Shellfish and sushi consumption is high in the Asia-Pacific, Phoenix and growing all over the U.S. Unfortunately, reports of allergy responses from shellfish have also increased. Shellfish allergies are common in adults compared to children; and in male children compared to female ones. In addition, if your family has a history of shellfish allergies, your child may be more likely to be allergic too.
Some of the shellfish causing the allergic reactions are crustaceans and mollusks such as shrimp, crab, lobster, clam, oyster and mussel though prawns/ shrimp was most commonly implicated in shellfish allergies which are commonly found in sushi rolls and at many restaurants.
Tropomyosin is the allergen in shellfish causing this immune reaction among other proteins such as arginine kinase. Shellfish proteins can come in contact with your child through ingestion, inhalation – of fumes while cooking – or even skin contact.
Allergy reactions vary by age and even by region. Symptoms of shellfish allergy are hives, eczema, wheezing, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms. More severe anaphylactic reactions can cause breathing obstruction, dizziness and shock with high pulse and dropping blood-pressure which can be fatal.
It is important to differentiate allergy reaction from shellfish food poisoning. Toxins stored within the shellfish – domoic acid, brevetoxins, saxitoxins, azaspiracids, biotoxins and bacterial/viral toxins – can affect your nervous, gastrointestinal and other systems.
Allergic reactions are therefore verified using a variety of tests including skin prick testing.
Like most food allergies, avoidance of the allergy-causing food is suggested.
- You should take care to avoid all shellfish for your child; check with your doctor/dietician.
- Eating in restaurants where the oil or vessels/surfaces may have come in contact with shellfish can cause allergic reactions. You may decide to avoid restaurants where shellfish or fish are on the menu.
- Carrying and knowing how to use an epinephrine auto injector may be useful; teach your child this, once he or she is a bit older
- Doctors also suggest introducing shellfish earlier – to babies as young as 6 months – as this may actually reduce chances of allergies. Monitor your child after introducing the new food and if there are no adverse reactions; include the new food as part of his or her regular diet.
Egg allergy is caused due to our immune system reacting against the proteins in the egg – usually found in the white part. It is particularly seen in younger children starting from 6 months of age. Egg allergies can be either permanent or transient – in transient cases, children outgrow their egg allergy.
Some people have allergic reactions to egg upon skin contact but can ingest it because gastric digestion reduces the allergen of the egg proteins. Sometimes egg proteins can be resistant to the heat and digestive enzymes in the stomach causing an immune response.
For children with allergies, the reaction is usually within minutes to a couple of hours of ingestion of egg, with symptoms such as hives or swelling. Skin symptoms are most common, but other immediate reactions involving the gastrointestinal or respiratory tracts are also seen.
Severity of reaction
Egg allergy has been implicated as a trigger for atopic dermatitis. Children who have egg allergies with atopic dermatitis response are more likely to develop asthma.
The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person, from episode to episode. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening, and infants and children who are asthmatics are particularly at risk. Fatal incidents are few, but have occurred.
Allergic reactions are milder when ingesting cooked denatured egg, but stronger in case of eating raw or undercooked egg. Gastrointestinal inflammatory reactions are also present in some children showing up as allergic eosinophilic esophagitis.
Egg allergy can be verified by a variety of diagnostic methods. However, there is no permanent cure, so managing this involves:
- Avoiding eggs – this can prove difficult as egg whites, shells etc. are in so many products including medicines and vaccines. Being vigilant becomes important.
- For patients with a history of severe allergic reactions, having an epinephrine autoinjector at hand always.
- Some studies have suggested kids fed egg at 4-6 months of age were less likely to develop an egg allergy.
When it comes to the adult population, occupational asthma has been seen in populations which work in egg factories or bakeries where egg is used commonly in aerosol form.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reveal that over 5% of children of age five and younger suffer from food allergies.
If you suspect that your child suffers from a food related allergy, then visit an allergist without further delay. After all, you cannot ignore the health of your little one! And, the sooner you figure out the cause of your child’s allergy, the sooner your child will be able to get relief from their symptoms.
Here are a few food allergy tests every parent needs to know about.
Skin tests not only help to detect allergies caused by certain types of foods, but also to detect allergies caused by airborne particles, insect stings, and the like. After analyzing your child’s condition and symptoms at the first consultation, the allergist will choose the right allergy test accordingly, such as an intradermal skin test, scratch test, or patch test, etc.
In some circumstances, the skin test may be hard to administer for child food allergy testing. In such cases, the allergist can suggest a blood test to detect the food allergy. Some commonly used blood tests to diagnose food allergies include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA or EIA) and radioallergosorbent test (RAST).
Elimination Diet Tests
In the elimination diet test, foods that are suspected to trigger a reaction are eliminated from the patient’s diet. More often than not, such trigger foods are eggs, milk, soy, peanuts, and wheat.
Get in touch with the experienced team of allergists at Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates P.C. to diagnose the food allergy your child is suffering from. Our team will find the most suitable therapeutic interventions for your little one, including diet changes, allergy shots, and medication.
Allergy Testing Done by Allergy Physicians
Adults or parents who have babies or children who suffer
from allergies know the discomfort, anxiety and fear that such a condition brings. While most allergic attacks can be prevented and easily managed, thousands of Arizona still suffer from allergies on a regular basis. The presence of allergens in our desert environment, schools, workplace and foods, plus the lack of sufficient awareness about most allergies play a major role in the increasing number of allergic attacks. Our comprehensive in person allergy testing clinics can help!
Don’t let allergies take over your life or your children’s!
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We have 5 clinics valleywide (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Anthem, Avondale, and Glendale) which offer treatment plans for children and adults of all ages that are being affected by symptoms of allergy or asthma.With over 20 years of experience, you are sure to receive special medical attention from our top rated Phoenix allergists and asthma specialists who have deep understandings of allergies and asthma, and their underlying causes. Please contact us today at 602-242-4592 so that we can help you STOP the persistent allergic reactions and other immunologic problems!
One of our specialty is working with children. Sadly, our Phoenix area allergy doctors see respiratory illnesses quite often since they are very common for children, especially those who are younger than five! Believe it or not, most children develop between three and eight colds or other kinds of illness of the respiratory system each year!
As you might expect, this number is even higher among kids who go to daycare, as germs and viruses can migrate between kids pretty easily. Tobacco smoke has also been linked to respiratory illnesses as well.
Luckily, most of these illnesses are not serious and will go away on their own. There are some, however, that can have a lasting effect. If you suspect your child has asthma or pneumonia, you will need an evaluation and care plan from a specialized physician such as an allergist within the phoenix area.
You can use the items in this guide to show you which of the respiratory illnesses are caused by an infection as well as how many are non-respiratory conditions. This will let you know when exactly your child needs to go to the hospital.
How does the respiratory system work?
There are two parts to the respiratory system: the upper and the lower. As far as the upper goes, this will include the mouth, sinuses, nose, and throat. This is what is traditionally known as a head cold, and the conditions involved are:
- The Flu
- Common Cold
For the lower respiratory system, that is basically the lungs and bronchial tubes of a person. Children under five will tend to experience much more severe symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.
Some symptoms of this type of illness include rapid breathing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, especially if they’re under five, you should get them to a doctor immediately.
The common conditions here are:
- RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus
This one is probably the most pervasive on this list, as it can be caused by upwards of 200 different viruses which are all capable of traveling from one person to another fairly easily.
You might wonder why the common cold has yet to be eradicated, but we will tell you it’s because of the fact that there are so many different viruses that can cause it.
Many already have a good idea of what the symptoms are, but let’s lay them out just in case:
- Runny nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Sore Throat
- A low fever for the first couple of days
- Mild to moderate hacking cough
Officially known as influenza, this can be a very serious, dangerous condition for children under five to go through, and it would be best to get to an allergy and asthma clinic. This disease also affects the upper respiratory system, but it has several key differences from the common cold that set it apart.
- Body aches
- Fever with chills
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Stomach ache or vomiting
This is an illness that’s pretty much confined to only children. It’s an illness that inflames the windpipe, the voice box, and even the airways that lead to the lungs. The best way that you can tell if the sickness is croup is if the child suddenly has a strong, barking cough that comes on in nighttime. It mostly affects kids who are between the ages of three months and three years. The symptoms here are:
- Dry and barking cough
- A tight throat
- Noisy and labored breathing
- A high-pitched noise when the child inhales
Infections and allergies both affect the sinuses in the same way that the nasal passages are affected. This all causes some swelling and plenty of mucus. The more that this mucus accumulates, the more germs that will grow there. The infection that follows will be painful and cause the following symptoms:
- Nasal congestion or discharge, any color
- Headache or facial pain
- Coughing in the day and at night
- Low fever
The severe symptoms are:
- Nasal mucus that’s yellow or green
- A fever above 102°F
Now that we’ve seen some of the upper respiratory diseases, let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the lower respiratory illnesses.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
RSV does start as an upper respiratory virus, but it tends to move into the lower respiratory system and cause illness in infants as young kids. It’s so common, in fact, that it actually affects more than 90 percent of all kids before they turn two.
RSV usually manifests as nothing more potent than the common cold for many children. However, there are cases where the lower respiratory tract is affected and swollen. This causes there to be less room for air to pass through the lungs, which causes the poor kids to have difficult, wheezy breathing.
There are actually studies that have looked at the incidence of RSV. When kids experience a more serious form of RSV, they’re apparently more likely to develop asthma at some point in the future. Here are some of the symptoms:
- Upper respiratory symptoms of common cold
- Fast breathing
There are a variety of illnesses that young kids can be afflicted with. Both the upper respiratory system and the lower respiratory system can be plagued by some kind of infection that could manifest as the common cold or be disguised as something similar while being more potent than the other form.
It’s common and understandable to react to cold-like symptoms as being nothing more than a common cold in your child. However, there’s a definite possibility that the symptoms your child is experiencing could be the result of something more serious such as asthma or allergies!
It’s always best to rather be safe than sorry. Especially if your child is experiencing more severe symptoms, or has symptoms that are lasting abnormally long, it’s best to get in touch with an asthma specialist or allergist who cares about its patients and puts their best interest at heart.
Please call to reach out to us for an appointment if you would like to make your child healthy again! Our doctors have years of experience at handling these types of situations and specialize in pediatrics. We will help you and your child at our local Anthem Allergy & Asthma Clinic, or our Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale and Avondale clinics!