A Big Reason to Rethink Your Scrambled Eggs

Scramble My Tummy – Scrambled Eggs & Digestion

For a person who loves his scrambled eggs, this is a tough article to write. Easy to make, they taste delicious if you know how to make them right.

However,  scrambled eggs are not that simple and easy if you happen to have an allergy or intolerance to eggs.  Scrambled eggs can cause various digestive complications for such people, which can be made worse with the addition of other ingredients, such as milk, cheese and butter.

According to MayoClinic.com, eggs contain common food allergens that mainly affect children, but can also affect anyone at any age. Most symptoms of an egg allergy occur within a few minutes or up to an hour after you ingest eggs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe and may include skin irritation, asthma, nasal congestion and digestive difficulty. An egg allergy is a hypersensitivity of the immune system to the proteins found in the egg white, egg yolk, or both. The immune system reacts to the allergen, triggers inflammation, causes irritation and swelling in the digestive tract, all of which can lead to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating.

 

Monitor the Effects after Eating Scrambled Eggs

If you suspect an allergy to scrambled eggs (or an ingredient in them), it is important that you write down your symptoms and all the ingredients you added to the mix.  Talk to your doctor about the symptoms and avoid the ingredients you used to make the scrambled eggs until you can identify the culprit.

 

What is Egg Intolerance?

You can really have intolerance to any food, causing stomach pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea and gas. We all have different types of food sensitivities, and most of them tend to grow with time.

Egg intolerance differs from allergies in that they do not affect the immune system and will most likely not affect other parts of the body aside from the gastrointestinal system. If you suffer from frequent intolerance episodes, keeping a food journal will be helpful to identify which foods cause similar symptoms. Discuss your food journal with your doctor.

 

Scrambled Eggs Contain Other Allergens

If you are eating out, notify your server about your food allergies before ordering to ensure the scrambled eggs are free of any allergens that affect you.  Scrambled eggs may contain other allergen-containing foods, such as dairy products, tomatoes and cheese.  You should be aware of the following:

  • Cheese contains small amounts of mold spores, which can trigger an allergic reaction if you’ve been diagnosed with a mold allergy.
  • Soy or wheat proteins, may cause you an allergic reaction from cross-contamination. For example, if wheat bread was used on a surface that was also used to prepare your eggs, the wheat proteins may contaminate the scrambled eggs.

Scrambled Eggs and Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance affects about 50 million Americans, according to CBS News. Lactose is a particular form of sugar that is found in milk – unfortunately, not everyone can process it well.  The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, gas and diarrhea.  Mixing dairy products in scrambled eggs can cause some complications in the digestive systems of people with lactose intolerance.

Now that you know all this, it does not mean that you get paranoid each time you think of eating scrambled eggs.  Just be aware, look for actual symptoms (don’t imagine them), and consult your doctor if you feel you need it.  Happy scramblers!

 

16 thoughts on “A Big Reason to Rethink Your Scrambled Eggs

    1. Dear Louise,

      You are probably referring to studies such as the one in Am. J. Clin. Nut. that indicates that choline increases the risk of prostate cancer. However, a lot of evidence points to the reverse, i.e. choline being cancer-protective (see meta-study on this topic published in Nature Scientific Reports in 2016).

      From our understanding of nutrition, there are pros and cons to virtually anything you eat. Besides what you are consuming, a lot depends on your current health status, specific metabolic patterns and dysfunctions, general lifestyle factors (e.g. exercise, oxygenation, sleep, obesity, etc.), surrounding environment, allergies and food sensitivities, etc. Balance is the key.

      In general, we have never witnessed any problems with egg consumption for most of our patients. On the flip side, there are very big nutritional advantages to eating eggs compared to other protein and vitamin sources. That is why we feel comfortable in recommending eggs as a general addition to our patients’ nutritional plans. That being said, if you have any specific issues you are concerned about, you should definitely consult your physician.

  1. I suffer from this problem. It started about 6 years ago on Christmas Eve. I ate 6 deviled eggs and spent the rest of the night in bed and in pain. It started with stomach burning, then nausea, bloating (a lot passing gas), and then diarrhea in that exact order. It happens every time I consume eggs except for eggs in a breakfast sandwich like something you would get from Dunkin Donuts. I wonder if they may not be real eggs because everytime I eat eggs either at home, a diner or a relatives house where I know they’re real eggs, it always happens. Tums helps a little but all it really does is pushes off the symptoms to a later time.

    1. Hi Patrick, What you seem to be suffering from is an allergic sensitivity to eggs. You are correct that many places like Dunkin Donuts serve eggs that are either not real eggs, or even if they are, they have been saturated with flavorings, colors, preservatives, and other additives that take away the natural egg quality in them. Also, you would probably need to eat a large number of those sandwiches to induce the sensitivity reaction you are getting from eating real eggs. It is probably best for you to avoid eggs in general, and also avoid fast food sandwiches for many other reasons than just the fact that they may contain eggs.

      For your review, here is a list of ingredients of the eggs in Dunkin Donuts I found in a blog (not vetted!):

      “Egg Whites, Water, Egg Yolks, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Sauteed Flavor (Soybean Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Natural Flavor), Salt, Artificial Butter Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Artificial Flavor), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Coarse Ground Black Pepper; American Cheese: Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Water, Dry Cream, Milkfat, Sodium Citrate, Salt, Sorbic Acid (Preservative), Annatto and Oleoresin Paprika Color (if colored), Soy Lecithin (non-sticking agent).”

  2. I have suffered for years with what I now know as egg intolerance. But I love eggs, so through simple cautious deduction I have figured out I am intolerant to the lifestyle and diet of the chicken! WHITE, and even the cheap brown, store bought eggs are vicious to my gut! Locally raised chicken eggs do not bother my stomach and certain “brown” egg brands from the store are okay. Most obvious clue is the thickness of the shell. Thin shells tell me to abstain or throw it in brownies for the kids. I look at the diet “listed” on the package, where they are coming from and who owns the farm. So those with intolerance try eggs from a local farmer and see if it makes a difference!

    1. This is a very interesting thought process as my son does not ALWAYS get sick from eating eggs. Today he did – lots of diarrhea.

      He also complains about eating chicken. How do you do with eating chicken?

      He is also gluten intolerant.

      1. Yes, the source of your eggs and chicken can make all the difference! Unfortunately, the only way to tell the difference is to try. That being said, please make sure you consult your doctor, since your son may also have picked up an infection which may need treatment.

    2. I have the same issues!! I thought I was going crazy, every time I eat white shelled cheaper eggs I have bowl issues and cramps, I have to run to the bathroom right after I finish them. I found with brown eggs, that are cage free I don’t seem to have to run to the bathroom or have terrible cramps. I like the brown ones from our local farm, Nellies, and a few other cage free brown shelled eggs. I guess I won’t buy the cheaper ones again.

  3. I would get discomfort in the stomach and diarrhea almost once week or so. I went to see a gastroenterologist who recommended inulin powder to soak up and form a more solid poop. It worked wonders for a number of years. I was only taking a half a teaspoon every day and it was working. At that time I didn’t know what was causing my stomach issues.

    About a year ago, I started getting diarrhea about once a week. I went back to see my gastroenterologist. He said to try increasing the dosage. With increased dosage my stomach gets bloated and trapped with gas and it’s so painful so I take Beano to counteract the effects of the inulin powder. At least the Beano was letting the gas come out.

    I now think I am allergic to eating runny eggs (half cooked). I would get an upset stomach and diarrhea which takes so much energy from me. I don’t have any stomach issues with fully cooked eggs or eggs in baking. I get a flu shot every year and I’ve never had any allergy issues with it. Should I be concerned now that I believe I have an allergy to half cooked eggs?

    1. Hello Jo and thank you for reaching out. We are not able to give medical advice directly through our website, but please contact our admissions office at 888-544-5993 or go to https://hope4cancer.com/schedule-a-call/ and fill out the form and one of our admissions officers can get you a consultation with our doctor.

  4. I’ve seen minor references to the “feed” used in some chickens as resulting in eggs that cause these reactions. Not sure how reliable or comprehensive the science is on that theory but I do know that some brands that use organic feed (whatever that means) are vicious to my stomach. Fresh local and quail eggs have been better. Sadly, I mostly just avoid it all together.

    Question for me is, why would this suddenly happen in adulthood? I ate eggs for so long so what changed?

    1. Stephen B, I was hit three years ago with an adversion to only scrambled eggs. It does not matter if they are farm fresh, store bought, organic, or cooked at a breakfast joint. I cook eggs thoroughly & can tolerate them any way but scrambled. I vomit before my meal is 3/4 consumed. I just don’t get, why, at 55 years old this pops up.

  5. T Pender, I have discovered the same thing. I have an intolerance to regular store-bought eggs but not to local, organic eggs. So, it must be something in the diet or environment- hormones or something else that I cannot tolerate, and not the egg protein itself.

    1. The local organic eggs probably aren’t put through any of the processing the ones, even organic, are put through before you can buy them in the store. Maybe it’s something used in the processing that’s bothering you, and not so much the chickens diet.

  6. The local organic eggs probably aren’t put through any of the processing the ones, even organic, are put through before you can buy them in the store. Maybe it’s something used in the processing that’s bothering you, and not so much the chickens diet.

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