis is facing problem in breathing then oxygen may be given to the patient help in breathing.

-  Beta-agonist (like albuterol): Your doctor may prescribe a beta-agonist (like albuterol) in order to relieve the symptoms related to breathing.

 

Complications
Check out the various complications that are associated with anaphylaxis:

-  Anaphylactic shock: Sometimes people can have an allergic reaction to the exposure of insect sting, latex, medicine, and some food items. This can lead to anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening condition. Due to this, the immune system can release some chemicals that can flood the body resulting in anaphylactic shock.

-  Other complications: Sometimes due to anaphylaxis, people stop breathing and they suffer from a blockage in air passages because of the inflammation or swelling of the air passages. You may also suffer from a heart attack due to anaphylaxis.

Myths related to Anaphylaxis
Check out various misconceptions that people have about anaphylaxis:

Myth #1: Anaphylaxis happens right away.

A lot of people think that anaphylaxis happens right away. But the reality is that it happens after a few minutes of exposure to an allergen including medication, insect sting, latex, and certain food items. There is also a possibility that you experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis around or after half an hour of exposure to an allergen. The symptoms can back sometimes even after the treatment. That is why a person should be admitted to the hospital so that he or she gets complete care for several hours.

Myth #2: Anaphylaxis can be treated with over-the-counter medicines.

The initial treatment that should be given in case of anaphylaxis is injections of epinephrine or adrenaline. It helps to raise your heartbeat and also open your air passages. This medicine is injected into the muscle of your upper thigh. If you are not sure about the symptoms then also you can use this as it would not cause you any harm even if it is not anaphylaxis. You can get these injectors on prescription only. You should always keep them with you. It is a serious problem, so it is important that you visit a hospital.

Myth #3: Epinephrine or adrenaline is not easy to inject.

Epinephrine or adrenaline is easy and safe to inject. You can do this on your own. People think that epinephrine has various side effects but there are very less. There is a possibility that may get nervous with the idea of using a needle. You should always keep the kits of auto-injector with you so that you can use it when required. You should ask your doctor about the right tips to use this injector.

Myth #4: It is easy to know the exact cause of anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis can occur due to an allergen that may include certain food items, medications, latex and insect sting. Various tests can be conducted to diagnose anaphylaxis. But sometimes it is not possible to know the exact cause of anaphylaxis. Such cases are known as idiopathic anaphylaxis. It is important that you visit the best doctor as soon as you discover the symptom as it is a fatal problem.

Conclusion
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction that can occur if you get exposed to something with which you are allergic. Itching, pale skin, hives, fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, weak or rapid pulse and trouble in breathing are some of the symptoms of anaphylaxis. As soon as you experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis, you should visit a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may conduct various blood and skin tests in order to diagnose anaphylaxis and provide you with treatment. Epinephrine or adrenaline is a drug that is used initially to treat the problem of anaphylaxis. You can inject epinephrine or adrenaline on your own. You should always keep the kits of adrenaline auto-injectors with you. You should cover yourself completely while going outside if you an allergy from the insect sting. Before eating anything outside, you should confirm that it does not include any item with which you are allergic. Anaphylactic shock is a major complication associated with anaphylaxis that can even lead to death if not treated properly on time or left untreated. It is important that you should visit a hospital for the treatment of anaphylaxis as it is a serious problem that requires proper care for several hours.

6 people found this helpful

ENT Specialist in Gurgaon

Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Singh 91% (192 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Lakhimpur Kheri
ENT Specialist in Gurgaon

An ENT specialist or otolaryngologist exprise in problems related to upper respiratory tract problems, hearing ability and speech skill test. Best ENT specialists in Gurgaon are skilled in diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases related to upper respiratory tract like nasal passages, larynx, trachea, ear, nose, and throat. Below is the Best ENT specialists in Gurgaon that you can refer to in case of hearing problems, throat infections or speech disability.

1. Dr. K.K Handa

Commonwealth fellowship for training in Lasers, DNB, MBBS, MNAMS, MS(ENT)

Consultation fees: ₹800 - 900

Dr. K.K Handa has 30 years of experience as a trusted Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT) specialist. His areas of keen interest are endoscopic sinus surgery and head and neck surgery. He is also among the foremost voice and laser surgeons in the country. His expertise includes laryngology, voice surgery, laser surgery and cochlear implants.

2. Dr. Priyanjana Acharyya Sharma

MBBS, MS - ENT ( Gold Medalist Honors )

Consultation fees: ₹600

Dr. Priyaranjan Acharyya Sharma has around 10 years of experience and was a gold medallist in her MS ENT specialist. Dr. Sharma has specialization in treatments such as implants, removal of foreign bodies and aiding in the healing of impairment or injuries. She is a permanent member of IMA, MCI and AOI. She currently practices at Apollo Cradle, the GNH Hospital and the ENT care in Gurgaon. 

3. Dr. Vijay Verma

MS - ENT , MBBS

Consultation fees: ₹500-1000

Dr. Vijay Verma is one of the most trusted and reputed doctor in his field. In 13 years of his practice he has gained a lot of trust from his patients and respect from his colleagues. He currently practices at  3 Senses ENT & Clinic and Artemis Hospital. He is also member with Association of Otolaryngologist of India. The ENT services provided by him are Cochlear Implant, Hearing Aid Fitting, Speech and Hearing Impairment, throat and nasal disorder treatment. He is well aware of the advancement medical technologies and treats his patients with a lot of commitment and care.

4. Dr. Shashidhar TB

MBBS, MS - ENT, Certificate in Pediatric Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, ECFMG (USA), 

Robotic Surgery Familiarization (France)

Consultation fees: ₹800-1000

Dr. Shashidhar is renowned ENT specialist currently practicing in Gurgaon. He has 13 years of national and international experience. His area of interest is robotic surgery. Other than he specialties in reconstructive middle ear surgery, septorhinoplasty, laryngoscopy and salivary gland surgery. He is known for his diagnoses skill and has been awarded with many prizes like  Best Paper Award (Runner Up) In International Pediatric Otolaryngology Conference , Winner of Prestigious Delhi State and All India ENT Residents Quiz and the Winner of GSK all India Medimind Medical Quiz. he is a member of  the Haryana Medical Council.

5. Dr. Manish Prakash

MBBS, MS-ENT, DNB (ENT), DOHNS(LONDON) 

Consultation fees: ₹600

Dr Manish Prakash is one of the leading ENT surgeons in Gurgaon. He has 20 years of experience and is a Life Member of Association of Otolaryngologists India, Member of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, a Life Member of the India Medical Association and a Life Member of IMA Gurgaon. He is currently affiliated with Mayom Hospital in Gurgaon. He specialises in foreign body removal,  fitting of hearing aids, nosebleed treatment, tonsillitis, canalith repositioning, functional endoscopic sinus surgery and treatment of deviated septums. 

6. Dr. Amitabh Malik

MS - ENT, MBBS

Consultation fees: ₹700

Dr. Amitabh Malik is currently practices at Paras Hospital, Gurgaon. He  has 18 years of practice in the field of ENT. His areas of special interest are pediatric ENT, Micro Ear, Micro Laryngeal, and Endoscopic Sinus. He has successfully conducted number of ENT surgeries and specializes in cochlear implantation.

7. Dr. Vineet Chadha

MBBS, MS - ENT

Consultation fees:₹500 - 1000

Dr Vineet Chadha is a renowned ENT specialist in Gurgaon and a senior ENT consultant at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon. In 10 years of his practice he reconstructive middle ear surgery, nasal endoscopy, treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, cochlear implants, fitting patient’s hearing aid, treating laryngeal cancer and treatment for sinus disorder.

8. Dr. Sarika Verma

MBBS, DNB - ENT

Consultation fees: ₹600 - 800

Dr. Sarika Verma is an ENT Surgeon and Allergy Specialist with 15 years of experience. In 15 years she has done more than 850 allergy tests by and has treated several patients with allergy vaccination or immunotherapy. Some of her other areas of specialisations are functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), Micro Ear surgery, Microlaryngeal surgery(MLS), tonsillectomy, endoscopic adenoidectomy and thyroid surgery. She is a member of various ENT National and state level associations.

9. Dr. Harmeet Singh Pasricha

DNB (ENT), MBBS, MNAMS - Otorhinolaryngology

Consultation fees:  ₹500 - 800

Dr. Harmeet Singh Pasricha is a renowned consultant Otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat). Dr. Pasricha has 19 years of experience and has been associated with some prestigious hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo Hospital and Sri Ganga Ram Hospital. He is currently practicing at his own clinic the Pasricha ENT & Eye Care Centre, Gurgaon as a medical director and is a visiting consultant at Metro Hospital & Heart Institute, Palam Vihar and Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar. His areas of interest include Microsurgery of the Ear, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Micro Laryngeal Surgery

10. Dr. Sunil Aggarwal

MBBS, MS - ENT, DNB

Consultation fees:  ₹500

Dr. Sunil has more than 16 years of professional experience as an ENT Specialist he is a trusted name and is known for his diagnosing skills and treating all kinds of disorders that affect the ears, nose and throat, as well as related structures such as the head and neck. His keen areas of interest are hearing loss, tonsil troubles, hay fever, sore throat and sleep apnoea, etc. he is a senior consultant with Paras Hospital in Gurgaon.

1 person found this helpful

Allergy Testing By Skin Prick Method - An Insight!

Dr. Dhirendra Singh Kushwah 90% (76 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Allergy Testing By Skin Prick Method - An Insight!

While a sizeable population suffers from allergy issues every year, treating them is often possible without an extensive diagnosis. However, diagnosis of the allergen becomes crucial when the problem recurs several times in a year.

The skin prick testing is a reliable means of diagnosing the IgE-mediated (immunoglobulin E) allergic disease in people who have asthma, urticaria, rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic eczema, anaphylaxis, and drug allergy.

It offers evidence for confirming the diagnosis of the type I allergy. The best aspect of allergy testing by skin prick method is that it is minimally invasive, inexpensive and the results are immediately available when carried out by trained professionals.

Why is skin prick test conducted?
Skin prick test is usually used for diagnosing the food allergy symptoms which are typically caused by the interaction between a food allergen and the IgE antibody. To diagnose a food allergy, the allergy expert may recommend you undergo a skin prick test for measuring the number of antibodies present.

What can you expect?
During the skin prick test, the allergist places a drop of solution which contains the food allergen on the back or the forearm. When testing the fruits and vegetables, food is used in place of solution. In this allergy testing method, the doctor would use a needle or a plastic probe for gently pricking or scratching the skin for allowing a small amount of solution to penetrate the skin surface. This method is not painful, and no bleeding is involved in it. Though many people think that the process would cause much discomfort, the reality is that it feels similar to a scratch caused by fingernails.

On the basis of the case history, a patient may need to be tested for just one or many foods. The results are almost immediate; You can get them within half-an-hour of the test. The positive results of the test are indicated by a wheal which causes a raised white bump encircled by a small circle of itchy red skin. Though the size of the wheal is not the accurate indicator, a large wheal generally indicates that the patient is affected by food allergy.

How accurate is skin prick testing?
The skin prick allergy testing hardly produces any false negatives which indicate that you are not allergic to a food. Having negative results is synonymous with not being allergic to the food for which you are tested. On the other hand, positive results are also not always accurate. About 50 percent of cases show false positives which mean the positive result is shown even though you are not allergic to that particular food.

This simple test can be the means of identifying the allergens which will help determine the allergy prevention plan. Consulting an allergist before undergoing the test is essential.

2626 people found this helpful

Excessively Serious Allergic Reaction - Common Signs You Must Not Ignore!

Dr. Arif Yunus 90% (206 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Tropical Medicine Health, MRCP(UK)
Allergist/Immunologist, Hyderabad
Excessively Serious Allergic Reaction - Common Signs You Must Not Ignore!

A very serious allergic reaction, Anaphylaxis requires immediate attention and treatment. Common allergies usually affect a certain part of the body, while a person affected by Anaphylaxis may develop a life-threatening allergic reaction in multiple parts of the body. Dealing with Anaphylaxis can often be tricky as the symptoms of the allergy are hard to detect, knowing about them can help you seek much-needed help at the earliest.

That being said, here are some symptoms that may occur in the case of an Anaphylactic reaction:

  • Chest pain with a tightening sensation; itching; wheezing; or coughing
  • Confused state of mind with weakness, dizziness and sometimes fainting
  • Development of rashes on the skin, such as hives
  • A runny or clogged nose with frequent sneezing
  • Increased heart rate with lack of breath
  • Swollen tongue as well as lips with itchy sensation
  • Swollen throat leading to tightness in the windpipe and difficulty in swallowing food
  • Swollen eyes which lead to complete blocking of eyesight
  • Muscle cramping with diarrhea and vomiting problems
  • Pale skin accompanied by a weak pulse

Further research on symptoms due to anaphylaxis have shown that some patient may feel completely blacked out as soon as they are hit by an anaphylaxis reaction. Furthermore, few patients have also reportedly incurred a second reaction attack that is known as Biphasic anaphylaxis.

Diagnosis of an Anaphylaxis attack

  • By finding the allergic trigger: For deducing an anaphylactic allergic reaction or a normal one, an immunologist or allergist first needs to test and find the allergy trigger. It is due to such triggers that allergies occur in the first place, which is why diagnosing the actual cause of the attack is essential for further treatment.
  • By examining TryptaseOne of the few methods of testing an anaphylactic reaction is by examining the level of Tryptase in the blood. This naturally occurring chemical in the blood releases allergic responses. This chemical can be collected and tested for any sorts of abnormalities.

After learning the seriousness of an anaphylactic reaction, you ought to stay put and deal with the condition at the earliest. Allergies, if ignored, can become fatal. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4028 people found this helpful

Ayurvedic Treatment For Allergic Bronchitis!

Dr. Mayur Surana 86% (590 ratings)
MD, DYA, PGDCR
Ayurveda, Nashik
Ayurvedic Treatment For Allergic Bronchitis!

A respiratory disorder, the inflammation of the lining in the bronchial tubes, which are responsible for carrying air to and from your lungs is known as bronchitis. Allergic bronchitis is a disorder that develops, if you have severe allergies which result in a bronchial immune system reaction.

Allergic Bronchitis requires medical diagnosis by your healthcare provider who can differentiate the allergic form of bronchitis from the normal form of bronchitis by searching for other symptoms related to the allergy. Allergic bronchitis often occurs due to seasonal allergies, making it an acute condition. If you are suffering from lingering bronchitis issues caused due to allergies, an allergy test is recommended so that the doctor can accurately assess the condition.

The symptoms of allergic bronchitis are similar to the regular form bronchitis. Only difference is that the symptoms are triggered by allergies. Some of the symptoms are given below:

  1. Cough which may form mucus

  2. Body aches and breathlessness

  3. Headaches, blocked nose and sinuses

  4. Fever with chills

  5. Wheezing

Over the years, Ayurvedic practitioners have prepared and prescribed a number of remedies that can address the issue of allergic bronchitis.

Some of the Ayurvedic remedies are listed below:

Below listed remedies should be taken 3 times in a day for quick relief.

  1. 2 grams of Shringyadi Churna should be taken along with 100 mg of Kaphachintamani and Kaphaketu.

  2. Talisadi churna should be mixed with honey and ginger juice.

  3. 2 grams of Sitopaladi Churna should be mixed with 200 mg of Praval Pisthi as well as 100 mg of Rasa Sindur.

  4. Haridra khand (one spoon) should be taken along with a cup of warm milk.

  5. Other natural remedies, according to Ayurveda include:

    1. Haldi (turmeric powder) mixed with a glass of milk

    2. Juice of Vasa

    3. Tulsi (Basil leaves ground to make a juice)

    4. Equal quantity of black pepper, dried ginger and long pepper (piper longum) mixed with honey

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

8248 people found this helpful

Nasal Allergies And Ways To Get Relief From Them!

Dr. Priyanjana Acharyya Sharma 90% (64 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT ( Gold Medalist Honors )
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Nasal Allergies And Ways To Get Relief From Them!

Nasal allergies are very common and as a result, not taken seriously by most people. In most cases you patiently withstand the coughing and sneezing, which might last for an entire day and in the process might inadvertently damage your health by choosing to ignore it for the time being.

Here are some of the commonly experienced nasal allergies and what you should do to get relief from them:

  1. Runny or stuffy nose: The best option is to just avoid allergy triggers. For example, if pollen is your allergen, then avoid going out during the times pollen count when it is reported to be high. Or, if animals make you sneeze, then make sure to have your hands washed and clothes changed after playing with them. Do not over use decongestant sprays at all. If these symptoms persist for more than half a week, then it's time to seek your doctor's advice.
  2. Uncontrollable Sneezing: Again, the best option is to avoid; but in many cases, it becomes difficult for you to avoid the allergen. In those cases, try antihistamine. If that doesn't work, then you can also go for a nasal steroid spray, but again, make sure to not overuse it.
  3. Post Nasal Drip: Usually, you unconsciously swallow your mucus. But, if the mucus quantity increases, it becomes thicker and results in post-nasal drip. It isn't much common, but you can practically feel the mucus dripping into your throat from the back of the nose. It can result in a lumpy feeling in the throat and can cause irritation. You can try drinking more fluids and using a nasal spray to reduce the mucus quantity. If that doesn't work, then it's time to seek advice from your doctor.
  4. Eyes that itch: Watery eyes that itch are annoying companions of nose allergy and though they might not be a serious hazard for the eyes, you cannot ignore them. Try wearing sunglasses when you go out into a reportedly high-pollen-count weather. It might be a better option to forego contact lenses; they can escalate the entire eye-itching problem. If it becomes too itchy, you can place a cold washcloth over your eyes.

Testing an Allergy: Allergy testing is commonly done by by skin prick test, in order to diagnose the allergens. Once, the allergens are diagnosed, immunotherapy can be started, which will help in improving the symptoms of and in many cases, it provides complete cure. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.

2952 people found this helpful

Angioedema - An Overview

Dr. Surajit Gorai 90% (38 ratings)
MBBS(Hons), MD (Gold Medalist) Dermatology , DNB (Dermatology), MNAMS, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Medizinische Fakultät
Dermatologist, Kolkata
Angioedema - An Overview

Allergic reactions are the body’s way of responding to foreign substances. The body recognizes these substances (be it food, pollens, insect bites, etc.) as antigens and produces antibodies. These antibodies can cause various reactions depending on the severity of the allergen, be it skin rash, hives, or angioedema. In severe cases, there could be swelling of the tongue and the respiratory tract, leading to choking of the airways.

Literally, angioedema means swelling of the blood vessels. These are located in the underlying layers of the skin and their swelling can lead to formation of giant hives, which can be extremely itchy, reddish, and oval or circular in shape. The affected area I usually warm and painful to touch.

Causes

Angioedema is caused due to the following:

  1. Food allergies including eggs, peanuts, shellfish, milk, tree nuts, chocolates, etc.

  2. Insect bites or stings

  3. Pollen, latex, animal dander, poison ivy, and other common allergens

  4. Medications like aspirin, penicillin, ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medicines

  5. In response to blood transfusions

  6. Auto-immune disorders like lupus

  7. Conditions like leukemia and thyroid disorders

  8. Infections like hepatitis, cytomegalovirus infections, Epstein-Barr infections, etc.

  9. Weather conditions like extremes of cold, heat, or pressure

  10. Extreme emotional stress

  11. Genetic angioedema, passed on from parents to children, which could last forever

While hives usually develop without any warning, the following condition puts a person at risk of developing angioedema.

  1. Predisposition to allergic reactions (highly active immune system)

  2. Previous history of allergies

  3. Genetic history of allergies or angioedema

Most angioedema cases are limited to the skin and hives, but there could be severe cases leading to respiratory distress.

Diagnosis

If it is the first instance of hives, the doctor would ask detailed questions about similar occurrence in the past. They would also check if there are similar hives on other parts of the body like the back, which you may have missed. If required, this examination is followed by allergy testing and blood testing. The allergy testing will help identify if you are allergic to some of the common things which cause allergy. The blood test will look for your eosinophil count, which is usually high in people prone to allergies. C1 esterase inhibitor test and complement particles also can be checked, if there is suspicion of genetic angioedema.

Treatment

This would depend on the severity of symptoms

  1. In case of angioedema, admission in hospital may be needed.
  2. Tracheostomy may also become essential to save patients life.
  3. Vigorous therapy with intravenous medications like steroid, antihistamines and others may be needed.
  4. Under medical treatment, antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine are prescribed. However, severe cases may require steroids like prednisolone.

Prevention

Once you know what caused it, avoid exposure to these substances and further attacks can be prevented. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2153 people found this helpful

10 Best Natural Supplements for Allergies

Dt. Rajat Jain 89% (20 ratings)
Diploma In Diet & Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Jaipur
10 Best Natural Supplements for Allergies

Allergy is a response of the immune system. It only occurs when a harmless substance attacks the body and it tries to attack it by creating antibodies as a triggering response. While there could be a lot of triggering agents, some of the basic ones include dust, food, and dander. Conventional allergies can be easily treated with medicines and environment changes whereas chronic allergies need medical attention. Either way there exists some great natural supplements which when applied can immediately deal with seasonal and occasional allergies:

  1. Probiotics: Natural probiotic supplements include kombucha, yogurt, sauerkraut etc. They are known to assist the immune system and can alter the course of allergy. The fermentation of probiotic produces good bacteria that assist the immune system.
  2. Quercetin: It is a bioflavonoid that can be found in beans, onions, red wine, leafy vegetables, apples, etc. They have anti-oxide and anti-inflammatory properties can give allergies a run for their money. Research suggests that quercetin contains certain substances that successfully block allergy creating elements.
  3. Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays get strokes in fighting allergies and setting the immune system right. They can successfully stop the development of allergies in the body. The body fetches the right level of vitamin D with a 10 minutes walk in the sunlight.
  4. Stinging Nettle: This is a plant that effectively counters allergy by fighting with symptoms such as a headache, anaphylaxis, migraines etc. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb fight allergy symptoms instantly.
  5. Butterbur: This again is a herb that contains medicinal properties and can successfully counter allergic symptoms. A study found that butterbur is as effective as a certain allergic medicine such as Zyrtec. Another good thing about this supplement is the fact that they do not put a person to sleep like other allergic drugs.
  6. Steam inhalation: When hot steam is accompanied with eucalyptus oil, tea tree, rosemary oil, myrtle oil and inhaled for about 20 minutes, instant relief is expected. For patients with chronic allergy, this natural supplement can be tried twice in a day.
  7. Lemon oil: Lemon oil is one of the versatile agents for treating allergies. It fixes the immune system, drains lymphatic fluid and detoxifies liver toxins. They can also be used as a disinfectant for washing clothes and home.
  8. Honey: Honey is one of the most tested agents for countering allergy. They can create greater tolerance to pollens and is widely considered as one of the most effective long-term solutions for chronic allergy patients.
  9. Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin that is extremely effective for treating cold and allergy. Being a disinfectant, turmeric can instantly arrest allergic symptoms.
  10. Astragalus: It is a Chinese herb, which has proved to be mighty effective for treating allergy over the years. Its anti-inflammatory properties can arrest allergic symptoms such as sneezing, asthma and itching.

 If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

6023 people found this helpful

The Vampire Facelift - What Should You Know?

Dr. Malini Patiil 90% (943 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Venerology & Dermatology (DVD)
Dermatologist, Thane
The Vampire Facelift - What Should You Know?

There are many cosmetic procedures that are accessible to patients who need to surgically reposition the facial tissues that have loosened as one ages. One of them is the Vampire Facelift which uses infusions of the patient's own blood through an element known as Selphyl.

The Vampire Facelift, or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), includes extracting spoons of a patient's blood from their arm and spinning it in a rotator to isolate the plasma - the liquid part - from the red and white platelets.

The concentrated plasma, which is rich in platelets, is then infused into the face. A few experts pump it with dermal fillers to further lift up the loosened zones, for example, under the eye. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Blood from the arm is extracted, which is then spun in a rotator to isolate the platelets.

  2. The platelets are then re-infused into the skin with a fine needle and just infused into the areas that need be lifted or rejuvenated.

  3. These infusions include a little fat as well, to make a smooth, rounder and plumper appearance.

  4. During the Vampire facelift procedure, Hyaluronic corrosive (HA) fillers are utilised which help in lifting the skin from the bone to give your skin a decent shape with a younger look.

  5. Again this HA filler would pursue the wrinkle that is connected with your face and make an alternate shape of the face which might look different from the original one.

Some of the advantages of this facelift are:

  1. Change in skin surface and tone.

  2. Reclamation of facial shape.

  3. Growing new and younger tissues.

  4. Superior option to neurotoxin (Botox) and different infusions.

  5. Infusion of the blood causes no bruising, as it is a thin, watery liquid.

  6. No allergy testing is required as the substance is the individual's blood.

However, there are certain disadvantages as well. These are as follows:

  • Most plastic surgeons do not believe in the efficacy of this procedure.

  • Uncertainty whether Selphyl has been FDA approved for facial revival.

  • There will be some redness in the rejuvenated area.

  • The Vampire Facelift takes a few weeks to bring about results.

  • The disadvantage with HA fillers is the way it will make your eyes hurt.

The infusions are not just used to smoothen the wrinkles on the face. It can likewise be utilised on different parts and areas of the body with diminished volume or wrinkles. The technology that is behind the Vampire Facelift is not new. Doctors have been utilising one's own plasma to help other procedures like bone mending after spinal wounds and to recover delicate tissues after plastic surgery for a long time. Like any sort of medicinal technique, it is important to conduct appropriate research to check whether it is ideal and suitable for your body and skin type. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.

2513 people found this helpful

Eczema - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Dr. Jitesh Shetty 86% (26 ratings)
MD, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai
Eczema - Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Eczema is not a disease per se, but is a name given collectively to a group of medical conditions, which can cause the skin to become inflamed and irritated. Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common types of eczema.

Causes

While the exact cause of eczema is not known, the most commonly attributed reason is an increasingly sensitive immune system. The overactive immune system produces antibodies, which cause these skin reactions. It is also noted that people with allergies including hay fever and asthma are more likely to develop eczema.

Other conditions which can lead to eczema include allergic dermatitis, irritant dermatitis, stasis dermatitis, scabies, fungal infections, xerotic dermatitis, lichen planus and scalp infections.

There is also a genetic predisposition, and children whose parents have had eczema are likely to develop eczema.

Symptoms

In most people, eczema is present in the form of small blisters, which are filled with fluid and can ooze. Gradually, there could be dryness, crusting, scaling and thickening of the skin with plaque formation. The most common symptom would be itching. The different types of eczema as noted above would have diagnostic features. For instance, when testing for irritant or contact dermatitis, there would be an irritant that is causing this. Stasis dermatitis would have circulatory issues and often affects the lower legs.

In fair-skinned people, these lesions begin as red and then turn brown. There also could be lightening of the affected skin area in people with slightly darker skin.

Diagnosis

For a trained medical eye, diagnosis of eczema is not a tough task. A complete physical examination may be done to assess the extent of eczema spread. Blood tests may be done to test for allergies. In very rare cases, a biopsy may also be required.

Treatment

The goal of treatment is to reduce itching and improve moisturization. Eczema, unless associated with an infection, is not contagious.

  1. Using copious amounts of creams and lotions help in improving hydration and moisturization, as they are allowed to soak into the skin.

  2. Topical steroids may be required if allergy is suspected. In most cases, hydrocortisone and corticosteroid creams are very effective.

  3. Associated infections like scalp infections and fungal infections should also be treated with suitable products.

  4. Immunomodulator creams like Elidel are useful by suppressing the immune system and preventing flare up of the allergic reactions.

  5. Cold compresses may be used to relieve itching.

Prevention

Since there is a strong genetic component related to eczema, prevention is helpful.

  1. Constantly keep the skin moist and hydrated by using moisturizers, especially during winters.

  2. Avoid clothes and metals which can cause allergy- like wool, nickel, harsh soaps, detergents, etc.

  3. Avoid or be careful about food items which are known to cause allergies. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.

3592 people found this helpful
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