What food allergies cause high blood pressure

Rarely, angioedema occurs because of a genetic fault that you inherit from your parents.

The fault affects the gene responsible for the production of a substance called C1 esterase inhibitor. If you don’t own enough of this, the immune system can occasionally «misfire» and cause angioedema.

The swelling may happen randomly, or it may be triggered by:

  1. pregnancy
  2. surgery and dental treatment
  3. an injury or infection
  4. stress
  5. certain medicines, such as the contraceptive pill

How often the swelling occurs can vary. Some people experience it every week, while in others it may happen less than once a year.

Angioedema caused by a genetic fault is known as hereditary angioedema.

If you own it, you own a 1 in 2 chance of passing it on to your children.

Unknown cause

In numerous cases, it’s not clear what causes angioedema.

One theory is that an unknown problem with the immune system might cause it to occasionally misfire.

Certain triggers may lead to swelling, such as:

  1. hot or freezing temperatures
  2. minor infections
  3. anxiety or stress
  4. strenuous exercise

In extremely rare cases, the swelling may be associated with other medical conditions, such as lupus or lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system).

Angioedema without a clear cause is known as idiopathic angioedema.

Sheet final reviewed: 28 August 2019
Next review due: 28 August 2022

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors.

Recently, researchers own begun to ponder about insomnia as a problem of your brain being unable to stop being awake (your brain has a sleep cycle and a wake cycle—when one is turned on the other is turned off—insomnia can be a problem with either part of this cycle: too much wake drive or too little sleep drive). It’s significant to first understand what could be causing your sleep difficulties.

Insomnia & Food

Certain substances and activities, including eating patterns, can contribute to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, review the following lifestyle factors to see if one or more could be affecting you:

Alcohol is a sedative.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

It can make you drop asleep initially, but may disrupt your sleep later in the night.

Caffeine is a stimulant. Most people understand the alerting power of caffeine and use it in the morning to assist them start the day and feel productive. Caffeine in moderation is fine for most people, but excessive caffeine can cause insomnia. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that people who drank four or more cups/cans of caffeinated drinks a day were more likely than those who drank zero to one cups/cans daily to experience at least one symptom of insomnia at least a few nights each week.

Caffeine can stay in your system for as endless as eight hours, so the effects are endless lasting.

If you own insomnia, do not consume food or drinks with caffeine too shut to bedtime.

Nicotine is also a stimulant and can cause insomnia. Smoking cigarettes or tobacco products shut to bedtime can make it hard to drop asleep and to sleep well through the night. Smoking is damaging to your health. If you smoke, you should stop.

Heavy meals shut to bedtime can disrupt your sleep. The best practice is to eat lightly before bedtime. When you eat too much in the evening, it can cause discomfort and make it hard for your body to settle and relax.

Spicy foods can also cause heartburn and interfere with your sleep.

Insomnia & Anxiety

Most adults own had some trouble sleeping because they feel worried or nervous, but for some it’s a pattern that interferes with sleep on a regular basis. Anxiety symptoms that can lead to insomnia include:

  1. Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities
  2. Getting caught up in thoughts about past events
  3. Tension
  4. Excessive worrying about future events
  5. A general feeling of being revved up or overstimulated

It’s not hard to see why these symptoms of general anxiety can make it hard to sleep.

Anxiety may be associated with onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep), or maintenance insomnia (waking up during the night and not being capable to return to sleep). In either case, the silent and inactivity of night often brings on stressful thoughts or even fears that hold a person awake.

When this happens for numerous nights (or numerous months), you might start to feel anxiousness, dread, or panic at just the prospect of not sleeping. This is how anxiety and insomnia can feed each other and become a cycle that should be interrupted through treatment. There are cognitive and mind-body techniques that assist people with anxiety settle into sleep, and overall healthy sleep practices that can improve sleep for numerous people with anxiety and insomnia.

Medical Causes of Insomnia

There are numerous medical conditions (some mild and others more serious) that can lead to insomnia.

In some cases, a medical condition itself causes insomnia, while in other cases, symptoms of the condition cause discomfort that can make it hard for a person to sleep.

Examples of medical conditions that can cause insomnia are:

  1. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  2. Arthritis
  3. Nasal/sinus allergies
  4. Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
  5. Asthma
  6. Chronic pain
  7. Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
  8. Low back pain

Medications such as those taken for the common freezing and nasal allergies, high blood pressure, heart disease, thyroid disease, birth control, asthma, and depression can also cause insomnia.

In addition, insomnia may be a symptom of underlying sleep disorders.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

For example, restless legs syndrome—a neurological condition in which a person has an uncomfortable sensation of needing to move his or her legs—can lead to insomnia. Patients with restless legs syndrome typically experience worse symptoms in the later part of the day, during periods of inactivity, and in the transition from wake to sleep, which means that falling asleep and staying asleep can be hard.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

An estimated 10 percent of the population has restless legs syndrome.

Sleep apnea is another sleep disorder linked to insomnia. With sleep apnea, a person’s airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. This causes a person to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea sometimes report experiencing insomnia.

If you own trouble sleeping on a regular basis, it’s a excellent thought to review your health and ponder about whether any underlying medical issues or sleep disorders could be contributing to your sleep problems.

In some cases, there are simple steps that can be taken to improve sleep (such as avoiding bright lighting while winding below and trying to limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pets). While in other cases, it’s significant to talk to your doctor to figure out a course of action.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

You should not simply accept poor sleep as a way of life—talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist for help.

Insomnia & Depression

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. Psychological struggles can make it hard to sleep, insomnia itself can bring on changes in mood, and shifts in hormones and physiology can lead to both psychiatric issues and insomnia at the same time.

Sleep problems may represent a symptom of depression, and the risk of severe insomnia is much higher in patients with major depressive disorders.

Studies show that insomnia can also trigger or worsen depression.

It’s significant to know that symptoms of depression (such as low energy, loss of interest or motivation, feelings of sadness or hopelessness) and insomnia can be linked, and one can make the other worse. The excellent news is that both are treatable regardless of which came first.

Insomnia & Lifestyle

Insomnia can be triggered or perpetuated by your behaviors and sleep patterns. Unhealthy lifestyles and sleep habits can create insomnia on their own (without any underlying psychiatric or medical problem), or they can make insomnia caused by another problem worse.

Examples of how specific lifestyles and sleep habits can lead to insomnia are:

  1. You sometimes sleep in later to make up for lost sleep.

    This can confuse your body’s clock and make it hard to drop asleep again the following night.

  2. You take naps (even if they are short) in the afternoon. Short naps can be helpful for some people, but for others they make it hard to drop asleep at night.
  3. You work at home in the evenings. This can make it hard to unwind, and it can also make you feel preoccupied when it comes time to sleep. The light from your computer could also make your brain more alert.
  4. You are a shift worker (meaning that you work irregular hours).

    Non-traditional hours can confuse your body’s clock, especially if you are trying to sleep during the day, or if your schedule changes periodically.

Some cases of insomnia start out with an acute episode but turn into a longer-term problem. For example, let’s tell a person can’t sleep for a night or two after receiving bad news.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

In this case, if the person starts to adopt unhealthy sleep habits such as getting up in the middle of the night to work, or drinking alcohol before bed to compensate, the insomnia can continue and potentially turn into a more serious problem. Instead of passing, it can become chronic.

Once this happens, worry and thoughts such as, «I’ll never sleep,» become associated with bedtime, and every time the person can’t sleep, it reinforces the pattern.

This is why it’s significant to address insomnia instead of letting it become the norm.

What food allergies cause high blood pressure

If lifestyle and unhealthy sleep habits are the cause of insomnia, there are cognitive behavioral techniques and sleep hygiene tips that can assist. If you own tried to change your sleep behaviors and it hasn’t worked, it’s significant to take this seriously and talk to your doctor.

Insomnia & The Brain

In some cases, insomnia may be caused by certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are known to be involved with sleep and wakefulness.

There are numerous possible chemical interactions in the brain that could interfere with sleep and may explain why some people are biologically prone to insomnia and seem to struggle with sleep for numerous years without any identifiable cause—even when they follow healthy sleep advice.

Severe allergic reaction

Angioedema of the face such that the boy cannot open his eyes.

This reaction was caused by an allergen exposure.

Specialty Allergy and immunology
Symptoms Itchy rash, throat swelling, shortness of breath, lightheadedness[1]
Usual onset Over minutes to hours[1]
Causes Insect bites, foods, medications[1]
Diagnostic method Based on symptoms[2]
Differential diagnosis Allergic reaction, angioedema, asthma exacerbation, carcinoid syndrome[2]
Treatment Epinephrine, intravenous fluids[1]
Frequency 0.05–2%[3]

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death.[4][5] It typically causes more than one of the following: an itchy rash, throat or tongue swelling, shortness of breath, vomiting, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure.[1] These symptoms typically come on over minutes to hours.[1]

Common causes include insect bites and stings, foods, and medications.[1] Other causes include latex exposure and exercise.[1] Additionally, cases may happen without an obvious reason.[1] The mechanism involves the release of mediators from certain types of white blood cells triggered by either immunologic or non-immunologic mechanisms.[6] Diagnosis is based on the presenting symptoms and signs after exposure to a potential allergen.[1]

The primary treatment of anaphylaxis is epinephrineinjection into a muscle, intravenous fluids, and positioning the person flat.[1][7] Additional doses of epinephrine may be required.[1] Other measures, such as antihistamines and steroids, are complementary.[1] Carrying an epinephrine autoinjector and identification regarding the condition is recommended in people with a history of anaphylaxis.[1]

Worldwide, 0.05–2% of the population is estimated to experience anaphylaxis at some point in life.[3] Rates appear to be increasing.[3] It occurs most often in young people and females.[7][8] Of people who go to a hospital with anaphylaxis in the United States about 99.7% survive.[9] The term comes from the Ancient Greek: ἀνά, romanized: ana, lit. 'against', and the Ancient Greek: φύλαξις, romanized: phylaxis, lit. 'protection'.[10]


Some medicines can cause angioedema – even if you’re not allergic to the medicine.

The swelling may happen soon after you start taking a new medicine, or possibly months or even years later.

Medicines that can cause angioedema include:

Angioedema caused by medicine is known as drug-induced angioedema.


Anaphylaxis can happen in response to almost any foreign substance.[17] Common triggers include venom from insect bites or stings, foods, and medication.[8][18] Foods are the most common trigger in children and young adults while medications and insect bites and stings are more common in older adults.[3] Less common causes include: physical factors, biological agents such as semen, latex, hormonal changes, food additives such as monosodium glutamate and food colors, and topical medications.[15] Physical factors such as exercise (known as exercise-induced anaphylaxis) or temperature (either boiling or cold) may also act as triggers through their direct effects on mast cells.[3][19] Events caused by exercise are frequently associated with the ingestion of certain foods.[12] During anesthesia, neuromuscular blocking agents, antibiotics, and latex are the most common causes.[20] The cause remains unknown in 32–50% of cases, referred to as «idiopathic anaphylaxis.»[21] Six vaccines (MMR, varicella, influenza, hepatitis B, tetanus, meningococcal) are recognized as a cause for anaphylaxis, and HPV may cause anaphylaxis as well.[22] Physical exercise is an unusual cause of anaphylaxis;[23] in about a third of such cases there is a co-factor love taking an NSAID or eating a specific food prior to exercising.[24]


Venom from stinging or biting insects such as Hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps) or Triatominae (kissing bugs) may cause anaphylaxis in susceptible people.[7][28][29] Previous reactions, that are anything more than a local reaction around the site of the sting, are a risk factor for future anaphylaxis;[30][31] however, half of fatalities own had no previous systemic reaction.[32]


Any medication may potentially trigger anaphylaxis.

The most common are β-lactam antibiotics (such as penicillin) followed by aspirin and NSAIDs.[13][25] Other antibiotics are implicated less frequently.[25] Anaphylactic reactions to NSAIDs are either agent specific or happen among those that are structurally similar meaning that those who are allergic to one NSAID can typically tolerate a diverse one or diverse group of NSAIDs.[26] Other relatively common causes include chemotherapy, vaccines, protamine and herbal preparations.[3] Some medications (vancomycin, morphine, x-ray contrast among others) cause anaphylaxis by directly triggering mast cell degranulation.[8]

The frequency of a reaction to an agent partly depends on the frequency of its use and partly on its intrinsic properties.[27] Anaphylaxis to penicillin or cephalosporins occurs only after it binds to proteins inside the body with some agents binding more easily than others.[12] Anaphylaxis to penicillin occurs once in every 2,000 to 10,000 courses of treatment, with death occurring in fewer than one in every 50,000 courses of treatment.[12] Anaphylaxis to aspirin and NSAIDs occurs in about one in every 50,000 persons.[12] If someone has a reaction to penicillins, his or her risk of a reaction to cephalosporins is greater but still less than one in 1,000.[12] The ancient radiocontrast agents caused reactions in 1% of cases, while the newer lower osmolar agents cause reactions in 0.04% of cases.[27]


Many foods can trigger anaphylaxis; this may happen upon the first known ingestion.[8] Common triggering foods vary around the world.

In Western cultures, ingestion of or exposure to peanuts, wheat, nuts, certain types of seafood love shellfish, milk, and eggs are the most prevalent causes.[3][13]Sesame is common in the Middle East, while rice and chickpeas are frequently encountered as sources of anaphylaxis in Asia.[3] Severe cases are generally caused by ingesting the allergen,[8] but some people experience a severe reaction upon contact. Children can outgrow their allergies. By age 16, 80% of children with anaphylaxis to milk or eggs and 20% who experience isolated anaphylaxis to peanuts can tolerate these foods.[17]

Risk factors

People with atopic diseases such as asthma, eczema, or allergic rhinitis are at high risk of anaphylaxis from food, latex, and radiocontrast agents but not from injectable medications or stings.[3][8] One study in children found that 60% had a history of previous atopic diseases, and of children who die from anaphylaxis, more than 90% own asthma.[8] Those with mastocytosis or of a higher socioeconomic status are at increased risk.[3][8] The longer the time since the final exposure to the agent in question, the lower the risk.[12]

Signs and symptoms

Anaphylaxis typically presents numerous diverse symptoms over minutes or hours[7][11] with an average onset of 5 to 30 minutes if exposure is intravenous and 2 hours if from eating food.[12] The most common areas affected include: skin (80–90%), respiratory (70%), gastrointestinal (30–45%), heart and vasculature (10–45%), and central nervous system (10–15%)[13] with generally two or more being involved.[3]


While a quick heart rate caused by low blood pressure is more common,[15] a Bezold–Jarisch reflex has been described in 10% of people, where a slow heart rate is associated with low blood pressure.[8] A drop in blood pressure or shock (either distributive or cardiogenic) may cause the feeling of lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.[16] Rarely extremely low blood pressure may be the only sign of anaphylaxis.[14]

Coronary artery spasm may happen with subsequent myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, or cardiac arrest.[3][13] Those with underlying coronary disease are at greater risk of cardiac effects from anaphylaxis.[16] The coronary spasm is related to the presence of histamine-releasing cells in the heart.[16]


Respiratory symptoms and signs that may be present include shortness of breath, wheezes, or stridor.[4] The wheezing is typically caused by spasms of the bronchial muscles[16] while stridor is related to upper airway obstruction secondary to swelling.[15] Hoarseness, pain with swallowing, or a cough may also occur.[12]


Symptoms typically include generalized hives, itchiness, flushing, or swelling (angioedema) of the afflicted tissues.[4] Those with angioedema may describe a burning sensation of the skin rather than itchiness.[12] Swelling of the tongue or throat occurs in up to about 20% of cases.[14] Other features may include a runny nose and swelling of the conjunctiva.[15] The skin may also be blue tinged because of lack of oxygen.[15]


Gastrointestinal symptoms may include crampy abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.[4] There may be confusion, a loss of bladder control or pelvic pain similar to that of uterine cramps.[4][15] Dilation of blood vessels around the brain may cause headaches.[12] A feeling of anxiety or of «impending doom» has also been described.[3]


Angioedema is often the result of an allergic reaction.

This is where the body mistakes a harmless substance, such as a certain food, for something dangerous. It releases chemicals into the body to attack the substance, which cause the skin to swell.

Angioedema can be triggered by an allergic reaction to:

Angioedema caused by allergies is known as allergic angioedema.


Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction of rapid onset affecting numerous body systems.[5][6] It is due to the release of inflammatory mediators and cytokines from mast cells and basophils, typically due to an immunologic reaction but sometimes non-immunologic mechanism.[6]


In the immunologic mechanism, immunoglobulin E (IgE) binds to the antigen (the foreign material that provokes the allergic reaction).

Antigen-bound IgE then activates FcεRI receptors on mast cells and basophils. This leads to the release of inflammatory mediators such as histamine. These mediators subsequently increase the contraction of bronchial smooth muscles, trigger vasodilation, increase the leakage of fluid from blood vessels, and cause heart muscle depression.[6][12] There is also an immunologic mechanism that does not rely on IgE, but it is not known if this occurs in humans.[6]


Non-immunologic mechanisms involve substances that directly cause the degranulation of mast cells and basophils.

These include agents such as contrast medium, opioids, temperature (hot or cold), and vibration.[6][19]Sulfites may cause reactions by both immunologic and non-immunologic mechanisms.[33]