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Managing an Egg Allergy: Tips and Tricks for Coping with Allergic Reactions

Team AckoDec 11, 2023

It’s estimated that 2-3% of children have an egg allergy. Despite eggs being a common ingredient, egg allergies are more common than most people realize. Recognizing the symptoms of an allergic reaction to eggs and knowing your options can help you know exactly how to treat an allergic reaction if it ever occurs. So, what is an egg allergy and what should you know?

egg-allergy

Contents

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What is an Egg Allergy?

An egg allergy is a concentration-dependent immune hypersensitivity expressed through an allergy-related response to proteins within egg whites. When eggs are consumed, a person experiences an allergic reaction as a result of their immune system mistakenly identifying the proteins in eggs as dangerous and overreacts..

Egg Allergy Symptoms

The symptoms of an egg allergy vary from person to person and can range from mild to severe. Common egg allergy symptoms include:

  • Hives

  • Itchy rashes

  • Swelling of lips, tongue or other body parts

  • Trouble breathing

  • Wheezing

  • Vomiting

  • Colic

  • Diarrhea

  • Stomach pain

If you experience any of the above, especially if you have consumed something containing eggs, seek medical attention immediately.

Common Foods With Eggs

In some cases, it can be difficult to detect if eggs are present in food. Despite this, there are a few common food items in which eggs are used as a main ingredient. Here is a list of common foods that contain eggs:

  • Baked goods such as cakes, muffins, cookies, and doughnuts

  • Ice creams and other dairy products

  • Mayonnaise and other sauces

  • Egg-fried rice

  • Fresh pasta

  • Foams, such as meringue and marshmallow

  • Salad dressings

  • Quiche

  • Mousses

It’s important to take note of the fact that it’s not just the egg that contains the protein that causes the allergic reaction, but the egg white and yolk as well.

Cross-Reactivity

It’s not uncommon for those with egg allergies to react to other types of foods. This is known as cross-reactivity, meaning that due to the similarities between egg proteins and other proteins found in different types of food, an allergic reaction can occur.

The most common type of cross-reactivity with egg allergies is to chicken, although this is generally mild compared to one’s reaction to eggs. There is also potential for cross-reactivity with other foods, like shellfish, peanuts and tree nuts.

Testing for Egg Allergies

When it comes to diagnosing an egg allergy, the most common method is skin-prick tests. A skin-prick test is a procedure done by an allergist where a solution containing the allergen is pricked into the person’s skin. If a reaction occurs, it means that the person is allergic to the allergen in the solution.

Blood tests are also another option, wherein a blood sample is taken and sent out for a specific IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibody test, which can detect potential allergens. The final option is a food challenge test. During this test, the person is given increasing doses of the suspected allergen in a controlled environment in order to try and confirm the allergy.

Egg Allergy Treatment

The main treatment for egg allergies is avoidance. This means avoiding any foods containing egg or eggs if they’re used as ingredients. It is also recommended to read any food labels before consuming a product, as this will help to avoid having an allergic reaction.

For those who have severe reactions to eggs, an EpiPen (Epinephrine) may be prescribed. An EpiPen is a device that contains a self-injectable dose of epinephrine, which can help to reduce the symptoms of anaphylaxis.

Additionally, for those with severe allergies, it is also recommended to wear alert jewellery to help remind carers and medical personnel of the allergen in case of an emergency.

Managing Egg Allergy with Insurance

Given the risks associated with egg allergy, proper insurance is recommended for those affected. An insurance plan tailored for egg allergy may provide coverage for the additional costs associated with long-term treatment, avoiding the potential financial burden that egg allergies can bring. In addition to this, it is also important to note that many insurance companies in India offer travel insurance policies that can protect you in the case of an emergency while travelling.

Conclusion

Having an egg allergy means being extra cautious when it comes to food and avoiding any foods that might have eggs in them. Taking steps like reading food labels, carrying an EpiPen, wearing alert jewellry, and having proper insurance can help support those with egg allergies and give them some measure of comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about egg allergies.

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Can food cooked with an egg cause an allergic reaction?

Yes, it is possible for food cooked with an egg to cause an allergic reaction. This is because even when cooking with eggs, some of the proteins within the egg are still present in the final dish and can cause an allergy related reaction.

Is it common for those with egg allergies to have other food allergies?

Yes, it is common for those with egg allergies to have other food allergies due to something known as cross-reactivity. This is a reaction to an allergen due to the similarities between proteins. The most common type of cross-reactivity is with chicken, however, it is possible to have a reaction to other foods as well.

What is the best way to diagnose an egg allergy?

The best way to diagnose an egg allergy is a skin-prick test, blood test, or food challenge test. All of these work to detect the presence of the egg allergen and are the most accurate way of diagnosing an egg allergy.

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