Whitefish basically refers to flat or round-shaped fishes that are white in color with fins that live close or on the bottom of lakes or the sea. The popular types of whitefish include haddock, cod, halibut, hake, bass, cat fish, flounder, perch, whiting and Pollock. It is important to note that whitefish are considered the most common type of fish that can trigger an allergic reaction among individuals. It is important to seek emergency care if the individual develops breathing difficulty since it can become a life-threatening condition.
Immune response to whitefish
Based on studies conducted, certain fishes such as tilapia, cod, Pollock, haddock and catfish are the common varieties that can trigger an allergic reaction. Take note that an allergic reaction to whitefish typically occurs due to the presence of immunoglobulin E. The immune system perceives paravulbumin which is a muscle protein present in all species of fish as a threat to the body. As a result, the immune system will start to produce IgE antibodies that will target and eliminate these proteins. They will also recruit and bind to pro-inflammatory immune cells, particularly the mast cells and trigger the release of histamine and other immune mediators. It would result to the signs and symptoms observed during an allergic reaction.
What are the symptoms of whitefish allergy?
The symptoms of whitefish allergy typically manifest within a few minutes up to an hour after contact with the allergen. There is swelling, itchiness and redness of the lips, mouth, face and throat. These are the initial symptoms observed and eventually followed by the swelling and redness of the skin as well as the appearance of hives. Once the histamine is released in the gastrointestinal tract, it results to nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. The swelling of the throat and the airways can lead to bronchospasms, wheezing, and high resistance to airflow, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
In severe cases, an individual with whitefish allergy can go into anaphylactic shock. The symptoms include severe nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, low blood pressure, heart palpitation and loss of consciousness. It is important to seek medical care right away if the symptoms of anaphylaxis are starting to manifest.
How to treat whitefish allergy
The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid whitefish and fish-based products. The individual should carefully read the labels and ingredients in order to ensure that it does not include whitefish.
The individual must also avoid eating in seafood and Asian restaurants since cross-contamination can likely occur. Other foods to avoid include Caesar salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce, gumbo, caponata, sushi, paella, oyster sauce, fish sauce and frito miso since they usually contain hidden allergens.
Important facts about whitefish
Whitefish are considered as the leanest type of fish and they only have oil in their liver which makes them completely free from fat. Take note that whitefish also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that can promote heart health and minimize the risk for cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Even though the health benefits offered by whitefish are many, some could not enjoy these since it can trigger an allergic reaction.