Oysters are a type of shellfish that can be eaten either cooked or raw. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 6.9 million people in the United States are allergic to seafood, such as oysters, shrimp or lobster. Depending on the severity of your oyster allergy, you may experience a number of allergic symptoms after consuming an oyster.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), individuals who are allergic to oysters may experience a number of gastrointestinal symptoms after consuming food products that contain oysters. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea are commonly experienced by allergic individuals who eat oysters. Certain people may also experience cramps in the stomach or abdomen, depending upon the severity of the oyster allergy. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming oysters, consider contacting your primary care physician for additional medical guidance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notes that individuals who are allergic to oysters may develop skin symptoms following ingestion or handling of oyster-containing foods. Symptoms may include the development of a red, itchy rash on areas of the body that have come in contact with the oyster. Certain individuals may develop hives or itchy, swollen patches of skin around the mouth. Portions of your body, such as your hands, lips or face may appear bloated or swollen after you consume a food that contains oysters. If you experience any of these skin-related symptoms following consumption of oyster-containing foods, contact your medical care provider for further evaluation.
The Better Heath Channel says that individuals who are allergic to oysters may develop a number of respiratory symptoms after consuming oysters. Certain allergic individuals may begin to cough or wheeze after ingesting oysters. Additional breathing difficulties such as shortness of breath or asthma may also be triggered for these individuals after handling or eating oyster-containing products. A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis may also occur, depending upon the severity of the allergy. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition that can develop within seconds following exposure to an allergen. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue or throat, wheezing or loss of consciousness. If you experience any anaphylaxis-related symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately.
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The FDA notes that individuals with an oyster allergy may experience a number of additional symptoms throughout the body following consumption of oyster products. Certain people may develop a congested or itchy nose or may begin to sneeze. Eye irritation, including watery or itchy eyes, may occur in certain allergic individuals. Depending on the severity of the oyster allergy, some people may experience dizziness or lightheadedness, which may lead to loss of consciousness. If you experience any of these symptoms following ingestion of oysters, seek medical care as soon as possible for further evaluation.
Rae Uddin has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2004. She specializes in scientific journalism and medical and technical writing. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Uddin earned her Master of Science in integrated biomedical sciences with an emphasis in molecular and cellular biochemistry from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.