Gluten-free! Dairy free! Nut free! Sugar free! You name it these diets are almost everywhere you look. But not everyone with special dietary needs has the same reaction to their offending foods. What’s the difference between being allergic to food, and being sensitive or intolerance to it? Well, I’m here to tell you. Hi folks. Dr. Holly Lucille here from NP TV. Food allergies and food sensitivities can have similar symptoms, but let me tell, you they are very different conditions. The key difference is mainly the body’s response. Symptoms of food intolerance can include things like: nausea, gasps, cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, irritability, nervousness, or even headaches. If you have a sensitivity or intolerance, the reaction is largely triggered in the digestive system. Now, food sensitivities they really are very common and can occur for several different reasons. Such as, not having the right enzymes needed to completely digest a certain food. You could also have a reaction to the additives that are putting food products
like sulfites or artificial colors. Or be susceptible to pharmacological factors like having a sensitivity to caffeine or other chemicals. There could even be a psychological factor. Like an extreme dislike of certain foods that can give you a sensitivity. A food allergy though, this happens when the body’s immune system, which normally fight infections sees the particular food as an invader. This leads to an allergic reaction – A response from the immune system in which chemicals like histamine are released in the body. The reaction can be very severe and causes symptoms like: breathing problems, throat tightness, hoarseness, coughing, vomiting, abdominal pain, hives, swelling, a drop in blood pressure or even anaphylaxis So unlike a food intolerance or sensitivity, food allergies can be fatal, and in extreme cases ingesting or even touching a small amount of the allergen can produce an intense reaction that might require medical intervention. Now, if you have a known food allergy you should always be prepared by wearing appropriate identification noting the allergy, and perhaps carry an EpiPen in case of emergencies. If you struggle with food sensitivities, the great news is there’s so many things
you can do about it. Consider a high quality targeted digestive enzyme, or better yet, partner with a qualified practitioner who can help you understand, test, and treat your body’s inappropriate response.