History doesn’t always prepare us for the future

Anaphylaxis is unpredictable.1,2 The severity of future anaphylactic reactions cannot be accurately predicted based on the level of sIgE, the size of the skin prick test wheal or by the severity of past reaction. In addition:

  • Up to 20% of children will not have cutaneous symptoms during an anaphylactic reaction3
  • Involvement of body organ systems in anaphylaxis varies among patients, and even in the same patient, from one allergic reaction to another4-6

Factors that influence severity

The severity of allergic reactions to food may vary, based on1:

  • Amount of food ingested
  • Whether food is cooked, raw or processed
  • Co-ingestion of other foods

In addition, severity may be influenced by1:

  • Patient’s age
  • Degree of sensitization
  • Whether food is taken on an empty stomach or ingested during exercise
  • Whether patient has other comorbid conditions (e.g., eczema, asthma or severe allergic rhinitis)

Next: Avoiding Anaphylaxis Triggers