Do You Have an Egg Allergy?
Egg allergies are among the most common types of food allergies in the world with cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, soy, and wheat accounting for the majority of food allergies in adults and children. Reactions to foods like these can range from intolerance and mild sensitivity to life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Egg intolerance is a milder and non-life-threatening reaction of the body to the consumption of eggs. Egg intolerance primarily affects your gastrointestinal system, where you may experience stomach pains, cramps, and nausea.
An egg allergy affects your immune system which overreacts to the proteins found in eggs. While most people are allergic to the proteins found in egg whites, some people are allergic to the proteins found in egg yolk, and others can be allergic to both. If you have an egg allergy, your immune system recognizes egg proteins as harmful, and releases chemicals including histamine to defend your body against these mistakenly harmful proteins.
The most common symptoms of egg allergies include skin inflammation, itchy rashes, hives, and swelling around the face and throat. A severe allergic reaction to egg may lead to anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening emergency that could cause your body to go into shock with a significant drop in blood pressure, constricted airways making it difficult to breathe, and which may result in you losing consciousness.
Food allergies are common among young children, and it’s often difficult for parents to know which foods to avoid because it’s not always clear which foods and ingredients may contain the allergens that cause the body’s reaction. Some obvious ingredients that include egg products and proteins include egg whites, egg yolk, dried egg, and egg substitutes. Less obvious ingredients that may include trace elements of egg proteins include albumin, apovitellin, ovalbumin, lysozyme, lecithin, and silica albuminate.
Pre-made food products are often guilty of containing small amounts of egg, making it difficult to navigate an egg-free diet. Food labels don’t always contain the necessary health information to help parents manage the dietary requirements of their children. One way to navigate these dietary requirements is to consider adopting functional nutrition as a highly personalized dietary guide that covers all your nutritional needs, identifying which foods are good for your body, and which to avoid.
If you suspect that you or your child may have an egg allergy, you can start with treatment at home by avoiding the foods that cause allergic reactions. You can take this a step further by consulting with a health professional such as an allergist who may conduct skin prick tests or blood tests to determine which allergens cause adverse reactions. This type of allergy testing can help to diagnose common allergies that help you determine which food types to avoid and to avoid a severe allergic reaction.
Dr Matt le Roux is an Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) certified medicine practitioner who can assist you and your child with a comprehensive dietary and lifestyle plan including functional nutrition that will greatly assist you in managing your allergies. If you’d like to know more about functional nutrition, simply book an online functional medicine consultation with Dr Matt le Roux today and take a leap towards understanding and managing your body’s nutritional needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long do egg allergy symptoms last?
How does egg allergy affect the body?
What causes egg allergy?
Can egg allergy cause eczema?
Can egg allergy cause anaphylaxis?
Can egg allergy go away?
Is egg allergy genetic?
What foods contain eggs?
Some of the most common foods that generally contain egg include:
- ice creams and custards
- pre-packaged desserts
- salad dressings
- bread and baked foods
- fizzes, lollipops, and candies
- meatloaf and meatballs
- meringue and marshmallows
Davis, JL: 2019. Common Food Allergy Triggers
Australian Institute of Food Safety
American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology
Australian Institute of Food Safety