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Seafood Allergy IgE Blood Test

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The Seafood Allergy Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to various common seafood.

Sample Report

Test Code: 7919

CPT Code: 86003

Also Known As: Shellfish; Fish

Methodology:

Immunoassay (IA)

Preparation:

No special preparation is required.

Test Results:

3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

Description

This Seafood Allergy Blood Test includes:

  • Codfish
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tuna

 

What is the purpose of this test?

Order this Seafood Allergy Blood Test measures the IgE antibody levels in the blood to detect an allergy to various common seafood. 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. Therefore, most individuals allergic to one kind of shellfish are also allergic to the other type.

 

What other food products should I avoid if I have a seafood allergy?

Individuals allergic to seafood should not only avoid the specific seafood 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
  • Bouillabaisse
  • 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 fish and shellfish to the point that avoiding seafood markets, handling seafood, or being around cooking seafood is necessary. 

 

What causes an allergic reaction to seafood?

Once an individual with a seafood allergy ingests or comes in direct skin contact with seafood, 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 associated with an allergic reaction.

 

When should I order a Seafood Allergy Blood Test?

Individuals may order this Seafood Allergy IgE Blood Test if they have experienced symptoms related to a seafood allergy. Allergy symptoms vary depending on the individual, ranging from mild to severe reactions. Most food-related 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 seafood allergies may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tingling sensation near or around the mouth
  • Swelling
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itching or hives
  • Congestion
  • Difficulty breathing, swallowing or wheezing
  • Lightheadedness

 

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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