An allergic reaction to shellfish is a food allergy that usually occurs in adulthood. According to ACAAI, shellfish allergy is a condition that affects around seven million Americans. Shellfish falls into two categories, which are crustaceans and mollusks. Examples of shellfish that cause an allergic reaction are shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, scallops, lobster and crayfish. If you think that you have this allergy, then you need to look for certain signs. Read on to find out the symptoms for shellfish allergy.

Mild Symptoms

An allergic reaction starts when you eat or touch shellfish. Your body can respond in a variety of ways. A mild reaction to this allergy includes stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy skin, a tingly feeling around or inside your mouth, hives or an upset stomach.

Obvious Symptoms

Some symptoms are very obvious when diagnosing this condition. Swelling is a telltale sign of shellfish allergy. It usually occurs in your throat, tongue, lips, face and other parts of your body. Other obvious symptoms are coughing, wheezing, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps. These symptoms are not life threatening, but you should seek medical attention.

Signs Of A Severe Reaction

Anaphylaxis is a severe and possibly life threatening allergic reaction. Signs of an anaphylactic reaction to shellfish include passing out, dizziness, racing pulse, drop in blood pressure, difficulty in breathing and swelling in your throat. If you have a severe reaction, then you need to go to the emergency room. To stop the symptoms, you will need an injection of epinephrine.

Allergic Reaction Versus Food Poisoning

It helps to know the difference between having an allergic reaction and food poisoning. The symptoms are similar. The main difference is the frequency. Food poisoning is a one-time thing. An allergic reaction occurs every time you come in contact with shellfish.

Avoid Shellfish

To prevent allergic reactions, you need to avoid shellfish and products that contain shellfish. If you eat at a restaurant, then you need to ask the staff about the preparation of the food. It may not be a seafood dish, but may include fish sauce to make the recipe. You will also need to look at labels when grocery shopping. This condition is very manageable when you let people know about your allergy.

It helps to understand the seriousness of being allergic to something. Allergic reactions to shellfish are very unpredictable. This allergy affects everyone in a different way. Some people cannot be near shellfish without having a severe reaction. There are different levels to how this condition affects you. If you are experiencing any of these signs, then you need to see a doctor, such as at Alidina Laila MD, for the correct diagnosis.