Anaphylaxis is most commonly triggered by foods, insects and bee stings, and medications. The most common food triggers include milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and seafood. Anaphylactic symptoms usually occur within minutes to an hour after exposure and only usually after you've already been exposed to that trigger in the past. Less common causes of anaphylaxis include immune disorders involving allergy cells called mast cells, as well as exercise induced anaphylaxis, which occurs after eating certain foods, having certain medications or drinking alcohol and then exercising. In some cases, a specific cause is not identified, but preventative measures and treatments can be offered to reduce the likelihood of a severe reaction in the future. Your risk for having food triggered anaphylaxis is increased if you have a personal or family history of a parent or sibling with a history of anaphylaxis, nasal or eye allergies, eczema, or asthma. Medication triggered anaphylaxis can be more rapid and severe with medications given through an IV into the bloodstream than those taken by mouth. An anaphylactic reaction can be worse if you have poorly controlled asthma, or if you are already taking certain blood pressure medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, or ingesting alcohol around the time of the reaction.
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