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Eggs intolerance symptoms

Egg Intolerance and allergy

What does egg intolerance mean?

If you have an egg intolerance, your body’s immune system may react to the protein present in either the egg whites, egg yolks or both. An egg intolerance is an IgG reaction, whereas an egg allergy is an IgE reaction.

It is improtant to note that egg intolerance symptoms and egg allergy symptoms vary in type and severity. Should you have either an egg intolerance or an egg allergy, it is advisable to avoid eating eggs altogether and this includes those from ducks, quail and geese which contain similar proteins to chicken eggs.

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Easy to use home-to-laboratory test kit

Take our most comprehensive food and drink intolerance* test to find out whether you have an intolerance to over 200 food and drink ingredients. Simply take a finger-prick blood sample and return by post for testing. Receive your results within 7 days! No social interaction required.

Optimise your lifestyle with our support, knowing which foods you’re reacting to.

  • Discuss your results with a nutritional therapist. One 30-minute consultation included
  • Measures all four subtypes of food-specific IgG
  • Simple finger-prick blood test
  • Receive expert, accurate analysis from our fully-accredited laboratory technicians
  • Results listed in easy-to-read traffic light values: high, borderline, and normal reactivity
  • Track your progress with a food and drinks diary
  • This test is not available to customers who are pregnant or breastfeeding

Symptoms of an egg intolerance

Egg intolerance symptoms are not immediately apparent and can be delayed for up to 72 hours after eating eggs or egg proteins. Food intolerances and their symptoms vary in severity and can affect a person both physically and psychologically. Typical symptoms of a food intolerance include:

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IBS
Bloating
Stomach ache
Other digestive symptoms

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Headaches

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Eczema
Acne
Itchiness
Skin rashes

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Tiredness
Fatigue

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Joint pain

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Anxiety

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Respiratory complaints

Can you outgrow an egg intolerance?

Yes, it is possible to no longer react to eating eggs by cutting them out for a period of weeks before reintroducing them back into your diet. This is known as a food elimination diet.

When eliminating eggs, it is important that they are replaced with nutritious alternatives to ensure that your diet remains balanced.

Eliminating eggs for a period of time doesn’t always work to resolve an intolerance but sometimes eating lower amounts of eggs can mean you can tolerate eggs again.

Egg intolerance, like other food intolerances, is not necessarily permanent. Once you have had a food intolerance test that shows an IgG reaction to eggs, you can trial an elimination diet by cutting out egg for a few weeks to see if symptoms ease off, then reintroducing egg in small doses. You may find that you can tolerate a specific amount and you only experience egg intolerance symptoms if you consume more than a certain amount.

What is the difference between an egg intolerance and an egg allergy?

What are the symptoms of being allergic to egg?

Sudden egg intolerance symptoms may in fact be an egg allergy. The symptoms of an egg allergy are much more severe than those of an intolerance and, in extreme cases, an allergic reaction can even be life threatening. Egg allergy symptoms present immediately, unlike egg intolerance symptoms. Symptoms of an egg allergy could include:

  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin issues such as swelling, egg allergy rash or hives
  • Sneezing, watery eyes and a runny nose
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, nausea or diarrhoea
  • Anaphylaxis – hypersensitive reaction, which can be life threatening

If you experince any egg allergy symtoms, you must stop eat egg products.

How long does it take for an egg allergy to show?

Unlike the effects of an intolerance, egg allergy symptoms present themselves very quickly after consumption of the food. In some circumstances, they can even happen after those with a severe allergy have merely touched egg.

An allergic reaction to eggs occurs because the body is mistaking the food for a harmful substance. The immune system therefore releases chemicals such as histamine, which can result in a range of severe symptoms. In extreme cases, these allergic reactions can be life threatening.

How is egg intolerance diagnosed?

Egg intolerance symptoms can cause some discomfort; however, these symptoms are not as serious as egg allergy symptoms. Egg allergy symptoms could include anaphylaxis, which is a severe allergic reaction that could potentially be fatal, whereas egg intolerance symptoms would more likely result in abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea, or nausea. 

Egg intolerance can be managed by taking a food intolerance test as an initial step and then visiting your GP once you have your results. Knowing when your egg intolerance symptoms started and how long they last will help your GP give suitable advice. You can also book an appointment with a nutritional therapist who may advise keeping a food diary or looking at an elimination diet.

How do I get tested for an egg intolerance?

Whilst symptoms associated with an egg intolerance are less extreme than an allergic reaction, they can still be very disruptive to a person’s life. Once your GP has ruled out any underlying health conditions, you can obtain a food intolerance test from YorkTest.

YorkTest’s Premium Food Intolerance Test includes a check for egg protein specific IgG antibody reactions.

With a simple home-to-laboratory finger-prick test, YorkTest can tell you whether or not your body is producing IgG antibody reactions to the food and drinks that you are consuming.

As individuals, our reactions to food and drink varies a great deal and an ingredient that causes a problem for one person could be completely okay for another. Fortunately our team are on hand to identify your own personal “food fingerprint”.

It is thought that 45% of people have some kind of intolerance and usually, it is more than one ingredient that the body is reacting to. We find that the average person who is intolerant reacts to 4 or 5 ingredients and it can often be something unexpected in your diet, which is causing an IgG reaction.

How do I get tested for an egg allergy?

YorkTest’s Food Allergy Test includes a egg white allergy test, as part of testing for 23 foods and 19 environmental allergens. The test is a simple at home test which can identify of you have an egg allergy.

 

Can you be intolerant to egg yolks?

It is possible for people suffering from egg intolerance to be specifically intolerant to egg yolk. If you are suffering from an egg intolerance you could have problems digesting the proteins from the whole egg itself, the egg yolk or even just the egg white. 

egg intolerance foodKnowing whether it is the yolk or white that is the problem is really important, and can really help adjust your lifestyle. For example, omelettes can be made with just egg yolks or just egg whites, according to the food intolerance. If you have an intolerance just to one specific part of the egg – for example the yolks – it is therefore still possible to eat some egg products and dishes without suffering any symptoms. 

What are the risks of egg intolerance?

An egg intolerance can cause short-term symptoms such as bloating, nausea and cramps. Although intolerance symptoms can be unpleasant and cause discomfort, they are never life-threatening (NHS). An egg allergy and an egg intolerance are different things – an intolerance causes an IgG reaction, whereas an allergy is an IgE response.

By cutting out eggs from the diet, there is a risk of missing out on nutrients that eggs provide, including choline, lutein, protein, selenium, and vitamin D. However, there are plenty of options of suitable egg replacements that can fit into your diet (see below).

egg-free pancakes for pancake day

Which foods contain egg?

Foods to avoid with an egg intolerance

There are many products which contain egg yolks or egg whites, either to bind or to thicken. Being aware of these is important when making changes to optimise your diet. The following list of ingredients and other foods can contain egg and should be avoided if you have an intolerance:

  • Bread and cakes
  • Pancakes and Yorkshire puddings
  • Quiches
  • Desserts
  • Sauces and spreads
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ice cream
  • Some meat products
Fresh strawberry and avocado salad

Egg replacements for a balanced diet

1 egg equates to about 15% of the daily requirement for protein and so eggs are important, particularly for those following a vegetarian diet. Eggs are a source of Vitamin A, B, D and E and also provide calcium, phosphorus and iron. To ensure a balanced and nutritious diet when omitting eggs, include a varied mix of the following foods:

  • Milk, meat and fish-based proteins
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

When looking to directly replace egg in cooking or baking, there are alternatives which mimic the binding or thickening properties of egg such as:

  • ‘Ogran No Egg’
  • Mashed fruits (binding)
  • Cornstarch (thickening)
  • Avocado

If you have found out that you are intolerant to egg, changing your diet need not be daunting. yorktest nutritional therapists are here to help you understand how to optimise your food choices.

egg intolerance and symptoms

Does egg have any other names on packaging?

As an ingredient, egg is often given other names which can make it difficult to identify on product packaging so it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these. The following names are also used for egg:

  • Yolk and egg white
  • Albumin
  • Globulin
  • Lecithin (E322)
  • Egg derived lysozyme (E1105)
  • Ovomucoid
  • Ovovitellin
  • Livetin

* *YorkTest provide laboratory test results and nutritional support services for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. The results provided cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure medical or health conditions. YorkTest has 40 years of experience in food intolerance testing and food allergy testing, optimising health and wellbeing with our range of health tests. The term “food intolerance” is used broadly to reflect that IgG antibody reactions to foods are measured by the YorkTest laboratory. These “food intolerance” tests are not allergy, lactose intolerance or coeliac tests. YorkTest recognise that food-specific IgG test results cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any specific food intolerances. YorkTest also recognise that the link between raised food-specific IgG levels, gut health and specific symptoms is not well understood and for this reason YorkTest always provide a Nutritional Therapist consultation to help guide an elimination diet. If you are concerned about your symptoms then please contact your GP. Information on this website is for educational purposes only and you must never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it based on the information provided.

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2

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Other intolerances

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