What causes allergy to eggs

What causes allergy to eggs

The number of people with food allergies has risen sharply over the past few decades and, although the reason is unclear, other allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis own also increased.

One theory behind the rise is that a typical child’s diet has changed considerably over the final 30 to 40 years.

Another theory is that children are increasingly growing up in «germ-free» environments. This means their immune systems may not get sufficient early exposure to the germs needed to develop properly. This is known as the hygiene hypothesis.


Non-IgE-mediated food allergy

There’s another type of food allergy known as a non-IgE-mediated food allergy, caused by diverse cells in the immune system.

This is much harder to diagnose as there’s no test to accurately confirm non-IgE-mediated food allergy.

This type of reaction is largely confined to the skin and digestive system, causing symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion and eczema.

In babies, a non-IgE-mediated food allergy can also cause diarrhoea and reflux, where stomach acid leaks up into the throat.


Who’s at risk?

Exactly what causes the immune system to error harmless proteins as a threat is unclear but some things are thought to increase your risk of a food allergy.

Family history

If you own a parent, brother or sister with an allergic condition – such as asthma, eczema or a food allergy – you own a slightly higher risk of developing a food allergy.

However, you may not develop the same food allergy as your family members.

Other allergic conditions

Children who have atopic dermatitis (eczema) in early life are more likely to develop a food allergy.


If your kid has symptoms after eating certain foods, he or she may own a food allergy.

A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a certain food as harmful and reacts by causing symptoms. This is an allergic reaction.

What causes allergy to eggs

Foods that cause allergic reactions are allergens.

Non-IgE Mediated Food Allergies

Most symptoms of non-IgE mediated food allergies involve the digestive tract. Symptoms may be vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms can take longer to develop and may final longer than IgE mediated allergy symptoms. Sometimes, a reaction to a food allergen occurs up 3 days after eating the food allergen.

When an allergic reaction occurs with this type of allergy, epinephrine is generally not needed.

In general, the best way to treat these allergies is to stay away from the food that causes the reaction. Under are examples of conditions related to non-IgE mediated food allergies.

Not every children who react to a certain food own an allergy. They may own food intolerance. Examples are lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, sulfite sensitivity or dye sensitivity. Staying away from these foods is the best way to avoid a reaction. Your child’s doctor may propose other steps to prevent a reaction. If your kid has any food allergy symptoms, see your child’s doctor or allergist. Only a doctor can properly diagnose whether your kid has an IgE- or non-IgE food allergy.

Both can be present in some children.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Eosinophilic (ee-uh-sin-uh-fil-ik) esophagitis is an inflamed esophagus. The esophagus is a tube from the throat to the stomach. An allergy to a food can cause this condition.

With EoE, swallowing food can be hard and painful. Symptoms in infants and toddlers are irritability, problems with eating and poor weight acquire. Older children may own reflux, vomiting, stomach pain, chest pain and a feeling love food is “stuck” in their throat.

The symptoms can happen days or even weeks after eating a food allergen.

EoE is treated by special diets that remove the foods that are causing the condition. Medication may also be used to reduce inflammation.

Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES)

FPIES is another type of food allergy. It most often affects young infants. Symptoms generally don’t appear for two or more hours. Symptoms include vomiting, which starts about 2 hours or later after eating the food causing the condition.

This condition can also cause diarrhea and failure to acquire weight or height. Once the baby stops eating the food causing the allergy, the symptoms go away. Rarely, severe vomiting and diarrhea can happen which can lead to dehydration and even shock. Shock occurs when the body is not getting enough blood flow. Emergency treatment for severe symptoms must happen correct away at a hospital. The foods most likely to cause a reaction are dairy, soy, rice, oat, barley, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, squash and poultry.

Allergic Proctocolitis

Allergic proctocolitis is an allergy to formula or breast milk.

This condition inflames the lower part of the intestine. It affects infants in their first year of life and generally ends by age 1 year.

The symptoms include blood-streaked, watery and mucus-filled stools. Infants may also develop green stools, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia (low blood count) and fussiness. When properly diagnosed, symptoms resolve once the offending food(s) are removed from the diet.

Medical review December 2014.

Egg

Egg allergy (hen/chicken egg), along with milk, is one of the most common allergies in children.

There are as numerous as 23 proteins in egg, but most of the allergens are in the egg white, not the egg yolk.

There are three major proteins of concern in egg white: ovalbumin, the major allergen present in the highest proportion; ovomucoid, another egg white protein responsible for the majority of allergic reactions; and ovotransferrin. Egg yolk is an allergen but is not responsible for numerous reactions. Egg yolk cannot be safely separated from residual egg white protein allergens (e.g. strained egg yolk is not safe for an egg allergic individual).

Egg allergy is unique in that 70 to 80 percent of egg-allergic patients may tolerate egg that has undergone extensive baking (greater than 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, called “baked egg”) and are thus capable to consume baked egg in pastries, breads, and cakes.

Ovalbumin in specific is broken below and not capable to bind IgE after such heating. However, ovomucoid is heat-stable, and patients who are allergic to ovomucoid tend to not tolerate baked egg. One study noted that patients who were baked-egg tolerant and regularly consumed baked egg were capable to tolerate every forms of egg faster than those who could not tolerate baked egg. Wheat in baked goods may prevent the egg from being absorbed and recognized by the body.

Egg allergy is generally outgrown in childhood. One study showed that 66 percent of egg-allergic children tolerated egg by age 5, although almost one-third of children with high egg-specific IgE levels and children with other food allergies may still need to avoid eggs at 16 years of age.

To confirm egg allergy, an Oral Food Challenge (OFC) can be performed in a clinical setting with a board-certified allergist. OFC’s are also used to confirm tolerance of baked egg. Consult with a board-certified allergist for further instructions on preparing egg in baked goods and the timing of either a baked egg or egg OFC – risks may be involved, and not every patients are proper candidates. In an Australian study of one year olds, 80 percent of children who failed a food challenge to egg were tolerant of baked egg.

However, the best time to attempt a baked egg challenge is unclear.

Baked Egg Diet: What Is and Is Not OK?

It is essential to discuss with your allergist before introducing baked egg, since it is possible that eating foods containing baked egg may result in anaphylaxis. Check with your allergist or dietician for more specific guidelines, but in general, published data indicates the following guidelines[1]:

Allowed:

  1. Egg listed as the third ingredient or lower on the ingredient list.

  2. Home-baked items cooked at a minimum of 350 degrees F for at least 30 minutes that contain no more than two eggs per recipe batch.

  3. Home-baked goods with a thoroughly cooked middle (not moist/soft).

    Individual sized products (cupcake, brownie, muffin, etc.) are generally preferred to pieces of larger, full sized items because it is easier to make certain the middle is fully cooked.

Not Allowed:

  1. French toast
  2. Meringue cookies
  3. Caesar salad dressing
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Custard
  6. Egg listed as the first or second ingredient
  7. Pancakes made from scratch or a mix
  8. Frosting
  9. Home-baked goods in full-sized products (cookies, cakes, pans of brownies) where it is hard to tell if the middle is cooked through
  10. Pan-cooked egg of any style
  11. Home-baked products with more than two eggs per recipe batch
  12. Ice cream
  13. Quiche

Egg is an significant source of dietary fat and protein.

To replace these dietary benefits, egg-allergic individuals may need to glance at other food sources. A consultation with a nutritionist who has experience with food allergies may also be helpful to ensure balanced and adequate nutrition.

Other Sources of Protein

  1. Fish*
  2. Meat
  3. Beans*
  4. Milk*
  5. Grains* (such as wheat germ)
  6. Legumes*
  7. Soy*

Other Sources of Fat:

  1. Fatty fish*
  2. Seeds*
  3. Avocado
  4. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (vegetable oils such as olive, canola, safflower, sunflower, soy, corn, peanut, and cottonseed oil)
  5. Dairy products including butter, whole, or 2 percent milk*
  6. Meat products
  7. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated.

    Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.

  8. Nuts*
  9. Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food. This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

* These are among the most common allergenic foods. However, almost any food can cause an allergic reaction.

Check with a board certified allergist before adding any new foods to your.

Egg-Containing Vaccines: FAACTs to Know

Influenza vaccine (injectable and nasal) and the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine own been repeatedly shown to be safe even in individuals with egg allergy. There is still a general precaution for Yellow Fever vaccine that remains unchanged. Since 1995, the MMR vaccine has been considered safe for every egg-allergic recipients and should be routinely istered in the primary care setting. Since 2011 the CDC and AAAAI/ACAAI both own recommended that egg allergic individuals get influenza (prior to this it was often withheld or only given at an allergist’s office under a special procedure).

Furthermore, allergy testing to the vaccine and multiple dose vaccine desensitizations are no longer necessary. Injectable influenza vaccine is safe to egg-allergic children of any severity (including egg anaphylaxis) as a single dose, without testing to the vaccine. However, at this time the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics,recommend that only egg allergic children with a history of developing just hives after consuming egg should get the influenza vaccine in the primary care setting (e.g with their pediatrician), and that patients with a more severe history of reactivity should get the vaccine from a board-certified allergist.

However, to repeat, influenza vaccine is safe for any individual, including those with past severe reactions to egg, despite recommending that only the children with extremely mild past reactions to egg get this in the primary care setting.

Two Categories of Food Allergies

  • Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  • Lysozyme (used in Europe)
  • Non-IgE mediated. Other parts of the body’s immune system react to a certain food.

    This reaction causes symptoms, but does not involve an IgE antibody. Someone can own both IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergies.

  • Ovovitellin
  • Egg white and egg yolk cannot be separated without cross-contamination.
  • Many egg substitutes may contain egg.
  • Avoid egg and products containing egg.

  • Shiny coats/glazes on pastries/candies. These may be egg washes. Candy dots, lollipops, and soft pretzel glazes are possible examples of this.
  • Foams on coffee drinks may contain egg.
  • Globulin
  • Feeling love something terrible is about to happen
  • Egg nog                                                                                     
  • Meringue
  • Albumin
  • Always carry at least two (2) epinephrine auto-injectors at every times if you own been diagnosed with an egg allergy.

    This is in case one misfires or if symptoms return and a second dose is needed.

  • Lecithin (most soy lecithin does not contain egg, but double check).
  • Read every product labels prior to eating a new food product. According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), food products with advisory statements such as “may contain” or “manufactured in facility that processes” are voluntary. Manufacturers are not required to include these advisory statements. Whether or not the statement appears on a product has no bearing on the product’s safety.

    The absence of the statement also does not necessarily mean that product may own not been exposed to cross-contact. Cross-contact is when a food item has been manufactured on shared equipment with an allergen (for example, egg) during the manufacturing process. Contact the manufacturer to confirm the safety of a product.

  • Cross-contact can also happen when utensils or equipment are shared, such as cooking and serving utensils. For example, a spatula that was used to cook pancakes or a knife used to spread mayonnaise. These utensils are now contaminated and no longer safe for an egg-allergic individual.

  • Ovalbumin
  • Many pastas sold in stores contains egg, both dried and fresh.
  • Seek emergency medical assistance immediately after using an epinephrine auto-injector.

    What causes allergy to eggs

    This is due to the possibility of a biphasic reaction. A biphasic reaction is when a second reaction occurs due to the initial allergen exposure. Stay in medical care for at least 4-6 hours.

  • Marshmallows, marzipan, and nougat may contain egg.
  • Egg noodles                                                                          
  • Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Skin rash, itching, hives
  • Surimi
  • Egg (white, yolk, dried, lecithin, powdered, solids)              
  • Egg substitutes                                                                         
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated.

    Symptoms result from the body’s immune system making antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These IgE antibodies react with a certain food.

  • Cooking utensils should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after each use.

Egg in Unexpected Places

  1. Many egg substitutes may contain egg.
  2. Egg white and egg yolk cannot be separated without cross-contamination.
  3. Shiny coats/glazes on pastries/candies. These may be egg washes.

    Candy dots, lollipops, and soft pretzel glazes are possible examples of this.

  4. Lecithin (most soy lecithin does not contain egg, but double check).
  5. Many pastas sold in stores contains egg, both dried and fresh.
  6. Foams on coffee drinks may contain egg.
  7. Marshmallows, marzipan, and nougat may contain egg.

IgE Mediated Food Allergies

The IgE mediated food allergies most common in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.

The allergic reaction can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Some of the symptoms can include:

  1. Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  2. Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  3. Skin rash, itching, hives
  4. Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
  5. Feeling love something terrible is about to happen

Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild. Other times they can be severe. Take every allergic symptoms seriously. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis). This reaction generally involves more than one part of the body and can get worse quick.

Anaphylaxis must be treated correct away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.

Treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine. This medicine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. You can’t rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction happen shortly after contact with an allergen. In some individuals, there may be a delay of two to three hours before symptoms first appear.

Cross-Reactivity and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Having an IgE mediated allergy to one food can mean your kid is allergic to similar foods.

For example, if your kid is allergic to shrimp, he or she may be allergic to other types of shellfish, such as crab or crayfish. Or if your kid is allergic to cow’s milk, he or she may also be allergic to goat’s and sheep’s milk. The reaction between diverse foods is called cross-reactivity. This happens when proteins in one food are similar to the proteins in another food.

Cross-reactivity also can happen between latex and certain foods. For example, a kid who has an allergy to latex may also own an allergy to bananas, avocados, kiwis or chestnuts.

Some people who own allergies to pollens, such as ragweed and grasses, may also be allergic to some foods.

Proteins in the pollens are love the proteins in some fruits and vegetables. So, if your kid is allergic to ragweed, he or she may own an allergic reaction to melons and bananas. That’s because the protein in ragweed looks love the proteins in melons and bananas. This condition is oral allergy syndrome.

Symptoms of an oral allergy syndrome include an itchy mouth, throat or tongue. Symptoms can be more severe and may include hives, shortness of breath and vomiting.

Reactions generally happen only when someone eats raw food. In rare cases, reactions can be life-threatening and need epinephrine.

Avoid foods that contain egg ingredients, such as:

  1. Egg nog                                                                                     
  2. Meringue
  3. Albumin
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Egg (white, yolk, dried, lecithin, powdered, solids)              
  6. Egg substitutes                                                                         
  7. Ovovitellin
  8. Egg noodles                                                                          
  9. Globulin
  10. Ovalbumin
  11. Lysozyme (used in Europe)
  12. Surimi

Practical Tips

  1. Always carry at least two (2) epinephrine auto-injectors at every times if you own been diagnosed with an egg allergy.

    This is in case one misfires or if symptoms return and a second dose is needed.

  2. Cross-contact can also happen when utensils or equipment are shared, such as cooking and serving utensils. For example, a spatula that was used to cook pancakes or a knife used to spread mayonnaise. These utensils are now contaminated and no longer safe for an egg-allergic individual.

  3. Avoid egg and products containing egg.

  4. Read every product labels prior to eating a new food product. According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), food products with advisory statements such as “may contain” or “manufactured in facility that processes” are voluntary.

    Manufacturers are not required to include these advisory statements. Whether or not the statement appears on a product has no bearing on the product’s safety. The absence of the statement also does not necessarily mean that product may own not been exposed to cross-contact. Cross-contact is when a food item has been manufactured on shared equipment with an allergen (for example, egg) during the manufacturing process. Contact the manufacturer to confirm the safety of a product.

  5. Seek emergency medical assistance immediately after using an epinephrine auto-injector.

    This is due to the possibility of a biphasic reaction. A biphasic reaction is when a second reaction occurs due to the initial allergen exposure. Stay in medical care for at least 4-6 hours.

  6. Cooking utensils should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after each use.

Visiting restaurants can be a pleasant experience for family and friends to collect together. However, some restaurants may pose a food-allergy risk. There is also the risk of cross-contact even if an egg-free item is ordered. Please visit our Restaurant Web sheet for tips on how to manage visiting a restaurant.

Other pages that may be of interest:

Visit FAACT’s CROSS-CONTACT page to review how to properly clean allergens from hands and surfaces.

Bird JA, Jones S, Burks W.

Food allergy. In: Wealthy RR, Fleisher TA, Shearer WT, et al, eds. Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.

Du Toit G, Sayre PH, Roberts G, et al; Immune Tolerance Network LEAP-On Study Team. Effect of avoidance on peanut allergy after early peanut consumption. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(15):1435-1443. PMID: 26942922 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26942922.

NIAID-sponsored expert panel, Boyce JA, Assa’ad A, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(6 Suppl):S1-S58. PMID: 21134576 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134576.

Sicherer SH, Lack G, Jones SM. Food allergy management. In: Adkinson NF Jr, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds. Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 84.

Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;139(1):29-44.

PMID: 28065278 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28065278.

A food allergy is caused by your immune system handling harmless proteins in certain foods as a threat. It releases a number of chemicals, which trigger an allergic reaction.

Egg in Unexpected Places

  1. Many egg substitutes may contain egg.
  2. Egg white and egg yolk cannot be separated without cross-contamination.
  3. Shiny coats/glazes on pastries/candies. These may be egg washes. Candy dots, lollipops, and soft pretzel glazes are possible examples of this.
  4. Lecithin (most soy lecithin does not contain egg, but double check).
  5. Many pastas sold in stores contains egg, both dried and fresh.
  6. Foams on coffee drinks may contain egg.
  7. Marshmallows, marzipan, and nougat may contain egg.

IgE Mediated Food Allergies

The IgE mediated food allergies most common in infants and children are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, soy and wheat.

The allergic reaction can involve the skin, mouth, eyes, lungs, heart, gut and brain. Some of the symptoms can include:

  1. Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
  2. Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea
  3. Skin rash, itching, hives
  4. Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing
  5. Feeling love something terrible is about to happen

Sometimes allergy symptoms are mild. Other times they can be severe.

What causes allergy to eggs

Take every allergic symptoms seriously. Mild and severe symptoms can lead to a serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis (anna-fih-LACK-sis). This reaction generally involves more than one part of the body and can get worse quick. Anaphylaxis must be treated correct away to provide the best chance for improvement and prevent serious, potentially life-threatening complications.

Treat anaphylaxis with epinephrine. This medicine is safe and comes in an easy-to-use device called an auto-injector. You can’t rely on antihistamines to treat anaphylaxis. The symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction happen shortly after contact with an allergen.

In some individuals, there may be a delay of two to three hours before symptoms first appear.

Cross-Reactivity and Oral Allergy Syndrome

Having an IgE mediated allergy to one food can mean your kid is allergic to similar foods. For example, if your kid is allergic to shrimp, he or she may be allergic to other types of shellfish, such as crab or crayfish. Or if your kid is allergic to cow’s milk, he or she may also be allergic to goat’s and sheep’s milk. The reaction between diverse foods is called cross-reactivity. This happens when proteins in one food are similar to the proteins in another food.

Cross-reactivity also can happen between latex and certain foods.

For example, a kid who has an allergy to latex may also own an allergy to bananas, avocados, kiwis or chestnuts.

Some people who own allergies to pollens, such as ragweed and grasses, may also be allergic to some foods. Proteins in the pollens are love the proteins in some fruits and vegetables. So, if your kid is allergic to ragweed, he or she may own an allergic reaction to melons and bananas. That’s because the protein in ragweed looks love the proteins in melons and bananas. This condition is oral allergy syndrome.

Symptoms of an oral allergy syndrome include an itchy mouth, throat or tongue.

Symptoms can be more severe and may include hives, shortness of breath and vomiting. Reactions generally happen only when someone eats raw food. In rare cases, reactions can be life-threatening and need epinephrine.

Avoid foods that contain egg ingredients, such as:

  1. Egg nog                                                                                     
  2. Meringue
  3. Albumin
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Egg (white, yolk, dried, lecithin, powdered, solids)              
  6. Egg substitutes                                                                         
  7. Ovovitellin
  8. Egg noodles                                                                          
  9. Globulin
  10. Ovalbumin
  11. Lysozyme (used in Europe)
  12. Surimi

Practical Tips

  1. Always carry at least two (2) epinephrine auto-injectors at every times if you own been diagnosed with an egg allergy.

    This is in case one misfires or if symptoms return and a second dose is needed.

  2. Cross-contact can also happen when utensils or equipment are shared, such as cooking and serving utensils. For example, a spatula that was used to cook pancakes or a knife used to spread mayonnaise. These utensils are now contaminated and no longer safe for an egg-allergic individual.

  3. Avoid egg and products containing egg.

  4. Read every product labels prior to eating a new food product.

    According to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), food products with advisory statements such as “may contain” or “manufactured in facility that processes” are voluntary. Manufacturers are not required to include these advisory statements. Whether or not the statement appears on a product has no bearing on the product’s safety. The absence of the statement also does not necessarily mean that product may own not been exposed to cross-contact. Cross-contact is when a food item has been manufactured on shared equipment with an allergen (for example, egg) during the manufacturing process.

    Contact the manufacturer to confirm the safety of a product.

  5. Seek emergency medical assistance immediately after using an epinephrine auto-injector. This is due to the possibility of a biphasic reaction. A biphasic reaction is when a second reaction occurs due to the initial allergen exposure. Stay in medical care for at least 4-6 hours.

  6. Cooking utensils should be thoroughly washed with soap and water after each use.

Visiting restaurants can be a pleasant experience for family and friends to collect together.

However, some restaurants may pose a food-allergy risk. There is also the risk of cross-contact even if an egg-free item is ordered. Please visit our Restaurant Web sheet for tips on how to manage visiting a restaurant.

Other pages that may be of interest:

Visit FAACT’s CROSS-CONTACT page to review how to properly clean allergens from hands and surfaces.

Bird JA, Jones S, Burks W. Food allergy. In: Wealthy RR, Fleisher TA, Shearer WT, et al, eds. Clinical Immunology: Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 45.

Du Toit G, Sayre PH, Roberts G, et al; Immune Tolerance Network LEAP-On Study Team.

Effect of avoidance on peanut allergy after early peanut consumption.

What causes allergy to eggs

N Engl J Med. 2016;374(15):1435-1443. PMID: 26942922 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26942922.

NIAID-sponsored expert panel, Boyce JA, Assa’ad A, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States: report of the NIAID-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010;126(6 Suppl):S1-S58. PMID: 21134576 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21134576.

Sicherer SH, Lack G, Jones SM. Food allergy management. In: Adkinson NF Jr, Bochner BS, Burks AW, et al, eds.

Middleton’s Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 84.

Togias A, Cooper SF, Acebal ML, et al. Addendum guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the United States: report of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-sponsored expert panel. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;139(1):29-44. PMID: 28065278 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28065278.

A food allergy is caused by your immune system handling harmless proteins in certain foods as a threat. It releases a number of chemicals, which trigger an allergic reaction.


Foods

In children, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:

  1. milk – if a kid has an allergy to cows’ milk, they’re probably allergic to every types of milk, as well as infants’ and follow-on formula
  2. wheat
  3. eggs
  4. soya
  5. peanuts

In adults, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:

  1. peanuts
  2. fish
  3. tree nuts – such as walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and pistachios
  4. shellfish – such as crab, lobster and prawns

However, any type of food can potentially cause an allergy.

What causes allergy to eggs

Some people own allergic reactions to:

  1. gluten – a type of protein found in cereals
  2. fruit and vegetables – these generally only cause symptoms affecting the mouth, lips and throat (oral allergy syndrome)
  3. celery or celeriac – this can sometimes cause anaphylactic shock
  4. pine nuts (a type of seed)
  5. mustard
  6. sesame seeds
  7. meat – some people are allergic to just one type of meat, while others are allergic to a range of meats; a common symptom is skin irritation


The immune system

The immune system protects the body by producing specialised proteins called antibodies.

Antibodies identify potential threats to your body, such as bacteria and viruses.

What causes allergy to eggs

They signal your immune system to release chemicals to kill the threat and prevent the spread of infection.

In the most common type of food allergy, an antibody known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) mistakenly targets a certain protein found in food as a threat. IgE can cause several chemicals to be released, the most significant being histamine.

Histamine

Histamine causes most of the typical symptoms that happen during an allergic reaction. For example, histamine:

  1. causes little blood vessels to expand and the surrounding skin to become red and swell up
  2. affects nerves in the skin, causing itchiness
  3. increases the quantity of mucus produced in your nose lining, which causes itching and a burning sensation

In most food allergies, the release of histamine is limited to certain parts of the body, such as your mouth, throat or skin.

In anaphylaxis, the immune system goes into overdrive and releases large amounts of histamine and numerous other chemicals into your blood.

This causes the wide range of symptoms associated with anaphylaxis.


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