Shellfish allergy occurs most commonly in adults than in children and symptoms can begin within minutes to hours of consuming the shellfish. The only way to prevent allergic reaction is to avoid consuming such products. It is wise to seek medical attention if swelling or itching occurs.
Shellfish Allergy – Avoid Sea Food Consumption
Shellfish can be categorized as mollusks and crustaceans and people allergic to consumption of one of these types, may not be able to consume the other type either. Shellfish allergy is one of the most common food allergies and is more likely to develop during adulthood. The safe way to find out which type of shellfish you will be able to consume is through blood and skin prick allergy testing that are done in many clinics. Before eating a food product, read labels to find out if it has shellfish. Inquire about the food served in restaurants, because frying food items in the same oil used to fry shellfish can cause allergic symptoms. It is important to note that apart from eating shellfish, handling, or inhaling the cooking vapors of shellfish-containing food can also trigger shellfish allergy.
Shellfish Allergy Symptoms – Mild and Severe
Some of the common shellfish allergy symptoms include itching sensation, hives, eczema, wheezing, tightness of chest, tingling sensation of swelling in lips, tongue or throat, abdominal pain, dizziness, vomiting and diarrhea. People may suffer from few or all of these symptoms and severity levels may also differ. While itching and hives are considered as mild symptoms, breathing difficulty and swelling indicate severe allergic reaction. A serious symptom of allergy to shellfish is anaphylactic shock which affects different parts of the body and requires immediate medical attention. Shellfish allergy symptoms that indicate anaphylactic shock are swollen lump in lips, throat or other parts of body, severe drop in blood pressure, dizziness, rapid pulse, and loss of consciousness.
Allergic to Shellfish – Treat it Effectively
People who are allergic to shellfish should remember to avoid consuming shellfish and other types of seafood in raw or cooked form. It is a common misconception that cooking shellfish will destroy the allergens. The allergens are found in the shells as well as in the muscle proteins of shellfish. Glucosamine, a popular food supplement for people suffering from arthritis, should be avoided as it is made from powdered crustacean shells. Antihistamines are used for treating mild symptoms while physicians recommend epinephrine injections for those who experience severe allergic reactions. Calamine lotion can help relieve itchiness and hives while milk of magnesia and peppermint tea are helpful in reducing symptoms of the allergy.