Allergen Profile Shellfish Blood Test
The Allergen Profile Shellfish Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to help detect an allergy to various common shellfish.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Allergen Profile Shellfish Blood Test to measure the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to various common shellfish. Seafood allergies affect about 1-3% of Americans, with shellfish being one of the eight most prevalent food allergies. Shellfish are categorized into two groups: crustaceans and mollusks. The crustaceans group usually triggers more severe allergic reactions. The crustaceans group consists of seafood like crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. While the mollusks group includes clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops. Individuals should note that most people allergic to one specific shellfish type may also be allergic to other types.
What other food products should I avoid if I am allergic to shellfish?
Individuals allergic to shellfish should not only avoid the specific shellfish that causes the reaction but also avoid seafood-based products, including:
- Imitation fish or shellfish
- Seafood stock (fish or shrimp)
- Fish oil, including some omega-3 supplements
- Seafood flavorings
- Caesar salad and dressings
- Salad dressing
- Certain meat dishes that contain seafood-based ingredients
- Surimi (minced fish paste)
- Worcestershire sauce and anything products contain it, such as some barbeques sauces
Additionally, individuals may be allergic to shellfish to the point that avoiding seafood markets, handling seafood, or being around cooking seafood is necessary.
What causes an allergic reaction to shellfish?
Once an individual with a shellfish allergy ingests or comes in direct skin contact with shellfish, it triggers a response in an individual's immune system. The immune system views certain substances as harmful and produces IgE antibodies to combat these invaders. Unfortunately, these antibodies cause the chemical histamine to be released, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
When should I order an Allergen Profile Shellfish Blood Test?
Individuals may order this Allergen Profile Shellfish Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms associated with a shellfish allergy. Allergy symptoms vary depending on the individual, ranging from mild to severe reactions. Most food allergy symptoms occur within two hours of ingestion; however, they frequently begin within minutes. In addition, the response can be delayed by four to six hours or even longer in some rare cases.
An allergic reaction may affect the skin, intestinal lining, and air pathways. Individuals with shellfish allergies may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
- Abdominal discomfort
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching or hives
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or wheezing
A severe, possibly life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis may occur in some cases. An anaphylactic response requires immediate medical attention. Signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis may include:
- Rapid or increased heart rate
- Swollen throat or lump making it difficult to breathe
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness
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