Egg allergies can be the worst ailment ever. Think about the delicious cakes and muffins you would have to give up on! To make things worse, egg allergies, like other food allergies, are difficult to diagnose because eggs are often used in most people’s daily diets.
While egg allergies are common in children, anybody can suffer from it. The only good news is that kids may outgrow an egg allergy as they reach their teens.1
What Causes Egg Allergies?
The most common egg allergy is an allergy to the egg whites. However, it’s also possible to be allergic to the proteins in the yolk. Your immune system keeps you protected from harmful foreign bodies. When it becomes abnormally sensitive to the proteins in eggs, you develop an egg allergy. In response to the proteins ingested, the body releases chemicals such as histamine to fight the “dangerous substances.”2
Note that egg intolerance is different from an egg allergy. While an intolerance is caused due to digestive issues, an allergy is due to a weak or affected immune system.
Symptoms Of An Egg Allergy
The symptoms of an egg allergy vary based on the severity of the allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention as the symptoms can be life-threatening.3 4 So, if you notice any of the following symptoms, ensure that you head to the doctor right away.5 Common symptoms are as follows:
- Breathing difficulties
- A persistent cough
- Swelling of the tongue
- Speech difficulties
- Swelling of the throat
Mild allergic symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Swelling of the face, lips, and eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy mouth
How To Get Rid Of An Egg Allergy
The best way to prevent an egg allergy is to eliminate it entirely from your diet. To treat the symptoms of the allergy, doctors usually prescribe an antihistamine for mild reactions. In severe cases, medications are provided to normalize breathing and bring down the swelling.6
If the symptoms are severe and the allergy is due to egg whites, stop eating eggs as it is difficult to get the yolk entirely free of the egg whites. In case you are allergic to chicken eggs, your doctor may also recommend avoiding eggs from ducks, geese, quails, and turkeys.7
Healthy Alternatives For Eggs In Recipes
While some people might tolerate eggs in products such as cakes or biscuits, others might not.8 If you are one of those who has to give up on eggs completely, substitute it with these ingredients for a delicious egg-free meal.
Applesauce is a sauce made from cooked apples. It can be used to add moisture to a cake. For every single egg that a recipe requires, add 1/4 cup of applesauce. If you are making a cake from scratch, adding 1 teaspoon of baking powder with each 1/4 cup of applesauce can make it light and fluffy. Try using the unsweetened applesauce to avoid making the dessert too sweet.
2. Mashed Bananas
Just like applesauce, mashed bananas also add moisture to a dish. This is useful in binding the ingredients and adding texture. Use 1 ripe mashed banana for every egg required. Since it has a strong flavor, ensure that the flavor complements the recipe you use it in.
3. Baking Soda And Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar can replace eggs in most recipes. To use them as a rising agent, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of vinegar instead of 1 egg. Use only vinegar if you are using self-raising flour or baking powder.
4. Flax Seeds
In addition to being a good source of omega 3 and fiber, flax seeds are excellent binding agents. Make a gelatinous mixture by combining 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. However, avoid using it in cakes or bread as it doesn’t give a light and airy texture.
Note: Read food labels before you purchase a product as there are several hidden sources of eggs.
|↑1||Gupta, Ruchi S., Claudia H. Lau, Elizabeth E. Sita, Bridget Smith, and Matthew J. Greenhawt. “Factors associated with reported food allergy tolerance among US children.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 111, no. 3 (2013): 194-198.|
|↑2, ↑7||EGG ALLERGY. Food Allergy Research and Education.|
|↑3||ANAPHYLAXIS. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.|
|↑4, ↑6||Caubet, Jean-Christoph, and Julie Wang. “Current understanding of egg allergy.” Pediatric Clinics of North America 58, no. 2 (2011): 427-443.|
|↑5||Egg allergy. Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government.|
|↑8||Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|