In general, people with a shrimp allergy are also allergic to other seafood, such as oysters, lobster, and shellfish, it is important to be aware of the emergence of allergies related to these foods and, if necessary, remove them from the diet.
Symptoms of allergy to shrimp
The main symptoms of allergy to shrimp are:
- Red plaques on the skin;
- Swelling in the lips, eyes, tongue and throat;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Abdominal pain;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Dizziness or fainting.
In the most severe cases, allergy can cause an overreaction of the immune system, causing anaphylaxis, a serious condition that must be treated immediately in the hospital, as it can lead to death. See the symptoms of anaphylactic shock .
How to make the diagnosis
In addition to assessing the symptoms that appear after eating shrimp or other seafood, the doctor may also order tests such as a skin test, in which a small amount of the protein found in the shrimp is injected into the skin to check whether or not there is a reaction, and the blood test, which checks for the presence of defense cells against shrimp proteins.
How to deal with
Treatment for any type of allergy is done with the removal of food from the patient’s food routine, preventing the emergence of new allergic crises. When symptoms appear, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines and corticosteroids to improve swelling, itching and inflammation, but there is no cure for the allergy.
In cases of anaphylaxis, the patient should be taken immediately to the emergency and, in some cases, the doctor may recommend that the patient always walk with an injection of epinephrine, to reverse the danger of death in an allergic emergency. See first aid for shrimp allergy.
Allergy to the preservative used in frozen foods
Sometimes allergy symptoms arise not because of the shrimp, but because of a preservative called sodium metabisulfite, which is used in frozen foods. In these cases, the severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of preservative consumed, and the symptoms do not appear when the fresh shrimp is eaten.
To avoid this problem, one should always look at the list of ingredients on the product label and avoid those that contain sodium metabisulfite.