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Egg Allergy

Eggs can be a great source of protein as a part of a healthy diet. But you can be allergic to some of the proteins that are found in either the egg yolk or the egg white or even both. An egg allergy, like any allergy, is when your immune system identifies these proteins as harmful. When you ingest these proteins, your immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts and releases histamine and other substances, which then cause your allergic symptoms. The main proteins in egg are found in the egg white, but egg yolk also contains a large portion of specific IgE-binding proteins. People with an egg allergy must avoid both the egg white and the egg yolk because it’s not possible to completely separate the egg white from the yolk.2,3

 


 

egg allergy graph

Eggs are one of the most common causes of allergic reactions in children.1 In fact, egg is the second most common food allergy—after milk—in infants and young children.1,4-7 

Egg 2.5

Studies estimate that as many as 2.5% of young children are allergic to eggs.8


70% Allergy Outgrow

Fortunately, studies also show that about 70% of children with an egg allergy will outgrow it.8 


Egg Report

But this research also suggests that children are outgrowing their egg allergy more slowly than before, with many children still allergic beyond age 5.


Since the majority of children do outgrow their egg allergy, periodic re-evaluation, including testing, is recommended.9

 

Egg allergy symptoms

Egg allergy reactions vary from person to person and can occur within a few minutes to a few hours after eating. 

Signs and symptoms of an egg allergy can include:

  • Skin rashes/hives
  • Digestive symptoms (e.g stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea)
  • Vomiting
  • Nasal congestion (rare)
  • Mild wheezing or coughing (rare) 
Anaphylaxis warning

Eggs are often responsible for the development of hives and eczema (atopic dermatitis) in infants. Although rare, egg allergy can also cause anaphylaxis—a life-threatening reaction that requires immediate care.10

Learn more about anaphylaxis >

Egg Allergy Testing

Egg Allergy Testing

Ask Questions. Get Answers.

"Am I allergic to eggs?" isn't a simple "yes" or "no" question. Egg allergy reactions can vary from a mild reaction, such as a localized rash, to systemic reactions, including anaphylaxis. These reactions depend on which egg protein is causing the reaction.

Eggs comprise different proteins; a person with an egg allergy could be reacting to one or more of these proteins.


Specific IgE blood testing for egg components helps your healthcare provider identify the specific proteins that may cause your reactions. So instead of knowing that you are allergic to egg in general, you can know exactly which protein may trigger the reaction and the likelihood of outgrowing the allergy. Testing with allergen components can be used to find out whether the allergy is to an egg protein that can be broken down when exposed to extensive heat, such as in muffins or cookies. It can also help your healthcare provider determine whether an oral food challenge (OFC) test is recommended. An OFC test can be used to help confirm your egg allergy or determine whether you have outgrown it.

Meaning, you can get answers to questions such as:

"Will a piece of cake trigger my symptoms?"

"Can I potentially outgrow my egg allergy?"

 


Create your personalized
symptom assessment.

 

Common egg allergy triggers

Eggs are a hidden ingredient in many foods; even some commercial egg substitutes contain egg protein or egg whites. That’s why it is so important to read the label or ask about ingredients before buying or eating a food. Ingredients in packaged foods can change at any time—and without warning—so check the ingredients carefully every time. 

Eggs can be found in foods including:

Eggs can also be found in some medications and vaccines. Avoiding egg can be a challenge and can pose significant quality of life issues.11

 

Baked egg breakthrough

When eggs are heated extensively or baked the proteins change shape, and for some people this could mean that their immune system will no longer recognize and overreact to the protein. In fact, studies have shown that 70% of children with an egg allergy can actually tolerate baked foods containing egg, like a muffin or a cookie.12,13

This means some people with an egg allergy can go to a birthday party and eat the cake, as opposed to skipping the cake (or the party). A simple blood test can help your healthcare professional determine if you’re a good candidate for an oral food challenge to see if you’re likely to tolerate baked egg. 

My Symptom Profile

My Symptom Profile

Make the most of your appointment
Talk to your healthcare provider about specific IgE blood testing.

Use these questions to help your healthcare provider understand what’s going on with your symptoms. Review your answers together during your office visit to decide if specific IgE blood testing is right for you.

Help your healthcare provider understand what’s been going on with your symptoms and decide if specific IgE blood testing is right for you!

Start Questionnaire

Here Is Your Recap. Now What?

What can your My Symptom Profile tell you about allergies? Nothing, by itself. So resist the temptation to self-diagnose. Treating allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medications or other remedies without determining the cause could lead to more issues in the long run. When paired with testing, such as specific IgE blood testing for food or respiratory allergies, your My Symptom Profile can guide your healthcare provider in creating a customized trigger-management plan to help reduce exposure to suspected allergens.

What symptoms are you experiencing or have you experienced?

Do your symptoms get worse during a particular time?

Do you notice your symptoms more in certain places?

How long have your symptoms been present?

Finished!

Select all that apply
Runny nose
Sneezing
Fatigue
Diarrhea
Itchy eyes
Wheezing
Chest tightness
Abdominal cramps
Itchy mouth
Difficulty breathing
Red, itchy patches of skin
Constipation
Scratchy throat
Select all that apply
In the morning
At nighttime
In the fall
In the spring/summer
In winter or when temperatures drop
After eating certain foods
When sick
During or after exercise
Other
Select all that apply
At home
At school/work
Outdoors
Indoors
Around pets or animals
Select one
Since birth
Less than 1 week
More than 6 weeks
For several years

Download a PDF of your results to help guide your conversation and maximize your time with your healthcare provider.

OR
Download Results
 
Am I Allergic?

Am I Allergic?

If you think you or a loved one may have an egg allergy, don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy.

Knowing if you’re allergic and what you’re allergic to can help you get relief. Be sure to consult with your healthcare professional.

References
  1. Eggesbo M, et al. The prevalence of allergy to egg: a population-based study in young children. Allergy. 2001;56(5):403–11.
  2. Anet J, Back JF, Baker RS, Barnett D, Burley RW, Howden MEH. Allergens in the white and yolk of hen´s egg. Int Archs Allergy Appl Immun 1985;77:364-71.
  3. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).  https://www.foodallergy.org/common-allergens/egg. Accessed October 2017.
  4. Sicherer SH, Sampson HA. Food allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;S116-S125.
  5. Sampson, HA. Role of immediate food hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1983;71(5):473–80.
  6. Sampson HA, McCaskill CC. Food hypersensitivity and atopic dermatitis: evaluation of 113 patients. J Pediatr. 1985;107(5):669–75.
  7. Sampson HA, Scanlon SM. Natural history of food hypersensitivity in children with atopic dermatitis. J Pediatr. 1989;115(1):23–7.
  8. Rona RJ, et al. The prevalence of food allergy: a meta-analysis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007;120(3):638–46.
  9.  Johns Hopkins Medicine, Milk And Egg Allergies Harder To Outgrow https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071215205437.htm. Accessed August 2017.
  10. Caubet JC, Wang J. Current Understanding of Egg Allergy. Pediatric clinics of North America 58.2 (2011): 427–443. 
  11. Mofidi S. Nutritional management of pediatric food hypersensitivity. Pediatrics. 2003;111(6 Pt 3):1645–53.    
  12. Nowak-Wegrzyn A, et al. Tolerance to extensively heated milk in children with cow’s milk allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;122:342-7.
  13. Lemon-Mule H, et al. Immunologic changes in children with egg allergy ingesting extensively heated egg. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008;122:977–83.