Egg Allergy: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Treatment, Complications and Preventions

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Women that allergy to egg

1Overview

An allergy is characterized by irritation, swelling of the mouth, reddening, and moistening of the eyes, or the formation of rashes in the skin among other symptoms. It is caused by the harmful response of the immune system to a substance that enters the body. Substances that the immune system rejects or cause allergic reactions in the body are considered as allergens. In the case of people with egg allergy, the immune system becomes hypersensitive when it comes to the egg proteins. These are rejected by their body, resulting in the body to send chemicals to fight it. These chemicals are often the cause of the occurrence of allergic reactions.

gy, the immune system becomes hypersensitive when it comes to the egg proteins. These are rejected by their body, resulting in the body to send chemicals to fight it. These chemicals are often the cause of the occurrence of allergic reactions.

The immune system is the one that fights off and prevents bacteria and germs from entering the body. It helps people avoid getting ill. In the case of a disease occurrence, the immune system works twice as hard to help the body recuperate and return to its original healthy condition.

Most children have an egg allergy in the early years of their life. This is because their immune system is not fully developed yet, causing them to be allergic to certain types of foods. Most people grow out of these allergies. Health experts estimate the number of children allergic to eggs is about two percent and that seven out of 10 children manage to outgrow the condition as they grow older with the oldest age being 16 years old. However, there are cases wherein some people remain allergic to eggs despite their age.

Egg proteins which can be found in egg whites and yolks. Some people with egg allergy may be allergic to one part of the egg only or allergic to one type of egg only, but it is better to avoid all eggs to avoid the symptoms.

2Symptoms

Most egg allergy symptoms experienced by patients with the allergy may vary. Some of the most common symptoms of an allergic response may include:

  •  Inflammation of the skin
  •  Subsequent sneezing, which later on leads to a runny nose, nasal congestion, or even colds.
  •  Coughing
  •  Itchy throat
  •  Swollen lips or tongue
  •  Red, watery eyes

3Causes

The substance that causes the allergic reactions in the body of a patient who is allergic to eggs is found in the proteins of eggs. Some people who have egg allergy may be allergic to not just chicken eggs but also to other types of eggs, such as turkey and quail eggs. It is also possible for babies to still suffer from allergic reactions despite not consuming eggs directly but through breastfeeding, if the mother ate eggs of foods made with eggs prior to breastfeeding. Some people get allergic reactions after touching egg contents, such as egg whites and yolk.

4Risk factors

Genetics

A person is more likely to have egg allergy if his or her father, grandfather, or mother has or had food allergies.

Age

Many people at a young age would have this type of allergy while they are young. Most people grow out of the allergy, but it is possible for some adults to still experience allergic reactions to egg proteins.

Skin condition

People who are suffering from a skin condition called atopic dermatitis are also susceptible to developing food allergies, such as egg allergy.

Health condition

Some health conditions, such as asthma, may also lead to an egg allergy.

5Treatment

Food allergies as well as any types of allergy can’t easily be eliminated from the body, as the problem is mainly on the immune system of a person. Only time can tell whether or not a person eventually grows out of it, but there are adults who remain allergic to the substances. The symptoms of egg allergy often take time before they become noticeable to others, and so the patient should be mindful of what he eats to avoid fatal symptoms.

The simplest way of stopping the symptoms is to stop eating eggs as well as products that have eggs in them including baked goods. Another way of finding a cure is to meet with a health specialist and work out a plan with him or her. Compared to other food allergies, egg allergy is often outgrown by most patients. If you are testing on eating eggs by eating foods made with eggs to check whether you still have the allergy, it’s always best to consult with your doctor first.

Antihistamines, which can be bought over the counter, may be prescribed by doctors to their patients to help minimize allergic reactions in case a patient accidentally consumes foods that have egg proteins.

Egg proteins can be found in canned soups, ice cream, meatballs, cakes, beef patties, pastries, etc., as these foods are made with eggs. Some commercial egg substitutes still have egg proteins in it. Therefore, the consumer must check the ingredients label first or ask the store owner or attendant whether their products are safe for people who have an egg allergy.

Some patients would be allergic to one part of the egg only. In such cases, patients should still opt to completely avoid consuming eggs as it is impossible to completely separate the yolk from the egg whites. In the same way, patients should avoid foods that have a “hint” or a “little” egg, because allergic reactions may differ between two cases.

The doctor may prescribe patients with egg allergy some medication, so they can fight off or stop the symptoms from persisting. Allergists use this as a last resort to counter the fatal symptoms of anaphylaxis. When anaphylaxis symptoms are observed in a patient, people should call for an ambulance immediately.

There’s a flu vaccine that can be administered to a person as a nasal spray. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said, however, that this type of flu vaccine is harmful to people with egg allergy as it contains egg proteins. In addition, those who have food allergies including egg allergy are advised not to obtain or get a vaccine at a pharmacy, drugstore, or through a vaccination program at their workplace.

It is possible to cook without eggs. However, the substitutes differ according to the purpose the eggs would serve. For example, as a binder, instead of eggs, people may use mashed banana, applesauce, or a gelatin mix. Xantham gum may be used when baking cookies and cakes apart from making ice cream. A nutritionist or a dietitian can provide you information on ways you can have an egg-free diet.

6Complications

Some people with egg allergy may experience allergic reactions to substances other than just egg proteins due to the structure of their immune system. Some of the substances that a person with egg allergy may end up getting allergic to include other foods, such as soy, peanuts, and milk, or grass pollen or dust mites.

The worst case a person with this type of allergy may experience is anaphylaxis symptoms. Anaphylaxis denotes that the patient is suffering from severe allergic reactions and is, therefore, considered life-threatening. The patient may experience the following symptoms:

  • Swollen throat, pain when swallowing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Cramps in the abdomen
  • Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
  • Weak pulse
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of focus or loss of consciousness
  • Palpitations
  • Drop in blood pressure

In case the patient is experiencing anaphylaxis symptoms, he or she should seek medical help urgently, as this can lead to death.

7Preventions

Allergies are caused by irregularities in the immune system and could not be avoided, especially if there is a similar case in the medical history of the family. The only prevention that could be observed by a patient is altogether avoiding eggs to avoid the allergic reaction from occurring.

Some foods, such as cakes, bread, noodles, and pasta, are made with eggs, so they should be avoided as well by those allergic to eggs apart from avoiding all types of eggs. If you are allergic to eggs, make sure to read the labels first before buying them. If in a restaurant, remember to tell the cook you are allergic to eggs.

Egg allergy symptoms can be experienced from a young age. Mothers of babies who have an egg allergy should also avoid eggs and foods with eggs, such as marshmallows and mayonnaise, as these proteins can be passed on to their babies through breastfeeding. This could cause them to experience allergic reactions as well.

Patients with egg allergy are advised to regularly visit their allergist, especially in cases allergic reactions to eggs are often severe given the chance. Wearing an allergy bracelet can also help them, especially young children, remember their allergies. Parents should also inform the babysitters or teachers of their child’s health condition.

Parents who have an egg allergy or who have children with egg allergy should always inform their doctor of the health condition before the administering of a vaccine. Some vaccines have egg proteins, and even if the substance is in small amounts, there’s no assurance this will not lead to fatal symptoms. Vaccines with egg proteins include some flu vaccines, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines, and yellow fever vaccines.