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Egg allergy

Definition


Disease: Egg allergy Egg allergy
Category: Allergies

Disease Definition:

One of the most allergy-causing foods is eggs. Even though egg allergy is more common in children, but it could also occur in adults. Most children, by the time they’re five years old, outgrow their egg allergy.

 

Typically, allergic reactions occur a few minutes to a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs. Hives, skin rashes, vomiting and inflamed nasal passages are some of the signs and symptoms of an egg allergy, which could range from mild to severe. In some rare cases, egg allergy could cause a severe and life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

 

To avoid eating eggs and foods that contain eggs, a person should know exactly what it is they’re eating, so that an allergic reaction could be prevented. But because eggs are a common food ingredient, avoiding them could be a challenge. In order to relieve mild allergic reactions, a person could take some over-the-counter antihistamine medications. However, in the case of anaphylaxis, the patient should get emergency medical treatment along with a shot of epinephrine.
 

Work Group:


Symptoms, Causes

Symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of egg allergy vary from one person to another, which could occur within a few minutes to a few hours after ingesting eggs. Some of these signs and symptoms may be:

 

  • Allergic asthma
  • Rhinitis, which is allergic nasal inflammation
  • Skin inflammation or hives, the most common reaction of egg allergy
  • Cramps, nausea, vomiting or other gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Anaphylaxis

 

Anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction that can block the airways and breathing, could be caused by egg allergy. No matter how mild the reaction may have been, the patient should talk to a doctor in case they have a reaction to eggs. In order to confirm an egg allergy, a person should have tests so that steps could be taken in order to avoid future and potentially worse reactions.

 

Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires treatment with an epinephrine shot and a trip to the emergency room. Soon after eating eggs the signs and symptoms will start occurring which may include:

 

  • Rapid pulse
  • Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Constriction of airways, including a swollen throat or a lump in the throat that makes it difficult to breathe.
     

Causes:

All types of food allergies are due to an immune system malfunction. In the case of an egg allergy, a person’s immune system identifies certain egg proteins as harmful and triggers the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in order to neutralize the protein (allergen). The IgE antibodies recognize the egg proteins the next time that person comes in contact with them and signal the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals, causing a range of allergic signs and symptoms by this production of histamine and other body chemicals. Hives, runny nose, labored breathing, diarrhea, itchy eyes, dry throat, nausea, rashes and anaphylactic shock; all of these are allergic responses which histamine is partly responsible for.

 

Although allergy to egg white is more common, but both egg yolks and egg whites contain a number of proteins that can cause allergies. Some infants that are breast-fed have an allergic reaction to egg proteins in breast milk.
 

Complications

Complications:

Some other health problems are usually developed in children that are allergic to eggs, such as:

 

  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Allergic asthma
  • Hay fever, which is a reaction to pet dander, dust mites or grass pollen
  • Allergies to other foods, including milk, peanuts or soy
     

Treatments:

Avoiding eggs or egg products altogether is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction, a task which could be quite difficult because eggs are a common food ingredient, and in spite of their efforts, a person child could still come into contact with eggs. The signs and symptoms of an egg allergy could be reduced with medications, such as antihistamines.
After being exposed to eggs, a person with egg allergy should take antihistamines in order to control the allergic reaction and to help relieve discomfort.

 

An emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) along with a trip to the emergency room may be necessary in case a person or their child has an anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergy attack. They may also need to carry injectable epinephrine with them at all times in case they are at risk of having a severe reaction.
 

Prognosis:

Not available

Expert's opinion

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