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Shellfish Allergy Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Shellfish Allergy ?

It is the abnormal reaction of the immune system to the proteins present in some marine animals. Basically, shellfish tends to include the particular marine animals those with shells, for example:

  • Lobster.
  • Oysters.
  • Crabs.
  • Shrimp.
  • Scallops.
  • Squid.
  • Octopus.

Few individuals with the allergy develop symptoms in response to all the shellfish, whereas others merely react to specific kinds. In addition, symptoms may range in terms of intensity, though, for some, the allergic reaction may turn to life-threatening. It is advice to discuss the possibility with your doctor, in case you have doubts of having shellfish allergy. Through tests, the doctor will determine whether or not the patient has an allergy. This will help one to avoid triggers that can instigate a reaction.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shellfish Allergy ?

Often, signs appear several minutes to an hour after consuming shellfish. Few of which include:

  • Swelling of the throat, face, lips or tongue. It can also occur on other body parts as well.
  • Atopic dermatitis.
  • Itching.
  • Hives.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Wheezing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Tingling in mouth.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Abdominal pain.

In addition, allergies can trigger anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that needs immediate medical aid.

What Causes Shellfish Allergy ?

Clearly, food allergies are triggered by the abnormal reaction of immune system. More specifically, the immune system of a body finds a particular protein in the shellfish as dangerous. It instigates the making of antibodies that can counteract the allergen.

After being contacted with the proteins, these antibodies tend to identify them, and indicate the immune system to produce chemicals such as histamine, that leads to the development of its symptoms.

What Are The Risk Factors Of Shellfish Sllergy ?

In case anyone in your family has any type of allergy, then you are more likely to develop shellfish allergy. Besides, it’s particularly common in women and adults. As far as children are concerned, shellfish allergy tends to be common in boys, as compared to girls.

Does Shellfish Allergy Leads To Any Complication ?

In rare cases, shellfish allergy can result in anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis, the condition is characterized by an intense, say a life-threatening condition wherein the patient develops symptoms like swollen throat, shock and lightheadedness. In case of anaphylaxis, the patient should be immediately taken to a nearby hospital.

How Is Shellfish Allergy Diagnosis ?

Initially, the doctor will need details regarding the symptoms of the patient. He will then conduct a thorough physical evaluation and will suggest either or all of the below mentioned tests:

  • Skin test.
  • Blood test.
  • Allergic testing.

How Is Shellfish Allergy Treatment ?

To avoid the trigger, is the best prevention against an allergic reaction. Though, despite the prevention, one may accidentally come in contact with the allergen. For mild reactions, the doctor will prescribe medications, for example antihistamines for easing the signs (itchiness and rash).
The patient needs immediate epinephrine injection, in case of anaphylaxis.

By : Natural Health News

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