Egg allergy

Egg allergy

An egg allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to exposure to eggs or foods containing eggs. Egg allergy is the second most common type of food allergy in children after milk allergy.

An egg allergy occurs when the body's immune system perceives egg protein as a dangerous substance. As a result, the body releases histamine as a protective effort to overcome it. The reaction is known as an allergic reaction.

An egg allergy can appear within minutes or hours after consuming eggs. The symptoms that appear can be mild, such as skin rash or nasal congestion, to severe, such as vomiting and shortness of breath. In some cases, egg allergy can also cause a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis reaction ).

Causes of Egg Allergy

An egg allergy occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to eggs or foods containing eggs, including:

  • Bread and cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Cake cream
  • Food that is fried with a coating of flour
  • Mayonnaise
  • Noodles and pasta

Egg allergy can also occur as a result of exposure to substances other than food containing eggs, such as:

  • Shampoo
  • Facial makeup
  • Nail polish

Allergens or allergens in eggs come from egg whites. However, because the egg yolk and egg white are in one unit, consuming the egg yolk can also trigger an allergic reaction.

Egg allergy is more common in children, especially in children aged 6-15 months. Babies who are still breastfeeding can also experience allergies to egg protein consumed by their mothers. This allergic reaction generally decreases as the child grows older. However, in some cases, egg allergy can occur until adulthood.

Egg allergy is also more at risk for sufferers of atopic eczema and individuals whose parents have a history of food allergies or asthma .

Egg Allergy Symptoms

Allergic reactions to eggs usually appear shortly after a person consumes or is exposed to substances containing eggs. The symptoms that appear can be in the form of mild complaints, among others:

  • Hives _ _ _ _
  • Swelling of the lips or eyelids
  • Eyes feel itchy or watery
  • Itchy ears or throat
  • Stuffy nose, runny nose, or sneezing
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing
  • Digestive disturbances, such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Although rare, egg allergy can also cause a dangerous anaphylactic reaction. This condition is characterized by:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unbearable stomach pain
  • Severe vomiting
  • Pale skin and cold sweats
  • Shock , which is marked by a drastic drop in blood pressure, dizziness or lightheadedness, and loss of consciousness

This severe allergic reaction is classified as an emergency condition that requires immediate medical attention.

When should you go to the doctor?

Check with your doctor if you or your child experiences the above symptoms after consuming eggs or being exposed to products containing eggs. If egg allergy symptoms develop into an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency help immediately.

Egg Allergy Diagnosis

Doctors can suspect that patients suffer from egg allergies if they experience the symptoms mentioned above, especially if complaints appear after consuming eggs or being exposed to substances containing eggs.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, the doctor needs to perform an allergy test , including:

  • Blood tests Blood
    tests aim to check the level of certain antibodies in the blood associated with an allergic reaction to eggs.
  • Skin
    test Skin prick test is done by pricking the skin with a small sample of egg protein. If the patient has an allergy, then a lump will appear at the location of the puncture.
  • Egg elimination
    test This test is performed by asking the patient to eliminate the egg menu from the food and record all the foods consumed every day. After that, the doctor will see if the patient's symptoms can subside.
  • Food challenge test ( food challenge test )
    In this test, the patient will be asked to eat a small amount of egg to see if there is a reaction. If a reaction does not appear, a larger portion of eggs will be given to look for signs of allergy. It is important to remember that this test can cause severe allergies so it can only be done by a doctor.

Egg Allergy Treatment

For mild egg allergies, the doctor will prescribe antihistamines . As for severe cases, such as anaphylaxis, the doctor will give an epinephrine injection .

In addition to the use of medicines , patients need to avoid consumption and display of eggs or ingredients containing eggs. The trick is to read the information about the content in the food or product.

Children who suffer from egg allergies generally recover after adulthood. This is because the body's immune system is becoming more and more perfect as we age. However, in patients who continue to experience an allergic reaction to eggs until adulthood, it is recommended to undergo an egg elimination diet.

An egg elimination diet is done by eliminating eggs from daily food consumption. The results of this diet will generally be seen after 1-2 years. To meet daily protein needs, patients can consume beef, chicken, or fish.

Complications of Egg Allergy

Complications of egg allergy in the form of anaphylactic reactions are rare. If it occurs, an anaphylactic reaction can start from mild symptoms, such as itching or a cold, then develop into something more serious.

It should be noted that the immune system of patients who respond to egg allergies can also cause other allergies, such as:

  • Allergies to other types of food, such as milk, soy, or nuts
  • Allergies to pet dander, dust, mites, or pollen
  • Allergic skin reactions, such as atopic dermatitis
  • Asthma

Egg Allergy Prevention

To prevent an allergic reaction to eggs, there are several efforts that can be made, namely:

  • Read information labels on food packaging or other products carefully
  • Be careful when ordering food from restaurants
  • Avoiding egg consumption for nursing mothers whose babies suffer from egg allergies
  • Using special allergy bracelets, especially for children, so that people around them can know the condition
  • Give exclusive breast milk until the baby is 6 months old, then continue until the age of 2 years, to reduce the risk of food allergies in children
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