What is a seafood allergy?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

A seafood allergy is an overreaction by your immune system to seafood. Normally, your body's immune system attacks harmful agents within your body. In some cases, however, it mistakenly attacks common substances. This produces an allergic reaction. A seafood allergy may be to only fish such as bass or cod, to only shellfish such as crab or lobster, or to both.

Most people have mild reactions to seafood allergies, but some people can have severe reactions that are serious. Serious reactions cause anaphylaxis, where airways become blocked and breathing is impeded. It's possible to go into shock with this type of severe reaction, which requires an immediate epinephrine injection and a visit to the hospital.

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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.