First Acute Allergic Reaction

Have you or your child just experienced their first allergic reaction? lip swelling

It was likely frightening, if not at least uncomfortable and puzzling. Hopefully it was resolved easily. This page is intended to give you my understanding of how this reaction might have happened, and hopefully, give you the tools to make it less likely to happen again.

Allergic Reactions are always of one of two kinds:

Reactions to injections

Is the reaction to something you were injected with; possibly an immunization or an insect sting? This reaction might have caused swelling of the skin locally, or possibly of the airway. Any difficulty of this kind requires medical intervention. Advice will include suggestions to avoid the possibility of future exposure (i.e. insect sting) and to carry injectable adrenalin. Similarly, severe food reactions may require avoidance and the use of emergency adrenalin.

Other causes of allergic reactions

Breathing in an allergen can cause acute respiratory distress in the worst case, or itching, sneezing or wheezing in less acute situations. If there is no history of insect exposure, immunization, or the use of a skin cream or other substance inhaled, or applied to the skin, it must be to something you or your child ingested.

One of the common ways an acute reaction shows up is by the appearance of hives. hivesHives (illustrated here) is an acute skin reaction which may be intensely red and itchy and appear and disappear over the course of a few hours. The reaction my be more intense and cause swelling around the lips and/or eyes, or worse, swelling of the airways; a situation which requires acute medical intervention.

The history of these cases often reveals having taken an antibiotic days, or even in some cases, weeks prior to the emergence of the allergic reaction. It may be that the allergic reaction in this case is to the antibiotic itself. This is not necessarily true however. It can be that the antibiotic has directly caused the reaction but it can also be that the taking of the antibiotic has lead to a condition in which the intestine has become damaged. In this case, the reaction can have been to a food. Usually it is very difficult to determine the culprit.

In other cases, there is no apparent direct link to the use of an antibiotic and the reaction appears to come "out of the blue".

What follows is my simplified explanation of how this type of reaction might have happened and how food allergies develop and how to minimize the risk of them recurring.

If you just want to know what to do, jump directly to action steps.

Food Allergies

Some people are born with sensitivities to certain foods. While this is unusual, it can occur the first time an infant or child eats a certain food. More likely however is the situation in which the allergy develops. It is usual to think; "Why now? There has never been an allergy to this before",

In order to understand this link to the digestive system it is helpful to first understand how normal digestion works. Please see the preceding page first then read the page on "Digestive Immunity".

When you understand how allergies can develop through the process of developing leaky gut, you may appreciate that it is difficult to heal them.

Action Steps for Dealing with an Acute allergic Reaction

Food allergies are not easy to deal with. The condition may persist for a lifetime, or perhaps, with 'right' care it could resolve sooner.