If an individual has egg allergy, it limits his/her ability to eat various foods. An individual can experience an allergic reaction to whole eggs, egg white or egg yolk only. Take note that egg white allergy is quite common but whether the egg is raw or cooked can also make a difference. A doctor should be consulted if you believe that an individual is sensitive to eggs and to conclude if he/she can consume any form of egg or foods that contain eggs.
What are the possible causes?
An egg allergy typically develops once the body reacts to the proteins present in eggs. Essentially, the digestive system absorbs the proteins into the bloodstream but oftentimes, the immune system mistakenly identifies the proteins as a threat and assaults them with the antibodies.
Antibodies can activate the discharge of chemicals such as histamine which is responsible for causing the symptoms of a food allergy. An egg allergy typically starts during infancy but children often outgrow the allergy at the age of 5-7.
Cooked egg versus raw egg
Incorrectly cooked or raw egg whites are considered more allergic than the cooked egg whites. Once the egg is cooked, some of the proteins are altered and can become less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. If the individual is mildly allergic, he/she can still eat foods that contain small amounts of the cooked eggs such as muffins and cakes. If the individual is suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, it can be aggravated by any amount eaten.
What are the symptoms?
An egg allergy can trigger various symptoms. A mild allergic reaction is defined by redness, skin rashes, swelling, hives, diarrhea, tingling sensation in the throat and mouth, abdominal pain and vomiting. A doctor should be consulted regarding these symptoms. If you want to properly manage these symptoms, read here. First aid training is highly beneficial so that you are prepared especially if a family member has food allergy.
A severe allergic reaction can trigger an anaphylactic shock. This can lead to breathing difficulty, rapid pulse rate and loss of consciousness. You have to call for emergency assistance right away and if an epinephrine injection is available, it should be administered or the condition can be fatal.
The ideal way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid eggs. If the individual experiences the symptoms regardless of whether the eggs were cooked or not, he/she should avoid all foods that contain eggs such as ice cream, baked goods, cream pies, Asian dishes, mayonnaise, meatloaf, egg noodles, custards and some sauces. It is also important to avoid certain foods that contain minimal amounts of eggs or those that are manufactured in factories that handle egg products. In case the individual can tolerate small amounts of cooked eggs, he/she can eat cooked eggs and baked goods.