Yes, people can be allergic to water inhabitants too! Fish allergy is typically a life-long ailment, i.e., rather than a cure, only a lifestyle change such as avoidance will be beneficial. But when you are pregnant and suffer from fish allergy, the problem may turn dangerous, as it may give rise to a severe allergic condition called anaphylaxis .
If anaphylaxis is not treated at nascent stage, it can be life threatening. To avoid such situations, we have given below some important information regarding fish allergy during pregnancy.
What Is Food Allergy?
Food allergy is a common phenomenon found in adults. The most familiar food, which causes allergy, are milk, eggs, tree nuts, wheat, soy, peanut, and fish.
- Every individual has certain levels of tolerance towards their allergic substance.
- Some people can eat a small portion of their allergic substance and are okay while some might be affected by touching them!
- However, you should not be concerned much if you have normal level of allergy; it is a matter of worry only when you are highly allergic to an item.
[ Read: Tuna During Pregnancy ]
How is Fish Allergy Caused?
If you are suffering from fish allergy, you are hypersensitive towards the chemical and biological components of fish; therefore, eating fish may cause negative reactions in your body.
Allergy towards any particular food (in this case, fish) is caused in the following ways:
- When you eat fish, your immune system might wrongly think of it as a harmful substance. It then orders your body to reject it.
- Thus your body will try to defend itself and start producing antibodies to fight against the harmful substance.
- These antibodies are called as immunoglobulin E or IgE. They are the weapons used by your body to defend itself any potential attack.
So by the second and third helping of fish, your symptoms become severe. It happens to the extent of you becoming comatose, because by then many antibodies would have been generated and wrecking havoc inside your body.
[ Read: Prawns During Pregnancy ]
Who Are Vulnerable To Develop Fish Allergy?
You are more likely to develop fish allergy due to any one of the following reasons
- If you have a family history of fish allergy.
- If you had any food allergy in the past there are more chances you may suffer again.
- If you are allergic towards any other food, you may develop allergy towards fish also.
- Lastly, if you are suffering from asthma there is more chances to get allergy towards fish.
Symptoms Of Fish Allergy:
If you are suffering from fish allergy you may suffer any one or more of the following symptoms:
- Symptoms on skin like eczema or hives
- Digestive problems like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- In rare cases respiratory problems like difficulty in breathing
- Allergy symptoms such as above can be elevated to a condition called anaphylaxis when exposed to fish proteins. It becomes a fatal case and you might suffer from
- Loss of consciousness
In case of anaphylaxis, the patient should be rushed to the nearest hospital and treated as soon as possible.
How To Treat Fish Allergy?
When you are pregnant you cannot consume any over the counter medicine available to overcome the allergy. It is very important for you to discuss this issue with your doctor beforehand, so that he can suggest only those medications which are not harmful to your baby.
1. Mild Allergy:
Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce your symptoms of itching and hives. He will make sure that the prescribed medicine does not harm your growing baby in any way.
2. Severe Allergy:
An injection of Epinephrine and immediate medical treatment by the doctor should be given.
Ways To Prevent Fish Allergy:
If you want to remain safe and allergy-free during your pregnancy, then the best way is to avoid consuming fish or any other food made in combination with it. Also, we encourage you to follow the rules prescribed below:
- Avoid restaurants which serve seafood; or at least, avoid the seafood section in the menu!
- Don’t cook or shop for fish; a touch can also be allergic (or become allergic in the future, even if you are not allergic to touching a fish now).
- Always read the ingredients label before consuming any food; this step is vital when you are buying groceries too.
- If you are not sure of the ingredients in a particular food, avoid it – don’t take any chance.
Fish does offer a lot of nutrients needed for you and your unborn child. Ask your doctor to prescribe you suitable substitutes to make up for the loss in your pregnancy diet.
Do not neglect if you notice any symptoms of fish allergy. Be proactive and get proper treatment from your doctor.
We hope you may find this helpful in dealing with fish allergy when you are pregnant. Do let us know if you are aware of other ways to treat fish allergy.
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