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HomeExclusiveA Food Allergy Is The Same As A Food Intolerance

A Food Allergy Is The Same As A Food Intolerance

Diagnosing Allergies And Intolerance

Ask the Allergist Food Allergy or Food Intolerance

Your healthcare provider can help you find out whether you have an allergy or intolerance. They will help establish a plan to help control your symptoms.

Allergy skin testing can identify your bodys reaction to allergens. A blood test can pinpoint elevated levels of allergy antibodies that your immune system produces.

Determining the cause of food intolerance is not an exact science, however.

There are no validated skin or in vitro tests to prove an intolerance, Dr. Aronica says. The diagnosis is largely made by the patients history. He says if you have symptoms when eating a certain food, then no symptoms when you dont eat it, and symptoms reoccur when its reintroduced, this is part of the determination process of identifying a food intolerance.

He suggests keeping a food diary to record what you eat, when you have symptoms and what they are. If you notice that a food or ingredient consistently gives you discomfort, its likely an intolerance.

Food Allergy Testing & Treatment In Will County & Dupage County Il

Getting tested for food allergies can save your life. The board-certified allergists at Oak Brook Allergists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies. We treat pediatric and adult patients in our clinic. Our advanced allergy testing process can pinpoint which foods our patients are allergic to and reduce the risk of a fatal reaction from occurring. Food allergies can also change over time, and we make sure your food allergy management plan is up-to-date.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a leading allergist in the Chicago area, call Oak Brook Allergists at 574-0460 or use our convenient online appointment request form.

Its Allergy Awareness Week

…and since here at Erudus were dedicated to all things allergy related you can find a host of features covering subjects such the most common new allergens, how allergens hide in alcohol and what its like to eat out as an allergy sufferer – as well as plenty of allergy-friendly menu ideas in The Erudus Recipe Book.

Were also taking this opportunity to go back to basics, and explain what an allergy is, its effect on the body, and how it differs from a food intolerance – things it really benefits Caterers and consumers alike to know.

So read on to find answers to some of the most common questions about allergies and intolerances…

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Whats The Difference Between An Allergy And An Intolerance

The fundamental difference between an allergy and an intolerance is that an allergy affects the immune system and can result in deadly anaphylaxis, and an intolerance does not affect the immune system.

They both can result in similar symptoms that are either painful or uncomfortable but they come from reactions to different systems within the body.

For those with an allergy, ingesting or coming into contact with even a small amount of their allergen can trigger severe symptoms, whereas most people with intolerances can consume small amounts of the substance without experiencing adverse affects.

People often mistake a food allergy for an intolerance and vice versa, but it is important for a sufferer and those they interact with to know which it is because allergy sufferers must carry an Adrenaline auto-injector in case of anaphylaxis.

Even if previous reactions have been mild, someone with a food allergy is always at risk of the next reaction being life-threatening. Eating a microscopic amount of the food, or sometimes even touching or inhaling it, could lead to anaphylaxis. So anyone with a food allergy must avoid the problem food entirely and always carry emergency injectable epinephrine.

Causes Of Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance

How to tell the difference between a food allergy or ...

The development of both food allergy and food intolerance is influenced by genetic factors. Both conditions tend to run in families.

Food allergy is a dysfunction of the immune system. In food allergy, the immune system mistakenly identifies proteins in a particular food as a dangerous, invading antigen. When a person with a food allergy eats the allergenic food, their immune system recognizes it and launches an attack that involves triggering inflammatory chemicals that flood the body, causing allergy symptoms. Read more about causes and risk factors for food allergy.

Food intolerance is a dysfunction of the gastrointestinal system. In food intolerance, the body is unable to fully digest a food. Celiac disease is a bit more complicated. Celiac disease is caused by an autoimmune condition that leads to the inability to tolerate any amount of gluten, a protein found in many grains.

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What Causes A Food Intolerance

It is often unclear why a person is sensitive to certain foods.

If your symptoms happen after eating dairy products, it’s possible you may have lactose intolerance. This means your body cannot digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk, yoghurt and soft cheeses. A GP can usually diagnose lactose intolerance by looking at your symptoms and medical history.

Some people have trouble digesting wheat and experience bloating, wind, diarrhoea, being sick and stomach pain after eating bread. Read more about wheat intolerance .

Otherwise, the culprit may be a food additive, chemical or contaminant, such as:

  • monosodium glutamate
  • histamine
  • toxins, viruses, bacteria or parasites that have contaminated food
  • artificial food colours, preservatives or flavour enhancers

What Are Food Intolerances

A food Intolerance is an adverse reaction to eating or drinking certain foods or drinks. The food or drink type that triggers these reactions, as well as the type and severity of the reaction can be wide ranging – no two people will be exactly the same. Food Intolerance is recognised by both the NHS and the World Allergy Organisation, as well as by the UK’s Food Standard Agency and the Food Industry itself.

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Could You Have A Food Intolerance

If you think that a food intolerance may be responsible for your symptoms then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. Simply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood food intolerance test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

What Is A Food Intolerance

Food allergy vs. food intolerance

Unlike food allergies and food sensitivities, food intolerances dont directly involve the immune system. Instead, different components of the digestive system react to foods or parts of foods.

Sometimes, this can be due to the lack of a certain enzyme. People who are lactose-intolerant, for example, dont have enough of the enzyme lactase to be able to break down the sugar in milk .

Other common food intolerances include:

  • Sulfites
  • MSG
  • Caffeine
  • Natural sugars

Some of these intolerances cause an increase in the production of certain inflammatory messengers in the body, while others can stimulate the immune system indirectly. Its also believed that our gut microbiome plays a role in the development of intolerances .

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Why Have I Suddenly Develop Food Intolerances

Food intolerances arise when the body cannot properly digest certain foods. Lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance are common types. There is currently no cure for food intolerances. The best way to avoid symptoms of a food intolerance is to avoid certain foods or eat them less often and in smaller amounts.

Is There A Food Intolerance Test

A number of companies produce food intolerance tests, but these tests are not based on scientific evidence and are not recommended by the British Dietary Association .

The best way of diagnosing a food intolerance is to monitor your symptoms and the foods you eat. See what happens when you cut out the suspected food for a while, and then reintroduce it into your diet.

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Theyre Not One And The Same Understanding The Difference Between A Food Allergy And Food Intolerance Is The First Step To Helping Your Cat Back To Health

If your cat has a problem with a particular food, you probably assume hes allergic to it. But thats not necessarily the case. True food allergies are relatively uncommon. In fact, your cat may actually have whats termed a food intolerance. Lets take a look at food allergies and intolerances in cats, and the differences between their causes, symptoms, and treatments.

The Difference Between Food Intolerance And A Food Allergy

Food Allergy vs Food Sensitivity

Symptoms of food intolerance and a food allergy can be similar, so people can be confused between the two. However, there are clear distinctions. Food intolerance is a problem with digestion, whereas a food allergy is a problem with the immune system. Food intolerance may produce discomfort, but it is not life-threatening. A food allergy can cause a severe reaction like anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Therefore, its important to find out the difference between food intolerance and a food allergy.

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What Causes Food Intolerance

People with food intolerances often dont make enough of a particular enzyme that the digestive system needs to break down a certain food or ingredient. Experts arent sure why some people develop food intolerances.

Certain gastrointestinal conditions may make you more prone to food sensitivities. These conditions include:

  • Celiac disease.

Peanut Allergy Pregnancy Breastfeeding And Weaning

The latest research shows that there is no clear evidence to say that eating, or not eating, peanuts during pregnancy affects the chances of your baby developing a peanut allergy. Pregnant women need not avoid eating peanuts.

If you are breastfeeding and enjoy eating peanuts or other nuts there is no reason to avoid them, unless you are allergic to them. They can be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet.

Nuts are a choking hazard for children so great care must be taken. World Health Organization advice is that babies should be fed only breast milk for their first six months. However, if weaning on to solid food occurs before 6 months of age, peanuts and nut-containing foods should be avoided in case a food allergy is triggered. The same advice is also true for seeds, cow’s milk, eggs, wheat, fish and shellfish. In general terms, when weaning, it is best to introduce one new food at a time. That way, if there is a problem, such as an allergy, it is easier to tell which food could be the culprit.

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Egg Allergy And Immunisations

Egg allergy is not a reason to avoid the flu vaccination, nor is it a reason for a child to miss his or her immunisations ). If there is a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to egg-containing food, it may be safer for a child to be vaccinated in hospital. However, most anaphylactic reactions to MMR are related to other ingredients in the vaccine, and not the egg. Anaphylaxis to gelatin or neomycin is a contra-indication to MMR. Children with milder reactions should definitely receive their vaccinations in the normal way.

A Note About Coeliac Disease

What is the difference between food allergy and intolerance?

Coeliac disease is not a food allergy, nor is it a food intolerance. It is an autoimmune disease which means that the immune system mistakenly attacks itself. Other autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and some thyroid disorders. Coeliac disease is caused by a sensitivity to gluten. Gluten is a component of wheat, so it is found in foods such as bread and pasta. See the separate leaflet called Coeliac Disease for more details. Some people can have an intolerance to gluten, which is a different condition, and is one of the food intolerances relevant to the above leaflet.

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Elimination Diet For Food Allergies

For less serious allergies, you can perform a rough DIY version of the oral food challenge known as an elimination diet. You take your list of positives from the skin prick or food allergy panel and eliminate them all from your diet for a couple of weeks or more. If you get relief from all allergic symptoms, you know the culprit or culprits are in there somewhere.

Then you slowly add foods back into your diet, one at a time, to see if the symptoms return. Make sure you go slowly and journal or chart the whole process, including the steps you take and the results you experience, so you can be as objective as possible. Sharing this data with your health care team can aid them in guiding you to improved health.

How To Treat Food Allergies

Many people have found success in treating food allergies with oral immunotherapy . More than 80 percent of patients are able to eat foods that formerly threatened their health within 6 months of OIT treatment.

Much like the oral food challenge, an OIT patient receives small amounts of a food to decrease their sensitivity. This dose gradually increases over about 6 months.

Because OIT involves the use of allergenic foods, there is a risk of anaphylaxis. Our staff carefully supervises all OIT patients, and all treatments and test are overseen by a board-certified allergist.

The OIT process involves four phases:

1. Initial dosing: Patients receive seven to 13 doses in a single day over a 4-6 hour time period, under physician supervision.

2. Build-up dosing: This dose is increased incrementally every 1-2 weeks under observation until the maintenance dose is reached. This process usually takes about 6 months.

3. Maintenance dosing: Based on physician recommendation, doses are taken daily for years.

4. With the maintenance doses, patients get long-term resistance and the ability to consume foods that previously threatened their health.

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Cauliflower Squash Cheese Sauce

Were pretty sure that you will no longer feel the need for or even want dairy-based cheese sauce after you make and try this plant-based version. Its creamy, flavorful, and chock-full of fiber. Unlike dairy, which has zero fiber , this cheesy sauce can support a healthy gut, which in turn supports a healthy immune system. Enjoy this on top of tacos, as a legume pasta sauce, or drizzled over your favorite steamed veggies!

What Is An Allergy

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An allergy happens when a persons immune system treats a substance like an inappropriate invader. The body will try to protect itself by releasing a chemical into the body called histamine. This chemical is what causes the symptoms that are unpleasant or even dangerous. The reaction can start very suddenly, even after being exposed to a small amount of the allergen.

Allergens can get into the body in different ways. They can be:

  • inhaled ,
  • ingested as food ,
  • ingested as medication ,
  • injected by an insect sting , or
  • absorbed through the skin .

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Food Allergies Sensitivities And Intolerances: Same Or Different

It is becoming more and more common to hear that someone cannot eat a particular food because they are sensitive or allergic to it, while others may be having various symptoms and cannot quite figure out what the offending foods are. Reactions to foods may not be due to one type of mechanism but may be multiple mechanisms occurring simultaneously or individually.

Often the terms allergy, sensitivity and intolerance are used interchangeably, when in fact, they are not the same thing. These different types of reactions are immune-mediated or non-immune-mediated reactions.

Do You Know The Difference Between A Food Allergy And A Food Intolerance

A food allergy and a food intolerance are often thrown around in the same conversation and are thought to be the same thing when this couldnt be further from the truth. An allergy is an entirely different condition to an intolerance and were here to clarify the difference for you. As well as being two different conditions, there are a lot of untruths lying around regarding each term such as an allergy can be cured if the food is removed for a period of time or an allergy can be created by regular consumption of a food.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy, when occurring, creates an immune reaction within the body. This is usually caused by the protein of an allergen entering the bloodstream. This tends to happen more often at a younger age as the lining of the gut isnt yet fully developed. When you are exposed to the allergen, whether you have ingested, inhaled or touched the item, an IgE immune response is released as the body now sees the allergen as a threat. This release histamine and symptoms that can occur immediately or up to a couple of hours later.

Symptoms of an allergy can be

Anaphylactic shock.

What is a food intolerance?

Symptoms to a food intolerance can occur up to 72 hours after the food item has been consumed. Symptoms include



How can you discover your allergies and intolerances?

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Diagnosing And Treating Food Allergies

There are no standard criteria for the diagnosis of food allergies, and several ways of testing for food allergies. Even according to FARE, one of the top food allergy non-profits organizations, âcurrent methods of diagnostic testing for food allergy are often inconclusive.â

Diagnosis is further complicated by the fact that even detecting high levels of food specific IgE in your blood does not necessarily indicate clinical allergy but could instead be a sign of sensitization . Because of these issues, diagnosis requires a careful medical history, physical examination, appropriate laboratory tests – like an IgE allergy test, and in many cases, an oral food challenge might be deemed necessary by your physician to confirm a diagnosis.

âBe mindful of the fact that many tests that claim to diagnose food allergy are actually not valid, including: Hair and urine analysis, electrodermal testing, applied kinesiology Or, measuring food-specific IgGâ

The mainstay of treating a food allergy remains simple:

You must completely eliminate the offending food. The involvement of a dietitian can be of major help in managing your new diet, and help with tasks like label reading, dining out, and maintaining nutrition without allergens.

In addition, those who suffer from severe food allergic reactions are also provided with an injector pen filled with doses of adrenaline that is meant to be used immediately upon a possible exposure to the offending food.


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