Chances are unless you've been hiding under a duvet for the past few weeks, no judgement here (just jealousy!) you've heard a lot about anaphylaxis on the news.
Tragically lives are lost each year because of this over reaction of the immune system.
Most, if not all parents are very aware of anaphylaxis as there seems to be a childhood epidemic of allergies at the moment. Particularly to that deathly little legume... the peanut!
No, Peanuts aren't nuts, they're actually part of the pea family. I know, confused us too!
What lots of people don't understand of forget is that allergy is a sliding scale with anaphylaxis being at the nasty end of it and intolerance being at the not so nasty end of it.
There is however one thing that everyone is allergic to.... If you manage to make it all the way to the end of this I'll reveal the answer. #getreading
What is Anaphylaxis
Ok, so imagine your immune system being a bit like guards around a castle. They're on patrol all the time just waiting and watching for any signs of attack from an outside invader.
Now if a foreign solider came along you'd expect them to go into attack mode to deal with the intruder. Well this is how your immune system normally works. So this is what a normal reaction looks like to something that could be harmful.
Back to the soldiers around the castle.
If you have anaphylaxis your soldiers are on super high alert, a small animal moves in the undergrowth and they launch a full scale attack, cannons, arrows the whole lot! Bit of an overreaction? There's anaphylaxis.
What are the signs?
How to treat an anaphylactic emergency
Check out our how to use an epipen blog if you're not sure how to do it.