Shellfish Allergy Symptoms & Diagnosis

Shellfish Allergy Symptoms & Diagnosis

Shellfish allergy is among the most common food allergies but this allergy is possibly one of the most serious food allergies. Shellfish allergy is separate from that of a fish allergy, normally individual’s immune system react excessively with shellfish when they are wide-open to the proteins in certain types of seafood.

Shellfish allergy is one of the most dangerous food allergies which are sending many people to the hospital in emergency rooms. People who are allergic to shellfish do not essentially have to evade fish and vice versa.

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish allergy is typically a lifelong allergy. There are about 60% of the people with shellfish allergy who have experienced allergic reaction as adults.

shell fish

Shellfish is having two groups Mollusks (such as clam, scallops, mussels, and oyster) and Crustacea (such as lobster, crab, Shrimps). When compared with Mollusks, Crustacea are the reason for causing most shellfish reactions and Crustacea are being likely to be severe.

If any one of you is allergic to fish, then you might be able to eat shellfish deprived of having any reaction and vice versa.

It is most essential to avoid all types of the shellfish if you ever had an allergic reaction to shellfish  previously. Allergic reactions to shellfish can affect the respiratory tract, skin, cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract.

While shellfish allergies most commonly are not seen until adulthood, the condition can appear at any age.

When a food allergy is doubted then it is most important to consult with an allergist, who can determine which tests to perform, decide if an allergy occurs and guidance patients on handling disclosure and symptoms.

Symptoms of Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish allergy can be serious as well as life-threatening for the peoples those who are very sensitive to shellfish allergy reactions. It is very important to recognize the symptoms and look for instant medical treatment for a reaction.

If you are allergic to shellfish, then you may experience symptoms often begin within minutes or an hour just after eating the shellfish.

The following are the Symptoms of Shellfish Allergy:
  • Indigestion
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Wheezing
  • Hives (all above the body)
  • Repetitive cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or Dizziness
  • Weak pulse
  • Swallowed, hoarse, tight throat.
  • Blue or pale coloring of the skin.

Avoiding Shellfish

Shellfish must be avoided by the people those who are allergic to it. To prevent a reaction from shellfish allergy, it is necessary to avoid all kinds of shellfish as well as the products of shellfish.

One should always read labels on the pack whenever purchasing food products and ask questions to the shop keepers about the ingredients before consuming any product.

There are most of the people those who are allergic to any one group of shellfish. Generally your allergist will recommends you to avoid all kinds of shellfish. If you are allergic to a particular kind of the shellfish and you want to eat other kind of shellfish, then you must talk with your doctor first about additional allergy analysis.

Shellfish  Includes:

Shellfish Allergy Symptoms

  • Crawfish
  • Crabs
  • Clams
  • Lobsters
  • Scallops
  • Shrimps
  • Squid
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Oysters
Your doctor may recommend you to avoid these ingredients:
  • Limpet (opihi, lapas)
  • Cuttlefish
  • Cockle
  • Abalone
  • Periwinkle
  • Sea cucumber
  • Sea urchin
  • Squid (calamari)
  • Snails (escargot)
  • Whelk (turban shell)
Sometimes Shellfish are also found in the following:
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Fish stock
  • Surimi
  • Seafood flavors
  • Cuttlefish ink
  • Glucosamine

This type of allergy can affect peoples of all ages, but this allergy is most common in adults when compared with teenagers and children’s.

How to Diagnose Shellfish Allergy

Diagnosing shellfish allergies can be complicated as the medical circumstance itself is complicated. The symptoms of shellfish allergy can differ from person to person and any alone person may not always experiences the same symptoms during every reaction, this  also differ from person to person.


People  those who are allergic to shellfish do not  essentially have to eat it to develop a reaction. They may also get reactions when their food came in contact with shellfish or react if they simply breathe.

If you have doubted a food allergy then it is very important to consult with your doctor or allergist, who can determine that which tests are necessary to perform. The allergist may decide if an allergy exists or not and counsel patients on managing symptoms that can appears soon after exposure to shellfish.

The allergist may go through with a physical inspection and then he may ask you about your symptoms that you have  experienced as well as the situations contiguous upon your allergic reaction. To make an accurate diagnosis your allergist may recommend you two tests blood test and skin prick test.

Skin Prick Test

This test inspects that your body  responses to a suspected allergen. Your allergist pricks your skin with a small quantity of the shellfish protein, which is typically on the forearm or the back of your hand.  Now your allergist will watch your skin to see if hives or bumps are develops at this prick site. If the bumps develop, then this prick test can indicate a shellfish allergy.

Blood Test

The blood test estimates that in what way your immune system will react to the shellfish protein and this test also check the level of convinced antibodies in your bloodstream.

Treatment for Shellfish Allergy

Once you identified that you are suffering from the shellfish allergy, then first thing you need to do is avoid the foods that  contain shellfish. You need to be carefully checking ingredients labels of the food products when you purchase it from the market. Patients with any of the food allergy must make some changes in the foods they eat.

Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, an exceptional but severe allergic reaction to whole body  of patient which causes severe symptoms, including tightening of the airway. Anaphylaxis can come about within seconds or minutes just after the exposure to the  shellfish proteins.

Your allergist possible will prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it. Check the expiration date of your auto-injectors before consuming it.  You should take epinephrine as soon as you doubted that you’ve eaten an allergy causing food or if you feel a reaction starting.