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People with an egg intolerance experience a negative reaction after eating eggs. This can result in various symptoms, such as bloating, cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

Although an egg intolerance is not typically dangerous, it can be uncomfortable and bothersome.

If a person has an egg intolerance, they may need to avoid eating eggs or consume only small amounts of eggs. Some egg alternatives are available as a replacement.

This article will cover the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for egg intolerance. It will also provide information about egg alternatives, as well as ingredients a person with egg intolerance should avoid.

A man holding his stomach because he has pain from his egg intolerance.Share on Pinterest
A person with an egg intolerance may experience nausea, bloating, and stomach cramps.

Possible symptoms of an egg intolerance include:

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the symptoms of a food intolerance are different from the symptoms of food allergies.

An egg intolerance is not life threatening, but a severe food allergy can be.

It is important for a person to consult a doctor if they think they may have an egg allergy.

If someone experiences symptoms of anaphylactic shock, they should seek emergency medical help.

Symptoms of anaphylactic shock include:

An egg intolerance and an egg allergy are different conditions.

An egg intolerance involves the digestive system, whereas an egg allergy involves the immune system.

Egg intolerance

Food intolerances happen when the body cannot digest certain components of food.

People who have an egg intolerance may not be able to digest egg whites, egg yolks, or both.

With an intolerance, a person may experience digestive problems hours after consuming the offending food item. While the symptoms may be uncomfortable, they are not typically dangerous.

People may not know they have an egg intolerance, either because their symptoms may not appear right after they eat eggs or because they may not have any symptoms when they eat small amounts of egg.

Egg allergy

When a person has an egg allergy, their immune system treats eggs as an invader and releases powerful chemicals in response to contact with eggs.

An egg allergy can cause severe and sometimes life threatening symptoms. Symptoms of an egg allergy can appear within a half-hour of exposure to eggs.

A person may experience an allergic reaction after consuming small amounts of egg. They may also have a reaction as a result of touching eggs or inhaling particles in the air.

There are currently no approved tests for egg intolerance. While tests can diagnose an egg allergy, an intolerance is more difficult to diagnose.

A person may be able to determine whether they have an egg intolerance by keeping a food diary.

A food diary can include information such as:

  • everything a person eats and drinks
  • the date, time, and type of digestive problems they experience
  • any medications they take

Keeping a diary for several days or weeks enables a person to look for a connection between specific foods and symptoms.

If someone is concerned that they have an egg intolerance, they may wish to entirely avoid eggs for a while and see whether the symptoms go away. If symptoms return after the person reintroduces eggs, it may indicate that they have an intolerance.

Keeping a food diary may have other benefits as well.

Some evidence suggests that people who have irritable bowel syndrome may benefit from avoiding certain foods if they have intolerances to them.

If a person is trying to avoid eggs altogether, they may wish to read the labels on food products before consuming them.

These are some common food ingredients that contain eggs:

  • egg whites, dried eggs, egg yolks, and powdered eggs
  • albumin
  • apovitellin
  • globulin
  • livetin
  • lysozyme
  • ovalbumin
  • ovoglobulin
  • ovomucin
  • ovomucoid
  • ovotransferrin
  • ovovitelia
  • ovovitellin
  • silici albuminate
  • Simplesse
  • vitellin

One way to be sure a product is egg-free is to look for products that are certified vegan. If a product is vegan, it will not include eggs or any other animal products.

Because eggs are a common food allergen, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list them on food labels.

Eggs can often be found in the following foods:

  • mayonnaise
  • pasta
  • pretzels
  • salad dressings
  • tortillas
  • ice cream, custard, and sorbet
  • baked goods
  • breakfast foods such as pancakes and waffles
  • bread
  • cake decorations or fillings such as buttercream, frosting, and mousse
  • chips
  • crackers
  • marshmallows

If a person needs to avoid eggs entirely, there are alternatives.


Tofu is a high protein food made from soybeans. People may use tofu in place of eggs for breakfast or in sandwiches. They may also scramble it or blend it into smoothies.

Try this recipe for Southwest tofu scramble.

Unsweetened applesauce and pureed fruit

Applesauce and other pureed fruits, such as bananas, can be a replacement for eggs in baking.

The pectin in fruits plays a similar role to eggs in baked goods. It can act as an emulsifier, filler, stabilizer, thickener, and gelling agent.

Try this recipe for a chocolate layer cake, which uses unsweetened applesauce.

Flaxseed or chia seeds

Flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with water can replace the eggs in baking.

Combine 1 tablespoon of seeds with 2 1/2 tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow it to combine before adding it to the recipe.

Try this recipe to replace eggs with chia seeds.

Vegan egg replacers

Manufacturers make egg replacers from plant-based starches, soy, nuts, or seeds.

A person can purchase egg replacers in stores and online here.


Aquafaba, which is the liquid that results from cooking chickpeas and other legumes, can replace egg whites.

Try this recipe for vegan meringues.

Eggs are a good source of protein and other nutrients.

If a person must avoid eggs, they should be sure their diet includes other sources of essential nutrients. People who avoid certain foods or follow a special diet should consult a doctor or a registered dietitian to ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.

People should speak with a doctor if they suspect they have an egg intolerance.

The doctor may recommend tests or an elimination diet to find out whether eggs or other foods are causing a person’s digestive problems.

Digestive problems such as bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea can also be symptoms of other health conditions. If these issues are ongoing, a doctor may be able to help a person rule out other conditions.

A person should always seek emergency care for symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, trouble breathing, itching, and hives, as these symptoms can quickly become severe.

Egg intolerance is not life threatening, but it can interfere with everyday living.

Avoiding eggs and eating a balanced diet can prevent symptoms and help a person feel their best.

Checking the ingredient labels on food packaging and using egg replacers and alternatives can help people avoid eggs and egg products.