Difference Between Food Allergy and Food Intolerance


Comparison of Food Allergy and Food Intolerance

Food Allergies & Food Intolerances: There Is A Difference

For many people, food allergies and food intolerances mean the same thing. For people who actually experience them, they are light years away. Whether you are suffering from an allergy, and intolerance, or you simply need to understand the difference, there is a variety of things that you need to understand.

How They Occur

A food allergy will usually come on suddenly and even a small amount of food can trigger the reaction. More importantly, it will happen every single time you eat the food. A food intolerance can come on gradually and may only occur if you eat a significant amount of the food – or eat it often. It is also not life-threatening.

It is extremely difficult for people to understand the difference between food allergies and food intolerances in many instances because there are a number of shared symptoms. This includes such things as nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. The differences are subtle. Those suffering from allergic reaction can experience shortness of breath, chest pain, itchy skin, or even a breakout of rashes and hives. Those with intolerance may simply deal with gas, cramps, heartburn, or irritability and nervousness.

Biggest Food Triggers

The same foods always seem to be to blame. This can include fish, peanuts, nuts, shellfish, milk, eggs, wheat, and even soy. While peanuts and fish are some of the most common triggers, anything on the list can create either an allergy or intolerance. Many people who have intolerance assume that they have an allergy – when this is not actually the case.

If you are not sure about whether you have an allergy or intolerance, doctors recommend that you keep a diary of the food you eat. Next to each item that you eat, list any symptoms that you may have upon eating the foods. If you notice certain trends, stop eating some of the foods on the list and see if you still experience the symptoms.

Side Effects

If you are experiencing severe side effects, you may also want to schedule an allergy test with the doctor. This is where you will have a variety of pinpricks to see what your body responds to. You may learn that you are allergic to certain foods that you had never even considered.

Learn to Prevent Symptoms

It is always a good idea to learn how to prevent symptoms. Whether you are allergic or you are intolerant to certain foods, you shouldn’t eat them if they are going to cause you problems. Once you determine which foods to stay away from, ask servers at restaurants Howell a meal will be prepared. Find out if there is a way to eliminate certain items from the foods that you enjoy. Read food labels on everything – even condiments and seasonings.

You deserve to be healthy and you need to understand that there is a difference between allergies and intolerances. Talk to your doctor and find out which one you suffer from.