How do I manage my seafood allergy on a daily basis?

Deborah Davis, DNP
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

If you experience a mild allergic reaction to shellfish, medications such as antihistamines may reduce signs and symptoms, such as rash and itchiness. Antihistamines can be taken after exposure to shellfish to control your reaction and help relieve discomfort. If you have a severe allergic reaction to shellfish (anaphylaxis), you'll likely need an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline). If you're at risk of having a severe reaction, carry injectable epinephrine (such as an EpiPen) with you at all times.

The best way to manage your seafood allergy on a daily basis is to avoid seafood. The biggest concern is cross-contamination—you don't eat seafood, but you handle or ingest something that has come in contact with seafood. Watch out for cross-contamination when eating out, and be sure to inform your server that your food must be prepared without exposure to seafood. You should also be sure to read food labels to be sure your product did not come into contact with seafood during manufacturing.

Have treatment medication on hand, such as antihistamines. It is crucial for you to have an injection of epinephrine, and be familiar with how, when and where to use it.

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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.