Allergy vs Intolerance:
Managing Your Health
All of the concerns or symptoms relating to either a food allergy vs intolerance both seem to center around three major organ systems. These include the skin (hives, itching and rash), the GI track (gastro-intestinal) (showing signs of vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain) and the respiratory system (runny nose, puffy eyes, coughing, sneezing, wheezing or swelling of the throat). This last group can lead to life threatening adverse food reactions.
What Is The Difference Between Allergy vs Intolerance?
One of the definitions of a food intolerance, also known as histamine intolerance, affects approximately 25% of the current population of the United States. Because your body does not supply enough of a digestive enzyme known as DAO, when foods high in histamine are consumed, many people will show a host of unpleasant symptoms. All of these though are just a temporary inconvenience.
This is your body's way of telling you it was unable to break down the histamine levels in the food you ate. Each person can show a different set of symptoms but usually they will include hives or itching, tingling of the mouth, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. After a very uncomfortable amount of time, your body will work its way through the effects of the
histamine levels in the offending food.
When dealing with an intolerance, most people always seem to have problems with the same type of foods. This is because the histamine levels are just naturally higher in certain foods. Some of the worst offenders are:
- red or white wine, beer or champagne
- fresh fruits such as bananas, strawberries, pineapple and kiwi
- tomatoes---certain varieties of cheese--- or pizza
- chocolate, cocoa, coffee, or black tea
- processed or smoked meats and canned fish
- condiments, i.e. ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and soy sauce
- many varieties of breads or fresh baked goods
Another group of people can also notice, the foods they are most susceptible too, it is often their favorites. After an elimination diet for several weeks, thus dropping the possible offending food to check if your body reduces its troublesome signs or symptoms, you can effectively determine what your trigger foods may be. After determining where and why your body is showing an intolerance to certain foods, you now effectively know which foods you may have to remove from your diet.
The easiest method of treatment whether it is an allergy vs intolerance is to just avoid the products you notice you have trouble with.
During a true food allergy though, your body's immune system mistakenly believes the food(s) you consume are trying to hurt you. The most common food allergies reported in adults include shellfish and fish products, tree nuts and eggs. Each of these, once you acquire them as adults, you will probably be sensitive to for the rest of your life. It is important to understand though what causes allergies, especially food allergies.
The most common in children include cow's milk,eggs, soy, peanuts and berries. Children often though have the advantage that as their digestive system matures with age, often around 3-6 years old, they may outgrow their sensitivity.
During a food allergy attack the symptoms can be much more severe. An allergic reaction can lead to airway constriction due to the swelling of the mouth, throat, lips, tongue etc. This will lead to extreme dizziness or fainting.
The sensation of having a big lump in your throat will make it very difficult to breathe. A rapid pulse rate and going into shock will result in a quick and severe loss of blood pressure. This extreme condition is known as anaphylaxis (or anaphylactic shock.) This condition needs immediate emergency treatment. Commonly, your doctor will have you carrying an injectable dose of epinephrine, known as an Epipen, 24/7 as a safety measure for just this type of situation.
Therefore, to correctly diagnose whether your problem is an allergy vs intolerance, a food allergy test must be done by a certified allergist or a medical doctor. For correct methods of preventing food allergies, it is necessary you take the time to make a visit for your own health and safety.
Labels: Food allergy, food intolerance, histamine, food allergies, allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock
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This site is not intended to replace the advice and supervision of your professional medical treatment plan. Although all of the information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, we still recommend you carefully check all food labels before consuming any food product. We can not assume any legal responsibility for any illness obtained while following the advice contained on this site.