An Egg Allergy : Your Responsibility

Food allergies can affect many lives. I have written about a variety of foods and ingredients that can cause allergies. An egg allergy is one of those in the top 4 that are usually mentioned, milk, fish, peanuts and eggs. Until January 2006 manufacturers were not required to identify what products contained eggs which made it very difficult for those with an egg allergy.

Food allergies are found in about one percent of the population in the United States. While this may seem like a small number, this statistic actually translates into millions of people who are dealing with this condition. Egg allergies can include reactions from a mild case of hives and a stomach ache, to severe symptoms that include difficulty breathing and a dangerous drop in blood pressure. These severe cases are known as anaphylaxis, and can be life-threatening in some situations. This is why it is so important to understand and identify any allergies that you might suffer from, and know exactly how to manage them.

Egg allergies are typically found in young children, and the lucky ones outgrow them by the time they are five years old. The most common cause of an egg allergy is the egg white. Some proteins found in egg yolks can also cause an allergic reaction in some folks as well. An egg allergy occurs when the immune system in a person’s body mistakenly identifies the protein in an egg as a harmful substance. The body then produces antibodies like histamines that will cause symptoms like wheezing, runny nose, hives and a stomach ache. These symptoms can affect the skin and a number of the bodies systems including the respiratory, digestive and cardiovascular systems.

Learning More About Your Egg Allergy

If you suspect that you have an egg allergy, you have probably experienced some of these symptoms shortly after eating an egg product. Your doctor can confirm your suspicions with a blood or skin test, although he may refer you to an allergist for testing and expert guidance in managing your allergy.

While the obvious solution to preventing an egg allergy is simply to avoid eating eggs, this can be much easier said than done since eggs are hidden in many of our food products. As mentioned in the beginning of this article manufacturers are required to identify when they use eggs as an ingredient but it isn’t that easy when you go out to restaurants.

I went to dinner with a friend who has an egg allergy and we chose a Chinese restaurant. In the middle of dinner she told me she was starting to get an itchy throat and that she probably had eaten something with eggs. I was really concerned because I know that anaphylaxis is a possible reaction to this type of allergy. Fortunately this wasn’t one of those times.

So the reality is you need to be aware of all the possible ways you can be exposed to eggs. If you have a child you may also have to be more careful since an egg allergy and immunizations can be a lethal mix. Many of the shots given to our children are exposed to eggs in the development process. It is up to you and your doctor to keep up on the latest ways to keep you safe.

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