Food Allergy Intolerance Whats the Difference


Food allergy and intolerance are very common occurrences all over the globe. Generally, many people suffer from food allergy and intolerance when they eat certain foods that trigger their immune system.


Why Is There a Food Allergy Intolerance?

Food allergy and intolerance are 2 different diseases that may have similar characteristics. But the causes of these symptoms are exactly the same various mechanisms occurring in the human body. Food allergy is a reaction of the immune system to a strange protein. At the initial exposure with this allergen, the immune system produces antibodies. In case of repeated use of that protein-allergen, antibodies are released to destroy it. In addition to antibodies, histamine is produced. The human body creates this substance immediately in case of damaged tissues, causing an immune response. It plays an important role in the regulation of many physiological functions. Histamine causes a momentary spasm of blood vessels, which turns into subsequent luminal distension, especially in the arteries. It is also involved in the inflammatory process as a protective and adaptive reaction, causing pain and response to inflammation pathogens.

Food Allergy  Intolerance

First of all, food allergy and intolerance differ in the sources of human reactions to foods. In case of intolerance, certain enzymes are not produced. Therefore, they do not break down the incoming food in the digestive system. The reaction to food allergy can be tested on the human skin. In this case, the skin test causes the body’s reaction to the allergen at once. In the case of intolerance, the test does not work.

Food allergy and intolerance are also distinguished by the fact that food intolerance is not immediate. But after some time, it can be identified with general sickliness, fatigue and pain in the stomach or intestines. Sometimes, the symptoms are so worn out that it is difficult to identify any food intolerance. Some people do not realize their intolerance to certain foods and simply put up with those symptoms for a long period of time. However, food allergy and intolerance can be avoided by eliminating the consumption of a certain product.

Food Allergy  Intolerance

How to Identify Food Allergy Intolerance

In order to identify food allergy and intolerance, you need to keep ‘an observation diary’ of your food intake. One should also note the body reaction after each meal. Thus, it is possible to identify food allergy and intolerance to a particular product. Keeping a diary of product usage and its reactions on the body may reveal certain products that cause food allergy and intolerance reactions. Such testing of food is best done under the nutritionist’s supervision. It is a reliable method of identifying food that causes food allergy and intolerance.

In addition to food, a person has to consider certain medications like various additives, sweets, and even the food they tried while cooking.

On the basis of such careful observation, which should last at least 2 weeks, a dietitian can find a product or products that cause food allergy and intolerance.

Usually, it is better to keep a diary when a person is at home or they are not too far away from it.

Once suspected foods causing food allergy and intolerance are identified, one should gradually eliminate them from use. If some products help food allergy and intolerance, you need to consistently exclude those suspected products. This diet with excluded foods has to be followed for 2 weeks as well. If your health improves, these products should be removed from your diet.

After some time, a repeated test for food allergy and intolerance is necessary. If the patient ate the avoided food again with no health changes, then he was intolerant to that food. In fact, food allergy does not disappear, but intolerance cannot be shown which is the key difference between the two.

Read also: Food intolerance: What is this? Children’s Allergies and Their Indications