Gelatin is a nearly tasteless, colorless and translucent solid substance that comes form collagen inside animal bones and skin. A gelatin allergy can be devastating because gelatin is such a widely used product. It's used in various foods, cosmetics and even prescription drugs. People who are allergic to gelatin should avoid it completely since it can have an adverse effect on their body when ingesting and coming in contact with gelatin.
For those with a gelatin allergy, hives can be caused by two things. The first is simply by ingesting foods made with gelatin. However, certain vaccinations that are made with gelatin, like the MMR, can also cause hives. Hives are red bumps on the skin. While they normally don't hurt, they do itch and sometimes burn. They can be as small as a pencil eraser or as big as a dinner plate and appear anywhere on the skin. The bumps can also join together, forming plaques on the skin. They normally go away on their own, but hydrocortisone cream can be used to relieve the itching.
Low Blood Pressure
Hypotension is blood pressure that is so low that the body's organs and tissues are not getting enough oxygen. Unlike high blood pressure, hypotension is not defined by a number. Low blood pressure is diagnosed when someone starts showing symptoms like dizziness when going from standing to sitting or fainting. When low blood pressure is related to a gelatin allergy, it should correct itself once use of gelatin products are discontinued.
While a runny nose is certainly not lethal, it can be very annoying. A runny nose (rhinorrhea) is cause when blood vessels and nasal tissues become congested or swollen with additional mucus or fluid. When rhinorrhea occurs from a gelatin allergy, it's normally not accompanied by congestion. A runny nose will go away on it's own without medical treatment.
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Dizziness from an allergic reaction to gelatin can be caused by low blood pressure or it can be a symptom on it's own. Some people may experience a feeling of vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling of movement when no actual movement is occurring. Others may simply feel lightheaded or faint.
While the chance of Anaphylaxis is slim with an allergic reaction to gelatin, it is possible. Anaphylaxis is a severe whole body allergic reaction. When this occurs, there will be massive swelling in the face and throat almost immediately. The swelling will be so severe that it can block the airway and make breathing almost impossible. Someone experiencing Anaphylaxis, will also have a fast drop in their blood pressure that can put them into Anaphylactic shock. This can be fatal if medical treatment is not immediately sought.
Emily Retherford has been a full-time writer since 2009. She specializes in travel, parenting, fashion and beauty with work appearing on various online publications.