Shellfish Allergy Testing, Treatment, and Prognosis: A Guideline

shellfish allergy test

The fish group including shrimp, lobster, and crab produces the most allergic responses in the shellfish family. Many shellfish-allergic persons can safely consume mollusks (scallops, oysters, clams, and mussels). Those who have shellfish allergies should visit an allergist for shellfish allergy test before consuming any other type of shellfish. Cross-contamination is possible since shellfish are frequently stocked together in hotels and marketplaces. Shellfish allergies are most common in adults, but they can also affect adolescents and children.

Symptoms of shellfish allergy:

Below are noticeable symptoms of shellfish allergy:

  • Vomiting
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Digestive problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing heavily
  • Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath
  • Coughing fits
  • Hoarse voice, throat tightness
  • The pulse is weak.
  • Skin that is pale or blue in hue
  • Hives
  • Swelling can occur on the tongue and/or lips.
  • Dizziness
  • Puzzle

What are the triggers of a shellfish allergy?

As discussed shrimp, lobster, and crab produces the most allergic responses within the shellfish family. Mollusks can be tolerated by many persons who are allergic to shellfish.

Shellfish allergy testing and diagnosis:

Shellfish allergies could be difficult to identify. Symptoms differ between individuals, and a person may not always have the same symptoms with each reaction. Furthermore, persons who are intolerant to shellfish do not have to eat it in order to experience a response. They may respond if they are around cooked seafood or if their meal has come into touch with shellfish. Shellfish allergies can impact the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, and/or cardiovascular system. While shellfish allergies are more typically observed in adults, they can arise at any age.

During shellfish allergy tests, allergists may have extensive inquiries detailing the history of allergies to make a diagnosis. Prepare yourself peauto answer questions about what you attempted to eat, how long it took for symptoms to arise, which symptoms you experienced, and how long they lasted. To identify if you have food-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, the allergist will usually do skin prick tests and/or request a blood test. Skin-prick tests are performed at a doctor’s office and result in 15 to 30 minutes. On your forearm or back, a droplet of a liquid containing the suspected allergy is applied. After that, the skin is pierced with a tiny, sterilized probe, allowing the liquid to flow beneath the skin.

Allergy specialist

Blood tests, another allergy testing technique, determine the quantity of IgE antibodies to the particular food(s) being examined. Typically, results are available from one to two weeks and thus are provided as a numerical number.

Following the shellfish allergy test, these data will be interpreted by your allergist and used to help make a diagnosis. Each of these diagnostic techniques potentially indicates a food allergy, but none is definite. A positive test for a specific item does not always mean that you will respond to it when you consume it. A negative test is much more useful in excluding a food allergy. Neither the size of the skin test wheal nor the quantity of IgE antibodies predicts the severity of your allergic response to shellfish.

These tests, along with your medical history, may be used by an allergist to confirm a shellfish allergy diagnosis. To make a clear diagnosis, the allergist may recommend an oral food test, wherein the patient is given steadily increasing quantities of the probable allergy-causing food while under tight monitoring. During this operation, experienced staff, emergency medicine, and emergency supplies must be on hand.

Oral food challenges may also be used to test if a patient has survived a food allergy.

Management, Treatment, and Prognosis:

When a shellfish allergy is discovered after a shellfish allergy test, the best course of action is to avoid the meal. Food product ingredient labels must be carefully read. You should learn alternative names for the meals you should avoid in order to avoid eating them.

When eating out, you must exercise extreme caution. Waiters (and occasionally kitchen personnel) may not always be aware of the ingredient list for each meal. Because vapors can transport microscopic particles of shellfish protein, being near where food is made might provoke a severe response in sensitive persons.

Fortunately, shellfish is not frequently “hidden” in dishes. Shellfish can be found in seafood stock, seafood flavoring (such as crab extract), sushi, and surimi. This implies that makers of packaged foods marketed in the United States that include crustacean shellfish-based components must indicate the presence of crustacean shellfish in the product in an unambiguous language.

Everyone with a food intolerance must grasp how to check ingredient labels and take precautions. Your allergist can refer you to useful resources like as customized cookbooks, patient support groups, and licensed dietitians who can assist you with meal planning.

After getting done with the shellfish allergy test, many people who have food allergies question if their ailment will last forever. There is no simple answer. Allergies to milk, eggs, and soy may fade over time. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish can last a lifetime. One-third of kids and adults with food allergies outgrow their allergies. However, the pace of naturally extending food allergies varies based on the food allergen and the individual.

Shellfish allergy management in adolescents and children:

Even though shellfish allergy responses, like other food allergy symptoms, can occur when a kid is not with his parents, parents should ensure that their child’s school, daycare, or other program has a written emergency action plan that includes instructions for preventing, recognizing, and managing these incidents in school and during exercises such as sporting events as well as field trips.

See Also: Likelihood of Red Meat Allergy by A Tick Bite: Diagnosis, Causes, and Prevention

After being diagnosed with shellfish allergy following the shellfish allergy test, if your kid has been given an auto-injector, make sure you and those in charge of his or her supervision fully comprehend how to use it.

Family Medicine Austin

Written by Jeannette

I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.