Allergy to shellfish is different from that of seafood. While seafood also includes certain fish species, such as tuna or cod, crustaceans are considered lobster and edible molluscs such as mussels or oysters.
This means that adults and children who are allergic to crustaceans will not experience allergic reactions even if they suffer from multiple cross allergies.
Allergy to crustaceans is of two types: allergy to crustaceans such as lobster, crab or shrimp, respectively to mussels, oysters or other edible molluscs.
Some people suffer from both allergic forms and their body reacts when consuming these crustaceans, but sometimes they may show symptoms even when they touch those crustaceans or when they inspire steam from their thermal preparation.
Symptoms of crustacean allergy
Allergy to crustaceans can occur at any age, whether or not it has ever occurred in a person. Those who suffer from it will most likely remain allergic to life.
The most serious reaction that this allergy can cause is the anaphylactic shock, and this is very unpredictable and can occur even if the previous reactions were mild, so it would be best for people sensitive to such foods to avoid them completely.
Symptoms occur when the immune system is threatened by shellfish proteins and reacts as if they were harmful. The body releases histamines at such times.
Adverse reactions are:
- wheezing and heavy breathing;
- screw it up;
- choking sensation;
- intestinal cramps;
- redness and itching of the eyes;
- red spots on the skin;
- decrease of blood pressure;
- loss of consciousness.
Anaphylaxis can start with common manifestations, but it is a real threat to the life of allergic people; in such cases, it must be acted upon immediately by administration adrenaline injectable and by calling emergency medical services.
Treating children's allergy to crustaceans
If your son or daughter has allergic symptoms, the best thing you can do is the same one that applies to all food allergies: to eliminate completely from their diet such foods that can cause reactions.
The allergist will provide you, upon request and following specific consultations and analyzes, a dose of adrenaline to be administered in emergency situations. Every second counts in the case of anaphylactic shock, so if you see your child losing consciousness or fading, the dose of adrenaline could save their life.
All the doctor will show you and how to use it, and your child will also learn to inject himself as he grows older. In addition to this injection, which you must have at hand at all times, your child's treatment plan may include antihistamine medications to relieve mild symptoms.
Tips and recommendations for parents
Make sure your child's or other child's caregivers are also properly trained for adrenaline.
Also, communicate at the kindergarten or school the medical problem of your child and make sure that there are avoided all foods in the family of crustaceans to which he is allergic and at the same time that those there have a emergency kit for critical situations that may occur.
Be very careful about the ingredients that some foods contain in commerce and the food in restaurants. Ethnic preparations such as Chinese, Vietnamese or Thai may contain crustaceans or various flavors, so it is best to avoid feeding your child with them.
As for processed foods from grocery stores and supermarkets, read the labels carefully and make sure that they do not contain crustaceans and have not been processed with the help of machineries that process crustaceans.
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