When I was around nine years old, I ate shrimp (something I had eaten before) and my throat felt funny. I was not feeling the best and my mom immediately gave me a Benadryl and told me not to eat shellfish again. And so I didn’t for almost 20 years. Finally, I made the call to my allergist and got tested. I didn’t have any allergy! So I ran to the best fresh fish Marietta restaurant and ate to my heart’s content.
If you have had a reaction or felt “funny” when eating something, I suggest having an allergist test you. It is simple and easy!
1. Go in for a scratch and blood test
This is the not-so-fun part. When your allergist schedules a scratch and/or blood test you will have to go in and they will put little pricks of what you may be allergic to on your skin. My arms were filled with seasonal allergies like dust, grass, trees, etc. They lit up like a Christmas tree. It is itchy and can get sore. The back was filled with food allergens. I did not have any reactions on my back.
That meant I could run out and eat shellfish right?! Not yet. I had to get blood test done to ensure it was not a false negative. A few days later, my blood test came back negative. Then it was time for a challenge.
2. Challenge yourself
I had to go in the morning and for four hours they handed me small amounts of shrimp, since that was the food I had reacted to, and they took my vitals and observed me. If you go for a challenge be prepared to wait for hours in observation.
3. Enjoy or not
Once the challenge is done, and you haven’t reacted, you are free to go! They do have you stay away from shellfish another 24 hours to be safe. After that EAT UP!