Allergy to eggs: symptoms, prevention, treatment
Eggs are one of the most powerful allergens and often cause a specific reaction not only in adults, but also in young children.
Symptoms of an allergy are usually manifested througha few minutes (sometimes several hours) after eating eggs or products containing them (including egg powder). Symptoms of intolerance can be either mild or severe: skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, vomiting, or other digestive disorders. In rare cases, eggs cause anaphylaxis - a reaction dangerous to life.
Allergy to eggs is often manifested in infancy, during the introduction of new complementary foods. The majority of children outgrow it to the onset of adolescence.
The reaction of the body entirely depends on its individual characteristics and manifests itself soon after the use of the allergen in food. Given that it implies an egg allergy, the symptoms are as follows:
- Cutaneous inflammation, or urticaria, is the most common allergic reaction.
- Nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing (allergic rhinitis).
- Signs of digestive disorders: colic, nausea, vomiting.
- Signs and symptoms of asthma: coughing, sneezing, a feeling of tightness in the chest or lack of breathing.
Severe allergy to eggs in adults or childrencan lead to anaphylaxis - a potentially fatal condition requiring immediate administration of epinephrine (adrenaline) and emergency care. Signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include the following conditions:
- Narrowing of the airways, including swelling or a sensation of a coma in the throat along with a lack of breathing.
- Cramps and pains in the thorax.
- Increased heart rate.
- Shock state with a sharp drop in blood pressure, manifested in the form of deterioration of well-being, dizziness or loss of consciousness.
It is advisable to discuss with the doctor any reaction (evenif it seems insignificant), if you or your child showed an allergy to chicken eggs. The severity of the symptoms can be different each time, so even with a small initial reaction, later, more serious symptoms can be expected.
If the doctor believes that your child canmanifest a severe reaction, he will prescribe an immediate injection of epinephrine in the case of anaphylaxis. Such injections are made with the help of a syringe-pen, which provides emergency administration of the drug.
When should I see a doctor?
It is necessary to make an appointment for a consultation with an allergist,if you or your child has symptoms of food allergies immediately after eating eggs or products containing eggs. If possible, it is better to show the doctor right at the time of an atypical reaction to the product - so the specialist will quickly and accurately diagnose.
With signs of anaphylaxis it is necessary immediatelycall an ambulance and take a single dose of epinephrine in a special syringe, if the egg allergy is diagnosed and the drug is officially prescribed by a doctor.
Intolerance to certain foods -this is not exactly an adequate response of the immune system to new foods. In this case, immunity mistakenly perceives certain proteins contained in eggs as harmful substances. When you or your child come into contact with these proteins, the cells of the immune system (antibodies) recognize the imaginary danger and signal the body about the need to release into the blood histamine and other chemical compounds that cause the signs and symptoms of an allergy.
Proteins, which are potential allergens,are contained both in the protein and in the yolk, but most often there is an individual intolerance to the egg protein. An egg allergy (photo of which is presented in many medical reference books) can also occur in a baby who is breastfed if his mother uses yolks and proteins as food.
The following circumstances increase the risk of developing egg intolerance:
- Atopic dermatitis. Children with similar skin rashes suffer more often from allergies to chicken eggs than their peers with healthy skin.
- Family history. You are at risk if one or both of your parents have asthma, a food allergy or an individual intolerance, manifested as allergic rhinitis, urticaria, or eczema.
- Age. Allergy to eggs is most common in children. With age, the digestive system finally ripens, and cases of food allergy are registered less frequently.
The only way to prevent anomalousreaction - stop eating eggs and their derivatives. However, some people with this type of allergy react normally to products containing processed eggs, for example, baked goods.
Medicines - antihistamines - reduceintensity of symptoms of mild food allergy. These drugs can be drunk after exposure to the allergen on the body. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that they are not able to completely prevent the abnormal reaction and are ineffective in the treatment of severe conditions.
You may need to always carry a syringe pen with epinephrine. A prick is required for anaphylaxis.
The egg allergy in the child seldom carries a seriouscharacter, since most children gradually outgrow this ailment. Discuss with the doctor the possibility of monitoring whether individual signs of intolerance to egg proteins persist over time. You should not give eggs to your child as an experiment, because it is impossible to predict the reaction of the child's organism to repeated eating of a potentially harmful product.
You can take measures on your own to prevent an allergic reaction or to prevent its deterioration. For example:
- Carefully read the product informationindicated on the packaging. Some people do not tolerate eggs, even in scanty residual quantities (such a number is indicated by the inscription on the package of the goods: "It may contain traces of eggs").
- Be careful in catering establishments. Not only waiters - sometimes even cooks are not quite sure about the presence or absence of egg proteins in a particular dish.
- Notify all adults with whom you leavechild, about his individual intolerance. Nurses, teachers, relatives should remember that the child is allergic to eggs (photo it show what can be if he eats an egg), and not give him potentially dangerous products. Make sure that adults know how to behave in an emergency.
- If you are breastfeeding, avoid eating eggs. Egg proteins penetrate into the mother's milk and can cause symptoms of food allergies in the baby.
Products with hidden egg content
Unfortunately, even if the composition of the product does notthe eggs and their derivatives are indicated, it can still contain a certain number of egg proteins. To dispel all doubts in this case only the manufacturer is capable.
For convenience, you can use the following list of products with hidden eggs, but remember that it is far from complete:
- marshmallow and pastille;
- bakery products;
- processed meat, meat rolls and meatballs;
- puddings and custard;
- dressings for salads;
- Foam on delicious coffee with alcohol;
If egg products were used in the production of certain foods, the following substances can be found in the composition:
- names starting with "ova" or "ovo", for example, ovalbumin (egg albumin) or ovoglobulin.
Allergies to eggs can also occur during treatmenthome-cooked meals in someone else's house, where small amounts of eggs can be found in food due to the peculiarities of preparing a complex menu. If you can not completely avoid allergies, you should prepare as much as possible for possible symptoms.