Egg Allergy: What You Need to Know
Egg allergy is one of the most frequent hypersensitivity processes that exist. However, it’s essential to identify it and then adapt the diet right away in order to avoid a protein deficit.
Before starting, we must emphasize that allergies are complex processes that have no solution beyond the restriction of the element that causes them. They’re caused by a failure in the immune system, although there may be different causes, such as genetic factors.
Symptoms of egg allergy
Egg allergy symptoms aren’t always the same. They can vary from one person to another and usually appear after the consumption of these foods.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, these are the most frequent:
- Inflammation of the skin
- Nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing
- Digestive problems like colic, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
- Symptoms consistent with asthma, such as wheezing or shortness of breath
It’s important to note that in the most severe cases, an anaphylactic reaction may develop. In this case, urgent medical intervention will be required. Symptoms of this serious process include the following:
- Constriction of the airways
- Colic and abdominal pain
- Acceleration of the pulse
- Reduction in blood pressure, dizziness, and loss of consciousness
The intensity of egg allergy can vary between patients. It’s crucial to know the degree of a person’s egg allergy to prevent anaphylaxis.
When should you see your doctor?
You should go to the doctor’s office if you experience the aforementioned symptoms after consuming eggs. It’s best to attend the consultation when the signs appear and, if possible, go to the emergency room to facilitate the diagnosis at the same time.
In the case of suffering an anaphylactic reaction, the proper thing to do is to seek emergency treatment immediately. It will also be important to consult a doctor if a significant increase in body temperature is detected after ingesting eggs. Episodes of fever can be a symptom of autoimmune processes.
Causes of egg allergy
Egg allergy is produced by an overreaction of the immune system, which recognizes some of the proteins in the food as harmful elements and, therefore, attacks, causing inflammation. Histamine is usually released, a chemical that causes symptoms to develop.
In the case of an egg allergy, both the white and the yolk are capable of triggering the autoimmune process. For this reason, it’s crucial to remove both elements from the diet. However, it’s possible to suffer only an allergy to the protein of egg whites, this being a relatively frequent pathology.
In fact, it’s common for this problem to be experienced with a certain transitory nature during the first stages of life, as evidenced by research published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Over time, tolerance to the food could increase, although in certain cases, the hypersensitive process will remain.
Although allergies are categorized as a spontaneous process, there are a number of risk factors that can condition their appearance, which are as follows:
- Atopic dermatitis. There’s a relationship between the development of dermatitis and the tendency to suffer from an egg allergy.
- Family history. Food allergies usually have a certain genetic component. For this reason, the risk will be higher if a person’s ancestors have developed egg problems. This is indicated by a study published in Medicine.
- Age. It’s more common for an egg allergy to develop in children, especially when food’s introduced into the diet earlier than indicated by the pediatrician. It’s best to strictly follow the instructions regarding complementary feeding to avoid these risks.
Egg allergy complications
The worst that can happen in cases of egg allergy is a serious reaction such as anaphylaxis. If the consumption of the food is avoided, the patient shouldn’t produce symptoms or experience major alterations. However, when an allergy develops, the risk of other cross-hypersensitivity processes increases.
For example, it’s not unlikely for a child with an egg allergy to end up developing symptoms after the ingestion of other foods like milk or peanuts. The patient may experience other signs outside of the dietary components.
Egg allergy can’t be prevented. Some research indicates that the inclusion of this food at the optimal time in complementary feeding could reduce the risk. However, stronger evidence is necessary.
Be that as it may, once the allergy has developed, the only thing that can be done as a preventive measure is to remove the food from the diet. To this end, special attention must be paid to food labels, as they indicate the presence of possible allergens.
At the same time, it’s crucial to exercise extreme caution when eating out. It’s best to always notify the staff in order to avoid cross-contamination.
How to replace eggs in the diet?
It’s important to keep in mind that eggs are a food that stands out for its nutritional density. They contain proteins of high biological value as well as vitamin D. These two nutrients are necessary in order to ensure good health in the medium term. In fact, most of the population is deficient in vitamin D, which is considered harmful. This is indicated by a study published in Reviews in Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders.
To avoid alterations in the state of health derived from a deficit of nutrients, those with an egg allergy must optimize their diet. First of all, they’ll need to increase the contribution of proteins of a high biological value of animal origin.
As a result, the daily requirements will be achieved more easily. These are estimated at more than 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight for sedentary people who don’t do much physical activity, according to research published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism.
Likewise, emphasizing the intake of oily fish will improve the levels of vitamin D in the body. Frequent exposure to sunlight must also be guaranteed, as the endogenous synthesis of this vitamin is stimulated by radiation.
Vaccines and egg allergy
It’s important to note that some vaccines have egg proteins in them. In certain people, injecting them could increase the risk of suffering a serious allergic reaction, so the person in charge of administering the vaccine must be informed if the allergy exists.
The vaccines that are prone to contain egg protein include measles, mumps, and rubella, flu, and yellow fever vaccines. The rest don’t usually pose a risk for allergy sufferers, although it’s always advisable to notify the doctor beforehand.
It’s important to know that there are vaccine alternatives for people with an egg allergy. Having a hypersensitivity to food proteins doesn’t mean that immunizations can’t be administered.
Egg allergy: A dietary problem that’s more common in children
Egg allergy is an autoimmune disease that usually develops during the early stages of life. In some cases, it resolves spontaneously, although, in others, it persists. Be that as it may, it’s important to be attentive to the symptoms in order to perform tests if necessary.
It’s important to emphasize that the best way to control an allergy is to remove the food from the diet. Even small traces of it could lead to anaphylactic reactions in severe cases.It might interest you...
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