There are 2 kinds or types of the shellfish one is the crustacea like as shrimp, the crab and the lobster and other second one is the mollusks like as the clams, the mussels, the oysters and the scallops. The reaction to crustacean shellfish tends to be particularly severe.
What is shrimp?
It is a small frees wimming crustacean that is with an elongated body. It is a typically marine creature. It has been frequently used for commercial importance as a food.
What is shrimp allergy:
Shrimp allergy is the abnormal response by the body immune system to the proteins present in certain marine animals.
Causes of shrimp allergy:
All type of food allergies are caused by the immune system overreaction or malfunctions. The immune system identifies certain shellfish protein as being harmful, triggering the production of the antibodies to shellfish protein called allergen as it makes a person allergic to shrimp. When the next time you come in the contact with the allergen, the immune system releases the chemical called as histamine and some other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms and the allergy itself.
Risk factors for shrimp allergy:
You are at the increased risk of developing the shrimp allergy if the allergies of any type are more common in your family.
Even though people of any age can develop a this type of allergy, it is more common in adults as compare to others. Among the adults, the shrimp allergy is more common in the women as compare to men. Among the children, the shrimp allergy is more common in boys as compare to girls.
Symptoms of shrimp allergy:
There are several symptoms of the shrimp allergy. When you observe these symptoms in you, you should readily reposrt these symptoms to your doctor so that diagnosis can be made at its earliest and treatment could be started. Early treatment and diagnosis may reduce the complication. If not diagnosed at the earliesr, it can become complicated. We will look in to the complications of the shrimp allergy shortly. Right now we will look in to the symptoms of the shrimp allergy. Its symptoms are listed below:
- eczema called atopic dermatitis.
- Swelling of the lips, the face, the tongue and the throat, or even swelling in some other parts of the body.
- nasal congestion.
- trouble breathing.
- Abdominal pain.
- diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Tingling in
Allergies can also cause a severe and potentially life threatening reaction known as the anaphylaxis. The anaphylactic reaction to shrimp or anything else is a medical emergency which requires the treatment with the epinephrine which is an adrenaline injection and a trip to emergency room.
Signs or symptoms of the anaphylaxis include:
- A swollen throat or a lump in the throat , airway constriction t makes it difficult for you to breathe.
- a great drop in your blood pressure
- Rapid pulse.
- lightheadedness .
- loss of consciousness.
Complications in shrimp allergy:
In case of severe allergy the shrimp allergy can lead to the anaphylaxis which is a dangerous allergic reaction and it is marked by the swollen throat resulting in the airway constriction, the rapid pulse, the shock, and the dizziness or the lightheadedness. Anaphylaxis can be very life threatening.
When you have shrimp allergy, in that case you may be at the increased risk of the anaphylaxis if:
- You are suffering from asthma
- You are suffering from the allergic reactions very because of small amounts of shrimp. It is an extreme sensitivity.
- Or you have the history of food induced anaphylaxis.
Anaphylaxis could be treated with the emergency injection of the epinephrine which is the adrenaline. If you are at the risk of having the severe allergic reaction to shrimp, you always should carry the injectable epinephrine the EpiPen, Auvi-Q or some others.
Diagnosis of the shrimp allergy:
The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and he may perform the physical exam to find out or rule out some other medical problems. He or she may also recommend you one or both of the following tests:
- Skin test:
In the skin test, the skin is pricked and then exposed to small amount of the proteins found in the shrimp. If you are allergic, you will develop the raised bump called as hive at the test site on the skin.
- Blood test:
It is also called allergen specific IgE antibody test or the radioallergosorbent abbreviated as RAST test. This type of the test can measure your immune system response to the shrimp proteins by measuring amount of certain antibodies present in your blood. This is known as immunoglobulin E IgE antibodies.
The history of the allergic reactions shortly after the exposure to the shellfish can be the sign of shrimp allergy, However, allergy testing is only sure way to tell what is causing the symptoms and to rule out some other possibilities like food poisoning.
Treatment of shrimp allergy:
The only authentic way to prevent the allergic reaction to shrimp is to avoid the shrimp. However, despite of the fact that you do your best efforts to get rid of the allergy or to avoid it, you may come into the contact with shrimp.
The doctor may instruct you to treat the mild allergic reaction to the shrimp, with the medications like antihistamines in order to reduce the signs and the symptoms like rashes and itchiness.
If you have severe allergic reaction to shrimp like (anaphylaxis, you will likely need the emergency injection of the epinephrine which is the adrenaline. If you are at the risk of having the severe reaction, carry the injectable epinephrine with you at all the times. If you are at the risk for the anaphylaxis to shrimp, your doctor may instruct you to administer the epinephrine even at the first sign of the allergic reaction. After you use the epinephrine, seek the emergency medical care.
Prevention from shrimp allergy:
If you have the shrimp allergy, the only best possible way to avoid the allergic reaction is to avoid the use of shrimp and shrimp products that contain shrimp. Even a small amount of the shrimp can cause the severe reaction in some of the people.
Avoiding the shrimp:
- Be cautious when you are dining out:
When you are dining at the restaurants, always check out to make sure that the pan, the oil or the utensils used for shrimp are not also used to prepare some other foods, creating cross contamination. It may be necessary to avoid the eating at seafood restaurants, because there is a high risk of cross contamination.
- Read labels: You should read the labels becausecross contamination can occur in the stores where some other food is processed or displayed near the shrimp or during manufacturing. You should read food labels very carefully.
Shrimp is rarely a hidden ingredient however, it may be in the fish stock or in the seafood flavoring. The companies are required to label the product that contains the shrimp or other food that often cause the allergic reactions. However regulations do not apply to the mollusks like as clams, oysters and scallops.
- Keep your distance:
You may also need to completely avoid those places where shrimp is prepared or processed. Some of the people react after touching shrimp or by inhaling steam from cooking of shrimp.
If you have the shrimp allergy, you should better talk with the doctor about carrying the emergency epinephrine. You should be wearing a medical alert bracelet or some necklace that lets other know you have the food allergy.
It is not true that people with shrimp allergy also will be allergic to the iodine or the radiocontrast dye used in some of the lab procedures. Reactions to the radiocontrast material or to the iodine is not related to the shrimp allergy.