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Can I have allergic reactions by eating fish?

Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Allergic reactions to fish and shellfish are commonly reported in both adults and children. It is generally recommended that people who have had an allergic reaction to one species of fish, or positive skin tests to fish, avoid all fish. The same rule applies to shellfish. Allergic reactions to fish and shellfish can be mild, with just itching skin; moderate, with some difficulty breathing; or severe, causing anaphylaxis. Individuals who are extremely allergic to fish or shellfish should avoid fish and seafood restaurants because of the risk of contamination in the food preparation area of their "nonfish" meal from a counter, spatula, fryer, or grill exposed to fish. In addition, fish protein can become airborne during cooking and cause an allergic reaction. Some individuals have had reactions from simply walking through a fish market or restaurant where fish is cooked.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.