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An allergy to seafood


Mussels and squids, octopuses and shrimps, crabs and oysters – all these sea and ocean inhabitants were exotic food for us, until recently. In recent years, seafood has increasingly occupied an honorable place on our tables. And this is not surprising because the seafood is delicious and healthy. However, a lot of people suffers from allergy on it.

Seafood allergy: causes

Seafood is very rich in protein. But it is the foreign protein that our immune system does not appreciate.

Allergens in the composition of seafood are quite a lot, but the most active of them are:

  • protein tropomyosin;
  • arginine kinase;
  • protein parvalbumin and its derivatives (the main allergen of marine fish).

Allergenic proteins in all sea mollusks (oysters, squids, mussels, octopuses) and crustaceans (shrimps, crabs, crabs, lobsters) are very similar. Therefore, according to statistics, approximately 75% of patients are allergic to several types of seafood, including sea fish.

Symptoms of seafood allergies

The allergy to seafood is evident by gastrointestinal and skin symptoms. Usually, there are such symptoms: itching and swelling of the mouth, numbness of the tongue or palate, dermatitis around the mouth. The patient is disturbed by colicky pains in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. There are rashes, redness, itching, sometimes angioedema on the skin.

Respiratory symptoms (a runny nose, sneezing, stuffy nose) with allergies to seafood are much less likely to be. There is a probability of occurrence of severe allergic reactions to the seafood up to an anaphylactic shock.

The diagnostics

Usually, it is not difficult to diagnose an allergy. We usually don’t eat seafood every day, so it is simply to figure out the connection between eating it and the symptoms of allergy. To confirm the diagnosis you can take skin tests or a blood test for allergens.

The prevention and the treatment of a seafood allergy

The first and most important rule in the treatment of seafood allergies is to completely eliminate contact with allergens – stop eating seafood. It is also appreciated to exclude from the ration marine fish, primarily red.
An allergic reaction can occur even from the smell of fish. Extremely sensitive people suffer from it. They need to stay away from the fish shelves of shops and from the kitchens where seafood is prepared. Also, allergenic proteins of fish and seafood are resistant to high temperatures, so long high-temperature cooking does not decrease the allergenicity of these products.

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