Allergies

All about Shrimp Allergy

Shrimp allergy is a kind of seafood allergy, triggered by the proteins present in the shrimp. Our immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins as harmful and reacts against it. This can give rise to reactions such as swelling and itchiness of tongue/mouth, nausea, and diarrhea etc. People with shrimp allergy can be allergic to other seafood such as crab, crayfish, oysters, shrimp, mussels, clams and abalone.

Shrimp Allergy Symptoms:

The symptoms may start off with itching of the roof of the mouth, swelling of the tongue, throat. This can be followed by nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives and eczema.

  • Itching in the roof of the mouth
  • Watery eyes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Dizziness

The above symptoms can progress to much complicated symptoms such as breathlessness, dizziness, loss of consciousness – these are the symptoms of anaphylaxis which can be fatal. In such cases, an epinephrine should be immediately administered to prevent the progression of the reaction.

Preventing Shrimp Allergy:

  • People with shrimp allergy have to be extremely careful while eating out. If the same oil is used for frying shrimp and other food items, the person can develop allergy to the other food too.
  • Beware of cross-contamination while cooking at home. If the same knife or vessel is used for cooking shrimp and other items, the person may develop allergies.
  • Check the ingredients while shopping
  • While eating out, always ask the ingredients used for cooking
  • Always carry a self-injectable epinephrine, which can help you to prevent anaphylaxis

Shrimp Allergy Treatment:

Antihistamines and decongestants can be used to relieve the shrimp allergy symptoms. If you have not been tested for shrimp allergy, it is always good to get yourself tests. Skin prick test and blood test can be used to check if you have shrimp allergy.

You can also ask your allergist for immunotherapy or allergy shots. Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment which involves injecting small amount of allergen over a period of time. Gradually, the person would be able to overcome the allergy.

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