What is Shrimp Allergy, Know its Causes, Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis

What is Shrimp Allergy?

Shrimp allergy is an atypical reaction by the immune system of human body to proteins in “shrimp”, a marine animal. The atypical reactions vary from soft symptoms like skin rash or an unventilated nose then to life-threatening harsh symptoms.

If you notice you have shrimp allergy, consult your doctor. Investigations can assist confirm a shrimp allergy, then you can take actions to prevent future effects.

If your mouth irritates, or if you get hives or a stomach pain after having shrimp, you might experience a shrimp allergy, which is a condition which affects nearly 7 millions of Americans.

What is Shrimp Allergy

What is Shell Fish?

Two types of shellfish have been identified: crustacean (such as shrimp, crab and lobster) and mollusks (like scallops, clams, oysters and mussels). For crustacean type of shellfish, reactions are likely to be exceptionally severe.

Causes of Shrimp Allergy

Consuming shrimps or products which contain shrimp in them is the major cause of shrimp allergy. All food reactions are triggered by an over responsiveness of immune system. Your immune system recognizes a specific shrimp protein as risky, causing the creation of antibodies against the allergen/ shrimp protein. During next instance you experience an allergy, your immune system discharges histamine and other substances that trigger allergy symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Shrimp Allergy

Signs and symptoms of shrimp allergy usually develop within a very small time to about an hour after taking shrimps in a meal. They may comprise:

  • Itching sensation in the mouth is a symptom of shrimp allergy.
  • Abdominal pain, nauseadiarrhea or vomiting is major symptoms of shrimp allergy.
  • Another symptom of shrimp allergy is lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting.
  • Nasal congestion, wheezing or trouble breathing is a sign of shrimp allergy.
  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, and face or other body parts could be a sign of shrimp allergy.
  • Itchingeczema (atopic dermatitis) or hives are also symptoms of shrimp allergy.

Allergies can trigger a critical, potentially life-threatening response called anaphylaxis. An anaphylactic response to shrimp or other shell fish is a medical disaster that requires medication with an adrenaline (epinephrine) injection plus a tour to the immediate care unit (or ICU). Symptoms of anaphylaxis comprise of:

  • A lump in the throat or a swollen throat (airway constriction) which makes it hard for you to breathe.
  • Rapid pulse.
  • Loss of consciousness, dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Harsh drop in blood pressure with a shock.

Is it Allergic Reaction or Food Poisoning?

Most of the signs of shrimp allergy reaction match symptoms which are usual in food poisoning; however there is an important distinction: A food poisoning is normally a one-off trigger, where as a food allergy normally occurs every time you consume food including shrimps.

After eating shrimps if you notice that you are regularly experiencing symptoms, there may be a shrimp allergy for you.

Consulting a Doctor for Shrimp Allergy

Consult an allergy specialist or a doctor if you notice any shrimp allergy symptoms soon after eating. Look for emergency medication if the symptoms develop. The doctor will probably ask you:

  • What type of shrimps you ate?
  • What are the other food items you consumed like side dishes, beverages, sauces and other items of the main meal?
  • Did you notice any unusual signs in your mouth or face?
  • How soon following eating you could notice your first symptom?
  • Did others too who had meals with you got the similar symptoms?
  • Have you got these similar symptoms earlier too after eating shrimp?
  • Are your family members also allergy to shrimp?
  • Do you have eczema (atopic dermatitis) or asthma?
  • Do you experience any other allergies, like hay fever?

Risk Factors for Shrimp Allergy

You are at amplified risk of building a shrimp allergy if any types of allergies are usual in your family. Even though individuals of any age could develop shrimp allergy, it is more ordinary in adults. Between adults, shrimp allergy is very much normal in women. Between children, shrimp allergy is very much general in boys.

Tests to Diagnose Shrimp Allergy

There are multiple tests to diagnose shrimp allergy. Recognizing shrimp allergy can be very complicated same as the health condition itself. Indications can vary from individual to individual, and an individual may not all the time experience the same signs throughout every reaction. What is more, individuals who are shrimp allergic do not necessarily need to eat them in order to build up a shrimp allergy reaction. They might react if they just even breathe smoke, or if their meal got touch with shrimp.

Allergic responses to shrimp can distress the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and/or skin. While shrimp allergy mainly is not seen until one becomes an adult, the situation can develop at any age.

Once a shrimp or any food allergy is identified or suspected, it is vital to visit an allergist, who will decide which tests to carryout, determine if a food reaction exists and advice patients on controlling disclosure and indications once the judgment has been verified.

  • To formulate an analysis for shrimp allergy, allergists ask specific questions regarding the history of symptoms the patient usually gets shrimp allergy. Be ready to answer any question regarding what kind of food and amount you ate, what kind of a time period it got for symptoms to appear, which symptoms you got and for how long those symptoms of shrimp allergy lasted. The doctor/allergist will normally prescribe a blood test (like an ImmunoCAP test) or carry out a skin-prick check, which point out whether food-specific IgE or immunoglobulin E antibodies are there within you.
  • Skin-prick checks are performed for testing shrimp allergy in a clinic/ doctor’s office also results can be given within 15 – 30 minutes. An ooze of a liquid having the assumed allergen is positioned on the patient’s back or forearm. That location of the skin is pierce with a tiny, sterile probe, letting the liquid to soak into the skin. The checks, which are not hurting but could be uneasy, are regarded as definite if a wheal grows at the location.
  • Blood tests for shrimp allergy, which are less receptive than skin-prick checks, assess the IgE antibody volume to specific foods being analyzed. Reports of results are typically obtainable in around one – two weeks moreover are recorded as a numerical figure.
  • Your allergist/doctor will figure out these outcomes and utilize them to help in a judgment. As both of these analytical tools can point out an allergy for a food type, neither is certain. A positive test outcome to a particular food type does not always mean that an individual will respond to that food type when it is consumed. A negative investigation is more supportive to find out an allergy for a particular food. Neither investigation, by the volume of the wheal or the strength of IgE antibodies inevitably predicts the gravity of an allergic response to shrimp.
  • A doctor or an allergist can use these investigations and the patient’s past allergy records to get diagnosis for a shrimp allergy. For a perfect diagnosis, the allergist or doctor may wish to carry out an oral food test, in which the individual is fed little amounts of the shrimp allergy -affecting food items in increasing amounts over a time period, under strict guidance. Emergency equipment and emergency medication should be ready during this process.
  • Oral food tests for shrimp allergy also may be carried out to determine if an individual has an allergy for any food type.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 5, 2022

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