Shrimp allergy is considered as a genetic immune disorder. If the individual has a family history of food or environmental allergies, he/she is more susceptible to develop shrimp allergy. Based on recent studies, it was discovered that repeated exposure to shrimp can also trigger an allergy in individuals who are predisposed.
What are food allergies?
Food allergies are triggered by the overreaction of the immune system. Once an individual who has a particular food allergy is exposed to the allergen, the immune system mistakenly assumes that it is a threat. Histamines are produced in order to protect the body and instead of attacking the allergen, the body is under attack.
Seafood allergies are categorized into several groups – Anthropod, Mollusca and Chordate. Shrimps are included in the Anthropod group along with lobsters, crabs and other shellfish. Individuals who have shrimp allergy can also be allergic to other creatures included in the Anthropod group. With this in mind, it is important that the individual will consult a doctor to conclude if these foods must also be avoided. Take note that an individual could never outgrow an allergy to shellfish.
An individual can undergo testing in order to determine if he/she is actually allergic to shrimp. This is done by a healthcare professional by performing a skin prick test or blood test. These tests will determine if the individual is allergic to shrimp or suffering from another condition.
What are the symptoms of shrimp allergy?
Once the individual consumes or gets in contact physically with shrimp, the symptoms that will manifest include hives, redness, difficulty breathing, swelling of the lips, drop in the blood pressure, diarrhea and vomiting. You can provide antihistamine and an epinephrine shot in order to counter the symptoms and call for emergency assistance so that emergency care can be provided.
Causes of shrimp allergy
Food allergies are usually caused by a genetic trait that affects the immune system. It simply means that if an individual who has food allergies tend to have a family history of the allergy. It is vital to note that this history does not necessarily include food allergy. Always remember that the genetic trait can be passed on by the parents with environment allergies or allergies to other foods.
Allergy to shrimp can also be triggered by repeated exposure. In parts of the globe where individuals eat a substantial amount of seafood, allergy to shellfish is quite common. Additionally, based on recent studies, it was discovered that repeated holding of shellfish such as in certain work settings can increase the risk for the allergy.
Even today, there is no cure for shrimp allergy as well as other food allergies. Nevertheless, an allergic reaction can be avoided by eliminating shrimp from the diet entirely as well as minimizing eating outside especially in restaurants that serve shrimp dishes.