Egg White Allergy: Important Things To Know

The humble egg is taken for granted. Everyone knows its there and people eat it ever day. It comes with your hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast. It is in your lunch of carbonara pasta. It is in your dressing drizzled all over your tuna salad for dinner. It is one of the ingredients in the chocolate cake you love so much. Particularly, icing, meringue, omelets–these are yummy foods that use egg whites. So if you think about all the food that contains egg, the yolk and the white, you will surely feel sorry for people with egg white allergy.

Egg allergy is characterized by hypersensitivity to the dietary substance found in the whites and/or yolks of the egg. Egg allergies are one of the most common allergies of babies, children, and some adults. People who have egg white allergy have antibodies that react to one or more proteins found in egg whites: lysozyme, ovalbumin, ovomucoid, and ovotransferrin. A person who has egg white allergy may not have egg yolk allergy but some people are allergic to both. A person who seems to have egg white allergy is suffering from egg white intolerance. Egg whites contain strong histamine liberators that can directly trigger the release of histamine from cells. Egg white intolerance is not an allergy per se but is a type of pseudoallergy. Symptoms can include abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Egg white allergy in children is common and some children are able to outgrow it as they get older. Some people with egg white allergy can tolerate small amounts of egg white if its cooked properly or in incorporated in another food.

Egg white allergy symptoms include:

  • Egg white allergy can cause a person to break out in hives or rash
  • Allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis
  • Angioedema or swelling of lips, face, and tongue
  • Anaphylaxis the most severe allergic reaction egg whites

It is difficult to be on an egg white allergy diet because eggs are usually found in almost all food products. To avoid egg white allergy symptoms, you can try to be on a vegan diet. Vegans do not eat anything that comes from animals, including pasta, mayonnaise, cheese, and chocolate, and eat only plant-based products. Avoiding eggs is also a good way to egg white allergies. Be sure to read the labels of the food products carefully. In baking, you can have egg substitute by mixing any of the following:

  • 1 tsp baking powder + 1 T water + 1 T vinegar
  • 1 T water + 1 T oil + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp yeast dissolved in warm water
  • 1 pack of gelatin + 2 T warm water

If you are feeling you are symptoms from egg white allergy consult with you physician as soon as possible so you can be tested.