Shellfish Allergy Symptoms
When someone suffers from food allergy, their immune system is not working correctly. The body identifies something it thinks is dangerous, in this case example shellfish. The immune system will start producing antibodies to fight against the perceived threat.
The first time this reaction does occur, the reaction is usually minor or with no symptoms; however, the next time, the reaction may be increasing ly worse.
The antibodies will start an all out attack and that will cause a wide array of symptoms. It is the protein in shellfish that the antibodies will react against.
There are 3 types of shellfish one could be allergic to:
Minor shellfish allergy symptoms could display as hives or a rash.
Sometimes there can be itching, a stuffy nose and minor wheezing.
A person’s gastrointestinal tract can also be affected with belly pain, nausea and diarrhea. Dizziness and fainting along with tingling in the mouth can also occur with just a few bites. These are the minor symptoms.
Major shellfish allergy symptoms:-
are not typical but can happen with the airway becoming constricted with a swollen tongue or uvula (the piece that hangs down in the back of the throat). A person could go into shock with a plummeting blood pressure and dizziness to the point of unconsciousness. Again, these are the major symptoms and do not happen often.
Those with shellfish allergy symptoms typically have had a family member with some sort of allergy and not necessarily to shellfish. They will now have an increased risk to asthma. Interestingly, those with a shellfish allergy are usually able to consume regular fish like perch or salmon.
They should avoid all shellfish even though in reality they may just be allergic to one variety. If the reaction is severe it may be life threatening. Do not hesitate in seeking medical advice for this condition. It may even be recommended that an Epi-Pen for a quick dose of an antihistamine like Epinephrine should be carried.
An appointment to doctor to diagnose the shellfish allergy is recommended. The patient should bring to the first appointment their history of eating shellfish along with every other thing they ate or drank at that meal including sauces or condiments. The physician will take a very extensive history to find out when the symptoms started, past medical history, family history and symptoms and then conduct a complete physical exam.
Testing will likely include both skin tests and blood tests. For the skin test, the skin will be pricked with tiny needles and shellfish protein will be injected. If the person is allergic, they will start having symptoms like hives or itching. The blood test will be looking for antibodies to the specific shellfish protein.
Once it is concluded that a shellfish allergy symptoms are present, the patient will be cautioned to always read labels very carefully on sauces (lobster pieces have been known to be in sauce) and other products to make sure there are no shellfish listed. Querying wait staff at restaurants when ordering will also be necessary if there is any chance fish pieces could be in the dish being ordered.