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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 2:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Quispamsis NB
Hi everyone. Been I while since I have been on. I really need your opinions. I am fully aware none of you are allergists but you do have your own allergists and opinions and I really need to hear what you all think about the following.

I am ana to shellfish/crustaceans. Over the yrs I have done all the research, followed guidlelines from Anaphylaxis Canada, CAAI, doctors etc. You know the ones - no epi-pen no food period - check all labels - avoidance - cross contamination etc.. There are set rules and guidelines we all must follow for ourselves or our children who have anaphylaxis. As far as I knew, all these were set up for a reason. Now I don't know what to think. I am very confused :?

After visiting the allergist here is what she is saying now:

GI reaction - is not a warning sign of an allergy (even though mine started that way)
Vomiting and dirrhea has nothing to do with allergy to that food

Gelatin - Dr. - the people who react to gelatin are people who are allergic to "gelatin" not the beef, pork or fish used to make it. Me - For heavens sake gelatin is made from beef, pork and fish!! :scratchy

DHA Omega 3 - Dr. - so refined it is not a problem Me - It has been proven it is a problem. Good grief!!

Iodine - has nothinig to do with shellfish/crustaceans. Not a worry

Hospital tests, shots etc - the chance of reaction is so sllim that any procedure can be done. Not to worry about any dyes, drinks, vaccines etc. But to still advise them of my allergy. Me - I do believe I have read articles about people reacting the some of these. Have you?

I found out I was ana to shellfish/crustacean after consuming a crustacean. After that ,I had prick test done and it showed allergic to all shellfish/crustaceans.

I have been pondering this for weeks and getting no where. My life would be so much simpler if I did not have to keep calling manufactures and worrying about everything I purchase. I don't know if this is more up-to-date information that the newer allergists have or what. I wish there was a middle ground.

Okay everyone, what do you think?

Adult on-set anaphylaxis - penicillin, shellfish, crustaceans

Last edited by susieQ on Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 10:05 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Montreal
I'm with you on that one..

I was told, close to 20 years ago, that I could die from eating shellfish. I had an ana reaction to an iodine injection. This reaction sent me to the allergist, who made me freak out. Over the years, I started again to eat certain shellfish (oysters) mainly because I had eaten them about 1 week before my ana reaction, and I couldn't believe it could develop so quickly. I was fine with the oysters, as long as I don't eat too many. They upset my stomach. Shrimps do the same, and lobsters.
When I got my kids, I had my second education on allergies. I stopped eating shellfish altogether! I couldn't risk it.
Fastfoward to 18 months ago. Allergist tells me there's no link between iodine and shellfish allergies. I may not be able to tolerate them from a gastric point of view, but it's not an allergic reaction (they don't make me vomit, they only give me gas and a bloated belly)

However, whether I am indeed allergic or not, I have eaten in many many restaurants, and never even mentionned my allergies! Except when I want a Caesar salard (anchovies do make me vomit, although I love them), and steak (worceshershire sauce contains anchovies).

11yo boy - peanuts nuts chickpeas
8yo daughter - peanuts, nuts, mustard, eggs, sunflowers (new! ), oral allergy syndrome
husband - pollen of all kinds
me - seafood,, oral allergy syndrome

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2007 11:17 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
It sounds to me like you might feel better if you had a second opinion. Is that possible to get? That is what I would do.

I am not dealing with a shellfish allergy myself (nor are my kids) but the research that I have done over the years has shown me that it's quite a serious allergy and that you do need to take it seriously. What you have heard is one person's opinion. I realize that it's a medical professional, but that one person should not necessarily trump all the research that you have done over the past few years, nor the advice that you have gotten from allergy associations, which are made up of people who are living with allergies and which are advised by medical specialists.

So, here are a few comments:

1. How common is seafood allergy? My understanding is that there are actually a lot of adults with shellfish allergy.

a. See , which says:

"Seafood (scaly fish, crustaceans and molluscs) is one of the most common causes of food allergy. In adolescents and adults, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish account for approximately 85% of true food allergies."

b. See ... mon-adults , which says:

"This study showed that seafood allergy often develops in adulthood, that most persons have multiple reactions, and that reactions often include severe symptoms," writes lead researcher Scott H. Sicherer, MD, with the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. [...]

Only 9% of allergic people in Sicherer's study had a prescription for epinephrine, which halts the reaction. Yet 16% reported having been given the medication to halt an allergic reaction to fish in the past. "This discrepancy highlights the need for improved awareness and education about seafood allergies," he writes.

c. See ... eafood.asp - this is an excellent article from the AAAAI. The doctor who wrote it has a seafood allergy.

2. Iodine: I have read that there is no link between iodine and shellfish allergy, and the link in item c above mentions iodine:

"All shellfish allergic patients should know that they can safely get Radiocontrast media…unless they are allergic to it. The myth that shellfish allergy means that you can not get “iodine” dyes has been handed down by generations. Another misconception is that shellfish allergic patients can not take glucosamine. Glucosamine is made from shells, not the protein that causes allergy to shellfish."

3. Gelatin: My understanding is that if you are allergic to beef, you should avoid beef gelatin. If you are allergic to pork, you should avoid pork gelatin. If you are allergic to fish, you should avoid fish gelatin. (Are there that many things made with fish gelatin? I know some kosher foods are, but apart from that?)

So, if it's a concern, I would confirm what kind of gelatin you are dealing with, and perhaps avoid it if you cannot be sure. But remember - fish and seafood are not the same thing, so unless there is seafood gelatin out there, should you not be okay?

4. Omega 3: At ... nt-fishoil , the Mayo Clinic says this:

"People with allergy or hypersensitivity to fish should avoid fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid products derived from fish. Skin rash has been reported rarely (205; 244). People with allergy or hypersensitivity to nuts should avoid alpha linolenic acid or omega-3 fatty acid products that are derived from the types of nuts to which they react."

Now - if you are not allergic to fish, should that be a worry? It's not healthy to avoid foods that you are not allergic to. Fish and shellfish are not the same thing. Could this be what your allergist was referring to?

But if you are allergic to fish, you should avoid fish oil. See ... &keywords= : it's a Q&A and the A contains this:

"I would not recommend that fish-allergic individuals consume fish oils because protein residues might be present in sufficient quantities to provoke reactions; I cannot prove that they are present at such levels but would not take the chance."

4. Gastro-intestinal symptoms:
a. The AAAAI link above has a quote about this:

"Adverse food reactions may be secondary to food allergy (hypersensitivity) or food intolerance. The clinical manifestations of food allergies depend on the target organ affected. Gastrointestinal, respiratory, and cutaneous symptoms are the most common of the clinical responses. [...]"

b. See also ... atsubid=15 :

Sign & Symptoms [of anaphylaxis]
- Gastrointestinal (stomach): nausea, pain/cramps, vomiting, diarrhea


I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know. As I mentioned, it's not good to avoid things that you don't need to avoid, but I do think that vigilance and caution are warranted if you have been diagnosed with a seafood allergy.

There are good doctors out there, but there are some who, quite frankly, do not give the best advice. I was told when my son first reacted (severely) to green beans that we should just avoid "anything that that grew on a stem". Guess what? I got a second opinion!


Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 7:17 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:31 pm
Posts: 29
I am in Texas. Maybe the water is different down here. But here's my experience.

I only have gastrointestinal reactions to crustaceans (I will qualify that in a sec). I am adult onset shellfish allergic (almost 2 years ago), and when I called peanut allergic son's allergist with my first reaction, he told me to take 75 mg of liquid benedryl. I could have stood to use the epi (and I carried my own for an ana chamomile allergy).

So he tested me. I am Class 3 for shrimp, Class 2 for lobster, and Class 2 for crab (my first reaction was to crab). I have had an anaphylactic reaction to crosscontamination where the tongs that were used to turn my otherwise safely cooked beef (clean pan) had touched shrimp. Take that to heart.

With that ana reaction, I also developed chest pains about 6 hours later (and this was after dosing myself with benedryl since the reaction started).

Now, I have started having this spaciness as my first symptom. I get it with sesame, too. But really, my main symptom is GI. There is such a thing as Gi anaphylaxis, and it's very serious. Another board that I visit has discussed this in great detail. There are several of us on it with various allergies (the board is peanut specific) that have GI reactions.

To top it, my symptoms show up either 20 minutes or 2 hours after ingestion. That makes things tricker. And they aren't always the same. I don't vomit. Sometimes it's hard to tell it apart from a sudden virus. Sometimes a minor reaction just involves gas.

But GI reactions are allergic reactions, and they are serious. Some of them are Ige mediated, and some are not, perhaps that's what your doctor is referring to. Mine are.

GI anaphylaxis can be deadly, because it's not often recognized as a reaction.

If your doctor doesn't get this, I'd get a different doctor.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2007 9:54 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
There is someone on this forum (or is it you, McCobbre?) who posted about a card that they carry with info that explains how serious their GI symptoms are and how they are not to be taken lightly. I believe they have used it in the ER even, since even there the person's symptoms weren't being taken seriously.

I was looking for it in the Resources forum but couldn't find it.

If someone can find that post and link to it, I'd be grateful.


Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma

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