Medically reviewed on January 9, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Eggs are a beloved breakfast food and a common ingredient in baked goods, pasta, sauces, and more. They are an excellent source of protein and packed with a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals. However, for many people, eggs can pose potential health problems, like a food sensitivity. Sensitivity to eggs can be hard to detect, and if you believe you have an adverse reaction to certain foods, you may want to consider doing an at-home food sensitivity test. Read on to learn more about egg sensitivities and the signs to identify them (and consider learning more about the at-home Food Sensitivity Test).
Food sensitivities are frequently confused with food allergies and food intolerances, but there is a distinct difference. Like a food allergy, food sensitivities are thought to come from improper immune system responses. When you have a food sensitivity, eating an offending food, like eggs, results in an immune reaction that leads to various uncomfortable symptoms .
The exact cause of food sensitivities is still not well understood, though it may correlate with increased levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG), a class of antibodies. Other hypotheses point to a weak or depleted gut microbiome as a factor that contributes to food sensitivities .
Unlike a true egg allergy, a food sensitivity is not life-threatening, though it can be uncomfortable, painful, and disruptive to your everyday life. Food allergies can potentially be severe enough to cause shock, coma, or even death .
Food sensitivities can also be difficult to identify because the symptoms may not show up until a few days after you’ve consumed the food, where allergic reactions can occur anywhere from a few minutes to two hours following exposure. Many of the symptoms that come from food sensitivities can also be mistaken for other common ailments. An allergic reaction to egg products is usually more serious than an egg intolerance or sensitivity .
Read our latest blog to learn more about the differences between food allergies vs. food sensitivities.
Symptoms of egg sensitivities, and food sensitivities in general, can vary from person to person. While some people develop an egg intolerance or sensitivity to the egg yolk, others may experience symptoms from the whites or egg protein. Regardless of the source, it is important to switch to an egg substitute to avoid symptoms.
Some possible symptoms of egg sensitivities include:
As research on food sensitivities is still in an early stage, identifying an egg sensitivity generally comes down to a mix of careful observation and an elimination diet.
A food diary is an excellent way to keep track of the foods that you eat and any potential symptoms that you may experience. A basic food diary should include:
Elimination diets aren’t perfect, but they can be extremely helpful in identifying your sensitivities . By learning how to do an elimination diet, you can remove foods, such as eggs, from your diet for a period of two to six weeks. If you still experience symptoms, you may be looking at other health issues, but if your symptoms go away, the eggs may have been the culprit .
Eggs are commonly used as binders or leavening agents; it’s important to read food labels to ensure eggs are avoided.
If you have an adverse reaction to eggs, it may be time to seek further testing. At-home lab tests, like the Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test, can be a helpful tool in identifying egg sensitivities. However, they shouldn’t be used on their own as a form of diagnosis. Food sensitivity tests can measure your IgG reactivity to certain foods and provide a list of foods to include in your elimination diet.
Egg sensitivities can be a burden to your health and enjoyment of life. If you have more questions about your egg sensitivity or continue to experience ongoing symptoms of any kind, consult your healthcare provider.
1. Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity: What’s the difference, and why does it matter? Harvard Health. URL. Accessed January 9, 2022.
2. Food sensitivity explained. Everlywell. URL. Accessed January 9, 2022.
3. Egg Allergy. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed January 9, 2022.