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Baton Rouge, LA
A 21-year-old female asked:

Ate catfish felt weird, out of breath, felt like i would faint. used epipen, (epinephrine) ems gave me oxygen. allergyblood test said no allergy how can this be?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Pediatric Allergy and Asthma 38 years experience
Mgt/workup: If your reaction was within four hours of eating the fish, it is likely to be an allergic reaction. I hope that you have an Epi Pen with instructions for use. There is more information at foodallergy.org, until you have a repeat test. Lab tests are not perfect, but your symptoms certainly fit with an allergic reaction. A virtual appt is available for follow up.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Corey Clay
Allergy and Immunology 12 years experience
Possibilities: Hyperimmune response to catfish would involve both the presence of allergy antibody (IgE antibody against fish) and the tendency for this antibody-catfish interaction to cause the reaction. It is possible that IgE was not appropriately tested for in the blood. A skin test would also confirm allergy if positive. Non-fish allergy causes (eg asthma attack or vocal cord spasm) also possible.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. John Chiu
Allergy and Immunology 59 years experience
See allergist: Blood test is generally less sensitive than skin tests,thus I would urge you to consult an allergist. Rarely one may t be allergic to only one species of fish and thus testing with the actual catfish may be considered. If the fish was fried, it was likely contaminated with other foods particularly shellfish or crustacea. You need an allergist's help to sort this out. Carry epinephrine always.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Al Hegab
Dr. Al Hegab commented
Allergy and Immunology 42 years experience
RAST blood test performed immediately or shortly after a severe reaction is likely to be negative, due to "wash out" of circulating IgE antibodies to a particular antigen, so a repeat test few weeks later might turn positive, that would be judged by the allergist who will evaluate your case as Dr Chiu recommended
Mar 5, 2015

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Last updated Mar 13, 2015


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