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Is it possible to develop an allergy to something by eating it daily (ie. eggs)?

by (4620)
Updated about 18 hours ago
Created April 20, 2011 at 3:11 PM

I sometimes hear that eating eggs (or possibly nuts, or other common allergens) daily will eventually lead to the body developing an allergy or intolerance to them. I know Mercola is a horrible source of information, but he claims that daily egg eating can lead to egg allergy (he doesn't explain how).

Is there any information on this phenomenon? If true, how/why would the body develop an allergy to a food if consumed daily?

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6709 · July 12, 2012 at 5:11 PM

You might develop an allergy if you eat them with a leaky gut. Other than that - no.

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20353 · June 17, 2011 at 6:07 AM

Wonderful question! Thank You!

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5136 · April 23, 2011 at 5:56 AM

and good to hear about someone buying true farm eggs. every little dollar helps.

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1065 · April 23, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Chronic exposure to tree nuts or other intense irritants (for those with the allergy your immune system recognizes it as an invader, etc) leads to more anti-body development, so chronic exposure leads to more intense reactions over time. Mercola is a truly awful and should not be taken seriously.

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4896 · April 23, 2011 at 3:06 AM

In Poland we hardly ever had any peanuts, and peanut butter was unknown. But when these products suddenly appeared in stores, I haven't hard about sudden onset of massive peanut allergies!

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2319 · April 23, 2011 at 2:43 AM

but if you eat seasonally, you will not have some foods for long periods of time. seasonally seems pretty Paleo

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4620 · April 22, 2011 at 9:05 PM

But that's definitely good to know about the store bought eggs.

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4620 · April 22, 2011 at 8:39 PM

@tartare Don't worry about me, I buy solely farm fresh pastured eggs :) I actually don't have any problems with eggs, I just asked this out of curiosity (and potential concern seeing as how I go through at least a dozen a week, mmm).

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211 · April 22, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Years ago when would break out in hives, I had a skin prick test done. The doctor told me to only drink apple juice for some time before the test. Guess what I came up positive to...apple juice. Not that this would answer your question....

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5136 · April 22, 2011 at 4:23 PM

no guacamole? oh thats awful. Phoenix, most store bought eggs are bleached. Additionally, lots of the chickens are kept in conditions which promote high levels of ammonia in the air. Even if you are buying "cage free" or "free range" this may be the case. Eggs are very porous, so these chemicals could be whats causing you trouble. If you can find a farmers market or farmer to get eggs from, they might be easier on you? Just going out on a limb here. I often wonder if ammonia isn't the real issue in people with egg allergies.

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78422 · April 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Tell me about it. Eleven years without guacamole. Do you realize what that's done to my quality of life? :)

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18412 · April 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Dang I am so deeply sorry to hear of your avocado story. That is quite tragic indeed.

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78422 · April 20, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I can only answer anecdotally. I used to love to eat avocados and began eating about two a day. Sure enough, after a few months of that I developed an allergy to avocado. I would get the worst stomach ache from eating them. I tested this 4 times to be sure. Each time I was down for at least an hour. Now, I haven't eaten an avocado in 11 years.

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18412 · April 20, 2011 at 3:27 PM

this is an excellent question.

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11 Answers

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15583 · April 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I've heard this a lot, but never heard an even vaguely sensible reason to think it true. Nor can I think of a plausible argument for it. Certainly evolutionary reasoning would suggest that this would be very unlikely (and a very bad thing indeed if it were true). As Oranges states, the reverse is more likely to be the case.

One reason why people may think this is happening is that the more they eat (of) something the more likely they are to notice that they are intolerant of it. They might think, therefore, that only after a certain point did they become intolerant of it (and notice it thereafter), when in fact they've been intolerant of it the whole time. Alternatively there might be effects that are cumulative. If I reintroduce gluten it might take a fair few loaves of bread before I start to actually have some auto-immune flare-ups, but I was intolerant of it all along, nevertheless.

Alternatively people might stop being able to eat or become sick of (for whatever reason) a food that they've been eating without problems for a while. This wouldn't show that eating it for a long while caused them to become sick from eating it.

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1065 · April 23, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Chronic exposure to tree nuts or other intense irritants (for those with the allergy your immune system recognizes it as an invader, etc) leads to more anti-body development, so chronic exposure leads to more intense reactions over time. Mercola is a truly awful and should not be taken seriously.

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56616 · April 20, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I would say this could happen if you had an inflammatory issue. If your body is in a state of constant inflammation, it may react to anything, but perhaps more likely with foods that have complex phytochemicals. For some time I was very stressed and drinking large amounts of cinnamon tea every day. Soon enough I was developing rashes on my tongue. I discontinued the use of the tea and got my lifestyle back in order. Admittedly, I'm now drinking it without issue (I LOOOVE cinnamon). I had a similar experience with spicy peppers and now I eat them every single day.

That's why some common allergy tests used by naturopaths can be so deceptive, often it's a reflection of general inflammation in your body rather than specific allergies.

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8757 · April 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I can only speak from my experience, and I'm literally allergic to just about everything these days.

I've discovered recently what many of these fine people here know: that if you have gut issues (whether known or not) you will eventually become intolerant or eventually allergic to things you eat often.

The key, from what I'm finding, is to heal the gut and avoid the intolerance/allergy (GAP Diet) if you can.

Literally took me 6 1/2 years to get to this moment, so sad that I couldnt get any assistance (in that time I was in 4 different countries and went thru numerous physicians of all kinds, nada!!) before finding the paleo group....how is it that they know so much more than everyone else??

;)

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1436 · April 20, 2011 at 3:51 PM

If the gut is permeable this could happen. In healthy individuals, I doubt it. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03639.x/abstract

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1702 · April 20, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I would think (from people's accounts after going paleo and becoming lactose intolerant, etc) that you're more likely to develop an allergy after abstaining from something for a long period of time (see also coddled children not fed peanuts until kindergarten who are, surprise surprise, allergic!)

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2319 · April 23, 2011 at 2:43 AM

but if you eat seasonally, you will not have some foods for long periods of time. seasonally seems pretty Paleo

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4896 · April 23, 2011 at 3:06 AM

In Poland we hardly ever had any peanuts, and peanut butter was unknown. But when these products suddenly appeared in stores, I haven't hard about sudden onset of massive peanut allergies!

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3976 · April 23, 2011 at 1:27 AM

It's my understanding that anyone can become allergic to anything, at any time. I posted in another thread that I have seen cases of this, whether it's a person doing something regularly, occasionally or rarely. As others have mentioned, inflammation can be part of it, and there is also evidence to support "multiple chemical sensitivity" which basically means we have so many chemicals in our systems (despite good dietary choices - even polar bears have PCBs in their blood) that our bodies can hit a point where they don't know what is safe and what is an enemy anymore.

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609 · July 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM

When I first started eating a vegetarian diet (I was 12), I started to eat eggs almost every day. After a few months, I was horribly ill all the time and couldn't figure out why. Turns out, I developed an egg allergy.

Brunch was ruined for me...until last year, when my Mom (who developed an egg allergy about the same age as I had) told me she started eating eggs again and huzzah!, I grew out of my allergy.

Then I started paleo and now I'm eating an egg a day...fingers crossed I don't bring it on again.

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0 · July 12, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I'm very much hoping that this isn't true, but I suspect it is. I am fairly sure I am developing an allergy to Tea. All this year I have drank about 5 cups of green tea per day. Recently Its been down to 1 or 2 (green or orange peakoe), and for the past few weeks every time I feel very nauseous (and I have a VERY iron stomach!), my head hurts and I sneeze. I don't know if I should stop drinking it (I don't honestly know if I could) or if I should try and force my body to readjust and get used to it.

Does this sounds like an allergy? I don't Think its from the caffeine, but I'd rather believe it

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0 · June 29, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Just a comment about Dr. Mercola. I've found the info on his Website highly valuable! Not sure why you say it offers terrible info. Even my own doctor reads his site. Just like everything else, you have to be discerning when reading anything, and Dr. M., just like every one else isn't perfect. But his Website is a wealth of information that you're not going to get from most other health resources. He cuts through the lies and politics and gives it to you straight.

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483 · April 23, 2011 at 2:07 PM

I don't believe that happens for one of "normal" health. However, it does happen to a small portion of humanity. My wife can eat anything for a week and become allergic to that food item. For the entire thirty years of our marriage she has eaten a food such as chicken for 3 or 4 days then switched to beef for 3 or 4 days the to pork, etc.

I've eaten eggs all my life and almost every single day. If not for breakfast then at other times of the day either as hardboiled or scrambled or fried or raw in a protein shake.

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953 · April 22, 2011 at 4:02 PM

I was watching a show on Discovery or Animal Planet about poisonous animals. They were highlighting a woman who went into anaphylactic shock after being stung by a couple of fire ants. The kicker was that she lived in Florida (IIRC) and had been stung countless times before by fire ants without incident, just normal stinging on the skin. Apparently, she had developed an allergy to them by being exposed to them several times before.

I know eggs and venom aren't the same thing as venom is supposed to be poisonous to us, but I think in light of the fact this happens with venom, it's possible that we could develop an allergy to something contained in a food we eat on a consistent basis.

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