Did you know that a shellfish allergy is among the most common types of allergies in both adults and children? Fortunately, a shellfish allergy management plan can minimize the risk of a severe allergic reaction. But with the vast number of fish and shellfish products out there, along with sauces, oils and other condiments, Atlanta allergy sufferers often don’t know what is safe to consume. So if you have a shellfish allergy, do you need to avoid all types of fish?
Can People Allergic to Shellfish Eat Fish?
A shellfish allergy and a fish allergy are not the same – being allergic to one does not mean you will be allergic to the other. However, it is possible to have an allergy to different types of fish and shellfish, along with other types of allergens, at the same time.
While fish and shellfish are biologically different, they are both considered to be seafood. Seafood is a broad category that refers to all types of edible freshwater and saltwater sea life. Fish (salmon, tuna, cod, haddock and so on) have bones and gills, whereas shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, clams) are invertebrates with shells. You can read our seafood allergies Q&A for more information.
It is also important to understand that you can be allergic to just one type of shellfish, or to many types. With a shellfish allergy, people are more likely to be allergic to shellfish within the same class (either crustaceans or mollusks).
- Crustaceans – Shrimp, lobster, crayfish and crab.
- Mollusks – Oysters, clams, squid and scallops.
How Common Is a Shellfish Allergy?
Research into seafood allergy prevalence in the United States highlighted the relatively small proportion of people that are allergic to both shellfish and fish. The survey found that 2.3% of respondents had a seafood allergy of some kind. While 2% of people had a shellfish allergy, only 0.4% reported a fish allergy. Of the adults and children included in the survey, those allergic to both fish and shellfish was found to be 0.2%.
What Can You Do if You Have Shellfish Allergy Symptoms?
If you experience skin hives, shortness of breath, nasal congestion and other symptoms after eating shellfish, avoid further exposure until you have seen an allergist. Your allergist will analyze your symptoms and medical history before conducting food allergy testing. With a precise diagnosis, patients gain a clear understanding of their allergies, what they can eat, how to manage the issue – as well as strategies to prevent further allergic reactions.
Professional Shellfish Allergy Treatments in the Atlanta Area
Chacko Food Allergy Treatment Center helps adults and children cope with shellfish allergies using reliable allergy testing and management solutions. If you have experienced an allergic reaction after eating food, schedule a visit to a center in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Druid Hills, Duluth or Johns Creek. Call (678) 668-4688 or request an appointment now.
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