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Do eggs hurt your belly?

by (45)
Updated about 16 hours ago
Created April 25, 2011 at 8:06 PM

I've been Paleo for two months now (No grains, sugar, dairy, legumes). And since day one I've eaten at least one egg a day. I buy cage/hormone free brown eggs from either Trader Joes or Whole Foods.

About a week ago, I noticed a dulling painful belly ache an hour after eating meals with eggs. (It's not a belly ache where it ended in going to the bathroom to feel better, the only thing that helped it go away was time.) I had a cold at the time, so I thought it was just me being sick. But after noticing no tummy problems after meals without eating eggs. I put two and two together. But not before I consumed another carton of eggs first.

I've avoided eggs for a few days now (belly ache free), until yesterday where I was making deviled eggs for Easter and tasted the filling. The belly ache came back not even a few minutes later.

I've never had a problem with eggs in the past and I do love them. They're such a easy go to protein.

Has anyone else had this problem when switching to Paleo?

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762 · December 09, 2012 at 4:43 PM

We don't have salmonella on eggs here were I live, small country, easy to regulate the feed etc. But anyway many, many people here get stomach problems from it, so I really doubt it's the salmonella.

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762 · December 09, 2012 at 4:41 PM

It's more likely that it's just the eggs, and not the feed chickens get, eggs cause, for many, autoimmune probs, leaky gut etc. It's very common.

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627 · December 08, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Duck and goose eggs <3

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9948 · April 26, 2011 at 12:04 AM

You never know which egg grower might have had a problem. Changing brands change growers. Many large growers package under 20 to 30 different brands. So trying to isolate one brand as being the culprit is of no help. The next carton of that same brand may be grown at entirely different farms. If you can't tolerate any eggs then you have to look at your gut and how well it is functioning.

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5136 · April 25, 2011 at 9:40 PM

just had duck eggs the other day, poached, they were *excellent*! http://paleohacks.com/questions/33444/would-you-could-you-eat-a-goose-egg/34687#34687

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45 · April 25, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I'm a little scared with playing with more fire. I was concerned with a possibility of salmonella. I did however have a sensitivity with a dressing my sister made that had eggs in it. I believe she used Jewel brand eggs.

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45 · April 25, 2011 at 9:25 PM

I think that's a great idea. I've been tempted to try duck eggs.

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5136 · April 25, 2011 at 9:22 PM

generally those eggs sold at say a Trader Joes or Whole Foods would be washed. "cage free" and "hormone free" really can be misleading. Technically, a bunch of birds in a giant stinky ammonia filled overcrowded warehouse are "cage free" and if you don't treat them with hormones, they're "hormone free". Hormone free does not necessarily equate to "not sick" animals. Eggs are pretty porous and you could be sensitive to some of these factors. If the supermarket eggs don't work, try eggs from a local farmer's market.

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422 · April 25, 2011 at 9:02 PM

i've had the egg thingy before going gluten free or paleo. I haven't had a chicken egg for years. I recently got tested for food allergies and chicken eggs showed up. Maybe you should switch to some other eggs like duck, goose, quail...etc. From what I read these eggs are well tolerated by people w/ chicken egg allergies. I ordered some duck eggs to try...

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21 Answers

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
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21405 · April 25, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Try eating just the yolk... you may have a issue with the whites alone (ovo leptins). See if you still have an issue. If that is the case, you may just have to eat something other than eggs, or just egg yolk.

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4359 · April 25, 2011 at 9:18 PM

I've had similar symptoms, though in my case it was associated with other pre-ulcer type symptoms. I found that it was the egg white that was the problem and that it was greatly mitigated if I boiled the eggs (how I cook em most of the time) for at least 10 minutes. Also, eating the eggs alone (rather than in a big meal that included starches too) helped (probably due to faster gastric emptying when eating a smaller single-macronutrient meal. Anyway, my problem likely is totally different than yours - just thought I would share in case it sounds similar.

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9948 · April 25, 2011 at 9:09 PM

It sounds like you need to change egg brands. Try a dozen Non TJ or WF...just regular supermarket eggs and see what happens.

It is possible that Salmonella enteritidis was in the feed eaten by the chickens and infected the yolk and white of the egg. It is rare but it can happen. The chickens are healthy and the grower doesn't even know there is a problem.

Usually Salmonella is on the shell of the egg if there is any. I have heard of people washing their eggs before cracking to get rid of any exterior salmonella.

19f284f6a288385785998c9abe851d5b
45 · April 25, 2011 at 9:30 PM

I'm a little scared with playing with more fire. I was concerned with a possibility of salmonella. I did however have a sensitivity with a dressing my sister made that had eggs in it. I believe she used Jewel brand eggs.

98148e265e1a9b27ce1c206190c1b8a4
5136 · April 25, 2011 at 9:22 PM

generally those eggs sold at say a Trader Joes or Whole Foods would be washed. "cage free" and "hormone free" really can be misleading. Technically, a bunch of birds in a giant stinky ammonia filled overcrowded warehouse are "cage free" and if you don't treat them with hormones, they're "hormone free". Hormone free does not necessarily equate to "not sick" animals. Eggs are pretty porous and you could be sensitive to some of these factors. If the supermarket eggs don't work, try eggs from a local farmer's market.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458
9948 · April 26, 2011 at 12:04 AM

You never know which egg grower might have had a problem. Changing brands change growers. Many large growers package under 20 to 30 different brands. So trying to isolate one brand as being the culprit is of no help. The next carton of that same brand may be grown at entirely different farms. If you can't tolerate any eggs then you have to look at your gut and how well it is functioning.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85
762 · December 09, 2012 at 4:43 PM

We don't have salmonella on eggs here were I live, small country, easy to regulate the feed etc. But anyway many, many people here get stomach problems from it, so I really doubt it's the salmonella.

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0 · March 01, 2014 at 3:54 PM

I have similar symptoms after eating just scrambled eggs or just chicken.

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0 · July 17, 2013 at 3:12 AM

I thought I would add my own experience after landing on this page. I have been a daily bacon and egg eater for years. In recent years I developed odd and random allergy to eggs and some other foods. The eggs I do eat are from free range chickens off our farm. The symptoms are generally nausea/cramping and general discomfort that affects the stomach and gives the sensation of lower back pain. This makes it difficult to focus on work and generally leads to 4 hours of downtime. Of course I have conducted some experiments to try and identify basic relationships between food intake and symptoms. This means isolating intake to the potential offending food. eg just eat an egg by itself and wait (no bacon,toast,butter etc).

Ironically the eggs from Maccas or some store bought battery eggs I generally have very little or no adverse whereas the farm fresh free range organic style eggs often have an adverse effect. The diet of these animals is usually a mix of freshly crushed grains (corn-wheat) and grasses. It was when the animals were fed a solid diet of wheat that I noticed most reactions. Inevitably this wheat would be treated with pesticide or herbicide at sometime in its growth. This may or may not be an issue. Maybe as a higher order consumer I have also built up levels of something that act as a catalyst when I eat eggs and other types of foods. Maybe it is related to our wheat laden, and unlabelled gmo laden foods that fill supermarket shelves. I also try and avoid all packet foods and stick with the basics (meat,milk,bread,veges,butter,cheese) so I can isolate the offenders when they have an effect.

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10 · July 10, 2013 at 1:29 AM

@Anja, the difference between supermarket eggs and fresh eggs, generally speaking, is this:

Supermarkets stock factory-farmed eggs from battery chickens in dire health that are continuously fed antibiotics, injected with artificial hormones to make them menstruate faster, and fed a diet of gene-modified corn. Fresh eggs (or legitimate "free range organic eggs" from an actual farm) are from healthier birds who eat a more natural diet, live in conditions other than continuous stress, and which are not pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to manipulate their metabolisms. They lay fewer eggs than battery chickens, but they're significantly more suitable for human consumption.

Studies show (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-range_eggs#Nutritional_content) that factory eggs have a higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3s, whereas eggs from healthy chooks have a much better ratio. In paleo terms, I've read that the Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio in humans should ideally be 1:2, whereas the average American's is presently 20:1.

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10 · July 10, 2013 at 1:18 AM

Lots of great info from some very smart people. Another idea is that sulphite-reducing bacteria in your intestine are reducing the sulphites in eggs (plenty of sulphites in your devilled egg sauce too in the onion, garlic, & turmeric) into gas. This is characterised by bloatiness and abdominal pain after eating certain foods high in sulphites, and may have started if you had any antibiotics when you had your cold. Taking probiotics often, and avoiding the foods that disagree with you for 12 months or so could resolve it.

This is just one of several possibilities, and it might not be this at all. There are loads of chemical compounds in every food, and it could be any of them that you're getting the bad reaction from. Educate yourself and use eliminate different things (e.g. yolks, whites, change egg supplier) to home in on the problem.

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0 · July 09, 2013 at 11:08 PM

I googled to try and find if there is something else in supermarket eggs, every time I have "supermarket " eggs I need to run to the toilet and my stomach hurts, however if I have fresh eggs laid that day or from farm shop, I'm fine.. What is different in the eggs?

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25 · June 03, 2013 at 12:12 PM

The exact same thing happened to me. After years of eating two eggs for breakfast every day, I figured out that they were the trigger of the episodes of severe stomach acid pains I was having. It wasn't the source of the eggs, I tried a few different farmer's market eggs. I suspect it's something related to the histamine induced by the lightly cooked egg whites, as I can eat foods with a bit of well cooked egg. Also, the stomach aches were much more likely to happen during my PMS period, which further points to histamine.

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0 · June 03, 2013 at 10:13 AM

I did a test if I have problems with cholesterin respondance to double check my egg consume of 4-5 a day. But I'm ok, so eggs are good for me.

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0 · June 03, 2013 at 6:57 AM

I'm not paleo but I eat a reasonably healthy diet and i love eggs. I used to think of them as one of those foods you can count on if you're feeling achey or sick, but the last 4 or 5 times I've eaten them...ouch. Hence why I just googled if there's such a thing as egg intolerance and ended up on this page. It's the same as what others here have described - a long ache and not associated with needing to run to the toilet, just the pain by itself. I think I'd better avoid them, which is such a shame as they're so healthy and tasty and everyone serves them.

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0 · March 29, 2013 at 5:19 PM

I'm not on that diet, but I've noticed recently that eggs do not sit well with me at all. So, far if I eat the liquid ultra-pasteurized eggs, I don't have an issue. I read one form that spoke of the high protein content causes this problem, and if you eat a Papaya afterward you should be good. Papaya has a natural enzyme that helps digest the protein. Nothing is confirmed, we're in this together. I love eggs, but I ate 3-4 hard boiled ones the other day, and I got tore up.

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0 · February 19, 2013 at 6:00 PM

At times I have had a stomach ache about an hour or so after eating eggs, then I can eat eggs for months and months with no problems. The last two times I have had eggs, I have ended up with a stomach ache again. Does anyone know whether stress levels may have something to do with this?

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80 · February 18, 2013 at 1:21 AM

Sometimes I have problems with eggs and sometimes they're fine, alone or in a bigger meal, over-cooked or runny. It seems the more frequently I eat them the more likely I'll get a negative reaction. If I eat them once a week I'm usually safe, however even then a batch will effect me and my concrete-stomached-non-paleo boyfriend so it must not be a problem of the intestinally-sensitive. I think Paleo Papa is on to something with the soy-feeding...or maybe some ass at the grocery store didn't get them into the cooler fast enough.

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3442 · February 17, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Overcooked yolks make me nauseous and a little bit dizzy.

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0 · February 17, 2013 at 7:45 PM

If you ever figure out what it is let me know! Eggs randomly hurt my stomach as well, Long dull pain. I stopped eating them a long time and then tried them again and was able to eat omelets every day for like 3 weeks with no issues. Then suddenly I can't eat them again even after some months. Very annoying!

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0 · December 08, 2012 at 11:08 PM

I have the same problem as well. Noticed it after I did an elimination diet. I have called restaurants to see if it's premixed eggs they use that bother me, but it is actually the reg eggs that are giving me issues. Guaranteed long lasting stomach ache - like 3-6 hours and feels like increased temps in my gut too - when I eat frittatas or omelets. However sunny side up doesn't have the same effect. I'm thinking it's an intolerance brought on by the amount consumed and maybe way they are cooked?

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442 · November 04, 2012 at 6:52 AM

Are you allergic to soy prtein? Do your eggs contain high levels of soy protein? Be advised chickens are not vegetarians by nature; yet many farmers, even the ones that raise free range chickens, feed their chickens strict vegetarian diets that often include high amounts of soy. Some studies indicate soy protein somehow ends up in the eggs. Perhaps your body is challenged to digest soy protein. YMMV.

FYI: Here's a source for soy-free eggs: http://grassfedtraditions.com/organic_soy_free_eggs.htm

I have no affiliation with and am not compensated by this company.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85
762 · December 09, 2012 at 4:41 PM

It's more likely that it's just the eggs, and not the feed chickens get, eggs cause, for many, autoimmune probs, leaky gut etc. It's very common.

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0 · November 03, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I have the same issues with eggs. They hurt my belly after eatting them. I can eat eggs when they are cooked in with other things like cake. But after eatting the eggs I feel like I have to run to the bathroom do my thing but my belly still hurts after that and yes I do have to lay down. Found out that after I had my kid I might of got allegoric to eggs so in your case you might be to sorry. Can't eat no part of the egg.

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0 · October 10, 2011 at 5:31 AM

I get intestinal pain from eating the yoke. I can only eat the egg whites-Eggbeaters (Egg whites).

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195 · April 26, 2011 at 1:26 AM

I get the stomach issue randomly, it seems. Most of the time, I just make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked, and that solves the issue. I've noticed that it also seems to occur if I'm eating them in the morning or early afternoon, but never at night.

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