This is the reaction of abnormally active immune system of the body against the proteins of marine animals. Shellfish marine animals are crabs, lobsters, squids and oysters.
Onset of symptoms is usually acute within minutes to hours of consuming shellfish and are as follow;
- Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting.
- Hives, inflammation and itching on skin.
- Wheezing and nasal congestion.
- Swelling of lips, face and other parts of body.
- Difficulty in breathing due inflammation and constriction of airways.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness.
Shellfish allergy occur due to overactivation of boy immune system that recognizes the shellfish proteins as allergen and start making antibodies against them resulting in the appearance of signs and symptoms. There are two types of shellfishes I-e crustaceans and mollusks. Some peoples have allergy to only one type of shellfish and can consume other type.
Most frequently major complication of shellfish allergy is anaphylaxis characterized by unconsciousness, increase pulse, shock and lightheadedness. Moreover, this allergy can increase the risk for asthmatic symptoms and extreme sensitivity even to tiny amount of shellfish.
detailed history and good physical examination can lead to diagnose this condition.
- Skin test is done by inspecting the hives on skin after pricking it with allergen.
- Blood test or allergen-specific IgE antibody test to detect IgE antibodies in blood.
- Avoiding consumption of shellfishes as much as possible.
- Mild antiallergic medication like antihistamines for mild symptoms.
- Epinephrine injection is given in severe reaction.