Featured Image Caption: Egg Yolk
Sometimes, we encounter some people –especially kids- who suffer from egg allergies. It makes us wonder how can it be possible? Especially while taking into account all the advantageous nutrients that are present within the eggs.
What are the causes of egg allergies?
An egg allergy happens when the immune system cannot bear certain egg proteins. Instead of consuming these nutrients, the immune system delivers histamine and other chemicals and provokes an allergic reaction against the egg’s proteins.
Generally, we can have six main egg proteins that are within the egg powder that cause allergies. They can be found in the egg yolk and in the white. But the studies have shown that it is the proteins in the egg white that are the most allergens.
This allergenicity can though be reduced by the way you cook and prepare your eggs. For instance, if you heat eggs with wheat flour, the protein may become more digestible. That’s the reason why some children may be allergic to raw eggs but can eat cooked eggs or eggs in cakes.
How to recognize a child is allergic to eggs?
The first signs appear within 30 minutes of being exposed to an egg. From one child to another, the reactions and the severity of symptoms may differ. But generally, the first symptoms include inflammation of the hives and the skin. After, some digestive symptoms like cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting can also happen.
Other symptoms such as signs of asthma, coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and wheezing also appear. Without mentioning nasal congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, swelling of the tongue or lips, dizziness, red or watery eyes, and confusion.
Egg allergies and vaccination
There are vaccines that are made of egg proteins. And this can represent a risk of triggering an allergic reaction in some patients. These are especially about the measles-mumps-rubella vaccines, the flu vaccines but also the yellow fever vaccine. So, before doing it, it’s better to ask for the doctor’s advice.
Can adults be allergic to eggs?
Normally, allergy to eggs happens at an early age during childhood or adolescence. That’s the reason why it’s very uncommon for adults to develop that type of allergy. However, some rare cases of adult-onset egg allergies may happen. It is frequent when the body’s immune system sees the egg protein as a threat and makes it sensitive and reactive to the egg.
These symptoms may vary from one person to another. In fact, adults may present lip or eyelid swelling, itchy eyes, ears, or throat, shortness of breath, or even coughing and wheezing.
How to manage egg allergy
In order to cope with eggs, allergy is just to avoid eggs. To begin with, notice to get and read all food labels carefully before consuming any manufactured products. Some people may develop a reaction even if there is just a trace of an egg within a product. After, you should also know that there are other terms that are used by the manufacturers to show the components of eggs you may be sensitive to. For example, there is the albumin, the globulin, the lecithin but also the lysozyme, the vitellin, the ovalbumin, and the ovovitellin.
Sources of egg products
Many foods in the market may contain egg proteins or traces of egg proteins even if they are labeled as egg-free. For that, you should stay cautious before eating everything. For instance, remember that even unexpected food may contain eggs, even at a lower amount. For example, there is the marshmallow, the jellies, and the icing. Sometimes, creamy salad dressings contain also eggs. Breaded and batter-fried foods, processed meats, custards, puddings, and ice creams are not all egg-free. There is also a huge amount of pasta, crepes, waffles, and pretzels, and even wine that gathers some trace of the egg.
Otherwise, it is to be remarked that some people with an egg allergy can sometimes tolerate baked goods and other foods that contain eggs that have been heated. In this case, it is recommended to ask for the professional’s advice on the way and the quantity you should take these specific kinds of goods.
By Tinoh Ras
who is residing in Madagascar, East Africa.