What Is Egg Intolerance?
Eggs are a type of food that contains protein and fat. They have been eaten since ancient times. However, there are some people who cannot digest eggs due to genetic or other reasons. These individuals may experience allergic reactions when they eat egg products such as scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, omelets and waffles. There is no cure for egg allergies but with proper treatment most cases can be managed successfully without any side effects.
The main cause of egg allergies is the presence of certain proteins called allergenic proteins. Allergies occur when these allergens react with the body’s immune system causing an allergic reaction.
If left untreated, however, allergies can progress into life threatening conditions such as asthma attacks or even death.
Symptoms Of Egg Intolerance:
There are two types of egg allergies; IgE (immunoglobulin E) based and non-IgE based. IgE based allergies are more common than non-IgE based ones.
Both types of allergies cause similar symptoms, which include hives, swelling of the face and throat, wheezing, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include headaches or migraines.
How Is Egg Intolerance Diagnosed?
Allergy testing is done using blood tests to determine if your body produces antibodies against egg proteins. Blood tests are usually done after exposure to eggs. Your blood will be taken and tested for a type of antibody called IgE. A positive test means that your body’s immune system has already made IgE antibodies against egg proteins. However, false negative results may occur in younger children and immunosuppressed patients. Skin prick testing is more reliable than blood tests.
Non-IgE based egg allergies are diagnosed by ruling out other conditions that cause similar symptoms such as food poisoning or pneumonia.
How Is Egg Intolerance Treated?
Treatment for egg intolerance is generally done using a combination of drugs and lifestyle changes. Your doctor may prescribe anti-allergy drugs such as montelukast, loratadine and cetirizine. You should also maintain a well balanced diet and avoid foods that may worsen your symptoms.
Prevention And Prognosis
If you have mild egg intolerance, your doctor may advise you to avoid eating foods that may contain traces of egg such as bakery products or fried food. Your doctor may also advise you to take an anti-allergy drug such as montelukast or carry an Epi-pen if your symptoms are more severe.
Most children outgrow their egg intolerance by the age of five.
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