Seafood Allergies & Joint Pain

food boiled crayfish
A seafood allergy can cause joint pain. (Image: shakim888/iStock/Getty Images)

Swelling and inflammation are common symptoms of seafood allergies, according to MayoClinc.com. Although most swelling occurs in the skin, the sinuses and the lungs, if you have any joint conditions -- such as arthritis -- you may develop joint pain. Seafood allergies are an exaggerated immune system reaction to proteins found in various types of fish. If you’re allergic to one type of seafood, you may be allergic to other kinds of fish. Consult your doctor for a diagnosis.

Seafood Allergies

Most seafood allergies are considered a lifelong condition with no cure. The cause of the allergic reaction is protein found in the flesh of the fish or other seafood. You may also be allergic to some proteins in the skin or bones of seafood, commonly used to make gelatin. Some people may experience an allergic reaction while taking fish oil supplement, although most fish oil supplements don’t contain fish proteins, according to the Food Allergy Initiative. If you’re allergic to one type of seafood, you're 50 percent more likely to be allergic to another kind.

Joint Pain

Joint pain is not considered a common symptom of a seafood allergy, according to MayoClinic.com, but it may develop specifically in people with joint conditions. The Center for Food Allergies says that any immune system reaction that causes the release of histamine can lead to joint pain. Histamine is a natural chemical in the body that protects it from disease and infection, but during an allergic reaction it can cause swelling and inflammation in soft tissue. If histamine is released in the soft tissue in your joints, you may experience pain from excessive pressure and inflammation.

Avoidance

The most effective way to treat a seafood allergy that causes joint pain is to identify which seafood causes an allergic reaction in your body and avoid it. Common seafood that causes an allergic reaction includes, but is not limited to mahi mahi, perch, pike, bass, anchovies, cod, flounder, swordfish, tuna, salmon, tuna, cod and catfish, according to the Food Allergy Initiative. Common shellfish that cause a seafood allergy include crab, lobster, shrimp and clams. Read the labels of all pre-packaged foods to ensure the product does not contain fish proteins.

Treatment

If you ingest seafood by accident, you can treat mild allergic reaction symptoms with an antihistamine. You can treat joint pain with pain relievers to reduce the swelling and pain. If you have a known seafood allergy, ask your doctor for a prescription of epinephrine in case of an emergency. An injection of this medication is the most effective way to prevent complications and treat anaphylactic shock, a severe allergic reaction, according to MayoClinc.com.

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