Shellfish allergy is an unusual response by the body’s body immune system to proteins in certain marine animals. Shellfish include marine animals with shells, such as shrimp, crab, oysters and lobster, along with octopus, squid and scallops.
Some people with shellfish allergy react to all shellfish; others respond to only specific kinds. Reactions vary from mild symptoms– such as hives or a stuffy nose– to severe as well as life-threatening.
What are Shellfish Allergies?
If you believe you have a shellfish allergic reaction, speak with your doctor. Tests can help verify a shellfish allergy, so you can take steps to prevent future reactions.
Although a lot of significant food allergic reactions start in youth, one allergy in certain differ shellfish. An allergic reaction to shellfish might establish any time during a person’s life, but has the tendency to provide in adulthood. It can be caused by foods that you’ve eaten prior to without any problems.
There are two type of shellfish, crustaceans and mollusks. Here are a few examples of shellfishes to look out for if you’re allergic:
Many people who dislike one type of shellfish are also adverse the other type. There’s an opportunity you may be able to eat some ranges. However, doctors normally suggest that individuals with shellfish allergies avoid all ranges to be safe.
Along with fish, shellfish allergies are the most common adult-onset food allergies. It’s approximated that more than 6.5 million American adults experience allergies to one or both, according to Food Allergy Research & Education.
A shellfish allergic reaction is different from other allergies in other ways too. For example, allergies to shellfish are unforeseeable, often taking place long after a person has actually taken in the irritant and has revealed no other symptoms. Allergies to shellfish also often become more severe with each exposure.
What are the Symptoms of Shellfish Allergies?
Shellfish allergies are usually the body immune system’s response to a protein discovered in shellfish muscles called tropomyosin. Antibodies trigger the release of chemicals such as histamines to attack the tropomyosin. The histamine release causes a number of symptoms that can vary from mild to dangerous. Symptoms of shellfish allergies tend to favor the severe.
It can take a while for symptoms to present after eating shellfish, however a lot of establish within minutes. Symptoms of a shellfish allergic reaction may include:
- tingling in the mouth
- abdominal pain, queasiness, diarrhea, or vomiting
- congestion, difficulty breathing, or wheezing
- skin responses including itching, hives, or eczema
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, ears, fingers, or hands
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
A severe, life-threatening allergy referred to as anaphylaxis might take place in the most serious cases. An anaphylactic reaction requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- a swollen throat (or swelling in the throat) that makes breathing challenging
- quick pulse
- extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness
- a severe drop in blood pressure (shock).
How are Shellfish Allergies Treated?
There’s currently no cure for a shellfish allergic reaction. The best treatment is to prevent foods such as shrimp, lobster, crab, and other crustaceans. Finned fish are not related to shellfish, however cross-contamination prevails. You might want to prevent seafood entirely if your shellfish allergic reaction is severe.
Numerous medical professionals also recommend that individuals with shellfish allergies bring epinephrine (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, or Adrenaclick) for self-administration in case you unintentionally ingest any. Epinephrine (adrenalin) is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis.
Deaths from an anaphylactic response from eating shellfish are uncommon, but they’re more typical than with other food allergic reactions. The majority of physicians agree that somebody who has both a shellfish allergic reaction and asthma should have an epinephrine pen on hand in case of an emergency situation.
Can Iodine Trigger a Shellfish Allergy?
Iodine is an aspect discovered throughout the body and is vital to the production of thyroid hormones as well as different amino acids. There has been some confusion in the last few years regarding the relationship in between shellfish allergic reaction and iodine. Many individuals falsely believe that iodine may set off an allergy in individuals with a shellfish allergic reaction. Iodine is frequently used in medications and on the other hand agents used in medical imaging.
The misconception is mainly related to a Florida lawsuit about a man who passed away from a severe allergic reaction. The man had a known shellfish allergic reaction. The allergy occurred a few minutes after he received contrast iodine from a cardiologist. The man’s family was awarded a $4.7 million settlement for effectively arguing that the contrast iodine used in his treatment for severe coronary syndrome had actually caused the man’s death.
A research study released in the Journal of Emergency Medicine concluded that iodine is not an allergen. According to the researchers, “Allergies to shellfish, in specific, do not increase the risk of response to intravenous contrast anymore that of other allergic reactions.”
How is a Shellfish Allergy Diagnosed?
A basic skin prick test can determine a shellfish allergic reaction. The test includes piercing the skin of the forearm and introducing a small amount of the irritant into it. If you’re allergic, a small itchy red spot will appear within a few minutes as the mast cells release histamine.
There’s likewise a blood test offered to detect a shellfish allergic reaction. The test is called an allergen-specific IgE antibody test or radioallergosorbent (RAST) test. It determines the body immune system’s response to shellfish.
Allergic reaction screening is the only sure method to tell if a response after eating shellfish is certainly a shellfish allergy.
How Can a Shellfish Allergy Be Prevented?
The only method to prevent a shellfish allergic reaction is to prevent all shellfish and all products which contain shellfish.
Here are some suggestions for preventing shellfish:
- Ask the staff how food is prepared when eating in a restaurant. Asian dining establishments typically serve meals which contain fish sauce as a flavoring base. A shellfish-based broth or sauce may activate an allergy. Ensure to ask that the oil, pan, or utensils used to prepare shellfish aren’t also used to prepare other foods. Stay away from steam tables or buffets.
- Avoid eating at a seafood dining establishment or shopping in a fish market. Some individuals respond even if they inhale steam or vapor from cooking shellfish. Cross-contamination likewise is possible in establishments that serve seafood.
- Check out food labels carefully. Business are required to disclose whether their foodstuff consists of shellfish. Nevertheless, they aren’t required to disclose if the item consists of mollusks, like scallops and oysters. Be cautious of foods that contain unclear ingredients, like “fish stock” or “seafood flavoring.”
- Let individuals understand. When flying, call the airline company ahead of time to learn whether any fish or shellfish dishes will be prepared and served on the flight. Inform your employer or your child’s school or day care about any allergic reactions. Remind a host or person hosting of your allergic reaction when you respond to an invite.
You need to always bring your epinephrine pen and ensure it hasn’t ended. You or your child ought to use a medical bracelet including your allergy info.
Good luck! Have a nice weekend.