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Shellfish Allergy Symptoms & Tests

As with shrimp, shellfish also contains amines that can trigger allergies. Shellfish allergy can last a long time and for some people it can be fatal. Each person reacted differently at a time when allergy recurrence. Sometimes, allergic effect on certain types of shellfish, or may be allergic to all types of shellfish. Types of shellfish of which consisted of shrimp, crab, lobster, as well as squid and octopus. Some of the symptoms seen in people with shellfish allergies are shortness of breath, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and itching.

Proteins are most often associated with an allergy to shellfish, called "tropomyosin", found in all types of shellfish, including abalone, barnacle, oyster, crab, crayfish, lobster, snail, mussel, octopus, oysters, shrimp, conch and squid. Chances are, someone who is allergic to one type of shellfish, such as shrimp, and allergic to others, such as lobster, approximately 75%. Although people of all ages can be affected by an allergy to shellfish, the adults are most commonly affected. Allergy-shelled water animals are also more common in women. After asking a history thoroughly, test allergy to shellfish with a skin test or blood test, is the most reliable ways to say that the patient is truly allergic.

Shellfish allergy symptoms

Shellfish allergy symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating shellfish. People with shellfish allergy, react to the protein tropomyosin. Histamines produced by the body will try to fight the allergy symptoms, which results are shown in the form of mild or severe symptoms and sometimes indirectly. Common symptoms of shellfish allergies include:

  • Rash, itching or eczema
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body
  • Wheezing, respiratory inhibition, or difficult to breathe
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Tingling or itching in the mouth

Chronic allergic reaction to shellfish known as anaphylaxis and these reactions can interfere with breathing thus directly endanger life. Emergency medical aid and the injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) with EpiPen or Twinject is necessary when anaphylaxis occurs.

Symptoms and signs of anaphylaxis as follows:
  • Barriers in the respiratory tract
  • Swelling of the throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • A decrease in blood pressure significantly
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness and loss of consciousness
The reaction between a food allergy reaction to the venom, or bacteria contained in food appears to be similar and difficult to distinguish. But once the reaction to toxins in food is different from allergic reactions, because reactions to the venom does not involve the performance of the immune system and only happens when eating food that has been contaminated. Allergic reactions to shellfish usually occur every one of us takes a certain type of shellfish.

Shellfish allergy test

You have a higher risk of shellfish allergic, if you have a family with a history of allergy to any meal. Although people of all ages can develop a shellfish allergy, but allergy is more common in adults, especially women. In children, a shellfish allergy is more common in boys.

If you feel you have allergies to shellfish, consult with your doctor. A series of medical tests will be used to determine whether it is a shellfish allergy or other types of food allergies. The visible symptoms may indicate the characteristics or signs of allergy, but only tests performed by doctors that could be a reference for sure. There are two types of tests to determine the shellfish allergies:

1. Skin test: A puncture is given to the skin, and the area will be given a protein that can indicate produce allergic reactions. The positive results of allergy skin turns when enlarged and had lumps.

2. Blood tests: Tests Allergen-specific IgE antibody was exposed to your blood sample to measure the reaction of the immune system to a protein shells by measuring antibodies in your blood.

Treatments and medications

The only sure way to prevent allergic reactions by avoiding the consumption of shellfish shells. But even if you've tried our best to avoid it, you can still be exposed to mussels. Your doctor will probably advise you to treat mild allergic reactions such as rash and itch with drugs such as antihistamines to reduce the signs and symptoms.

If you have a severe allergic reaction to shellfish (anaphylaxis), you probably will need an injection of epinephrine. If you are at risk of having a severe reaction, anticipate to always carry an epinephrine injection (EpiPen, AUVI-Q, and others). If you are at risk of developing anaphylaxis caused by exposure to the protein shells, the doctor will recommend you to immediately inject epinephrine even when the first signs of an allergic reaction appear. After you use epinephrine, seek immediate emergency medical care.

If you have a shellfish allergy, the only way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid all shellfish, and products containing shellfish. Even leftover foods containing shellfish can cause severe reactions in some people.

Avoid shellfish. When eating at a restaurant, make sure you always ask if the pan, oil or equipment used for shellfish not also be used to prepare other foods that can lead to cross contamination. You may need to avoid eating at the seafood restaurant, where the risk of cross-contamination is high.

Read the product label. Cross-contamination can occur in stores where other foods are processed or placed near the mussels and during the manufacturing process. Read the food labels carefully. Shellfish is a food that is rarely hidden on the label, but it may occur at the point of sale of fish, or seafood that has been given a flavor or taste. Companies are required to label any products containing shellfish or other foods that commonly cause allergic reactions, but the rules do not apply to molluscs, such as mussels, oysters and clams.

Keep distance: You may have to completely avoid places where shellfish are prepared or processed. Some people reacted after touching shellfish or shellfish inhale steam from the pan.

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