A food intolerance is sometimes confused with or mislabeled as a food allergy. Many people confuse one concept with the other. Nevertheless, its very important to know the difference.
A food intolerance, or food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a food in particular. This can lead to symptoms such as intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea.
Food intolerance involves the digestive system. Food allergies involve the immune system.
With food allergy, even a microscopic amount of food has the potential to lead to serious or life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
The most common anaphylactic reactions are to foods, insects, stings, medications and latex. If you are allergic to a substance, your immune system overreactis to this allergen by releasing chemicals that cause allergic symptoms. Typically, these symptoms occur in one location of the body. However, some people are susceptible to a much more serious anaphylactic reaction. This reaction typically affects more than one part of the body at the same time.
Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including a prompts injection of epinephrine and a trip to a hospital emergency room. If it isn´t treated properly anaphylaxis can be fatal.
Did you know that half of US adults think they have a food allergy when they don´t?
Food intolerance and allergies can share some gastrointestinal symptoms. If you think you have an allergic reaction to any food contact a doctor inmediately.
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