Intolerance Lab

Egg intolerance

Eggs are packed full of nutrients and are a great source of protein. However, if your body isn’t tolerating eggs well, then it may be because you have an egg intolerance. If this is the case, you’re going to want to read on because today we’re talking all about egg intolerance. We’ll delve into what an egg intolerance is and what causes it, how you can test for an egg intolerance, and what to do if your results show that you have an egg intolerance.

What is egg intolerance?

Egg intolerance is an unpleasant reaction to eating eggs. It happens because your body is unable to digest eggs properly. When you have an egg intolerance, your body reacts to the protein in the egg. It is more common for people to react to egg white, though you can react to the egg yolk or both the egg white and the yolk. An egg intolerance can happen from eating chicken eggs and other eggs like duck, quail, and geese eggs. This is because these eggs have some similar proteins.

What are the symptoms of egg intolerance?

If you have an egg intolerance, you may experience symptoms within one hour, or up to 72 hours, after eating egg. 

Egg intolerance is caused by poor digestion of egg, so the most common symptoms are digestive symptoms. These include:

  • stomach aches
  • bloating
  • indigestion
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain or cramping
  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea

 

Egg intolerance can also cause symptoms outside the digestive tract, such as:

  • itchy skin, rashes, or eczema
  • acne
  • headaches or migraines
  • tiredness / fatigue
  • sore or swollen joints
  • runny nose or sinus issues
  • depression
  • anxiety

How many symptoms you get and how severe they are, depends on your body’s level of tolerance to egg and how much you react to it.

How is an egg intolerance different to an egg allergy?

Egg intolerance is different to an egg allergy in several ways:

  • egg intolerance is an issue with digestion, while an egg allergy is caused by an overreaction of the immune system
  • the symptoms of an egg intolerance can take longer to occur and mainly affect the gut; whereas an egg allergy can cause immediate symptoms that affect the airways, skin, and gut
  • egg intolerance is not a life-threatening condition, though an egg allergy can cause an extreme allergic reaction called anaphylaxis
  • you must eat egg in order to have symptoms of egg intolerance; however, an egg allergy can occur from simply touching egg

As you can see, egg intolerance and egg allergy are both a reaction to egg. However, they are very different reactions, with different effects.

The symptoms of an egg allergy include:

  • swelling of the eyes, lips, tongue or throat
  • wheezing or coughing
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest tightness
  • sneezing
  • watery eyes or runny nose
  • skin swelling, redness, or hives
  • stomach cramps
  • nausea or vomiting
  • a fast pulse
  • dizziness, light-headedness, or loss of consciousness

 

If you have symptoms of an egg allergy, you must consult with your doctor and, if needed, get further testing through an allergist. Your doctor may give you an autoinjector if you are at risk of anaphylaxis. If you experience severe anaphylactic symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, go to your nearest emergency department and seek immediate medical attention.

How can I test for an egg intolerance?

If you think you might have an egg intolerance, then the best thing to do is to test for it. Remember that testing for an egg intolerance is different to testing for an egg allergy. Testing for an egg allergy can involve a blood test or skin prick test. Both of these are used to measure the immune system’s reaction. Testing for egg intolerance can be less uncomfortable and invasive. To test for an intolerance to egg, you can simply order your test HERE. Then send your hair sample, and our lab will process your results within three days of receiving your sample. Once you receive your test results, you will know whether you are intolerant to eggs, as well as over 500 other food and non-food items that are included in your test. This is helpful if your results show that you are intolerant to other foods and items, in addition to or other than egg.

My results show that I have an egg intolerance; what do I do now?

Knowing whether or not you have an egg intolerance is the first step towards experiencing symptom relief. Once your results confirm the intolerance, you then need to avoid eating egg for a period of three months. During this time, we suggest that you work with a practitioner, either a naturopath or nutritionist, who can help support you in correctly eliminating and reintroducing the egg. It is also beneficial to reduce your gut symptoms and work on resolving any irritation and inflammation in your gut (caused by the food intolerance or other digestive conditions). Following a gut healing program will help you to reintroduce egg into your diet without further intolerance.

Summary

In summary, today we looked at everything to do with egg intolerance. We learnt that an egg intolerance is caused by poor digestion of the proteins in the egg. The intolerance is often due to the protein in the egg white, though it can also be triggered by the egg yolk or the whole egg. We covered the most common symptoms of egg intolerance and then compared egg intolerance to an egg allergy. We then discussed how you can test for egg intolerance and that you can order the test online HERE. The test can tell you precisely what you’re intolerant to from a list of over 500 different foods and other items. From your results, you will be able to work with a practitioner to reduce your symptoms. At the same time, you avoid and correctly reintroduce your intolerances.

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