Shellfish is among the most common food allergens. It is also one of the most dangerous, sending more food-allergic people to hospital emergency rooms than any other is. Within the shellfish family, it is the crustacean group (shrimp, lobster and crab) that causes the greatest number of allergic reactions. Many shellfish-allergic people can tolerate mollusks (scallops, oysters, clams and mussels).
Shellfish Allergy Symptoms:
Vomiting, Stomach cramps, Indigestion, diarrhea, hives all over the body, shortness of breath, wheezing, repetitive cough, trouble swallowing, tongue swelling, weak pulse, pale or blue coloring of the skin, dizziness or confusion.
Diagnosing shellfish allergies can be as complicated as the medical condition itself. Children can still develop a shellfish allergy. When this happens, boys are more likely to suffer than girls are.
Management and Treatment:
Once a shellfish allergy is identified, the best treatment is to avoid the food. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, a rare but severe whole-body allergic reaction that causes severe symptoms, including tightening of the airway. Some shellfish products are hard to spot. They might include: fish stock, which is used in many Asian food dishes, surimi or fake crab, which often contains shellfish meat, glucosamine, which is a popular supplement made using crustacean shells.