Fish allergy
July 01, 2022

Fish allergy

Fish allergy is one of the most common food allergies, and it can be very serious. If you have a fish allergy, it’s important to know which foods to avoid and what to do in case of reaction.

Can I be allergic to fish?

Yes, it's possible to be allergic to fish. Symptoms of a fish allergy can include itching, hives, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, a fish allergy can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. If you think you might be allergic to fish, see your doctor to get tested.

What are the symptoms of a fish allergy? 

The symptoms of a fish allergy can range from mild to severe. They usually start within minutes after eating fish or coming into contact with fish proteins. The most common symptoms include: 

-Hives or welts

-Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, or throat

-Wheezing or trouble breathing

-Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

-Cramps, abdominal pain, or bloating

-Anaphylaxis (in severe cases)

If you have a fish allergy, it’s important to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you in case of emergency. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes and can be life-threatening. 

What causes a fish allergy? 

A fish allergy is caused by an immune system reaction to proteins in fish. When you have a fish allergy, your body mistakenly believes that these proteins are harmful. This triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause allergic symptoms.

Fish allergies are different from seafood allergies. A seafood allergy is usually caused by an immune reaction to certain toxins in seafood, rather than to the seafood itself. These toxins can be found in both cooked and raw seafood.

How is a fish allergy diagnosed?

If you think you have a fish allergy, see your doctor. They will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They may also do a skin prick test or blood test to confirm the diagnosis. 

A skin prick test involves placing a drop of fish allergen on the skin and then pricking the skin. If you’re allergic to fish, you’ll develop hives or other signs of allergic reaction within minutes.

A blood test can measure your level of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to fish proteins. If you have a fish allergy, you’ll likely have high levels of IgE antibodies in your blood.

How is a fish allergy treated?

There is no cure for a fish allergy, so the only treatment is to avoid fish and seafood altogether. If you have a severe allergy, you may also need to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you in case of emergency.

If you accidentally eat fish or come into contact with fish proteins, you may have a mild reaction that can be treated with antihistamines. If you have a more severe reaction, you may need emergency treatment with epinephrine and other supportive measures. 

trout , salmon, and tuna allergy

If your tuna, salmon or trout allergy test came back positive, you need to avoid all fish and seafood. This can be difficult because fish and seafood are common ingredients in many foods. Read food labels carefully to make sure they don’t contain fish or seafood. Be aware that some restaurants may use fish-based sauces or oils in their cooking, so it’s important to ask about these before ordering.

If you have a severe fish allergy, you should also carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times. This is a device that injects a pre-measured dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) into your body in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Epinephrine can help to reduce the symptoms of anaphylaxis and should be used as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms.

What are the long-term outlook and complications of a fish allergy?

Most people with a fish allergy will have it for life. The only way to prevent allergic reactions is to avoid fish and seafood altogether.

In some cases, a fish allergy can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction. Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes after eating fish or coming into contact with fish proteins. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue, and dizziness or fainting. If you have a fish allergy, it’s important to carry an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times in case of emergency.

While a fish allergy is not curable, most people can manage their allergies by avoiding fish and seafood. With careful avoidance and management, most people with a fish allergy can lead normal, healthy lives.