If you think that food allergy and intolerance are the same, you are wrong. Read this article to understand the difference between the two.
Do you suffer itchiness or rashes after consuming a certain food? Before you presume this to be an allergy, chances are that this could be intolerance. Both are nearly the same but allergies are more severe than intolerance. These are basically physical reactions to things that our immune system can’t tolerate. Soon after eating, these would trigger some symptoms indicating intolerance. But before concluding anything, know the difference between food intolerance and food allergy.
What is food intolerance?
Do you suffer uneasiness after consuming a specific product? It is a food intolerance. In simple words, your body doesn’t allow large portions of a particular eatable due to intolerance. This means you can still have them but in a very small ratio that doesn’t take a toll on your body. However, it is still suggested to avoid them as you never know when it may get worse.
For example, if you have lactose intolerance, you are not required to completely go off lactose. You can have lactose-free products and lactase enzyme pills to reduce intolerance. Similarly, a lot of people are allergic to gluten.
Causes of food intolerance
Lack of enzymes: Intolerance is caused due to the absence of certain enzymes that are needed to breakdown the food. This is why it triggers symptoms. Let’s take an example of lactose intolerance. Inadequate lactase enzymes in the human body cause lactose intolerance which is why people encounter digestive issues after consuming any dairy product.
Sensitivity to additives: Certain additives that are added to foods also trigger intolerance in people. Nitrates, sulfites, phosphates, MSG(monosodium glutamate), etc. Are the common additives that provoke allergic reactions.
Irritable bowel syndrome: Intolerance is often caused as our stomach fails to digest a few things. This is due to irritable bowel syndrome which causes stomach discomfort due to the consumption of a specific product. It causes diarrhea, cramps, constipation, etc.
Celiac disease: These are related to our immune system and bring symptoms that are similar to an allergy. Though it is nothing but a digestive issue that arises after consuming gluten. A lot of people are allergic to gluten.
What is a food allergy?
Talking about food allergy, an allergic reaction affecting the immune system very badly where it may get life-threatening for some people. It is easy to control intolerance but it is very difficult to get control of allergic reactions. Intolerance is limited to digestive issues only but allergies are much more severe than that.
Allergy is caused by allergens that your immune system regards as invaders. When you consume something you are allergic to, your immune system sees it as an alien ingredient and causes allergic reactions showing different signs and symptoms.
While coughing, uncontrollable sneezing, abdominal pain, inflammation, difficulty breathing, etc. are minor issues, things may get severe leading to the person getting hospitalized.
When you are allergic to something, avoid consuming it completely. Also, you should keep medicine with you in case you eat something by mistake to control the situation.
You can watch this video for better understanding of different food allergies.
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