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Seafood Allergy IgE Blood Test

The seafood allergy IgE blood test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the blood to detect an allergy to seafood.


Test Code: 7919

Also Known As: Shellfish; Fish

Methodology: Immunoassay (IA)

Preparation: No special preparation required.

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

Description

Order a seafood allergy IgE blood test to detect an allergy to seafood. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in a blood sample. 

Shellfish is one of the main eight most popular food allergies. There are two groups of shellfish; crustaceans and mollusks. The crustaceans group tends to have more severe reactions. The majority of individuals who are allergic to one group of shellfish are allergic to the other group as well.

This panel tests for reactions to the following:

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

Individuals may be allergic to fish and shellfish to the point that it is necessary to avoid seafood markets, handling seafood, or being around cooking seafood.

Allergic individuals should avoid seafood-based ingredients, including:

  • Imitation fish or shellfish
  • Fish stock
  • Fish oil, including some omega-3 supplements
  • Seafood flavoring

There are foods where fish and shellfish are unexpected, including:

  • Caesar salad and dressing
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Salad dressing
  • Meat dishes, in particular, chef-prepared that might contain certain sauces with seafood-based ingredients
  • Surimi (fish pulp)
  • Worcestershire sauce and anything that is made with it, such as some barbeques sauces

An allergy to seafood triggers a reaction in an individual's immune system. The body views certain substances as toxic and produces IgE antibodies to these contaminants. These antibodies cause histamine to be released, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Allergy symptoms vary from one individual to the next ranging from mild to severe reactions, which can be experienced within minutes to hours after exposure. Common symptoms of a seafood allergy may include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tingling in the mouth
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, ears, fingers, or hands
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • Skin reactions including itching, hives, or eczema
  • Congestion, trouble breathing, or wheezing
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting

In the most severe cases, an extreme, life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can occur. An anaphylactic reaction needs medical attention immediately. Anaphylaxis signs include:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Swollen throat (or lump in the throat) that makes breathing difficult
  • Severe drop in blood pressure (shock)
  • Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness

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