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Chicken Allergy: How Do To Deal And What's Safe To Eat?

    Chicken Allergy: How Do To Deal And What's Safe To Eat?

    Chicken is a delicious, nutritious, and a healthy source of protein for the body. However, there are cases where eating chicken can lead to rashes and skin irritation, and that could be one of the signs of a chicken allergy.

    In the Philippines, chicken allergy is not so common. However, in certain cases, it can lead to unpleasant symptoms and even fatality due to extreme allergic reaction. Therefore, you should learn about this situation to prevent and be more proactive when falling into an emergency situation.

    Chicken Allergy Overview

    An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system mistakes harmless substances (such as chicken/chicken feathers) for dangerous, potentially life-threatening substances. At this point, the immune system begins to make antibodies, called immunoglobulin E (IeG), to attack the allergens. Allergic reactions can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe, and these symptoms can sometimes become life-threatening.

    Chicken allergy can occur in individuals of all ages. You may experience rashes and skin irritation from eating chicken at an early age, which may continue into adulthood. You’re also more likely to have a re-allergic reaction to raw chicken or chicken after years of being allergy-free.

    Symptoms of Chicken Allergy

    If you”re allergic to chicken, you’ll usually have an allergic reaction right away or a few hours after eating chicken. Allergy symptoms include:

    • Itching, swelling, or watery eyes
    • Runny nose, itchy nose
    • Sneezing
    • Shortness of breath
    • Itching, sore throat
    • Coughing or wheezing
    • Red, irritated or rash skin
    • Itchy skin
    • Hives
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Stomach cramps
    • Diarrhea
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Risk factors for allergies

    You’re more likely to develop food allergies (including chicken allergies) if you already have asthma or eczema. You’re also at increased risk for a chicken allergy if you’re allergic to:

    • Turkey
    • Goose
    • Duck
    • Pheasant
    • Partridge
    • Fish
    • Shrimp

    Some people who are allergic to chicken are also allergic to eggs. People with both types of allergies often react to a substance found in egg yolks and the protein albumin in chicken serum.

    If you are allergic to chicken, you may also be allergic to raw chicken droppings, feathers, and feather dust.

    Signs of Anaphylaxis Due to Chicken Allergy

    Allergies are often confused with colds because they share many of the same symptoms, such as a runny nose and sore throat. You may also experience an upset stomach as your body tries to clear the allergen out of your digestive system.

    The most serious complication of an allergic condition is anaphylaxis. This is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

    • Fast heart beat, arrhythmia
    • A sudden drop in blood pressure
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheeze
    • Swelling of the airways of the throat
    • Stutter
    • Tongue swelling
    • Swollen lips
    • Blue or cyanotic lips, fingertips or toes
    • Loss of consciousness

    If you’ve ever had anaphylaxis, your doctor will prescribe an EpiPen (automatic epinephrine injector) for you to carry with you. You can use an EpiPen for emergency assistance in case of an allergic reaction.

    However, in any case of anaphylaxis, you need to get emergency care or ask a loved one to take you to the hospital immediately.

    Things you should avoid when you have a chicken allergy

    If you have a chicken allergy, stay away from all foods that have chicken in them. In particular, you need to be wary of dishes with broth from meat and chicken bones

    Chicken is also often used as a substitute for red meats. So you can see it in hamburgers. Always make sure the dishes you prepare to eat are completely free of any ingredients made from chicken.

    Instead of chicken, you can try the following foods:

    • Use chickpeas in place of chicken in soups and stir-fries.
    • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
    • Use beef or soy protein products instead of chicken in stews.
    • Try consuming other protein sources like fish, pork or beans.
    • If you are allergic to chicken feathers, a down blanket or pillow can also cause an allergic reaction. In this case, use other pillows instead.
    • Before taking any vaccines, you should inform your doctor about your allergies. Some vaccines can trigger a response, such as the yellow fever vaccine that contains a protein found in chicken.
    • You also need to take extra precautions if you plan to visit a zoo or farm, especially if you are allergic to raw chicken or waterfowl.

    When Should You Go to the Hospital?

    If you suspect you have a food allergy, you should visit a hospital to determine the cause. At the hospital, an allergist may recommend a skin prick test or a blood test to aid in the diagnosis.

    In addition, your doctor may also ask you to follow a diet to determine if chicken is the cause of your allergy. Once you know the cause of your allergy, you will know how to balance your diet and nutritional content to protect your health in the best way.

    Once diagnosed, your doctor will recommend that you take an over-the-counter antihistamine to treat your allergy symptoms.

    In the event of anaphylaxis, you need immediate medical attention, even if you have already used the EpiPen.

    Eating chicken with itching is a completely manageable condition if you know how to check the ingredients and be careful of potential allergens. Besides, going to the hospital to see a doctor will also help you better manage your symptoms.

    Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Severe allergy to chicken meat, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16933414/, Accessed July 2, 2022

    6 tips to managing food allergies, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/6-tips-for-managing-food-allergies, Accessed July 2, 2022

    Food allergy, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20355095, Accessed July 2, 2022

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    Written by Hello Bacsi Updated 3 weeks ago
    Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen
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