is a life-threatening allergic reaction to a specific trigger in
a person who has become sensitive to that trigger.
are common triggers?
most common food allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish,
eggs, milk, soy, wheat, sesame seeds, and sulphites. Other triggers
include insect stings, medication, latex and exercise.
is at risk?
estimate is that 2% of the population (approximately 600,000 Canadians)
may be affected by potentially life-threatening allergies. The incidence
is higher in children and it has increased dramatically in the last
is anaphylaxis so dangerous?
shock is an explosive overreaction of the body's immune system to
a triggering agent (allergen). Many body systems may be involved,
upper and lower respiratory, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular.
It can cause swelling, difficulty breathing, abdominal cramps, vomiting,
diarrhea, circulatory collapse, coma and death.
tend to develop quickly although there may also be a delayed onset.
Someone who is experiencing a reaction may become uneasy, upset
and red in the face. They may also develop a rapid heartbeat, prickling
and itchiness in the skin and ears, sneezing, coughing and difficulty
breathing. Shock may then follow, in which blood vessels become
leaky, blood pressure falls and the person becomes cold, clammy