What Is Anaphylaxis?

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Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Not all allergic reactions are anaphylactic. Anaphylaxis can cause tightening of the airways, swelling of the throat, severely low blood pressure and shock. Food, latex, insect stings and medicines can cause a severe allergic reaction. Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that severe reactions to food cause: 30,000 emergency room visits; 2,000 hospitalizations; 150 deaths. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include: Skin: hives (often very itchy), flushed skin or rash; Mouth: swelling of the lips, tongue and throat; tingling or itchy feeling in the mouth; Lungs: shortness of breath, trouble breathing, coughing or wheezing; Heart: dizziness, lightheadedness; Stomach: vomiting, diarrhea.