How to Handle Seafood Allergies?
Seafood Allergies – Type 1 Contact Allergy
Seafood allergies are Type 1 allergies. Type 1 allergies are contact allergies, which mean that you get an allergic reaction when you are in contact with seafood. Seafood allergies are also subdivided in two categories. There is the shellfish allergy, which means that you can eat some types of seafood. The second kind is the seafood allergy, which means that you are allergic to seafood form a certain category.
Basic Categories of Seafood Allergies
There are 5 basic categories of seafood allergies so you need to find out what am I allergic to. If you are allergic to one thing from a category, there is a 70% chance you are allergic to the other seafood in that category. For example, if you know you are allergic to mussels, there is a 70% chance that you are also allergic to scallops, clams, and oysters. Squid, calamari, octopus, and cuttlefish are in the group of cephalopods. Gastropods are snails, and sea and garden slugs. If you have an allergic reaction to crabs, you are probably also allergic to lobster, shrimps and prawns. The last seafood allergies group is the vertebrates: herring, anchovies, mackerel, cod, salmon, and tuna. Thus, if you know you are allergic to tuna you must be very careful when you eat salmon. You should try a small piece of salmon and see if there are any symptoms within a couple of hours.
The seafood allergies are more common in cultures where seafood is used frequently in their dishes. For example, Japan, Spain and Scandinavian countries have a higher incidence of seafood allergies. The medical explanation is that some people are naturally susceptible to a certain type of allergy. Then, the more they come in contact with the seafood the more likely they are to develop seafood allergies. Since seafood is a staple food in their country, they are often exposed to the allergen and eventually they do develop seafood allergies.
People Are Sensitive to Seafood Allergies
Many people with seafood allergies are extremely sensitive to any kind of contact with seafood. If a person is only holding a raw fish to which he is allergic, he could suffer a severe allergic reaction. If your fries are made in the same oil that shellfish is made, and you are allergic to shellfish, then you might again get an allergic reaction. That is why if you have seafood allergies, you should point this out when you are ordering food in a restaurant. Also, having a shot of epinephrine with you could save your life one day if you have a severe allergic reaction to a common food.
The cause of allergic symptom is that when you are in contact with an allergen your immune system overreacts causing all kind of real problems for your body. Seafood allergies are no different. One way to train your immune system is to take allergy shots. But not all seafood allergy patients are eligible for this procedure, thus you will need to check with your doctor if this is an option for you.
All in all, seafood allergies are manageable and you can live with them. However, you need to be extra careful to avoid all kind of triggers of your seafood allergies, such as seafood from the same category, processed food or seafood derivatives, and restaurant food.