Small child

Fish allergy - how often does it occur in children?


Fish allergy is one type of food allergy. Occurs in 2% of people. How does it manifest itself most often and when does it occur? Is it possible to prevent it somehow and whether an elimination diet is necessary after finding fish allergies? Read!

Fish are important in the diet

Fish have many valuable nutrients. They provide high quality easily digestible protein, and ocean fish are also iodine source. Fatty fish (mackerel, herring, salmon) provide essential omega 3 fatty acids.

Unfortunately, fish are often allergic. Allergic reactions are triggered by a specific type of protein present in fish, known as - parvalbumin. Parvalbumin is thermally stable, it is not damaged under the influence of temperature, frying, grilling or baking. Therefore, allergy symptoms can cause bothfor raw and cooked fish.

Fish allergy or seafood allergy?

Fish allergy It is NOT synonymous with seafood allergy. In the latter case, they are allergic to crustaceans, e.g. mussels, shrimps and lobsters. Crustaceans do not cause an allergic reaction from a machine in people who are allergic to fish. This can happen if the person also has a known crustacean allergy. However, it is often the case that if you are allergic to fish, you can eat shellfish.

On all species or selected?

A child is usually allergic to certain species of fish, less often to all. Monoallergies, when only one species causes a reaction, are rare. However, due to frequent serious reactions, it is recommended to completely exclude fish from the baby's diet in most cases.

When does the reaction occur? Only after eating?

Sometimes allergic reactions occur after touching fish or inhaling the fumes generated during cooking. In the case of allergies, always after eating fish. In rare cases, a negative reaction is only caused fish gelatin, derived from skin and bones.

How is an allergic reaction manifested?

Allergy to fish can manifest itself in many ways. As a result of the release of histamine in the body of an allergic person may appear:

  • wheezing
  • breathing problems,
  • cough,
  • abdominal pain,
  • hoarseness,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • itching, swollen eyes
  • hives,
  • worsening or recurrence of AD,
  • edema,
  • dizziness,
  • loss of consciousness.

Allergy to fish can give mild symptoms that affect only one system. The reaction can be very advanced, even life-threatening anaphylactic shock can occur.

If a child is exposed to anaphylactic shock, make the environment aware of the risks involved. It is also crucial to have an adrenaline syringe that should be given if the fish is consumed and negative symptoms occur. The reaction should be quick, you should also call an ambulance. Antihistamines may work for less advanced symptoms.

According to the latest legal regulations, every producer must inform on the product packaging about the content of the most popular allergens, including fish. Fish can be present in sauces, some salads, preparations, as well as in dietary supplements.

Who is at risk for a fish allergy?

Fish allergies can develop at any stage of life. An allergic reaction often arises in older children who ate fish for years and were not accompanied by any negative symptoms. However, in 40% of cases, fish allergy does not become active until adulthood.

Unfortunately, once activated, fish allergies rarely pass. Other food allergies arise, but not fish allergies.

How is fish allergy diagnosed?

To confirm fish allergy, a blood test or skin test is performed. In some cases it is also carried out provocation test, to rule out any doubts.

It should also be remembered that some fish species - mackerel, tuna or herring - when stored improperly produce significant amounts of histamine that do not disappear after treatment. After ingestion they can cause symptoms of pseudo-allergy - nausea, vomiting or redness of the skin. Bacteria, viruses or fish venom can also be responsible for negative reactions. With this in mind, the child should undergo detailed diagnostics.