more than one egg = headache.
April 16, 2009 4:51 AM   Subscribe

I get strange headaches from eating omelettes (and sometimes, plain eggs). I'm curious as to what causes that.

I just made an omelette from four egg-whites and two yolks (I had some left over from making mayo and did not want to waste the white). I seldom make omelettes as I get this odd headache after eating it, and sometimes I'll get the same headache after eating lightly boiled eggs. It's not a bad headache, I just don't feel right, and I'm curious as to what could cause headaches that is in eggs. It seems to be the number of eggs that causes the headache, I never get a headache from one boiled, one fried, or even an omelette made of a single egg and some milk. What is it in eggs that I could be sensitive to?
posted by dabitch to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get thee to an allergist. The answer is likely "proteins", but as with all AskMeFi questions, you really need a doc.

Egg whites (albumen) shows up more frequently then allergy to yolk. Incidence in childhood is fairly high, and while adult-onset is not impossible it is rare.

Information to take with you:

Do you react to duck eggs, chicken, etc?
Do you spend a lot of time around birds?

Questions to ask:

Can I safely take flu vaccines?

[link] has a decent bibliography. Consider especially obtaining:
Unsel, M., et al. "New Onset Egg Allergy In An Adult." Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology 2007 Vol. 17(1): 55-58. 31 May 2007.
If my childhood stories of Humpty Dumpty are at all accurate, headaches and eggs together can be deadly. :^)
posted by quarantine at 4:59 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

ok, yikes. For some daft reason I never made the connection but flu vaccines have made me sick as a dog for weeks, with massive swelling on the injection area, while co-workers who had the same vaccine were fine. I better check this out. Thanks.
posted by dabitch at 5:10 AM on April 16, 2009

Please note that Headaches are not an *allergic* reaction. The allergists I work with at Yale and I had a chat about this, since I get migraines from egg yolks.

I was being worked up for another food allergy, asked about this, and was told that headaches are not technically an allergic reaction. They are sucky, but they won't kill you and Benadryl won't stop it.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2009

If you do have an allergic reaction, though, such that your sinuses swell/close, that _could_ cause a headache (I have a slight one right now from some egg-containing food I at last night).
posted by amtho at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2009

such that your sinuses swell/close, that _could_ cause a headache

I get allergy headaches like this.

No runny nose, but tapping on sinuses hurts like hell, and it feels like they're stuffed with cotton. And a big throbbing headache.
posted by zeek321 at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2009

I had problems with headaches, nausea, and mood changes when eating anything more than 1 egg. I don't eat eggs often, so it took me a while to notice, and I finally realized the connection over two consecutive Easters when I overdid it with the hard-boiled kind.

All these symptoms stopped when I stopped eating regular white eggs, and started buying free-range organic brown eggs instead. I also did well with the eggs produced by my own chickens, which I had kept in the backyard for a year or two.

I'm still not sure if this was related to hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, or something else in the "regular" eggs. All I know is this worked.

My wife noticed similar effects when she switched from conventional to organic milk. Now dairy products are one of the few items where I will almost always choose to buy the organic variety.
posted by tkolstee at 10:57 AM on April 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

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