Dr. Alla Arutcheva
Do not confuse food allergy and food intolerance!
Updated: Jan 18, 2018
What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance. Food allergy can be a life-threatening, intolerance – not.
Food allergies and intolerances are distinct body reaction to food and often are confused by people. Most food allergies start in childhood, but they can develop at any time of life. Some adults develop an allergy to a food they used to eat without any problem. Food allergy symptoms usually come suddenly, even small amount of food can trigger reaction. Symptoms of food intolerance usually come gradually and tend to take longer to appear than symptoms of allergies
Food allergy - causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. The immune process is mediated by food allergens such as cow's milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, shellfish and finned fish. Food allergies can vary from rash, hives, shortness of breath, chest pain to anaphylaxis and even death. Food allergy can also show gastrointestinal symptoms.
While dining at restaurant people with allergy should inform staff about food allergy. If you have many food allergies or those that are less common, it is best to contact the restaurant in advance. However, restaurant can make mistakes. So, to be safe, always carry epinephrin auto-injectors.
You can find many useful tips on www.allergyeats.com.
Food intolerances are nonspecific, non-immune process and is often associated with gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas, cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, headaches, Irritability or nervousness. These symptoms resemble to common unexplained complaints for the irritable bowel syndrome .
Food intolerance is not life-threating. It affects 15-20% of the population and may be mostly due to carbohydrates, gluten and sensitivity to different food components, additives, food dye. It involves enzyme and transport defects.
Food intolerance and gastrointestinal mucosal inflammation are deeply related. Causes of food intolerance include:
· Reduced production of enzymes needed to fully digest particular food. Lactose, fructose, fructan, gluten intolerance is a common example.
· Irritable bowel syndrome that can cause cramping, constipation and diarrhea.
· Sensitivity to food additives. For example, sulfites used to preserve dried fruit, canned goods and wine can trigger asthma attacks in sensitive people.
· Recurring stress or psychological factors. Sometimes the thought of a food may make you sick, nauseated.
· Celiac disease. Celiac disease involves the immune system has some features of a true food allergy, but symptoms are mostly gastrointestinal. People with celiac disease are not at risk of anaphylaxis. This chronic digestive condition is triggered by eating gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains.
Food intolerance may be controlled with portions and enzymes. If you have a food intolerance, you may be able to eat small amounts of the food. Special enzyme formulations can be used to help digestion.
You may also be able to prevent a reaction. For example, if you have lactose intolerance, you may be able to have lactose-free milk products or take lactase enzyme pills to aid digestion. There is a choice of gluten free bread, flour, bakes for gluten sensitive people.
Through personalized diet, enzyme therapy and natural formulas we can help you to overcome food intolerance. Contact Antalee Wellness Center.