- by Dr Sheetal Chhabria
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- Feb 12 2017
Are You Allergic to Eggs
Egg allergy is one of the most commonly occurring food allergy found in children and adults. Here, the immune system begins to identify the proteins in the egg as a foreign invader and releases allergens.
You can be allergic to chicken eggs as well as goose eggs, duck eggs, turkey and quail eggs. Some people outgrow their allergy while some have to live with it for the rest of their lives.
An immune system overreaction generally causes food allergies. In egg allergy, your immune system mistakenly considers egg proteins as harmful substances. When you consume egg or egg based products, antibodies recognise them as harmful substances and signal the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals that are associated with causing allergies. You can be allergic to both egg yolks and egg whites. Even breast fed infants can develop egg allergy if the mother has consumed egg or egg based products.
People with egg allergy begin to show symptoms soon after consuming or even touching eggs. Some of the common symptoms of egg allergy are:
- Skin reactions such as eczema, hives, rashes or even swelling
- Respiratory problems such as wheezing or troubled breathing
- Stuffy or runny nose and sneezing
- Stomach pain, diarrhoea, vomiting
- Fast breathing
- Red or watery eyes
- Anaphylaxis (less common)
The doctor will diagnose egg allergy by inquiring about your past history and by looking at the physical symptoms. In some cases, a skin prick test, a blood test, a food elimination diet or an oral food challenge approach may be used to determine the presence of egg allergy.
The best way to avoid having an egg allergy is to not eat eggs or egg based products. However, eggs are used as a hidden ingredient in most food products such as chocolate, ice creams, cookies, meat based dishes and many more food items. Therefore, people with an egg allergy should be careful and vigilant about what they are eating. They should always read food labels and inquire about the ingredients used in the food preparation.
If you are only allergic to egg yolk or white, you can try separating one from the other. However, it is not completely possible to separate the egg white from the yolk.
Few people may have an allergy towards egg but can tolerate baked goods and other food products containing egg. This is because such food items have been heated for a long period of time at a high temperature. However, one can never be certain as to how and to what egg based products individuals may show a reaction.
If you are allergic to eggs, it is best to consult a dietician and an allergist regarding the foods that should be avoided. In case of an emergency, the doctor may prescribe medications and injection shots for relief and to ease the symptoms.
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