Crab is known for its delicious and gentle taste and the meat of this crustacean is valued for its content of biologically active substances: protein, lecithin, many macro- and microelements (iodine, phosphorus, copper, iron, sulfur, zinc, potassium and calcium), vitamins (E, PP, B12, C).Usually, crab meat is used in boiled kind.
Moreover, a number of high-quality products can be produced from crabs: preserves, boiled-frozen crab extremities, dried meat. Crab meat is a dietary, low-calorie and precludes the excess of fat. It contains little fibrous connective tissue, so it is faster digested and more easily processed in the human digestive tract than poultry and animals meat.
But people should eat the crabs with caution as its meat may be contaminated by bacteria. A regular excessive consumption of infected crabs can cause severe toxic poisoning, and induce loss of hearing, sight, disorders of the nervous system.
What is more, this product is considered to be one of the strongest allergens among other food allergies. An allergy to crab is quite a common phenomenon in people living near the sea. The high sensitivity to crab flesh is frequently noted because it is full of protein.
Crab allergy is a classic IgE-mediated food illness. IgE is an immunoglobulin of E class, it serves an “allergenic” antibody during the contact with the body substances and causes sickness. Two major allergens that can induce the allergic responses of the human organism after the use of crabs are tropomyosin protein and enzyme arginine kinase.
They are characterized by high stability: they are stored at high temperatures, for example, after cooking.
Sometimes allergic reactions in kids and grown-ups can be provoked by various supplements: colorants, flavors, emulsifiers.
Crab Allergy Symptoms
The first reactions of the organism may appear 2-3 hours after the consumption of the seafood or even later, it depends on the individual peculiarities of the organism.
The main symptoms include disorders of the gastrointestinal tract:
- abdominal pain;
- vomiting and nausea;
- diarrhea, flatulence;
- difficulty in bowel movements.
Also, the manifestations can arise on the skin in the form of:
- very intense itching;
- redness and rash;
- urticaria – disease, the main signs of which are changeable blisters with a clear local form. A size of such blisters is 1-2 cm. The color of them is different and ranges from pale pink to bright red; they may occur in some parts of the skin or be spread all over the body.
If there are no dermatological symptoms, the allergy can be confused with food poisoning, especially at the first use of crabs for food.
Anaphylactic shock may appear in sensitized patients. This is a kind of immediate reaction, accompanied by difficulty in breathing due to the swelling of the larynx, a sharp decrease in blood pressure, changes in skin color.
If timely the person is not given the medical help, it can lead to fatal consequences. Another hazardous condition is angioedema, which is presented by local swelling of lips, cheeks, tongue, soft palate, tonsils. It may affect respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, nervous system.
It is worth mentioning that allergy to crabs may occur not only due to the ingestion of the product. The smell may increase the sensitivity.
Therefore, the allergy suffers need to stay away from places where crabs are cooked because substances with water vapors penetrate into the lungs where they induce an allergic response.
There is a special test in medicine that supports to identify the sickness. For this purpose, the allergen (solution) is injected under the skin of the forearm with the help of scarifier. Another method is a blood test, which is the safest and forceful method of the diagnostics of crab allergy. The test is aimed to determine the concentration of the allergen, which is inherent only in one product.
The proper curing is assigned by the allergist, who is able to make a diet in accordance with the medical tests. It is recommended to fully diminish the crabs and dishes containing them from the dietary intake.
In this connection, the patient should be particularly careful while buying ready meals, particularly if there is seafood in their composition. In restaurants with Japanese, Mediterranean and South-East Asia cuisine, it is needful to study the menu and warn the waiter about this problem.
If a person does not follow certain preventive measures, the acute immune response may arise. In this case, it is significant to take entero-sorbent, which can prevent the contact of some cells with an allergen.
The medication Enterosgel copes well with this task: it begins to absorb toxins and allergens, but it does not interfere the absorption of nutrient components.
Allergy symptoms can be removed with the help of antihistamines, which include diphenhydramine. They block the action of histamine and reduce allergic signs. Diphenhydramine is used when the urgent measures are needful to obviate serious allergic reactions.
Corticosteroids are typically administered intravenously to neutralize rapidly the action of mediators (histamine). This medicine reduces swelling and other symptoms of allergic reactions. Sometimes corticosteroids pills are advised to take a few days after starting the therapy.
Usually, these medications are assigned in less severe cases. Corticosteroid cream or ointment can be used to heal skin symptoms.
In dangerous forms of allergy, the doctors prescribe hormonal therapy; furthermore, the patient should always have Epinephrine, this drug helps to save a human life even before the ambulance arrives.
Traditional remedies are not as efficacious as medications but it can be used as prevention of the disease too.
The most popular recipe embraces mumie; it is diluted with water (at a concentration of 1 g of substance in 1 liter of water). This solution is consumed not more than 1 time per day from 50 ml to 100 ml, depending on age.
To sum up, allergy to crabs can be a very perilous reaction of the organism. Thus, it is so vital early to identify the allergen and completely eliminate it from the diet. The timely survey will help to avoid further problems in life.