August 18, 2017

Symptoms and Treatment of Fish Allergy

Seafood is an important food of the American diet, representing a healthy source of protein. But fish also can cause illness through allergic and non-allergic reactions. In the USA, allergic reactions to fish occur in 1 in 250 adults and 1 in 1,000 children.

Allergy to fish often develops in childhood, but it also happens that, for the first time, the disease appears in an adult when first eating a previously unknown fish meal.

Fish and Seafood Allergy Causes

Allergy to fish is provoked by a special protein – parvalbumin, its introduction into the body leads to the development of a specific immune response. Gelatin is another important allergen that is shared among species of fish.

The allergy can be caused not only due to the fish meat itself but also due to its roe and even scale and mucus, this is why, even in the case of the external contact with river and marine products, symptoms of the disease begin to manifest.

The allergenic protein does not break down under any kind of treatment, so it does not matter in what form the fish is consumed – dried, cooked, fried or smoked. In any case, with intolerance to a particular kind of fish product, the disease inevitably develops. Quite often the signs of reaction appear when the protein is inhaled during cooking.

Fish Allergy Symptoms

Allergies to fish can manifest themselves as respiratory and skin signs. In response to the introduction of an allergen, conjunctivitis can be triggered  and overall well-being worsens.

The most typical signs of an allergic reaction to fish products include:

  • The appearance of blisters on the abdomen, back, neck, hips, upper half of the chest;
  • Facial, eye swelling;
  • Severe itching of the skin;
  • Burning tongue, burning mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. The burning sensation can appear at once as soon as a piece of fish has got into a mouth;
  • Deterioration of digestion – nausea, vomiting, loose, loose stools;
  • Increased temperature, headache.
  • As well, fish can cause anaphylactic shock, accompanied by rapid heart rate, severe weakness, falling blood pressure, pale skin, fainting. In this condition, a person urgently needs medical care and use of special medicines for allergies.

The fish allergy remains almost for life, and therefore a person who has suffered from the fish allergic reaction or fish intolerance should always pay attention to the choice of products in shops, restaurants, and cafes.

A Little Statistics

The greatest number of allergies is registered for red fish varieties, herring, for crawfish, crabs, mollusks, and lobsters. Among the river fish, the catfish and eel, some cancers are the most allergenic ones.

Most people have an intolerance of one or two varieties of fish, while others use them without visible signs of intolerance. This is because some fish species contain only fragments of muscle protein that do not cause a specific immune response.

Fish Allergy Treatment

The fish allergy diagnosis can be performed when a person has experienced allergic symptoms after eating fish and the diagnosis is confirmed if a person has as a positive allergy test to fish (skin test and blood test). A skin test is the best method to confirm the diagnosis, although blood test has the advantage of measuring the amount of allergic antibody against fish. Detecting the allergen will help you in the compilation of a daily diet and therefore prevent the development of a severe allergic reaction to fish.

  • Allergy to fish does not develop if you completely eliminate fish from the diet.
  • It should be remembered that you need not only to exclude the product itself from the diet, but also to avoid eating the following dishes:
  • Oil from fish;
  • Caviar;
  • Surimi;
  • Sushi;
  • Seafood – shrimp and anchovies;
  • Fish cutlets, soups, sauces.
  • You need to pay attention to the process of cooking. Often the oil used for frying fish is used to prepare other foods, which also leads to an allergic reaction.
  • You need to be interested in what oil or sauce was used for second courses or salads. Fish flavors are often one of the components of dressings.
  • When buying products in stores, you need to carefully read their composition.

If you see that the food contains:

  • Disodium inosine;
  • Agar;
  • Agaricic acid;
  • Alginate or fish flavor.

Then you should know that this product is not for you.

  • If you suspect a development of fish allergy, you should stop eating immediately, rinse your mouth.
  • It is advisable to take an antihistamine drug and gastrointestinal adsorbent, which will help to quickly neutralize the toxins that have got into the body.

With a balanced diet, allergy manifestations are less common, as do small physical exertions, yoga, and autogenic training.

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