In severe cases, shellfish allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, a dangerous allergic reaction marked by a swollen throat (airway constriction), rapid pulse, shock, and dizziness or lightheadedness. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening.
When you have shellfish allergy, you may be at increased risk of anaphylaxis if:
- You have asthma
- You have allergic reactions to very small amounts of shellfish (extreme sensitivity)
- You have a history of food-induced anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis can be treated with an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline). If you are at risk of having a severe allergic reaction to shellfish, you always should carry injectable epinephrine (EpiPen, Auvi-Q, others).
July 12, 2014
- Sicherer SH. Seafood allergies: Fish and shellfish. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Anaphylaxis. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/anaphylaxis.aspx. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- Shellfish allergy is not a shell game. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/shellfish-allergy-can-be-dangerous.aspx. Accessed March 28, 2014.
- Lopata AL, et al. Shellfish allergy. Clinical & Experimental Allergy. 2010;40: 850.
- Wasserman S, et al. Food allergy. Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology. 2011;7(suppl):S7.
- Shellfish allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/food-allergies/types/Pages/shellfish-allergy.aspx. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Guidance for industry: Questions and answers regarding food allergens, including the Food Allergen and Labeling Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (Edition 4); final guidance. http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/allergens/ucm059116.htm. March 30, 2014.
- Food allergies. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=286. Accessed March 30, 2014.