Allergies to Eggs

Patient

Q: Can i eat boiled eggs and eggs products free of symptoms if i'm allergic to eggs. I was allergic to scrambled eggs when i was young. Now i'm afraid to eat them, fearful it will cause somekind of allergic reactions.

Doctor

A:   Eggs are not a bad thing but they can be if you have an allergy to them.
When people have allergies to eggs, their body - for reasons we don't know - think the protein found in eggs is harmful and launches an attack on the egg proteins.  This usually happens within minutes to hours after eating eggs.  The attack can cause reactions on:

the skin - in the form of red, bumpy rashes (hives), eczema, or redness and swelling around the mouth
the gastrointestinal tract - in the form of belly cramps, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
the respiratory tract - symptoms can range from a runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing to the triggering of asthma with coughing and wheezing

In severe egg allergies, an anaphylaxis reaction may occur.  This severe type of allergic reaction causes swelling of the mouth, throat, and airways resulting in breathing difficulty. In addition, there is a drop in blood pressure, which can lead to cardiac shock and death.
If you have a confirmed egg allergy, you should avoid all eggs and products that contain eggs.  You should also mention this allergy to all your health care providers as egg protein is sometimes found in products you may not suspect - like vaccines.
If you are unsure if you have an egg allergy, please see your family doctor and he or she will best be able to decide if an allergy test is needed.

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