Fish is one of the top sources of food allergies. A lot of people know about shellfish allergies, but fish with fins can cause allergies, too. Interestingly, shellfish and fish are not related, which means that an allergic reaction to one does not always follow an allergic reaction to the other.
Fish allergies are more common in adults than children. People don’t usually outgrow them—they tend to last a lifetime. Almost half of people with fish allergy begin to experience allergic reactions as adults. Halibut, salmon, and tuna are the most likely to cause reactions.
Allergic reactions to finned fish could be severe and life threatening. Fish allergy is difficult to predict, as even a small amount of fish can cause the same allergic reaction as eating the whole fish. People with an allergic reaction to finned fish must always keep an EpiPen with them. It is the first line of defense against anaphylaxis.
If you react to finned fish, you should choose your meals cautiously. You should use care in eating foods that you did not prepare yourself. When eating purchased foods, read the labels to rule out any ingredients that contain fish products. At restaurants, communicate well with the staff to ensure that there are no fish products in the food you are ordering.
If you are allergic to finned fish, you should avoid seafood restaurants because of the possibility of cross-contamination. Even non-fish menu items could be prepared with utensils that came in contact with fish. When you go to the market, avoid touching raw fish or standing in an area where fish is being cooked. Even the steam from the fish could contain proteins that will elicit allergic reactions.
Parvalbumin, the major protein in fish, is the cause of most of the allergic reactions to finned fish. The amount of parvalbumin varies depending on the species of the fish, which explains the difference in intensity of allergic reactions.
If you suspect that you have a fish allergy, consult a Phoenix food allergy expert who can administer an allergy test. With the help of a Phoenix food allergy doctor, you can come up with a treatment plan. They may prescribe sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for your fish allergy. SLIT can help you desensitize you to proteins found in a variety of allergy-causing foods.