One afternoon I was sitting with my roommate and we were eating peanut butter sandwiches and chatting. This was a guilty pleasure for my roommate because her son was allergic to peanuts so she could no longer have peanut butter without him wanting to try it.
When her 18-month-old son woke up we cleaned up our snack and brought him down to join us. Since he was cutest thing we were kissing on him and loving him up.
A few minutes later he started to have rashes on his skin and mouth where we had kissed him. It was his body reacting to the peanut butter left on our lips from the peanut butter sandwiches.
It was one of the most sensitive food reactions I had seen at the time. This was an anaphylactic response which can be life-threatening.
This is different than other types of food allergies or intolerances that can still cause symptoms and debilitating problems in the body over months in time but does not cause the anaphylactic shock or death.
According to the Medical dictionary, anaphylactic response or anaphylactic shock is a type of allergic reaction, in which the immune system reacts to otherwise harmless substances from the environment.
Reaction may begin within minutes or even seconds of exposure, and rapidly progress to cause airway constriction, skin and intestinal irritation, and altered heart rhythms. This reaction can be so quick and severe it can completely close the airways and cause death to the individual.
In children the most common food allergies that result in anaphylactic shock are eggs, milk and peanuts. These are usually diagnosed early, since the response will appear the second time the child is introduced to the food.
In adults the most common foods list is a little larger consisting of eggs, milk, peanuts, shellfish, and tree nuts.
If a parent has an allergy, then the child is 66 times more likely to have the same or another allergy. So if you have an allergy, be cautious and watch as you introduce your children to the same foods you have problems with.
Once you find out you or your child has this type of allergy, always carry an EpiPin.