ZocdocAnswersCould a sinus patient be allergic to shellfish?

Question

Could a sinus patient be allergic to shellfish?

Hi, I have been taking triflex glucoamine HCL since last month. Two weeks ago, I had a severe sinus problem due to the rainy weather so I stopped taking triflex glucoamine HCL. After I took my antibiotic and everything is fine, I continue taking triflex glucoamine HCL two days ago. Yesterday I was experiencing pain in forehead and right eye so I stop taking triflex glucoamine HCL. To my knowledge, the triflex glucoamine HCL is made from shellfish. I would like to know whether I am allergy to shellfish. So far I know that I am allergy to dairy product.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have been taking glucosamine supplements, have been dealing with sinus issues, have a dairy allergy, and are worried that you may have an allergy to shellfish. You are correct in that there is some literature supporting that glucosamine triflex is (at least in part) obtained from the exoskeleton of shellfish. It seems to me that there are two separate issues that you need to find the answers to. First, that you have been dealing with sinus issues, and you need to find out if they are weather related, or related to a food allergy. Second, whether you have a shellfish allergy. The first question regarding having a recurrent problem with sinusitis would be best evaluated by an ENT or Ear Nose Throat physician (aka otolaryngologist). They will be able to answer whether what you have been suffering from is actually sinusitis, or recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (from something like a virus). Regarding whether you have a shellfish allergy, you could start by seeing your primary care physician, however they might ultimately recommend that you get a referral to an allergist for testing. They can test you for shellfish amongst many other common allergens to see if you have a true allergy. I hope that this is helpful, and that you are able to get the answers you want after seeing the appropriate physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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