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Egg Allergy Symptoms & Causes
Allergy to eggs is one of the most common allergies appearing primarily in children, but also found in some adults. Allergic symptoms could manifest after consuming the yolk, the white, or both.
What causes an allergic reaction to eggs?
The most common allergens are proteins present in the white of an egg, namely- ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin and lysozymes. Out of these, ovomucoid is the most common allergy causing protein. The yolk of the egg also has few potential allergy causing proteins: vosvetin, livetin and apovitellin. People allergic to egg whites may be able to tolerate egg yolks, and vice versa.
How does egg allergy occur?
When eggs are eaten, in some people the immune system mistakenly identifies one or more of the proteins as a foreign substance. In order to protect the body, the immune system then produces antibodies in defense. These antibodies are called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) which in turn triggers the release of chemicals known as histamines. It is this liberation of histamines which brings about the symptoms of allergy.
What are the main symptoms of egg allergy?
Egg allergy symptoms can manifest within a few minutes or even after a few hours of consuming eggs. The body’s systems involved in the reaction give out various indicators of distress:
Egg allergy symptoms in babies and children – Facts and Management
Foods to be avoided if allergic to eggs:
It is fairly easy to avoid visible egg and egg preparations from the diet, however, eggs are very commonly used in a wide range of commercial and baked products too. Hence it is essential to read food packaging labels to see if they contain ingredients such as-
Eggs are also used in bakery goods to glaze the top, and in sauces, broths and desserts. Below are some examples of common foods with egg which should be avoided and foods that can be consumed:
Meat, Fish, Poultry and Eggs:
Avoid – Eggs and egg preparations such as omelets, scrambled/poached/boiled eggs, soufflés, commercially breaded fish, poultry and meats, meat loaf and meatballs.
Have – Meats and poultry breaded with egg-free breading. All fish, poultry, ham, veal, pork, organ meats that have been boiled/baked/broiled/roasted are okay to eat.
Milk and Milk Products:
Avoid – Custard, pudding and milk based desserts containing egg, some malted beverages, egg based protein shakes, eggnog and ice-cream containing egg. Also look out for coffee clarified with egg.
Have – Skimmed, semi-skimmed and whole milk, yoghurt, cottage cheese, cheese, feta cheese, buttermilk, home-made milk shakes and smoothies.
Fruit and Vegetables:
Avoid – Any fruit or vegetable prepared with eggs in the sauce or batter, like hollandaise sauce, eggs used in coating batter for frying, in soufflés etc. Avoid soups where egg is used in the stock or for clarifying purposes. Salad dressings such as tartar sauce and mayonnaise contain egg.
Have – All fresh, frozen, canned fruit and vegetables are safe to eat. Soups or broths made with egg free ingredients are okay to consume.
Cereals and breads:
Avoid – Any commercially prepared pancakes, muffins, pasties, waffles, donuts, cakes and other bakery products with eggs as an ingredient. Avoid all breads and bakery items where egg is brushed for glazing. Avoid egg noodles or egg pasta. Also read labels of readymade pancake mixes, batters and cake mixes for presence of eggs in any form.
Have – All cereal grains such as wheat, rice, maize, corn, barley are okay to have. Homemade breads, pies, pancakes and biscuits made without egg are a good substitute for the commercially prepared ones.
A popular alternative to each egg used in baking is- 1½ Tbsp oil, 1½ Tbsp water and 1 tsp baking powder. Gelatin mixed with warm water, yeast and some fruit purees can also be used.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014|