We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Know if I Am Allergic to Shellfish?

By Jessica Reed
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A person allergic to shellfish may notice a range of symptoms after eating or being exposed to the shellfish or type of seafood she is allergic to. The severity of symptoms will depend on how bad the allergic reaction is. Typical symptoms include itching, breaking out in a rash or hives, a flushed or red face, and swelling of the face or tongue. Trouble breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, or a general feeling of being ill are also possible reactions. In some cases, the allergic reaction is life threatening and immediate hospitalization is required.

Seafood falls into three categories: fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. If a person is allergic to shellfish, that doesn't necessarily mean she is allergic to foods that fall into the fish or crustacean category. She should not experiment to find out, however. Instead, it's important for her to make an appointment with her regular doctor who can refer her on to an allergist. The allergist will use skin and blood tests to confirm a shellfish allergy and check for other related allergies.

Shellfish allergies can develop at any age. Those who have family members who are allergic to shellfish are more likely to develop the allergy. It also develops more often in adults than it does in children.

While there is currently no treatment for this food allergy certain precautions can help the afflicted person avoid an allergic reaction. Avoiding shellfish is key, but it's also important to avoid touching the shellfish or seafood that causes the reaction and to stay away from fumes where people are cooking shellfish or seafood. A doctor or allergist may give those with a severe allergy an adrenaline injection pen. If a severe allergic reaction occurs and the person has trouble breathing, she should inject the adrenaline and go to the emergency room.

Some people may believe that an allergy to shellfish means the person is also allergic to iodine. There is no direct connection between the two, however. While a person could certainly be allergic to both iodine and shellfish, being allergic to one does not mean that person will be allergic to the other. Iodine allergies are rare, but if a person is worried she can mention it to her doctor before receiving any treatment involving iodine.

An easy way for those allergic to shellfish to ensure a food does not contain any shellfish is to check the ingredient label. The packaging should have a list that says "May Contain" or "May Contain Traces Of" and list certain foods. If shellfish or another seafood that causes an allergic reaction is listed, avoid the food. When in doubt, the questionable food should not be eaten.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.