Have i developed a shellfish and mollusk intolerance?

bwaniebwanie Posting into the voidRegistered User regular
edited June 2019 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm 39 and up until 5 years ago i could eat shrimp, lobster, scallops, mussles and what not. Then i suffered some bouts of stomach cramps, varying between unfomfortable to downright excruciating. Before long i discovered that the one thing that these episodes had in common was the consumption of shellfish/mollusks beforehand. Usually in company where no-one else had issues.

I'm pretty sure it's not an alllergy, as i suffer no symptoms besides the cramps and feeling somewhat queesy.

I also do not get ill when the shellfish is part of a sauce or condiment like oystersauce or Nuoc cham.

Does this sound familiar to anyone and have you been able to mitigate this issue besides steering clear of consumption?

The reason i ask is because i'm going to Vietnam for a month and not being able to eat seafood is going to severly limit my dietary options.

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bwanie on

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You can develop allergies late in life. Cramping and nausea are mild allergic reactions. But the most common symptom is definitely cramping among all allergy sufferers. If it's not bothering you too much, keep a close eye on exactly what is causing it, because it can get more severe over time.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    allergies definitely can come and go. I have actually developed an allergy to hazelnuts

    if its only mild cramping it could be a risk reward issue. Alternatively you can always pop a benedryl or something before hand. the big issue is if it goes beyond cramping into less tolerable response or affects your breathing or even worse, anaphylaxis.

    mts on
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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    edited June 2019
    I've consumed an entire lobster and that resulted in 3 hours of abdominal agony, but i suffer no swellings or rashes anywhere.

    Painkillers are not very effective at relieving these cramps unfortunately.

    And i'm on loratedine for hayfever, i'll try benedryl but like i said it doesn't feel like a histamine reaction to begin with.

    bwanie on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah there's a few mediators that can cause reactions outside of histamine IIRC. I think stomach cramps come from something eosinophil related since it's inside the body and organs (chemokine maybe?). I think the recommended treatment for seafood related stomach cramps is drinking A LOT of water and keeping an epi stick on standby in case of anaphylaxis.

    But if it's severe enough that you're describing it as agony I'd recommend avoiding it. It definitely tracks with an allergic reaction (but also poisoning too). It could just be other people were less susceptible to the food poisoning (different gut flora). But if you're getting repeated bouts every time you eat shellfish, it sounds like you've developed a new allergy.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I'm 34 and had a similar situation with Lobster and Shrimp. Used to be able to eat it all the time. Around 28-29 it started making me feel sick and made my throat itch. That only grew with time and I stopped eating them altogether at 31 or so.

    Iruka
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    You can develop allergies late in life. Cramping and nausea are mild allergic reactions. But the most common symptom is definitely cramping among all allergy sufferers. If it's not bothering you too much, keep a close eye on exactly what is causing it, because it can get more severe over time.

    So much this.

    When I was five, I ate fish sticks and fried clams. By the time I was ten, fish gave me shortness of breath and coughing, and I'd wheeze really hard. But I could still deal with stuff like anchovies in Caesar salad as long as I moderated myself. I couldn't do anything regarding shellfish though; horrible nausea came just from smelling them. By the time I was fifteen I couldn't do Caesar salad anymore. By the time I was twenty, even stuff like small amounts of Worchestire sauce was a no-go.

    C'est la vie. I order vegan meals now whenever I'm even slightly concerned something might contain fish.

    Wash your hands like you've been cutting habaneros and need to put in your contacts.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    It's potentially not an allergy, btw. Shellfish, especially bottom feeders and mollusks, concentrate a lot of toxins. As men get older their kidneys get less efficient and dealing with them sometimes. Many men, myself included, get really sick from, say, raw oysters past a certain age because your body isn't as efficient at processing out all the bad stuff that filter feeder concentrated.

    What is this I don't even.
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    or because oysters are disgusting

    also benedryl is not just antihistamine, the steroid should block inflammation and immune suppress a touch which is what you want

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  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    Could freshness be a concern? Like i have issues with frozen and transported shrimp but i have eaten fresh shrimp in croatia this year and had no issues that time.

    Oh well, guess there's only one way to find out in Vietnam.

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  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    Have you tried approaching it from a troubleshooting / testing perspective?

    Get some clams from different sources (both vendor and area)
    cook with no additions

    See if it really is the meat or if there is another common factor.

    I had a huge issue (spent a lot of time with the bathroom almanac) with prawns one year and it turned out that the area they were coming from was the same each time. Never got any from the same inlet and zero issues from then on.

    bowen
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    My FIL developed a shellfish allergy around 30, rash and all. It started out really mild but ramped up pretty fast, as developing allergies tend to. Be careful for a while, maybe get checked out by an allergist. You need to be real careful with shellfish anyway.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    I am careful, thats why i'm pretty sure they're not spoiled. But not fresh out of the ocean either.

    Thanks for all the suggestions folks!

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  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    this happened to my friend who grew up eating crabs (from baltimore) and ceviche (peruvian)

    and now she can't eat shellfish and it's terrible

    good luck sir

    poo
  • bwaniebwanie Posting into the void Registered User regular
    Small update: Just got back from Vietnam where I ate a ton of fresh seafood without problems.

    Man it's so weird. I can eat fresh seafood, but the frozen and transported stuff does a number on me.

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  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    could be also how they freeze/process. i may be wrong but they often treat fish to kill parasites which could be what you are reacting to.

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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    Usually when people are allergic to a thing, they can eat it after it's been frozen or cooked, because those temperature changes alter the shape of the proteins in the thing. But you can become allergic to almost anything, so it could go the other way too, at least in theory? Maybe you're specifically allergic to the frozen version?

    I'm susceptible to allergies, it seems to run in my family, and throughout my adult life I've kept finding new ones (while at the same time most of my childhood/teenage allergies have disappeared). Right now I keep reacting to some foods, and so far I've only been able to narrow it down to "some ingredient that's often used in middle eastern and Indian food". These things are a mystery.

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  • koelekkoelek San FranciscoRegistered User new member
    This sounds very familiar to me. Even 10 years ago, I could eat shellfish and seafood, and then I started having symptoms like in your description. Thank you all for the comments, I feel a lot of support.

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