Food Allergy VS Intolerance

Food allergies and intolerances are two conditions which often get confused, but they are very different. Let me explain…

Food Allergies

A food allergy involves a reaction by the immune system (aka the body’s defence mechanism) to a specific food which the majority of people can consume with no adverse effects.

If an individual had a food allergy then symptoms they could experience include:

  • Body swelling – i.e. of their face or tongue
  • A rash
  • Itching – quite common areas include but are not limited to itching of the throat, mouth or ears. The area covered with a rash may also be itchy
  • Vomiting

Very severe allergies may result in anaphylaxis, where individuals experience a rapid fall in blood pressure as well as severe shock. This can be life – threatening.

Some common food allergies are:

  • Peanut allergy
  • Milk allergy

Food Intolerances

A food intolerance involves a difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant reaction to them.

If an individual had a food intolerance then symptoms they could experience include:

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased wind
  • Diarrhoea

An example of a food intolerance is a lactose intolerance.


There are some major differences to remember in regards to whether you might have a food allergy or intolerance.

In summary a food allergy is a reaction involving your immune system and symptoms usually occur quickly. Allergic reactions can be mild or life – threatening.

In comparison a food intolerance does not involve your immune system and there is no allergic reaction. Symptoms usually appear more gradually and they are not life – threatening.


I hope you have found this blog post useful. Of course, if you ever think you have either a food allergy or intolerance consult your GP. According to the British Dietary Association (BDA) there are no intolerance tests which are supported by science, thus they cannot be 100% reliable but GPs, registered nutritionist and/or dieticians can still help. So, please still ask for further information from them if you need it!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, if you found it interesting or just enjoyed reading it please click the like button below or leave a comment – I would love to know what you thought.

Love, Mais

Instagram: maisfit_foodie


References:

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/allergy/what-is-food-allergy-and-intolerance.html?limitstart=0

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/food-allergy/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/food-intolerance/

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