Shellfish Allergy Symptoms

Shellfish Allergy Symptoms: Causes Of Food Allergies & Common Allergies and Symptoms With Shellfish.

I always look forward to September. It's the month of Labor Day (the last days of Summer) and my friend's birthday.

Why is that important? Because we always go to his favorite all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant. I, of course, load up on the shrimp and crab legs. All you can eat means just that. There are different kinds of crab in Florida than in Oregon but it's all good.

Not so much for some people, especially when you have shellfish allergy symptoms or an intolerance that can flare up.

These symptoms can range from uncomfortable to severe to down-right lethal. Shellfish is not only crabs and lobster but also can include shrimp, oysters, octopus, squid and scallops.

There is also talk about high mercury levels in certain fish. And some people simply don't eat shellfish due to health reasons. Many of these kinds of sea creatures are bottom feeders. This means they feed off  dead and decaying matter on the bottom. Many don't have a proper digestive system to filter out the toxins they ingest. Some researches have said that roaches and crustaceans are genetic cousins.   

Studies suggest that almost 3% of children younger than three years old can exhibit shellfish allergy symptoms. Many doctors advise parents not to give shellfish or seafood to children under the age of 1. Fish and other kinds of seafood are part of the "Big-8" allergens that include  milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat and soybean.

Shellfish Allergy Symptoms

A shellfish allergy in children and adults can manifest themselves within a few minutes to a few hours after a person consumes shellfish or certain kinds of seafood. 

This is because your body is going into hyper drive. It views the allergen as a threat and will try to protect itself against this threat anyway it can. Your body will pump out histamines and other chemicals to fight the alleged invader.  

The symptoms of shellfish allergies and food sensitivity symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Headaches
  • Hives and/or rashes
  • Indigestion
  • Itchy skin around the mouth
  • Red blotches around the mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Tired feeling
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

In severe cases of food allergy reactions the victim can get Anaphylaxis shock which is very dangerous. It's a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical attention. Many times parents of allergic children will carry epinephrine, sometimes called an Epi Pen. This gives the person a shot of adrenaline and offers enough time to get him to the emergency room. Anaphylaxis symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty in breathing. The victim may have a swollen throat or airway making it difficult to breathe.
  • Facial flush
  • Lightheaded
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Severe drop in blood pressure
  • Stomach pain

Minimize your risk of a shellfish allergy reaction by staying out of seafood restaurants. This includes many ethnic restaurants such as Chinese and Thai. It's obvious that cross-contamination can happen. Also, allow someone else to do the seafood and fish shopping and cooking for you.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) mandates that the labels of foods containing major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy) be properly labeled with the specific type of food used.

If you think you have exhibited any of the above shellfish allergy symptoms other symptoms of a food allergy, it's best to talk to your doctor or allergist. Another avenue is a chiropractor who practices Applied Kinesiology or muscle testing.

These kinds of food allergy symptoms can be potentially life threatening due to Anaphylactic shock so it's best to get professional help. The doctor, allergist, or chiropractor can perform a series of tests to determine the root cause of the allergy and treat it accordingly.

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