You May Have an Egg Sensitivity (and Not Even Know It)
If you think that stomach cramps, indigestion and/or diarrhea are normal daily occurrences, then you are mistaken! While minor or occasional food-related issues happen to everyone, frequent food-related discomfort may indicate a food sensitivity. With many food sensitivities, cutting out trigger foods should allow your symptoms to subside.
Thus far, perhaps you’ve tried to cut out dairy or gluten, hoping that would help. If you are still experiencing symptoms or are not sure what is causing your issues, then you may have an egg sensitivity.
What foods contain egg?
Aside from a whole egg itself, eggs are in a wide variety of foods. You may be consuming egg products without even knowing it! Eggs are used in many baked goods and packaged items. Here is a list of other egg-containing products:
• Eggs, egg whites and some egg substitutes
• Baked goods (i.e. cookies, cakes)
• Pasta, bagels and pretzels
• Coffee/teas with egg foam on top
• Cocktails that use eggs or egg whites
• Modified egg products (i.e. dried eggs, powdered eggs)
• Some imitation meats (i.e. surimi)
• Breaded, battered and fried foods
• Ice cream
Egg is one of the top 8 allergens and is often identified on the product label, which can be helpful if you have an egg sensitivity. Here are some other words to look for on food labels that may indicate eggs are in the product:
• Albumin, albumen or ovalbumin
How can I find out if I have an egg sensitivity?
If you suspect eggs are wreaking havoc in your life, make sure you talk to your doctor about testing for an egg sensitivity. A food sensitivity test for IgG can also help you find out. Remember, food sensitivities can trigger things like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, cough, wheezing, fatigue and other ambiguous symptoms. You may feel symptoms of an egg sensitivity over the course of several days. A severe egg allergy can create an immediate allergic response.
What should I do if I have an egg sensitivity?
Similarly to other food sensitivities, the best way to treat an egg sensitivity is to avoid foods that contain egg products. Also, make sure you understand how your food is prepared. At home, you can control what goes into your meals, but make sure the rest of your family knows your dietary needs and knows how to cook egg-free. For information on how to replace eggs in cooking and baking, click here.
If eliminating all egg-containing foods seems scary, then know that some egg-containing foods can be reintroduced into the diet. If you have an egg sensitivity, then read our tips about how you can eliminate and reintroduce egg-containing foods into the diet. Remember: Those with an egg allergy, should never consume egg-containing foods.
Tips on Reintroducing Egg-Containing Foods into Your Diet
1. Eliminate all foods that contain egg. Use the list above as a guide on foods to eliminate. Don’t forget to look for “hidden egg” keywords on the food labels!
2. Make notes on how your symptoms change after eliminating egg-containing products.
3. Slowly reintroduce one egg-containing product into the diet and assess if your symptoms improve, worsen or stay the same. If that product gives you symptoms, then cut it out of the diet.
4. Continue adding one egg product in every few weeks. You may find that some egg-containing products are better-tolerated than others.
By using the egg reference list above and following these egg reintroduction steps, you may be able to manage your egg sensitivity through diet alone. Always consult your doctor or Registered Dietitian for more personalized nutrition care.