What protein causes egg allergy
The immune system protects the body by producing specialised proteins called antibodies.
Antibodies identify potential threats to your body, such as bacteria and viruses. 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 causes most of the typical symptoms that happen during an allergic reaction. For example, histamine:
- causes little blood vessels to expand and the surrounding skin to become red and swell up
- affects nerves in the skin, causing itchiness
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s rare for someone to have an allergic reaction to food additives. However, certain additives may cause a flare-up of symptoms in people with pre-existing conditions.
Sulphur dioxide (E220) and other sulphites (from numbers E221 to E228) are used as preservatives in a wide range of foods, especially soft drinks, sausages, burgers, and dried fruits and vegetables.
Sulphur dioxide is produced naturally when wine and beer are made, and is sometimes added to wine.
Anyone who has asthma or allergic rhinitis may react to inhaling sulphur dioxide.
A few people with asthma own had an attack after drinking acidic drinks containing sulphites, but this isn’t thought to be extremely common.
Food labelling rules require pre-packed food sold in the UK, and the relax of the European Union, to show clearly on the label if it contains sulphur dioxide or sulphites at levels above 10mg per kg or per litre.
Benzoic acid (E210) and other benzoates (E211 to E215, E218 and E219) are used as food preservatives to prevent yeasts and moulds growing, most commonly in soft drinks.
They happen naturally in fruit and honey.
Benzoates could make the symptoms of asthma and eczema worse in children who already own these conditions.
Sheet final reviewed: 15 April 2019
Next review due: 15 April 2022
en españolAlergia al huevo
Eggs are everywhere. Not only are they served for breakfast, but they’re also in every sorts of foods — from muffins to meatloaf. But what if you were allergic to eggs?
Some babies and kids own an allergic reaction to eggs. If that happens, they can’t eat eggs for a while.
But the excellent news is that most kids (but not all) outgrow this allergy and can eat eggs with no problem after they do.
What Is an Egg Allergy?
When someone has an egg allergy, the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, overreacts to proteins in egg. If the person drinks or eats a product that contains egg, the body thinks these proteins are harmful invaders. The immune system responds by working extremely hard to fight off the invader.
This causes an allergic reaction.
What Do Doctors Do?
Doctors diagnose an egg allergy with skin tests or blood tests. A skin test (also called a scratch test) is the most common allergy test.
Skin testing lets a doctor see in about 15 minutes if someone is sensitive to egg.
With this test, the doctor or nurse:
- puts a tiny bit of egg extract on the kid’s skin
- pricks the outer layer of skin or makes a little scratch on the skin
If the area swells up and get red (like a mosquito bite), the kid is sensitive to eggs.
How Is an Egg Allergy Treated?
The best way to treat an egg allergy is to avoid eating eggs or any food containing eggs. Parents will own to assist babies and young kids avoid eggs. Some older kids won’t outgrow their egg allergy.
These kids can study to watch out for eggs and foods made with eggs.
Prevention is the name of the game with food allergies, so it’s significant for kids to learn:
- how to treat a reaction if they own one
- how to read food labels to avoid eggs and egg-containing foods
Treating a Reaction
Kids who own an egg allergy should own a plan in case they accidentally eat eggs. Work with your parents, doctor, and school nurse to own a plan in put. It may involve having medicine on hand, such as an antihistamine, or in severe cases, an epinephrine auto-injector.
This comes in a little easy-to-carry container. It’s simple to use. Your doctor will show your parents (and you, if you’re ancient enough) how to use it.
The doctor and your parents also might desire you to wear a medical alert bracelet.
What Are the Signs & Symptoms of an Egg Allergy?
When someone with an egg allergy has something with egg in it, itcan cause symptoms like:
- belly pain
- red spots
- throat tightness
- trouble breathing
- itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- feeling lightheaded or passing out
Some reactions to egg are mild and involve only one part of the body, love hives on the skin.
But even when someone has had only a mild reaction in the past, the next reaction can be severe.
In rare cases, a person could own a extremely serious allergic reaction, which can cause anaphylaxis (say: an-uh-fih-LAK-sis). Medical care is needed correct away because the person may own breathing problems and a drop in blood pressure.
Anaphylaxis is treated with a medicine called epinephrine (say: ep-uh-NEF-rin), which is given by injection (a shot).
Kids who own a severe egg allergy will generally carry — or own a grown-up carry — an epinephrine injection, just in case.
What Else Should I Know?
Always wash your hands before eating. If soap and water aren’t available, you can use hand-cleaning wipes. But don’t use hand sanitizer gels or sprays. Hand sanitizers only get rid of germs — they don’t get rid of egg proteins.
Chicken eggs are one of the most common allergy triggers in the world.
Scientific tests own shown that 0.2% of the European population suffers from this allergy. The respondents themselves reported otherwise: 2.5% of the patients surveyed claimed to own an egg allergy (data from 2015).
In children, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:
- 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
In adults, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are:
- tree nuts – such as walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds and pistachios
- shellfish – such as crab, lobster and prawns
However, any type of food can potentially cause an allergy.
Some people own allergic reactions to:
- gluten – a type of protein found in cereals
- sesame seeds
- pine nuts (a type of seed)
- fruit and vegetables – these generally only cause symptoms affecting the mouth, lips and throat (oral allergy syndrome)
- celery or celeriac – this can sometimes cause anaphylactic shock
- 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 rise in food allergy cases
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.