Living with anaphylaxis

What is anaphylaxis?

Anaphylaxis (pronounced anna - fill - axis) is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to a trigger. Anaphylaxis affects more than one body system such as the airways, heart, circulation, gut and skin. Symptoms can start within seconds or minutes of exposure to the food or substance you are allergic to and usually will progress rapidly. On rare occasions there may be a delay in the onset of the reaction for a few hours.

*Common causes...

The common causes of anaphylaxis include foods such as peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, sesame seeds and kiwi fruit, although many other foods have been known to trigger anaphylaxis. Non-food causes include wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), and certain drugs such as penicillin. In some people exercise can trigger a severe reaction - either on its own or in combination with other factors such as food or drugs (e.g. aspirin).

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Cow's milk
  • Soy
  • Eggs
  • Wheat

  • Bee
  • Wasp
  • Ants

  • Antibiotics
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Penicillin

  • Rubber gloves
  • Balloons
  • Condoms
  • Bottle nipples


Early signs include flushing and fatigue

*Travelling Abroad?

You may need a travel certificate!
Remember to fill it in and ask your GP to sign it in plenty of time before you go.