Distinguishing Food Intolerance from a Food Allergy

Numerous individuals struggle with food intolerances and allergies. However, a lot of individuals get them mixed up. Food intolerances are more common than people realize, and many mistakenly believe they have food sensitivities. It would be best if you recognized the distinction between the two. The following is an in-depth look at food allergens and food intolerance to help those unfamiliar with the terms, symptoms, and treatment options for these conditions. To learn about Meal Allergies, click here

Food Allergy Awareness

Let's start with a look at the problem of dietary allergies. Just what are these sensitivities, exactly? Put, food allergies occur when the immune system mistakes a harmless food component for a dangerous one and mounts an antibody attack. As the body attempts to fight off the food, the signs emerge. Typically, this reaction is triggered by a protein. Soy, peanuts, seafood, milk, tree nuts, wheat, eggs, and other foods are common allergens. Allergic reactions to food are uncommon. Only 2-4% of adults and slightly more toddlers have them.

Those who suffer from food allergies may experience severe or relatively mild effects. This is because it takes more food for some individuals than others to share the result after eating. Itchy skin, chest pain, hives or another rash, stomach pain, nausea, trouble breathing, airway swelling, diarrhea, and anaphylaxis are some symptoms that can occur with a true food allergy.

Dietary Intolerance: What You Need to Know

Despite this common misconception, there is a big difference between food sensitivity and a true food allergy. This is not an immune reaction but rather an issue with the digestive system. An intolerance occurs when a person's digestive system experiences discomfort from eating a particular food or is unable to process that food properly. Lactose intolerance is among the most prevalent food intolerances, affecting about 10% of the population.

Food allergies and intolerances present with very distinct sets of symptoms. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, headaches, nervousness, vomiting, irritability, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and cramps are some of the signs that can appear if you are intolerant to a particular food.

Food Sensitivity Triggers

Curious as to what brings on dietary intolerance or allergy? Food allergies, however, develop when the body reacts strongly to a protein or other substance found in the food. They may develop after eating a meal whose protein the body interprets as dangerous.

Antibodies that help the body fight off disease are produced. When you consume the food again, your immune system will attempt to flush the chemical compound out of your system by releasing these antibodies. When histamine is produced in the body, allergy symptoms begin to manifest. Depending on where these histamines are made, symptoms may manifest in different body parts. These sensitivities often have a vital genetic component.

Dietary Allergies and Their Roots

Numerous factors and circumstances can bring on food intolerances. For example, some proteins in food may be difficult to process if your body doesn't produce the necessary chemicals. Some people also have sensitivities to MSG and other dietary dyes and preservatives.

Understanding the Distinction

Now that you know the difference between food allergies and food intolerances, you may be wondering how to discern the difference between the two. Food allergies typically manifest after consuming even a tiny quantity of the offending food, and they recur whenever you eat that food again.

If you have a food allergy, you should avoid eating those items. Most cases of food sensitivity can be traced back to excessive consumption. Unless they consume a lot of the food or eat it frequently, many people won't experience intolerance symptoms. For example, some individuals who are lactose intolerant can tolerate small amounts of milk, and it's only when they consume large quantities that they experience any adverse effects.