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Egg Allergy    Print Page

Food AllergiesEgg is one of the most common causes of food allergy. It is estimated that most children outgrow egg allergy by the age of five, but some people remain allergic for a lifetime. The egg is made up of many different proteins, some of which are allergenic and others which are not. Most people with an egg allergy are allergic to the egg white proteins, and others are allergic to the yolk.

The most commonly reported symptoms seen with this kind of allergy include: atopic dermatitis (eczema) , urticaria (hives) , asthma allergic rhinitis , anaphylactic shock and digestive symptoms. 

Foods that contain egg products are everywhere, including baked goods, mixes, batters, sauces, frostings, breaded meats, breakfast cereals, cake flours, candies, cookies, creamy fillings, mayonnaise, meatloaf. meatballs, meringues, noodle soups, many processed meats, puddings, root beers, salad dressings, spaghetti, and even some wines and much more. There are also cosmetics, shampoos and pharmaceuticals (including flu vaccines) that contain egg proteins, so be sure to read the labels carefully and ask.

What makes it even more difficult to avoid is that eggs are not always listed as “egg” on labels. Watch out for the terms albumin, globulin, lecithin, livetin, lysozyme, ovalbumin, ovoglobulin, ovomucin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, ovovitelia, ovovitellin, silici albuminate, simplesse, and vitellin - these all imply egg protein is present. It is also crucial to watch out for how the label says these ingredients are used in the product, as binders, emulsifiers, or coagulants.

As with most allergies, avoidance is key. Make sure to read all labels for foods, medicines, cosmetics, creams and ointments that may contain any type or amount of egg. A history of allergic reactions shortly after exposure to eggs might suggest an allergy. However, this should be confirmed with a skin prick test or RAST. Talk to your doctor about a complete diagnosis.



SOURCE: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. First created 1995; fully updated 1998; most recently updated 2005.
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