Could You Be Suffering from a Chicken Allergy?

Many of us take for granted the fact that chicken is the most widely consumed poultry meat, so much so that we ignore the signs and symptoms that could indicate a chicken allergy. Chicken is one of the most convenient and flexible meats around, which means that it is everywhere. This could be a nightmare for someone who suffers from a chicken allergy, especially when it comes to social functions, where chicken is a popular appetizer. If you suspect that you may be suffering from intolerance to chicken, you may want to stick around while we discuss this allergy in more detail.

The real cause behind a chicken allergy is a reaction that the body has to a protein present in this type of meat. Cooking can help to break down some of this protein, but will not remove the protein allergen entirely. Some people can be allergic to chicken meat, yet have no reaction whatsoever to the protein found in chicken eggs. Other people can be allergic to chicken meat and chicken eggs, as well as the allergens found in chicken feathers--which is often a more severe allergy. An allergic reaction to eggs will usually show up during childhood, as scrambled eggs are a popular toddler and children’s food. Some children outgrow this allergy, while others carry it throughout their adult life.

A person who is allergic to the protein in chicken can also have allergic reactions to the proteins found in turkey, fish, beef, or pork, but this is not always so. Because of the possibility that one can be allergic to the proteins of more than one meat, discovering the source of the allergy can be a difficult and time consuming process. Mild allergies may not produce any symptoms for up to 48 hours after consuming chicken, while more severe allergies can see symptoms springing up as soon as a few minutes after eating chicken.

The best way to determine whether you have a chicken allergy is to take stock of your symptoms after eating chicken. Does your stomach cramp or do you feel nauseous? Some people with a chicken allergy vomit, develop a skin rash, or feel very fatigued soon after ingesting chicken. It is also common to experience wheezing or a feeling of constriction around the chest, coughing, hives, itchy skin, headaches, diarrhea, or joint pain within a period of two days after consuming chicken.

The best way to determine whether chicken really is the culprit behind an allergy is to eliminate it totally from your diet. This includes everything from chicken meat, to eggs, to chicken-flavored products like rice and pasta. If, after a period of two weeks, you seem to be symptom-free, you can try eating one egg. If your old symptoms start to pop back up, then you most likely have an allergy to chicken. If you don’t seem to have an allergic reaction to the egg, try a bit of chicken-flavored rice or pasta. If you still seem allergy-free, you can eat a bit of actual chicken meat. If you get a reaction from the meat but none of the other products, then your allergy might simply be limited to the protein within the meat itself—which is not uncommon. This process of elimination will give you a better idea of your limitations when it comes to your allergy.

If you still suffer the symptoms of an allergic reaction during the period of time that you have removed all chicken items from your diet, you may have to explore the possibility that you may suffer an allergy to another type of meat, or possibly wheat, soya, nuts, or milk—which are the most common foods to cause an allergic reaction.

Most symptoms should go away naturally, or with the help of an over the counter medication such as Benadryl. If you experience very severe symptoms, it might warrant a trip to the doctor for evaluation.




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