Seafood Allergy: Types, Symptoms, Causes, & Prevention

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z

Seafood allergy is one of the most common food allergies. This allergy usually is lifelong. About 50-60 percent of people with seafood allergy experience their first allergic reaction as adults. It includes marine animals with shells, such as crab, lobster and oysters shrimp as well as squid and scallops.


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Seafood is quite dangerous it causes infection so let’s talk about seafood allergy.


What are the Types of Seafood Allergy?


There are two types of  seafood allergies are:


1. Crustaceans – It includes crabs, lobster, crayfish, shrimp and prawn.


2. Mollusks – It includes squid, snails, clams, oysters, and scallops.


 What are the Symptoms of a Seafood Allergy?


There are mainly 10 symptoms of seafood allergy:






3. Stomach Cramps


4. Dizziness or confusion


5. Weak pulse


6. Diarrhea


7.Shortness of breath


8.Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat, or other parts of the body


9. Wheezing


10. Abdominal pain




 What are the Causes of a Seafood Allergy?



Most of the food allergies are caused by an immune system overreaction. In this allergy, your immune system mistakenly identifies a certain protein in shellfish as harmful, triggering the production of antibodies to the shellfish protein (allergen). The next time you come in contact with the allergen, your immune system releases histamine and other chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.





What is the Risk Factor of Shellfish Allergy?



You’re at increased risk of developing a seafood allergy if allergies of any type are common in your family. People of any age can develop a seafood allergy, it’s more common in adults. Seafood allergy is more common in women. Among children, shellfish allergy is more common in boys as well.




 What are the Complications of Seafood?



This allergy is leading to anaphylaxis, a dangerous allergic reaction marked by a swollen throat (airway constriction), rapid pulse, shock, and dizziness or lightheadedness. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.



There are some complications such as:



1. Asthma


2. You have allergic reactions to very small amounts of shellfish (extreme sensitivity)


3. You have a history of food-induced anaphylaxis


4. Anaphylaxis can be treated with an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) Always carry injectable epinephrine (EpiPen, Adrenaclick, others).


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 What are the Preventions of Shellfish Allergy?



If you have a seafood allergy, the best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid all seafood and products which contains seafood. A trace amount of seafood can cause a severe reaction in some people.


There are some preventions of seafood allergy:



Avoid foods that contain shellfish:






3.Crawfish (crawdad, crayfish, ecrevisse)




5.Lobster (langouste, langoustine, Moreton Bay bugs, scampi, tomalley)







Avoid mollusks or these ingredients:




2.Clams (cherrystone, geoduck, littleneck, Pismo, quahog)














9.Sea cucumber


10.Sea urchin




Be Aware When Dining Out



1. At Restaurants


Always check to make sure that the pan, oil or utensils used for seafood aren’t also used to prepare other foods, creating cross-contamination. It is necessary to avoid eating at seafood restaurants, where there’s a high risk of cross-contamination.



2. Read labels


Cross-contamination can occur in stores where other food is processed or displayed near shellfish and during manufacturing. Read food labels carefully.



3. Maintain distance


You have to completely avoid those places where seafood is prepared or processed. Some people react after touching or inhaling steam from cooking shellfish.




What is the Treatment of a Seafood Allergy?


1. The best way to prevent an allergic reaction to seafood is to avoid shellfish. Your doctor may suggest you treat a gentle allergic reaction to seafood with medications such as antihistamines.


2. If you have a severe allergic reaction to seafood (anaphylaxis), you’ll likely need an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline).






Here, we have talked about seafood allergy – types, symptoms, causes, risk, preventions, and treatment. The best way to prevent seafood allergy is to avoid seafood if you are allergic to those foods. If you are having it, and you feel any uneasiness they stop eating, and still, you don’t feel well then consult a doctor as soon as possible. Take proper medications and precautions.


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