In the United States, seafood allergies are the most reported allergies in adults. Even many children are allergic to seafood. Overall, sea food allergies affect around 3% of the population in the US. Among these, allergies from shellfish are the most common. Reactions caused by shellfish often need the immediate care of experts and require a visit to the allergy center.

Important information about seafood allergy

You can split the seafood allergies into two categories. The first is allergy from shellfish while the other is fish allergy.

The fish allergy category includes allergies from species such as tuna, cod, and salmon. On the other hand, shellfish include invertebrates that do not have bony spines. These include lobsters, clams, shrimps, mussels, oysters, crab, etc.

Often at times, individuals who are allergic to one type of fish are also allergic to other types of fish. However, as compared to mollusks, allergies from Crustaceans are more common in the shellfish category.

One of the many factors that affect the variation in food allergies is geographic location. For instance, in Asian countries, shellfish allergy is more common as compared with the US, where the consumption of shellfish is significantly lower.

What causes seafood allergies?

The primary cause of seafood allergies is parvalbumins. It is a type of protein that binds with calcium. There are many other allergens present in seafood that can cause seafood allergies. These include aldolases and enolases, two enzymes that are present in shellfish. Other than that, a muscle protein called myosin light chain, an enzyme called arginine kinase, and a protein called hemocyanin is also responsible.

Researchers are further studying other possible allergens present in seafood that can cause allergic reactions. However, currently, the above-mentioned are the most known allergens that you can find in seafood.

What are the symptoms of being allergic to seafood?

The main symptoms of having a seafood allergy include shortness of breath, a feeling of being tired, tightness in the throat, deep swelling of different parts of the body, respiratory problems, vocal cord swelling that can cause obstruction in the airway, severe allergic reaction involving a drop of blood pressure, and a lot more.

If you feel any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to reach out to a certified doctor right away.

Another possible reaction that can occur due to seafood allergy is contact dermatitis. This happens when a person has handled seafood recently and is allergic to one of the allergens present in it. It is a skin reaction that results in swelling, itchy flakes, and red skin at the point of contact.

Typically, it is a response to different allergic proteins present in the seafood that enter the pores of the skin on contact. Even if one shows no respiratory or GI symptoms from shellfish, the following allergic reactions can occur in between anywhere from minutes to hours.

Can inhalation of allergens cause allergic reactions?

Some people who are allergic to seafood often end up inhaling the allergens during the process of cooking. Inhalations can cause respiratory reactions that are like Asthma in intensity. Hence, they also require immediate care from professional and medical help.


It is not advised to try and treat symptoms of allergies on your own. In some cases, allergic reactions can be deadly and can cause serious harm. So, it is important to reach out for medical help immediately. Be on the lookout if you or your loved ones are allergic to seafood.

If you experience any symptoms, call an allergy specialist doctor Manassas right away and get help. An allergy doctor will check your symptoms and give you the emergency treatment accordingly.


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