Allergies and food sensitivities are commonly found in people in the world. You might have noticed that, with the exception of the well-known sensitivities such as Gluten or Lactose intolerance, people are allergic to unimaginable foods and nutrients.
You might have a relative or friend who happens to have a peanut allergy but it highly unlikely that you will come across someone who tells you they are allergic to eggs. However, egg allergies may happen on a wider scale than you think.
It is because of the lack of knowledge about the particular sensitivity that urges people to ignore most of the symptoms of the allergy or just link them to other daily habits, any specific activities or other food that the person might have consumed recently.
In addition, the condition does not cause serious effects on the body unless the intensity of the allergy is very high. Egg allergies also go undiagnosed because a person with an egg allergy has a natural instinct of avoiding eggs and anything made from them.
Keeping in mind that some of the most consumed meals around the world have eggs as an essential ingredient in their recipes, it can be very hard to avoid eggs and products made from them for any possible reason.
While the body’s self-protection from eggs can successfully avoid eggs to an extent, it cannot be fully dependent on.
There are various products there along with different recipes for the same meals. For example, there are eggless versions of bakery products like muffins, cakes, biscuits with the eggs ones.
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As a result, it can be hard to detect which product contains eggs or more specifically the egg whites because most of the allergic reactions come from egg white proteins.
Limiting foods with eggs whites and yolks is compulsory when having an egg allergy just like it is important to avoid dairy products when having lactose intolerance even if the sensitivity is mild. At one point, continued consumption of egg s is likely to have effects on your health.
What happens when you have an egg allergy?
Some people might assume the egg allergy works the same way the autoimmune condition Celiac does or the way lack of lactase enzyme lead to lactose intolerance. However, egg allergy is neither an autoimmune disease nor does it indicate the lack of the digestive enzyme in the body.
When having an egg allergy, you can be allergic to either the egg whites, yolks or both at the same time. Allergic reactions to eggs are more often seen in people who have had an exposure to eggs through vaccination or diet.
Exposure to a specific food in this way often causes problems and allergies in the body. When you are having an egg allergy, it is a sign of the body assuming that the proteins in the eggs are harmful. Hence, the body releases a number of chemicals including Histamine that set off an allergic reaction.
This allergic reaction can have visible results which can make it easier to diagnose. However, at times the egg allergy can solely cause internal effects and confuse the person. This is the reason why egg allergy is not as widely known as peanut allergy and hard to diagnose.
The severity of the allergic reaction differs from person to person. Some can have immediate effects while others may not see anything and instead start feeling some of the symptoms within hours or even some days.
The most interesting thing to note here is that if you have an egg allergy that is also highly intense, it is not necessary for you to consume eggs or products made from gets to get an allergic reaction.
In a case like this, touching eggs can set off the body’s release of Histamine and other chemicals immediately.
Similarly, a person with severe egg allergy can feel the following symptoms immediately while others may take a while:
- Constant nausea
- Vomiting (right after consuming eggs or sometime later)
- Bloating and swelling near the pelvic area
- Stomach pains
- Difficulty in breathing
- Reactions on the skin (hives, redness, and swelling as well as eczema in severe cases)
- Watery eyes along with redness
- A runny nose
- A sore throat
Who is at a higher risk of developing egg allergy?
Egg allergy can develop in any person depending on their exposure to eggs. However, some people tend to be at a higher risk than others of having an egg allergy. Sensitivity to eggs proteins is more frequently found in children that it is in adults.
In accordance with the American College of Asthma, Allergies, and Immunology, 10% children in the United States have an egg allergy. That is 5% higher than the percentage of adults found to be suffering from egg protein allergy.
Children who suffer from specific skin complications are more prone to developing not only the egg allergy but other food allergies as well. For example, kids with eczema can have multiple food allergies including egg protein one at the same time.
Infantile eczema is also prevalent. Researchers have shown that infantile eczema can have the severest reactions on the patients. Children from the ages of 6 to 15 years are at a higher risk of having an egg allergy.
Just like in cases of other allergies, genetics play a big role in determining whether a child is to develop allergic reactions to egg or not.
If one of the parents or grandparents- either maternal or paternal- has any kind of allergy including seasonal allergy, the child has high chances of having the very same sensitivity.
The most dangerous of all effects of an egg allergy happens to be seen in infants, as mentioned earlier. On the other hand, studies have shown adults are not that prone to egg allergy in comparison with the children.
The teenagers who develop allergic reactions to egg are shown to be over their allergies upon reaching 20s or mid-20s.
Similarly, the effects of the allergy are different in children and adults where the former is likely to get more severe effects than the latter. In adults, the most dangerous way an egg allergy can harm by causing difficulty in breathing.
Majority of the time, nausea and stomach pains upon consumption of an egg-based product is the most common complaint. Adults with a comparatively higher intensity of the allergy can have piercing pains combined with swelling and shortness of breath.
This is also an important indicator of whether the person has an egg sensitivity or egg intolerance. Immediate but mild reaction on eating cake is a sign of egg sensitivity. On the other hand, egg intolerance can have both immediate and gradual effects.
Another difference between egg intolerance and sensitivity is that the people suffering from the former have problems solely with the eggs whites where no chemical reaction in the body is involved. Though it has yet not been explained why but the body does not absorb proteins from egg whites in an egg intolerant person.
Egg intolerance can have additional symptoms in addition to the ones of sensitivity including gas, joint pain, heartburn, anxiety, and mood swings. Where egg sensitivities can be overcome by children while growing up, egg intolerance does not usually go away.
Egg intolerant people can avoid the effects of the allergy by keeping their consumption of egg whites in check. Products using egg yolks usually are not a problem for you if you are egg intolerant.