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Hi, I have been allergic to lobsters all my life. Because of this the doctor told me that I have to avoid all shellfish and fish as well. Usually, I am very careful about this and I follow doctor's orders. But, few days ago a friend of mine had a birthday party. I ate some snacks that she said are safe for me. After a while a person who prepared the food told me that the snacks I ate had shrimps in it. I was very scared about the consequences, but nothing happened. Why didn't I have an allergic reaction to this shellfish?

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Hi, allergy is a serious condition. It can in the most severe cases cause anaphylactic shock and death. When you are allergic to shellfish, your immune system mostly reacts to the protein in the shellfish meat. However, the intensity of the reaction is not always the same. I think that you did not have a severe reaction because of couple of things. If you follow your doctor's advice it means that you are taking your medication. This medication would have suppressed the allergic reaction to shrimps. Secondly, the amount of shrimps in the snacks might have been barely detectable, so the reaction to it could not induce the immune response. And finally, and I think that this is the most plausible, the allergic reaction is not always induced by the shellfish meat and sometimes the allergy is caused by the shellfish skin or bones. You should ask your allergy specialist to what part of shellfish you are allergic to.
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