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Determine The Difference Between A Food Allergy And A Food Intolerance

Aug 25, 2007
You will need to find out if you are having a food intolerance versus a food allergy, if eating a specific food causes you to suffer from some symptoms. It is easy to confuse the two together. However, if there is confusion, you may not be aware about the severity of your ailment and what appropriate action can best help you reduce your symptoms. Finding out the difference between the two can help you determine the best treatment option.

With a food allergy, your immune system response is triggered, leading to an allergic response. Only 2 percent of adults and 6 percent of children have a true food allergy that can be dangerous to their health. Mostly food allergens include peanuts, shellfish, soy and wheat. You do not need to consume a whole plateful of your food allergen for it to be fatal. Just a small amount can endanger your life.

With this, having a food allergy is considered more severe than having a food intolerance alone. Some of the most common symptoms of a food allergy include hives, eczema, wheezing, swelling of the throat, abdominal pain, and headaches. However, if your allergic reactions are severe, you can also suffer from shock, airway constriction, loss of consciousness and rapid pulse. This can mean death if you are not given the required treatment in a timely manner.

On the other hand, if you experience a tummy ache or diarrhea due to eating certain foods, you may be having a food intolerance. You still can eat these foods and yet suffer no symptoms if these are taken in small portions. This factor also distinguishes it from a true food allergy.

Obviously, for a food allergy, you would have to avoid eating that specific food. Severe food allergy symptoms require serious medical treatment. To keep you from going into anaphylectic shock, your doctor may give you a shot of epinephrine. You may also need to be warded in a hopsital for emergency treatment and observation.

To know for sure if you are having a true food allergy, some medical testings can help. Your doctor may also recommend that you keep a food diary so that you can note down the symptoms that you suffer from in response to the food that you just ate. With a better understanding, it is possible to reduce your symptoms whether allergic or otherwise.
About the Author
Evelyn Lim has been an allergy sufferer for many years. She now publishes tips on food allergy, something that she has to keep a watch on. For more information, please visit http://www.Allergy-Attacks.com.
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