marzo 26, 2021 3 min read

Do You Have Shellfish Allergy? Find out Shellfish Allergy Symptoms, Reactions and Alternatives


Shellfish Allergy is the # 1 cause of food allergies in American adult and therefore can affect 0.5 to 2.5 per cent of the general population. This shellfish allergy reaction can be life-threatening, and certainly, people need awareness about shellfish allergy symptoms.


What Is Shellfish?


Shellfish are edible aquatic animals with a shell or shell-like exoskeleton. There are various types like crustaceans, which means “having a crust or shell.” For example, some well-known crustaceans include crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp and prawns. Another group is Mollusca, the largest marine phylum. For instance, some of the edible mollusks are scallops, clams, mussels and oysters.


What Exactly Is a Shellfish Allergy?


The main allergen in shellfish is a protein called tropomyosin. Shellfish is a common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis. The allergy is most common in shrimps and least common in mussels. The increasing consumption of seafood because of the rise in international trade of seafood is causing adverse health problems.

 The Most Common Shellfish Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms arise when the immune system of the body produce antibiotics against allergens. Contaminants such as parasites, bacteria, viruses trigger non-immune reactions. Common shellfish allergy symptoms include:

  • Eczema as a result causing swelling of various body parts
  • congestion causing breathing issues
  • nausea and diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • dizziness

An over-release of chemicals puts a person into shock and is called an anaphylactic reaction. The symptoms of anaphylaxis are similar to that of shellfish allergy consequently causing cardiac arrest. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to shellfish are at a greater risk for anaphylaxis.


5 Shellfish Allergy Remedies

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics boost immune function and reduce the risk of developing food allergies. The presence of probiotic bacteria in the body protects against allergic diseases.

  1. Digestive Enzymes

The incomplete digestion of food proteins can cause food allergies. Digestive enzymes can help the digestive system to break down food particles and meanwhile reducing allergy.

  1. MSM

MSM is a sulfur-containing compound used for improving immune function. Moreover, they may be effective in reducing less severe shellfish allergy symptoms. 

  1. Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 (or pantothenic acid) is beneficial for people with allergies because it supports adrenal function and boosts immune function.

  1. L-glutamine 

L-glutamine helps to repair leaky gut and boost immune health and in addition, proves helpful to reduce food allergies. 

 6 Shellfish Alternatives

The best way to avoid shellfish allergy is to avoid eating it. A study in 2007 reviewed 530 food reactions. They found in it 35 per cent of fish-allergic patients. So, people with a shellfish allergy must choose safe food alternatives.

There are various nutritious alternatives for shellfish. Proteins and Iron are an integral part of shellfish food. They are present in many other food items. Some of them are:

  1. Grass-Fed Beef

        Grass-fed beef provides 10% of the daily requirement of iron and 60   grams of protein. Eating a palm-size beef steak provides enough nutrients to your body.


  1. Organic Chicken

  Organic chicken is a lean source of protein. It reduces the risk of obesity. It rebuilds cartilage too. 




  1. Beans

Beans are high in protein and iron. They certainly complement multiple food items.


  1. Lentils

They are a high-protein food. Lentils can serve as a great source of protein and other nutrients, such as manganese and zinc.



  1. Free-Range Eggs

Eggs are a prime source of protein, fats and other micronutrients. Multiple nutrients present in egg improve eye health. They also reduce the risk of heart disease.


  1. Chicken Liver

Chicken, beef or duck liver is known as a superfood; above all is a rich source of various vitamins and iron.



A person with severe shellfish allergy needs to consult their doctors. They should receive epinephrine in an emergency anaphylactic reaction. It is crucial because second anaphylactic reactions can occur within 12 hours after the initial allergic response.