Peterson talks scary allergic reaction

Adrian Peterson is speaking out about the dangers of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction, after his training camp scare last offseason. The Vikings running back is passionate about finding the best way to go about preventing it and raising awareness on the topic.

Peterson, who was intensely rehabbing his torn ACL in 2011 in Mankato, Minn., followed up a morning practice by grabbing a quick lunch.

"They had a seafood gumbo on the menu that day and seafood has always been my favorite food," Peterson told in a telephone interview. "I was excited. I was eating a couple of bowls of gumbo and getting back to the room to relax before the afternoon practice.

"That’s when I started to experience some symptoms. My throat started to itch. My eyes were itching continuously. I remember myself just rubbing my eyes continuously like wow this is weird. I sat up and looked in the mirror and my eyes were swollen and my throat started to close up on me. It was hard for me to breathe."

Peterson was experiencing the onset effects of anaphylaxis which results in up to 1,500 deaths annually. His first reaction was to notify Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman of his symptoms.

“It seemed like once I got off the phone with him it triggered in even more," Peterson remembered. "So I couldn’t breathe out of my nose completely. My face and nose started to swell up and at this point I’m barely breathing. At this point, I need to go get help. I need to go downstairs. So I walk out my dorm room door and here he comes out of the elevator.”

Sugarman rushed up to Peterson’s dorm room at Mankato State University and injected him with an EpiPen, a device used to transport a measured dose of epinephrine, in his right thigh.

“Immediately, my throat started to loosen up," Peterson said. "I was able to breathe better and my nose started to loosen up as well. I was able to get further assistance at the emergency room."

Peterson returned to the facility a few hours later, but the minutes of fear and uncertainty still live with him today. Weeks later, he would learn that he is allergic to shrimp, scallops and lobster.

Peterson now carries two EpiPens with him at all times in case he has another attack. He also has done research on the topic and decided to partner with Mylan Specialty L.P. to become a spokesman for the Show Us Your EpiPens campaign which recognizes the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of EpiPen Auto-Injector.

“It’s important to always have an action plan, which is avoiding allergic triggers, having access to EpiPen auto-injectors and seek any further assistance if you have an allergic reaction.”