Why should I test for a dairy or egg allergy?
Milk and eggs are among the foods that most frequently trigger allergies. Milk and egg allergies are especially common in children, but still occur in adulthood.
For those affected, this allergy can be very limiting. Milk is not only found in muesli, coffee, cheese or yogurt – as much as eggs are not only in fried or scrambled eggs. They are also used in numerous sauces, pastries and ready-made products.
Do you suspect that you might be sensitive to a certain food, but you can’t pinpoint the symptoms to specific meals and dishes? Then perhaps milk or egg are the culprits. An allergy test can give you a concrete indication of a food allergy.
How does the Dairy and Egg Allergy Test work?
The Allergy Test is a self-test that you can easily do at home. The test kit comes with a lancet that you use to take a few drops of blood from your fingertip, which you then collect on the dried blood spot card provided. You then send the blood sample to a specialist laboratory, which analyses your blood for specific IgE antibodies.
Once the analysis is complete, you will be notified, and you will be able to access your personal results report in your My cerascreen online account.
What does the Dairy and Egg Allergy Test tell me?
An allergy test will tell you if you are sensitised to chicken egg white or cow’s milk and how severe it is. Sensitisation means that your immune system produces more IgE antibodies against the allergens in the food.
Sensitisation does not automatically mean that you have an allergy. However, if you also experience allergy symptoms after eating eggs or milk, you can assume that you have an allergy.
What recommendations does the Dairy and Egg Allergy Test give me?
If you have a milk or egg allergy, it is best not to eat the problematic foods at all. The many ready-made products in which milk and egg are processed do not make things easy for allergy sufferers. That is why you will be given some useful dietary tips with your results report.
Among other things, it is important to make sure you get enough calcium if you have a milk allergy. The mineral is important for bone health, and people in Europe and North America get a lot of it from milk and dairy products. Alternative sources of calcium include mineral water, broccoli and kale.
What happens if you have a milk or egg allergy?
Allergies always occur when the immune system overreacts – the defence cells react to harmless substances that we call allergens. These allergens are different proteins that are found in pollen, dust mites and foods such as milk and eggs.
In allergy sufferers, if the allergens from milk or eggs encounter the immune cells, they release the messenger substance histamine. The histamine causes inflammation of the mucous membranes and thus quickly leads to the typical symptoms of an allergy. Very small amounts of the allergen are often enough to cause this.
What are the causes of a milk or egg allergy?
How allergies develop has not yet been definitively clarified in detail. A genetic predisposition definitely plays a role. If both parents are allergic to certain foods or have related diseases such as neurodermatitis and asthma, it is more likely that their child will also develop an allergy.
Allergies to milk and egg usually develop in childhood. They often go away on their own during childhood and puberty. If they persist into adulthood, those affected often suffer from them for the rest of their lives.
What are the symptoms of a milk or egg allergy?
Like most food allergies, allergies to eggs and milk manifest themselves in similar ways. Typical symptoms are:
- Swelling and burning in the mouth
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain
- Allergic rhinitis, cough, swelling of the larynx
- Skin rashes (hives) and itching
Chicken eggs and cow’s milk can also cause very severe allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock. In such an allergic shock, the blood pressure drops sharply. Heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and unconsciousness may occur.
How do I treat a dairy or egg allergy?
TThere is no treatment that can cure allergies to milk and egg. Scientists are currently researching so-called immune therapies with which they hope to treat food allergies in the future – but right now, research has not yet advanced that far. In the short term, allergic symptoms can be treated with drugs such as antihistamines. However, these drugs only weaken symptoms.
Therefore, the best thing to do if you have a food allergy is to consistently avoid the foods you are allergic to. If you are allergic to eggs or milk, you should pay attention to packaging labels. Milk and eggs are often hidden in ready-made products, sauces and pastries, and sometimes only a glance at the ingredients list reveals this.
If you suffer from a very severe allergy that can lead to anaphylactic shocks, your doctor will probably prescribe you an anaphylaxis emergency kit. The kit contains, among other things, an adrenaline pen, which can be life-saving in the event of an anaphylactic shock.
For whom is the test not suitable?
The Dairy and Egg Allergy Test is not suitable for or is only suitable to a limited extent for certain groups of people:
- People with infectious diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, are not allowed to take the Milk and Egg Allergy Test.
- People with haemophilia should not take the blood test.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should only take the Milk and Egg Allergy Test under medical supervision. The reference values and recommendations do not apply to them either, so they should receive recommendations on the test result from a doctor.
- The Milk and Allergy Test is not suitable for children under 18 years of age.
The test is not intended for diagnosing disease. For example, if you suffer from severe skin changes or chronic diarrhoea, seek medical advice.