Do you suffer from shellfish allergies? If so, you are not the only one. Shellfish allergies are shortness of breath, nasal congestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, tingling in mouth, dizziness and swelling of face, tongue, throat, lips and the body.

In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur. Those with asthma are at higher risk for anaphylaxis and it requires use of an epinephrine (Epi-pen). Symptoms of anaphylaxis include shortness of breath (feeling like a there is a lump in your throat), fast pulse, drop in blood pressure, dizziness and shock. common and occur when your body thinks the protein is a harmful substance. This causes the body to release histamine which leads to allergy symptoms.

Those with allergies in their family are at higher risk of developing them. Shellfish allergies are more common in adults (mostly women). With children, it is more common for boys. Types of shellfish include crab, lobster, shrimp, crayfish and prawn (crustaceans). Others include oysters, clams, scallops, snails, squid and octopus (mollusks).

Food allergy symptoms vary depending on the severity. They include itching, hives, eczema, wheezing.

There are a few easy ways to avoid having allergic reactions to shellfish (and other foods).

  • Always tell your server about food allergies. They can notify the cooks to use different utensils when cooking your meal.
  • Avoid being around shellfish, especially when it is cooking.
  • Always carry an Epi-pen, Auvi-Q or other type of auto injector, in case cross-contamination happens.
  • Make sure you read food, makeup and medication labels before using them.

If you are concerned about shellfish allergies, contact an Allergist to have testing done, to know which seafoods you are allergic to and avoid. This could also be scombroid fish poisoning from non-refrigerated or poorly refrigerated seafood. Make sure to have a list of family history, as well as a food diary of what you ate and what symptoms/reactions you had. It is important to know your allergies, the severity and to have the right medications prescribed ahead of time.