What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?

Food is so central not only to our dietary requirements but is also a key central in many rituals we have in our society eg birthdays, Christmas,etc.  So when you see Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that almost 4 million people in Australia reported avoiding a food type because of allergy or intolerance one needs to understand the difference between food allergy and food intolerance.

What is a food allergy?

 A food allergy is an immune system response. It is caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defence system (antibodies) to fight it. An allergic reaction occurs when the antibodies are battling an “invading” food protein. The most common food allergies are shellfish, nuts, fish, eggs, peanuts, gluten and milk.

 What is food intolerance?

Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in food irritates a person’s digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down, the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is a common food intolerance.

 What are the symptoms of a food allergy?

Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:

  • Rash or hives
  • Nausea
  • Cramping stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Itchy skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the airways to the lungs

  What are the symptoms of food intolerance?

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Gas, cramps or bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Irritability or nervousness
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Weight gain
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration

Leaky Gut is common in allergy symptoms It is also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the sterile bloodstream. The immune system launches an attack on these toxins, which creates inflammation throughout the body. For many people, this happens every time they eat.

How can you tell the difference between an allergy and intolerance to food?

Food allergies can be triggered by even a small amount of the food and occur every time the food is consumed. People with food allergies are generally advised to avoid the offending foods completely. On the other hand, food intolerances often are dose related; people with food intolerance may not have symptoms unless they eat a large portion of the food or eat the food frequently. For example, a person with lactose intolerance may be able to drink milk in coffee or a single glass of milk, but becomes sick if he or she drinks several glasses of milk..

Testing for Food allergies:

The clinic supplies an Ige test for food allergies to be sent to a laboratory

Testing for Food Sensitivities

The Asyra Health Screening is an accurate screening tool for intolerances, as well as identifying Leaky Gut,  missing digestive, liver, stomach or pancreatic enzymes which can then aid the digestive issues involved with intolerances.