Food allergies are an immune system response to the ingestion of a particular food. This response may come in the form of hives, itchy skin, nausea, diarrhoea, or other symptoms.
Food allergies are a condition where the body’s immune system produces a reaction after the body has been exposed to an allergen. This can happen when a person eats something containing a substance the body recognizes as foreign and harmful.
Whereas food intolerances are the inability to digest certain foods, specifically ones containing gluten. Common symptoms include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, frequent diarrhea or constipation.
The most common form of food intolerance is celiac disease. Food intolerances and food allergies are completely different, so keep on reading to learn more.
Food Allergy Symptoms – What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Food Allergies?
Food allergies are more common today than they have been in the past. In some countries, food allergies have increased by as much as 50% in the past 10 years.
If you think you might have a food allergy, or your family member does, it’s important to keep an eye (or ear) out for the warning signs. It can help make sure that people can avoid potential problems before they start to get major.
The most common symptoms of food allergies are skin reactions like hives, eczema or other rashes. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain.
There are other signs too like shortness of breath, wheezing and even anaphylaxis which is a life-threatening reaction that involves swelling in the throat or tongue among other symptoms.
Food Intolerance Symptoms – What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Food Intolerances?
Food intolerance is when the body has an immune response to a food. The immune system reacts to certain foods that it sees as unfamiliar or dangerous.
It does this by producing antibodies which then attack the food that was eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. People can have severe symptoms to mild ones, with symptoms being gastrointestinal, neurological, dermatological and respiratory in nature.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Food Intolerance and a Food Allergy
Most of the time, food reactions are more of an intolerance than they are an allergy. The difference between these two, is that reactions to intolerances will typically subside after a few days of avoidance, whereas allergies can be life-threatening and will not just subside with avoidance. If you suspect that you have an intolerance rather than an allergy, it’s important to keep a food diary for at least two weeks before you see your doctor.
This will help them evaluate your symptoms and decide if it is indeed an intolerance or an allergy. Make sure to write down what you eat, when you eat it, how much you ate, how old the food was before eating it as well as any other factors that might play a part in your reaction such as exercise or lack thereof, stress levels and sleeping patterns as these can all make a difference to your symptoms you experience.
Can Someone Have Both an Allergy and an Intolerance to the Same Foods?
There are a number of foods that have been documented as being both allergenic and intolerant. They include milk, eggs, soybeans, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and shellfish.
In relation to food allergies and intolerances, they can both be defined as a negative response to a specific food. But they are not the same thing. Food allergies are caused because the body’s immune system mistakes certain proteins from the food as threats from invaders from outside the body.
Food intolerance is a result of a physical change in metabolism that renders a person unable to digest certain foods properly, and if you experience any symptoms of a food intolerance or food allergy, it’s extremely important you speak to a doctor, to discuss the diagnosis and treatment of your allergies / intolerances