food allergyA food allergy or food intolerance, what is the difference? It is important to know because one can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of food intolerance:
• Symptoms come on gradually
• May require a lot to generate symptoms
• May happen only if eating the food a lot
• Is not life-threatening
Symptoms of food allergy:
• Symptoms come on suddenly
• Even a small amount of food can trigger it
• Happens every time you eat a certain food
• Can be life-threatening

Symptom Differences:

When your body is irritated as with an intolerance, you may experience a digestive system response such as gas, cramps, bloating, heartburn, headaches, or irritability. However, with an actual allergy, your body’s immune system sees food as harmful and creates antibodies to attack. This response affects more of the body than just the digestive system. Skin rash, shortness of breath, chest pain, drop in blood pressure and even a tightening of the throat making breathing and swallowing difficult typically occur. In extreme cases, the person can go into anaphylaxis shock. This is a life-threatening condition. Call 911 immediately. People are known to have anaphylaxis usually carry epinephrine injectors with them. If not able to inject it themselves, inject them in the fleshy area of the thigh portion of the leg. Common foods causing allergies and intolerances In 90% of cases seen by doctors, most can be traced back to triggers:
Foods that act as triggers:
• Peanuts
• Fish
• Shellfish
• Milk
• Eggs
• Soy
• Wheat
• Products using the above ingredients

Prevention Measures:

If you know which foods trigger a response, either reduce the amount of it that you eat (in the case of intolerance) or eliminate it from your diet (in the case of an allergy). Also, read the ingredient and nutritional labels. Sometimes the trigger food will be hidden in the ingredients or condiment list. When eating out, be sure to ask if a specific trigger food is used in the preparation of the dish. If you cannot nail down a specific food as a trigger, your doctor can recommend a specialist that can run a series of tests to find out which foods trigger a response. While food intolerance is more of an
the inconvenience and may not be worth the cost of finding out which one it is, a food allergy can be life-threatening and must be identified
as quickly as possible.