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Living With Shrimp Allergies: 5 Tips That May Save Your Life

June 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 171

Eating shrimps can trigger a shrimp allergy. Sometimes other crustaceans such as crabs, prawns, and lobsters may also cause an allergic attack. However, a shrimp allergy may not be present at birth. It can be developed over time. The exact cause of this progression is still unclear. What is sure is that it can arise in people with a predisposition to develop this allergy. One of the major risk factor in its development is genetics. Having a parent with hypersensitivity to shrimp will increase your chances of having shrimp allergies as well. The probability increases to 70 percent if both parents have the allergy.

Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic reactions are the most serious allergic responses to shrimp. The symptoms in anaphylaxis may progress from mild to severe in a matter of seconds. This reaction should be looked out for and treated without delay. Unmanaged anaphylaxis can lead to anaphylactic shock, and even death.

Listed below are 5 essential and practical tips that may save your life during allergy attacks.

  • Carry your EpiPen with you. The number one medication prescribed for anaphylactic reaction is epinephrine. Injectable epinephrine is available as EpiPen and Twinject. EpiPen Jr. is also available for the use of children. When going out, make sure you have at least one injectable epinephrine pen with you. Should an anaphylaxis occur and you have used the pen, proceed to the nearest hospital. You may need further medical treatment. Also, give your used pen to your doctor. Inform him or her that you have already injected yourself with epinephrine.
  • Keep important medicines in a simple and easy to reach location. Injectable epinephrine, asthma medications and other drugs you use to manage your allergy may be kept in one place. Alternately, you can also store it in a first aid kit. Just make sure that you will remember where you put your medicines and it is easily identifiable. This way either you or a member of your household will know where to find it during emergencies.
  • Alert close friends and family of your allergy to shrimps. It is not only prudent, but also important to inform your friends and family of your allergy. This way, they may be able to help control and minimize your exposure to the allergen. Moreover, they may be able to help you should an anaphylactic attack occur. Many people want to know how to help. Guide them and talk to them about possible food cross reactions and cross contamination.
  • Wear a medic alert bracelet. A medic alert bracelet is a piece of jewelry which has your name and your allergy engraved on it. This enables anyone coming to your aid to know what you are allergic to. It is useful in instances where you are unable to talk or become unconscious. This bracelet will alert the medics as to a possible cause of your predicament. Precious time can be saved this way.
  • Call 911. Put 911 in your speed dial. If you suspect that you have accidentally eaten shrimp or other seafood, call 911 immediately. Especially if you already feel breathless or are wheezing. Quickly inform them of your address and the possibility of an anaphylactic attack. This should be done before your symptoms get any worse.

During an anaphylactic attack, time is your enemy. The longer you wait to treat the attack, the worse you will become. It is best to create a proactive plan and follow the tips listed above to avert any fatalities. Learn more about the symptoms and triggers of shrimp allergy. Read more articles such as this and be empowered. As they say "forewarned is forearmed."

Sheila is a professional writer. She is also a passionate advocate of giving free, educational, and insightful information on medical conditions. She has been providing advice and tips on the prevention and homeopathic treatment of health issues such as allergies. To read more of her work, please visit Shrimp Allergy

Source: EzineArticles
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