Ask Leyla: Do I have to give up eating eggs?

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Do I have to give up eating eggs?

Q: I have a problem with eating eggs lately. After eating them hard-boiled, scrambled, or as an omelet, I’m fine until the next meal a few hours later. Then I get abdominal pain and need to use the restroom. It doesn’t seem to matter how the eggs are prepared. Is this IBS?

A: It sounds like you may have intolerance or allergy to eggs. While it’s true that eggs are one of the top eight food allergens (along with wheat, milk, corn, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and soy), it doesn’t explain your recent symptoms. I would want to know what that next meal a few hours later usually consists of that precedes your abdominal pain and subsequent bowel urgency. 

What is intriguing is that eating eggs became a problem only ‘lately.’ So I would investigate the cause of this recent development. 

Food allergies and intolerances can occur at any time, usually secondary to other insults like stress, trauma, and changes in our microbiota. Ruling out trauma and stress, changes in our microbiome can occur as a result of changes in diet, a round of antibiotics, prescription medications as well as over-the-counter NSAIDs, and recent travel—especially international travel. In particular, a bout of foodborne illness can upset the bacteria in the GI tract enough to cause your particular symptoms. 

I would encourage you to seek advice from a nutritionally oriented practitioner for a full assessment with appropriate testing for the cause of your symptoms. 

To your health!

Leyla Muedin, MS, RD, CDN 


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