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9 Types of Allergy That Can Be Fatal

allergies that are fatal

An allergic reaction occurs when our bodies treat a foreign body as though it were a pathogen. In other words, you eat something that is normally perfectly safe, let’s say a peanut, but your body treats it as though it is a serious virus.

The result is that your heart rate increases, your breathing accelerates, you begin to get a rash, and you may even pass out.

Note that it isn’t actually the substance itself that causes the negative health effects though. Instead, you feel unwell because your body is making you unwell to try and drive out the disease. Swelling and redness are the same symptoms that would occur if you actually were to ingest something highly dangerous like rat poison.

This can be extremely unpleasant, but in the most severe of cases, it can actually be fatal as the body goes into overdrive trying to fend off the innocuous substance that you end up suffocating, or fainting. When this happens, it is called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, and it can actually occur in response to nearly any allergy.

Looking out for the most common causes of allergy is important as it can help you to avoid potentially fatal foods and substances. Keep in mind that you can actually develop allergies at any age too, so there is no guarantee that you will be safe!

But with that said, it’s also important not to become a hypochondriac, worried that you might have an allergy to anything! Some people wear allergies as a mark of pride, and actually this can end up limiting their happiness.

With all that in mind, here are nine of the most commonly fatal allergies.

1. Peanuts

fatal peanut allergy

The most well-publicized allergy of all is the peanut allergy. And this one has extreme potential to be serious, with some people being so allergic that they can’t even be on the same plane as someone else eating one!

When you have a young baby and you begin weaning, introducing them slowly to peanut butter and peanuts is actually one of the most important things to keep in mind.

Peanuts aren’t the only nuts that can cause serious reactions! Seeds and nuts of all descriptions will commonly trigger allergies, with soy being one of the most concerning of all.

2. Strawberries

Strawberries are another commonly fatal cause of allergy, though they are a little less well known. This is a very important one to identify too, as strawberries can actually end up finding their way into your diet in numerous stealthy ways. Strawberry flavored sweets and shakes, for example, might cause this allergy, making it extremely important that you know to avoid it.

3. Bee Stings

An allergy to a bee sting is slightly different from the others on this list so far, in that it is something that actually is toxic. Of course, if you have an allergic reaction then this means that the swelling and the physiological response will be disproportionate and will put the individual in danger. The concerning thing about this is that you may well not realize the danger of bee stings until you have received one!

4. Latex

Latex is another lesser-publicized allergen, but one that can cause hives, itching, asthma, wheezing, chest tightness and more. The worst part is that the actual allergen here is a protein that is also found in many foods, meaning that you need to identify it early.

5. Sunlight

Did you know that polymorphyic light eruption (PMLE) actually affects 10-15% of the US population? That’s a form of sun allergy, but of course it is very mild, usually only causing itching, blisters, and redness. In extremely rare cases though, the issue can become so severe as to be life-threatening. This can be completely life-changing for those that are afflicted.

6. Shellfish

While peanuts might get all of the fame, reactions to shellfish are also extremely common. These include the likes of shrimp, lobster, and crab. These allergies can again be extremely dangerous even if you don’t consume the fish! Just being in the same vicinity as someone cooking the fish can lead you to inhale enough fumes to have a reaction.

7. Dust Mites

Dust mites can cause asthma and other upset in a large number of people. The two most commonly allergic are D. farina and D. pteronyssinus.

While reactions to these mites (and their faeces) are not normally fatal, in some cases they might prove to be. In fact, anything that brings on an asthma attack does have the potential to be lethal. And given that these dust mites affect nearly 20% of the population, that is a large risk!

8. Gluten

Gluten is one of the best known allergies right now, with many people choosing to go gluten free even if they have no signs of Celiac’s disease or gluten sensitivity. While this reaction might be over-the-top, the truth is that this is a problem for a lot of people.

Although this type of allergy is unlikely to cause anaphylaxis, it does interfere with your digestion of nutrients by upsetting the villi that line your stomach. This, in turn, causes malnutrition, and over time that can actually be very dangerous!

9. Rye

The most common allergy in America is not peanuts but actually rye! This affects nearly 20% of the population, and while most people will not suffer serious consequences, it can in some cases be fatal.

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