Shellfish is one of the most common food allergens. Considering that shellfish allergies send more people to emergency rooms than any other food allergy, including peanut allergy, it’s also one of the most dangerous. (1) Shellfish refers to aquatic animals that have a shell or a shell-like exoskeleton. This includes crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, clams, oysters and mussels. So what causes a shellfish allergy? The major shellfish allergen is a muscle protein called tropomyosin, present in different species of shellfish. (2)
As one of the leading causes of food allergies in adults and a common cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, the onset of shellfish allergy symptoms occurs quickly and can be life-threatening. It’s important to be able to recognize shellfish food allergy symptoms right away so you can get the medical help you need. (3)
Shellfish Allergy Symptoms
- Itchy skin, hives and eczema
- Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, ears fingers or hands
- Trouble breathing, wheezing
- Tingling in the mouth
- Abdominal pain, stomach cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
Shellfish Allergy Natural Remedies
Eliminating shellfish from your diet is the first step to managing a shellfish allergy. There are several other supplements you can use as shellfish food allergy natural remedies to help strengthen your immune system and lessen the severity of adverse autoimmune reactions.
Probiotics help fill the gut with helpful bacteria that protect against allergies and other illnesses. For shellfish allergy treatment at home, take probiotic supplements or add probiotic foods to your diet, such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir.
2. Digestive Enzymes
Research suggests that the incomplete digestion of proteins in food may be linked to food allergies. Taking digestive enzymes with meals might help reduce shellfish allergy symptoms by promoting a full breakdown of food particles in the digestive system.
3. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in controlling nasal congestion, maintaining a healthy digestive tract and boosting the immune system. It may be a beneficial supplement for people suffering from shellfish allergies, because it supports adrenal function. (4) Foods that contain Vitamin B5 include sunflower seeds, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, corn and sun-dried tomatoes.
Methylsulfonymethane or MSM is an organic sulfer-containing compound that can help lower inflammation and improve immune system function. Supplementing with MSM may help reduce shellfish allergy symptoms by reliving gastrointestinal issues and skin conditions that are related to shellfish allergies. (5)
L-glutamine is an amino acid present in the bloodstream that helps to repair leaky gut. Research has shown that leaky gut can lead to many health issues, including allergies. L-glutamine supplements may help suppress shellfish allergy symptoms by inhibiting inflammation and oxidative stress. (6)
If one suffers from food allergies, there are many safe food allergy alternatives. It is important to read labels and be careful when eating out.