When an individual ends up with swollen lips, it is enough to urge him/her to consult a doctor for proper assessment. Swelling of the lips is often linked with a severe allergic reaction that can lead to death if not treated promptly. Just like with any medication, caffeine is known to trigger an abnormal reaction of the immune system that leads to an allergic reaction. Once an individual develops swollen lips, call for emergency assistance right away.
Caffeine is available in oral supplement form to help with mental alertness as well as keeping an individual awake. It is also present in some of the commonly used over-the-counter pain medications.
Caffeine is naturally present in tea, coffee, chocolate and sodas. Some individuals develop an allergic reaction to every drug. If the individual have other allergies to food, drugs or airborne allergens, he/she is at higher risk for developing an allergic reaction to other chemicals such as caffeine. In case the individual ends up with swollen lips, it is an indication of a severe reaction that can lead to life-threatening symptoms.
What are the causes?
Even though there are various chemicals generated during an allergic reaction such as IgE, histamine is the main chemical that initiates inflammation in the soft tissues. It is important to note that histamine is the hormone in the body responsible for defending against harmful organisms such as viruses and toxins.
Once released in high amounts, histamine can trigger an increase in the flow of blood since the blood vessels dilate. In mild to moderate cases of allergic reactions to caffeine, the individual can develop throat irritation, minor digestive issues and nasal congestion. During anaphylaxis, a systemic reaction occurs in which the body is flooded with chemicals that initiate a severe allergic reaction.
Swollen lips due to an allergic reaction to caffeine can lead to further complications. The swelling of the lips can affect other parts of the body. The swelling can start in the lips and spreads to the face, tongue and throat.
In case the swelling of the lips leads to continuous swelling, the individual might be experiencing anaphylactic shock. The typical signs and symptoms might include a feeling of a lump in the throat, flushed skin, warm sensation in the skin, hives, pale skin, asthma, rapid heart rate, fainting, diarrhea, lightheadedness, vomiting, nausea and swelling of the throat, face or lips.
Swollen lips due to an allergic reaction to caffeine could not be managed with over-the-counter antihistamines. The swelling of the lips along with other anaphylactic symptoms requires treatment with an injection of epinephrine. This medication stimulates the central nervous system and helps minimize the symptoms. Take note that epinephrine can temporarily alleviate the symptoms for about 15 minutes.