Severe hypersensitivity

Severe Hypersensitivity: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Hypersensitivity or allergies occur when the body's immune system reacts abnormally to a particular stimulus such as a food, pollen, or certain medications. There are four types of hypersensitivity reactions: type I, type II, type III, and type IV. Severe hypersensitivity, or type I hypersensitivity, is the most severe kind of reaction and is commonly referred to as anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction that can cause symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, and even shock. It can be triggered by a variety of substances, including certain foods, insect stings, medications, and latex.


Severe hypersensitivity is caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the body to overreact to a harmless stimulus. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include certain foods (such as peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, and wheat), insect stings (especially from bees or wasps), medications (such as penicillin or ibuprofen), or latex.


Symptoms of anaphylaxis appear quickly and can progress rapidly. Common symptoms include:

  • Hives or welts
  • Swelling of the throat, mouth, or tongue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • a drop in blood pressure

It is important to note that not all people with anaphylaxis experience the same symptoms. In some cases, only one symptom can develop, or the symptoms may be different in each person.


Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency and should be treated as such. The most important treatment is to administer epinephrine, which can reverse the reaction and stop the symptoms from progressing. Epinephrine is available as an auto-injector, such as EpiPen or Auvi-Q.

In addition to epinephrine, other treatments for anaphylaxis include oxygen, antihistamines such as Benadryl, and steroids such as prednisone. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an anaphylactic reaction.

It is also important to identify and avoid the trigger of the allergic reaction if possible. This may involve eliminating certain foods from your diet or avoiding certain medications. Your doctor can help you identify the trigger and develop a plan to avoid it.