Food Allergy?

I recieved a gift card to Red Lobster for Christmas (I’m a bachelor, people think this type of thing is a great gift.) Today I decided to use it. I had shrimp a lobster. While at the restaurant I started choking up and my nose started to run. My face became itchy and I even got a visible hive on my face.

By the time I got home, all the symptoms had vanished, the hive had lost most of its swelling and the itching had stopped.

Is it likely to be an allergic reaction to shellfish? Since the symptoms ended so quickly and on their own, I am thinking it more likely to be environment related. Gee, I hope I don’t have to give up shellfish, I do enjoy it.

It doesn’t sound like a food allergy to me, since, as you say, the symptoms subsided fairly quickly. What it might be, I haven’t a clue, however. No doubt, one of our more medically-inclined members will be along to offer possibilities shortly.

Well, it sure sounds like a true allergic reaction to me. Very common with shellfish. I had a patient who ate shrimp, felt the way you did, came into my office, collapsed, and died.

I, of course, felt obliged to restart his heart pdq, with a shot of adrenaline. He recovered fully.

But this does not sound like a trivial matter for you. Avoid seafood, especially shellfish, until you can consult your doc.


Probably not, if the symptoms only lasted a short time and if you haven’t had any problems with shellfish in the past. It might be a good idea to be tested by an allergist just to be sure. YMMV

Sorry, guys. I must strongly disagree. I think it’s best to assume a shellfish allergy (which is to a protein, NOT iodine) until it can be proven otherwise. It’s not at all unusual to have no reaction for years, then develop it as an adult. Nor is it unusual to have a transient reaction such as the OP spoke of.

Choking, itch, rhinorrhea, and hives = anaphyllaxis in my book, unless and until proven otherwise, especially after a meal containing a common allergen.

Next time, it may not be so transient. Shrimp man, who died in my office in front of me (albeit temporarily) had had similar reactions to shrimp in the past as our OP describes, so he decided it was worth the symptoms to enjoy the shrimp.

You and your obsessive complusion to detail. :rolleyes: :smiley:

Just because you didn’t die doesn’t mean you didn’t have an allergic reaction to shellfish! Having your airway close up, even for a short while, is not a normal thing to happen when one is dining .! Perhaps your allergic reaction was caused by something else in the enviornment—a perfume, a dye, but I wouldn’t rule out shellfish as the catalyst until you’ve had some tests run.

Please get tested by a medical doctor. This could be LIFE THREATENING. Sorry about the caps, but you need to know that the next episode could very well cause you to go into a very severe allergic reaction.

The symptoms can come on very fast, and not last for all that long, but if your airway is completely shut off, it doesn’t take long to be fatal.

Sorry, but you need to know.

Khadaji - As I mentioned above, it would be a good idea to see an allergist for some tests. You may want to find out how the restaurant prepared the fish before you are tested, since this could very well be a reaction to something like peanut oil (or other ground nuts) or a specific spice (mustard seed is a big one), or as Cyn mentioned, perfume, dye, smoke, etc. You might be developing an allergy to shellfish, but it could also be something else.

Wow, talk about a non-compliant patient! :eek: My wife, who is an RN with my allergist, sees things like this (and worse) every week. It constantly amazes me how people feel they suddenly are “cured” and no longer need to continue their meds (asthma especially) or continue avoidance of a particular allergen.

Upon reading your OP, I thought your symptoms were so clearly that of a food allergy.

I have a shellfish allergy, and your symptoms were similar to mine. I’d listen to Qadgop if I were you: stop eating shellfish and see a doctor.

The first time I had Lobster at around 10 years old, I took one bite and felt it in my throat almost immediately. I went to the fridge and drank a big glass of juice and ate a hard boiled egg, and felt much better soon afterwards.

It was quite mild, but I then got allergy tested- yup, allergic to shellfish.

My allergist also told me that many people have a mild reaction the first time, while the second one is much more serious. I wouldn’t take any chances.

As a parent of a 3.5 year old who had a milk allergy (and has thankfully outgrown it) I would also suggest that you ask your doc about an Epinephrine auto-injector (such as the Epi-Pen) if you indeed do have an allergy to a food. You keep it with you, especially when eating out, all the time.

This shot may keep you breathing long enough to get to an ER where your life could be saved.