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Crustacean and shellfish allergy: Type of food allergy

  1. One of the best known food allergies is a shellfish allergy. Patients react allergic to crab, mussels or squid, for example. In this lifelong condition, the immune system reacts extremely strongly to proteins present in these foods. The signs of allergic patients are very variable and include nausea, hives and cough. In severe cases, the symptoms are life-threatening (anaphylactic shock) and emergency treatment is required. Finally, patients with this type of allergy should avoid crustaceans and shellfish.

Sources of crustaceans and shellfish

  1. Crustaceans are shrimps, crab and (river) lobster. These most often cause allergic reactions

Risk factors of type of food allergy

  1. This type of food allergy usually develops


  1. The mild to severe signs of an allergy

Diagnosis and investigations

  1. The physician will thoroughly review a patient's clinical history and then perform a skin prick test. A measurement of the crustacean specific IgE level is also required through a blood test

Treatment of shellfish allergy

  1. Home treatments

Prognosis of allergic reaction

  1. A shellfish allergy usually persists throughout life.

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