You may find that eggs cause IBS symptoms. This will confuse you because eggs contain no FODMAPs or fibre. They even have little fat in them.
But surely you can not have an egg allergy as you can eat baked eggs ok and you don’t have anaphylaxis. So what the heck is going on?
In this post I will explain to you why eggs are causing your IBS symptoms and what you can do about.
Table of Contents
Do Eggs Cause IBS Symptoms?
Eggs do not cause IBS symptoms.
When it comes to IBS, your symptoms will be triggered by;
- Stimulants e.g. caffeine and spices
- Fatty foods
- Fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs)
- Resistant starches
Eggs are mostly protein and only contain a small amount of fat. Now, please do not get confused here before you read on.
Say poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on a brioche bun – you get symptoms. It may well be the other triggers in that meal. In this instance is could be resistant starches, fat in the sauce or FODMAPs in the bread.
With IBS it can be easy to get confused as to what is causing you a reaction. Please avoid becoming overly restrictive before you have 100% assurance of what has caused your symptoms.
Why Do Eggs Cause Digestive Symptoms?
So we know that eggs do not cause IBS symptoms, but why are you reacting to them then?
Well eggs can cause digestive symptoms such as stomach cramps, nausea and diarrhoea (1). If you are experiencing this then you likely have an egg allergy.
Allergies occur when your immune system wrongly react to proteins in your body. Part of this reaction then cause symptoms and in the case of eggs the symptoms may well be digestive.
How Common Are Egg Allergies?
It is hard to say how common egg allergies are due to the lack of accurate data. Most research is done in children and some relies on self-reporting rather than an accurate diagnosis (2).
Why Do I React To Poached Eggs ?
You may find that foods like poached and scrambled eggs cause you symptoms. Whilst eggs that are baked, like in cakes cause no issues. This will leave you confused and probably thinking that eggs can not be the issue.
Well actually, eggs are the issue.
Chicken eggs contains 5 different proteins that you may react to (3). Some of these proteins will denature the longer you cook them for (4). So your body will no longer recognise them and so you get no reaction.
How To Diagnose Egg Allergy
If you are getting the types of symptoms mentioned in this post, you will be wanting to know how you can get diagnosed.
So it may frustrate you to know that there is no way to test for this type of allergy. It is known as a non-IgE mediated allergy and the only way to diagnose it is to follow a strict elimination.
After eliminating egg from your diet for a period of time, your dietitian would then guide you through a structured reintroduction. Symptoms which occur on reintroduction would then give you a diagnosis.
Eggs may cause you IBS symptoms due to other ingredients in the dish. Or your symptoms are not due to IBS, they are actually an egg allergy.
The only way to diagnose this type of allergy is through an elimination diet process. It is best to do this with a dietitian to avoid confusion.
Kirsten Jackson is a UK registered Consultant Gastroenterology Dietitian and founder of The Food Treatment Clinic. She has undergone many qualifications to get where she is today, including a UK BSc Honours Degree in Dietetics and Post-Graduate Certificate in Advanced Dietetics. In addition to this, she has FODMAP Training from Kings College London University. Kirsten set up The Food Treatment Clinic in 2015 after first experiencing digestive problems herself. She felt that the NHS was unable to provide the support individuals needed and went on to specialise in this area before opening a bespoke IBS service. Kirsten also participates in charity work as an Expert Advisor for the IBS Network. In addition, she can be seen in publications such as Cosmopolitan and The Telegraph discussing IBS as an Official Media Spokesperson to the IBS Network.