Difference between intolerances and allergies

Understanding allergies Vs intolerances:

People can experience reactions to certain types of foods or stimulants in their external environment. These reactions can be a result of food intolerance or food allergies. There is a difference between intolerance and allergy, and this difference affects the symptoms you will feel and cure for your symptoms.  

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What are Food Allergies?

Our immune system causes food allergies. When you digest certain types of food, the immune system reacts to them when it shouldn’t. This can lead to mild to severe reactions such as rashes, hives, or difficulty breathing, depending on how allergic you’re to that particular food/substance. Some common examples are peanut allergy or dust allergy.

 

What is Food Intolerance?

Our immune system causes food allergies. When you digest certain types of food, the immune system reacts to them when it shouldn’t. This can lead to mild to severe reactions such as rashes, hives, or difficulty breathing, depending on how allergic you’re to that particular food/substance. Some common examples are peanut allergy or dust allergy.

 

 

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How to Identify Between Intolerance and Allergy

It’s easy to differentiate between food intolerance and food allergy since their symptoms differ from each other. There are some symptoms common to food intolerance and food allergies, and you should get a health test and follow up with a nutrition consultant afterwards if you’re experiencing them.

Food Intolerance Symptoms:

After eating, you may experience symptoms after a few hours or even 30 minutes later. You will experience digestive problems symptoms such as:

  • gas
  • stomach cramps
  • bloating
  • headaches
  • feeling nervous or irritable
  • feeling like your Skin burns
  • heartburn
  • sweating

Symptoms will be severe if you’ve eaten more portions of the food and mild if you’ve eaten little.

Food Allergy Symptoms:

You may see the symptoms on your skin, such as:

  • rashes
  • hives on parts of your body
  • pain in the chest
  • itchy skin


Symptoms include:

  • having difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty in breathing e.g., asthma or wheezing

You may experience an abrupt drop in blood pressure, and the face or eyes may swell up. May have a severe reaction, Anaphylaxis, that will need medical attention.
Symptoms may manifest just as you eat the food.

Foods that Cause Food Intolerance:

  • Gluten, it’s a protein found in grains, e.g., rye, barley, and wheat.
  • Lactose, it’s a type of sugar that’s found in milk.
  • Casein, it’s the protein in milk.
  • Foods that Cause Food Allergies:
  • Dry nuts, e.g., walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and pecans. The allergy stems from a substance called salicylate in those nuts.
  • Fish or shellfish
  • Milk, eggs (especially the yolk), and wheat.
  • Substances such as red wine, which contains sulfite, are a preservative.
  • Soy, a substance used for treating menopause symptoms.

Final Remarks:

Symptoms for intolerances and allergies can show up on the skin. There are also other signs that you may experience, such as rashes, hives, vomiting, diaorrhea, and difficulty breathing. Depending on the symptoms, you should consult your doctor and take proper care to avoid the particular food causing the symptoms.

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References:

  1. Kleine-Tebbe, J., Waßmann-Otto, A., & Mönnikes, H. (2016). Nahrungsmittelallergien und andere -unverträglichkeiten : Bedeutung, Begriffe und Begrenzung [Food Allergy and Intolerance : Distinction, Definitions and Delimitation]. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz, 59(6), 705–722. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00103-016-2356-1
  2. Turnbull, J. L., Adams, H. N., & Gorard, D. A. (2015). Review article: the diagnosis and management of food allergy and food intolerances. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 41(1), 3–25. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.12984
  3. Manuyakorn, W., & Tanpowpong, P. (2019). Cow milk protein allergy and other common food allergies and intolerances. Paediatrics and international child health, 39(1), 32–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/20469047.2018.1490099
  4. Tuck, C. J., Biesiekierski, J. R., Schmid-Grendelmeier, P., & Pohl, D. (2019). Food Intolerances. Nutrients, 11(7), 1684. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071684
  5. Iweala, O. I., Choudhary, S. K., & Commins, S. P. (2018). Food Allergy. Current gastroenterology reports, 20(5), 17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11894-018-0624-y