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Determine The Difference Between A Food Allergy And A Food Intolerance

It is important that you determine if you are having a food intolerance versus a food allergy, if eating a specific food causes you to suffer from some symptoms. Many people mistake and confuse the two together. Finding out the difference between the two helps you decide on the best treatment option for your ailment.

When you have a food allergy, your immune system response is triggered. Having said that, only 2 percent of adults and 6 percent of children have a true food allergy that can be dangerous to their health. Common food allergens include peanuts, shellfish, soy and wheat. You do not need to consume a whole plateful of your food allergen for it to be fatal. Just a small amount can endanger your life.

With this, having a food allergy is considered more severe than having a food intolerance alone. Some of the most common symptoms of a food allergy include hives, eczema, wheezing, swelling of the throat, abdominal pain, and headaches. However, if your allergic reactions are severe, you can also suffer from shock, airway constriction, loss of consciousness and rapid pulse. This can mean death if you are not given the required treatment in a timely manner.

On the other hand, if you get a tummy ache or diarrhea due to eating certain foods, you may be having a food intolerance. You still can eat these foods and yet suffer no symptoms if they are eaten in small amounts. This is another distinguishing factor from a true food allergy.

For a food allergy, it is obvious that you would have to avoid eating that specific food. Severe food allergy symptoms necessitate medical treatment. To keep you from going into anaphylectic shock, a shot of epinephrine may be needed as soon as possible. You may also need to be warded in a hospital for emergency treatment and observation.

To know for sure if you are having a true food allergy, you can go for medical testings. It will also help if you can maintain a food diary so that you can record down your observations. When visiting your doctor, bring the food diary along with you. It can help your doctor determine whether you are just having a food intolerance or a food allergy.

A sufferer of chronic allergy symptoms for years, Evelyn Lim writes on food allergy as well as other types of allergy. For free research and tips, please refer to