A food allergy is a reaction of the body’s immune system to an ingredient of a food or a dish. Shellfish allergies usually develop in later childhood or adulthood. Shellfish is in fact a common allergen for adults. Food allergy reactions range from mild symptoms of rash, itch, swelling of eyes, lips, tongue, face, abdominal pain and diarrhoea to severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of consciousness and even death. Symptoms usually happen within minutes to an hour after taking the “offending food”. Medical attention is necessary.
Most people suffer from food intolerance rather than a food allergy. This is a digestive system – rather than immune system – response. The presentation can be similar to an allergy but is more delayed. Symptoms include eczema, migraine, fatigue, bloatedness and weight gain. Speak to a doctor to confirm your food allergy or food intolerance.