Many use the terms “food allergy” and “food intolerance” interchangeably. However, the two are very much different. A food allergy is a response from an individual’s immune system when it cannot tolerate the food in question. Symptoms of a food allergy are often extremely serious. On the other hand, a food intolerance is a much milder reaction to the food in question and usually only yield digestive discomfort. To clarify, causes of a food intolerance can be outlined by a number of different factors, such as Celiac’s disease, anxiety, IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, or sensitivity to a specific food additive. If one is having issues with their digestive system, it is important to visit the doctor in order to determine if they have a food intolerance or food allergy.
- People often confuse food intolerance and food allergies because they sometimes have the same symptoms.
- A food allergy involves the immune system and can be life threatening. A food intolerance is usually less drastic and involves mostly the digestive system.
- Intolerance often involves a lack of needed enzymes for digestion or a reactive to an additive in the food.
“Learn how to recognize a severe allergic reaction and know what to do if one occurs. You may need to carry an emergency epinephrine shot (Adrenaclick, Auvi-Q, EpiPen) for emergency self-treatment.”