An egg allergy is one of the top five most common food allergies in children. Eggs contain many proteins that can lead to allergy. People allergic to eggs are often allergic to more than one protein in the egg.
Someone allergic to eggs needs to avoid eggs in all forms. This is especially true for children under seven because of the risk of an anaphylactic reaction.
It is also important to realize most people allergic to chicken eggs are also allergic to other bird eggs. Eggs are frequently included in prepared food. It is important to read food labels diligently and eliminate all sources of egg from your child’s diet.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
Symptoms of egg allergy are identical to symptoms of any other allergy. Hives and redness or swelling around the mouth after ingestion is common, as well as gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing and wheezing are also common as a reaction to eggs.
Proteins in Egg
There are 9 major proteins found in eggs. Egg white proteins include ovalbumin, conalbumin, ovomucoid, ovomucin and lysozyme. Egg yolk proteins include lipovitellin, phosvitin, low density lipoproteins and livetins.
Proteins in eggs from different species sometimes cross-react, meaning a person allergic to one bird egg can also be allergic to other species of bird eggs. There is currently not enough research done to support or refute cross-reactivity between eggs.
Ingredients to Indicate the Presence of Egg
The diet of a child allergic to egg can contain a wide variety of foods as long as the ingredients above are eliminated from the diet. If you have any questions or are having trouble planning a diet, make an appointment with a pediatric dietitian. We will be able to ensure your child is eating a balanced diet free of egg and egg products.