Egg allergy: what you should know

It is one of the usual foods in the habitual diet, either as part of a dish or as ingredient of a recipe. Fried, cooked, poached, shakes, there are many ways in which this product appears on the menu. Indeed, we talk about egg, a food that in recent years has been more frequent that causes allergies in children.

In fact, the egg it is the food that more cases of allergy presents in children. Now, well, what should be known about this reaction that seems so widespread among the little ones? Can it be prevented, disappears with time? The Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Pediatric Asthma, SEICAP, has compiled the information that should be in each house about this allergy.

What is egg allergy?

Egg allergy is caused by a immune alteration whereby the child synthesizes immunoglobulin E, an antibody, against egg proteins. This causes that when an egg is ingested or there is contact with this food, a allergic reaction Very fast, in some cases even instantaneous. In general, the egg allergy appears when eating the white of this product for the first time, however in other cases those affected present the reaction with the introduction of the yolk.

Usually the egg white of egg causes more cases of allergies than the yolk, since the amount of proteins it has is much higher. Children who have these reactions can tolerate the whole cooked egg, but when eating it less cooked, as it can be in the tortilla, it is when the symptoms appear. The development of this reaction has nothing to do with the intolerance to the meat of the birds.

What are your symptoms?

The symptoms of egg allergy they arise immediatelyIf not, they will do it an hour after having eaten this food. They may be mild, as it is the case of the itching of mouth or throat, with or without red spots around the mouth; or a lot more serious and that can endanger life. Symptoms can appear in isolation or in combination with each other:

- The most common is that patients have oral allergy, with spots and skin reactions around the mouth caused by direct contact with the egg. Although there may also be hives all over the face and body, and even swelling of the lips, eyelids or ears.

- In the first hour vomiting and diarrhea may occur.

- Respiratory affections, such as rhinitis or asthma, are less frequent. But these symptoms occur, you have to pay close attention because they can indicate that the reaction is more serious.

- The anaphylaxis it is the most serious symptom that can occur since it affects more than one organ, it is generalized and if it is combined with respiratory or cardiovascular affectation it can cause a shock and endanger the life of the patient.

Egg allergy is diagnosed with the detection of immunoglobulin E specific for this product through skin tests and, sometimes, also with a blood test. In cases where the results are not clear, it is necessary to administer the clear in progressively increasing amounts and in a very controlled manner in the hospital, to confirm or rule out this reaction

Can it be prevented?

No, egg allergy it has no prevention. It is necessary that once diagnosed, the child is prevented from eating dishes with this food as an ingredient. Allergists can provide detailed instructions on egg elimination diets and possible hidden sources to avoid accidental ingestion (pastries, sweets, batters, avoiding contaminated utensils, control of food labeling, etc.).

Does it disappear with time?

Egg allergy in children usually disappear after a variable period of time thanks to the exclusion diet, so it should be checked periodically if the child has overcome this reaction. Approximately in 50% of the children the allergy to the egg has been solved at 5 years and in the 75% around 7-9 years old.

However, some children may overcome this allergy. These cases are those that tend to have a high level of sensitization at risk of having a severe anaphylactic reaction after taking small amounts hidden in other foods such as masses of sweets.

While the egg allergy lasts, the fundamental treatment for egg allergy is a diet without this food nor products that can contain it like pastries, creams, sauces, etc. If the child has a reaction due to accidental exposure to the egg, it is recommended that this contact area be washed and that oral or injected antihistamines be administered.

In the event that the reaction is more severe, adrenaline must be administered urgently.In recent years, the active treatment of this allergy has been studied through oral immunotherapy or oral desensitization with egg. This treatment is considered for children older than 5 years who have a persistent egg allergy. However, this treatment is not free of risks and therefore must be carried out in equipped and experienced centers.

Damián Montero

Video: Allergy | Egg Allergy |

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