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Shellfish Allergy Panel

As it’s unlikely to be allergic to one type of shellfish and not another, this Shellfish Allergy Panel assesses four types of shellfish to determine whether or not you are allergic

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Test Preparation:
Testing Method:
Blood draw

As it's unlikely to be allergic to one type of shellfish and not another, this Shellfish Allergy Panel assesses four types of shellfish to determine whether or not you are allergic. Shellfish allergies are extremely common among adults and lead to more emergency room visits than any other food allergy reaction. Shellfish allergies occur when the body recognizes shellfish as a toxin and triggers an immune response to attack. While symptoms can be mild (itching, vomiting, etc.), more severe reactions can lead to anaphylaxis and even death.

The Shellfish Allergy Panel is comprised of four tests for the following shellfish:

  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp

How Our Shellfish Allergy Panel Works

For our Shellfish Allergy Test, simply place your order online and stop by one of our 4,000+ nationwide testing facilities at your convenience (no appointment required). A member of the center’s staff will collect a small blood sample via the skin prick method, at which point your part of the process is done. Sample collection takes only a few minutes and most patients are in and out and about their day in under a half-hour. Your sample will be processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory, and in as little as 24-72 hours, you’ll have full results regarding your shellfish intolerance.

Common Shellfish Allergy Symptoms

An immune system overreaction causes all food allergies. A shellfish allergy causes your immune system to mistake a specific protein in shellfish as harmful, triggering the production of antibodies to the shellfish protein. Shellfish allergy symptoms can include any combination of these common food allergy symptoms:

  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Throat tightness
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting
  • Pale or blue skin coloring
  • Tingling or swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Anaphylaxis.1

How to Interpret Your Results

We strive to interpret your test allergy test results as straightforwardly as possible. Our Shellfish Allergy Test is an Immunoglobulin-E (IgE) blood test that measures your body’s sensitivity to foreign substances by testing for IgE antibodies.

You’ll find a ‘results,’ ‘flag’ and ‘reference range’ column when reviewing your results. The ‘reference range’ denotes the threshold for an allergic reaction. The ‘result’ is the numerical value describing your sensitivity to the allergen. The outcome of your shellfish test can be found under the ‘flag’ column and reported as either normal/non-reactive or abnormal/reactive. For example, a reactive or abnormal test flag will indicate an allergic reaction to crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, or lobster.

While some people may have antibodies that only react to one specific type of meat, it is possible to have antibodies that react to multiple allergens.

For more detailed information, visit our Sample Test Results page to learn more about interpreting your results.

What About Fish?

While fish allergies can present similar symptoms to a shellfish allergy, these sensitivities require two separate tests. A person who has a sensitivity to shellfish, with not necessarily also allergic to fish. For this reason, we offer a comprehensive Fish Allergy Panel for those looking for additional testing options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Ranging from mild to severe, an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system “defends” your body from a substance that wouldn’t otherwise pose a threat. Allergic reactions can occur from consuming, inhaling, or touching an allergen.

  • According to a study conducted in 2020, approximately 2% of the population have a seafood allergy (meaning they are allergic to fish, shellfish or both).2

  • This test is suitable for anyone over 18 looking for a more precise measure of potential aversions or allergies to shellfish. If you’ve recently experienced an adverse reaction to shellfish or want to know for sure if a childhood allergy persists, this test may be your solution.

  • We aim to deliver complete, comprehensive results promptly. If you have questions about your results, our care counselors are standing by, ready and willing to assist. We can even put you in touch with a physician should you require additional assistance and/or prescription medication.

  1. “Shellfish.” American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. February 13, 2019. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/food/shellfish/.

  2. “Allergies: Shellfish.” Cleveland Clinic. July 30, 2020. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/11319-allergies-shellfish.