Egg allergy symptoms can affect digestion and raise the risk of allergic reactions. Although not as common as dairy or gluten allergies, egg allergies still rank as a common allergy among young children. An egg allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies proteins found in eggs as harmful, thus creating an immune response. Histamines are released when eggs are ingested, which leads to allergy symptoms.
An egg intolerance, on the other hand, is when the body is unable to digest eggs properly, thus contributing to a negative reaction by the body. This can lead to bloating, gas and abdominal pain. Egg intolerance occurs because the body does not have the proper enzyme to break down the egg. With egg intolerance, as opposed to an egg allergy, a person can still consume small amounts of egg without concern.
Egg allergy symptoms and risk factors
Children and babies are at the highest risk of developing an egg allergy but it can occur in anyone. Other risk factors for egg allergies are skin conditions like eczema, genetics and age – being younger increases the risk but, once again, it can occur at any age.
Minor symptoms of an egg allergy include:
- Nasal inflammation or congestion
- Asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing or coughing
- Nausea, cramps and vomiting
More severe symptoms of egg allergies are:
- Rapid drop in blood pressure
- Constriction of throat and difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the tongue or lips
- Loss of consciousness
Allergy to eggs and digestive symptoms
Egg is a common ingredient in food, cosmetics and even medications. By consuming a product that contains egg, a person with an egg allergy can end up with digestive symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and cramping. You should always read the label of any products and food that you buy to protect yourself against an allergic reaction.
Sometimes egg can be disguised under an alternative name. By recognizing egg aliases you can better prevent allergic reactions and the discomfort it can cause. Here are some other names that egg can go by when used as an ingredient.
- Albumin or albumen
- Words beginning with “ova” or “ovo”
Egg allergy from vaccines using egg proteins
Another area to be mindful of are vaccines, which can also contain egg as an ingredient. If a person has an egg intolerance, they are still able to take vaccines that contain eggs. But if a person has an egg allergy, a vaccine with egg can lead to a severe allergic reaction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests children with an egg allergy can safely receive the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The influenza vaccine does contain some egg protein, so it is best to check in with your doctor depending on the severity of the egg allergy.
Living with an egg allergy
Living with an egg allergy may be stressful because eggs are quite commonly used in many of the foods we consume and products we use, but by following these tips you can have better success and ease when living with an egg allergy.
- Read food labels carefully and recognize the alternative names for eggs.
- Be cautious when eating out – ask the server or chef to check ingredients and preparation.
- Wear an allergic bracelet or necklace to notify others.
- Let your child’s caregiver be aware of their allergy.
- If you’re breastfeeding, avoid consuming eggs.
Also, avoiding these common foods is a good start when living with a food allergy.
- Baked goods
- Breaded food
- Processed meat
- Pudding and custard
- Salad dressing
- Many pastas
- Foam on alcohol or specialty coffee
If you do wish to consume these foods, it’s best to opt for vegan varieties that will not contain eggs.
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