Question for Betty.

I have allergies to shrimp and certain nuts and, just to be safe, I stay away from all seafood and nuts.  Do you provide allergy tests? I'm probably avoiding foods I'm not really allergic to.

Betty's Answer.

The Student Health and Counseling Center does not do allergy testing, however, we can refer you to an allergy specialist for testing.  Your food allergies are common ones in adults, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish cause the most severe, anaphylactic reactions.  A generalized anaphylaxis causes difficulty breathing, swelling of the upper throat and/or tongue, a very rapid or irregular heart beat, low blood pressure, or cardiac arrest.  A person who develops symptoms of anaphylaxis must be treated immediately with an injection of epinephrine, which is available for self-injection. We can prescribe this for you, so that you can have it available at all times.

As far as avoiding all seafood, it is common for patients allergic to shellfish to react to more than one type of shellfish.  But, you may not be allergic to fish, although some people who react to crustacean shellfish also react to fish. An allergy to one type of tree nut, may not necessarily mean all tree nuts, but. because you have allergies which can lead to severe reactions in some people, your avoidance of these foods until you have allergy testing is strongly recommended.

You may want to make an appointment at the Student Health and Counseling Center to discuss your allergy symptoms, obtain a prescription for self-injectable epinephrine, and for a referral to an allergy specialist.